Minis, in many forms

There’s a lot going on this month!  September’s update involves three different formats of yarn: mini-skein gradient sets, rainbow mini skeins, and hat-sized gradients.

1. First up, a new style of dyeing that I’ve been playing with behind the scenes this summer.  Still gradient, still with intriguing saturated colours, but a different format.

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Mini-skein gradient set: One gradient, spread over five minis, in complex variegated colours.

Introducing mini-skein gradient sets!  Each set has five 20g minis, dyed using layers of colour so that each is its own uniquely variegated skein– and when you work them in sequence, they create a gradient effect that plays out across the full 100g set.

stitchesThe progression of colours is sometimes subtle, sometimes wild– but either way, they’re a blast to work with.  The colours shift from one stitch to the next and then, mini by mini, change proportions across the entire set.

The result is yarn that demands to be enjoyed.  Choose a simple knit like a garter stitch shawl and watch the colours flip by, pooling in places and then spiralling off again into delicious chaos.  Or use just the right amount of yarn from each mini to work a pair of matching mitts, a mirrored gradient cowl, or a colour-shifting sweater yoke.  (How about hinagiku, by eri, Twice Again, by Debra Gerhard, or Borobila, by linolimon?)  Or pick a pattern like Always Be Brave (by Helen Kennedy) that will show off the chaos while keeping it in check.  Or let the short-rows and the rows of dropped stitches in Joji Locatelli’s Storm Shawl help the colour of each mini shine.

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This version of Storm Shawl is by estregger; Ravelry members can find her project details, including a diagram of the distribution of each mini, here.

Mini-skein gradient sets consist of five 20g minis of Four Quarter (fingering weight superwash merino) and sell for $45 Canadian.

2. Rainbow minis!  I’ve been thinking a lot about Pride recently, and queer visibility, and about the many different ways to celebrate who each of us is as a person.  Although I’ve never been a particular fan of raucous parties, I found myself wanting to join in by knitting with a good rainbow colourway.  One with some variegation, a bit of chaos, and deep saturated colours….  “Well,” thought I, “I can dye that!”

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Rainbow minis (Wallydrag edition)

So I did.  Rainbows are sets of six 20g minis, dyed so that each colour is softly variegated with some of the following colour in the rainbow.  The red carries a bit of orange, the orange some yellows, the yellow a touch of green, and so on.  This means that you can knit a full rainbow while still enjoying lively colour passing through your fingers.  Each edition is its own unique blend of rainbow colours– but unlike most gobsmacked yarn, seven just-about-identical sets come out of the same dye pots.  This means that if you want more than 120g of rainbow, you can buy two or three or more sets from the same edition (dye lot), then work them together in whatever fashion tickles your fancy!  Rainbow sets are in Four Quarter and cost $54 Canadian.

3. Last but not least, I’ll be offering some hat sets at the next update.  A lot of folks are excited about working some of Woolly Wormhead‘s stunning patterns in gradients, but there’s always the problem of getting the right yardage: too much and you miss out on part of the gradient; too little and you’re left with an incomplete hat.  I can’t promise that I’ve solved that problem entirely, but I am pleased to offer DK gobsmackers in smaller sizes (50g and 33g), each paired with a coordinating 50g Straight (a semi-solid that goes nicely with the gradient).

Prices are $45 Cdn for sets of merino DK or BFL DK and $50 Cdn for a Silky Yak DK set.  These prices are the same whether the gobsmacker is 50g or 33g; that’s because the 33g cakes are really fussy to work with and take extra time.  But the upside of the smaller cake is that you have the chance to match the gradient to the amount of yarn that you’ll need.  To help with planning, 50g of merino or silky yak DK is 105 m (115 yds); 33g is 70 m (76 yds).  The BFL DK is available only in the 50g cake, with 112 m (123 yds).

See you at Sunday’s update!