yarn review – gradient yarns

Posted on September 3, 2013


some time ago i fell in love with gradient yarns. here are my thoughts on some i knitted with.


schoppel wolle zauberball has vibrant, unreal colours. love at first sight. but the yarn is not as soft as i want it to be, making it itchy next to my wool-sensitive skin. i knitted a scarf, several shawls (some with lace ball) and socks with zauberball . the colours were a treat every time, but i ended up giving the shawls away. i’m mightily sensitive, mind you.

mathilda shawl test
reglissé socks
stone washed socks
mockery socks



i know very few dedicated knitters who came across the odd ball of noro and were not suckered in by the mad colours, usually fading from candyland to toxic waste swamp and back. i knitted with the varieties kureyon sock (“kureyon” is engrish for “crayon”) and silk garden. they look great in the ball, but slightly weird when knitted up. and i don’t like the feel of noro. a bit scratchy and very unevenly plied. i did bags and toys with it, partly because the colours are wy too unruly for anything i would consider to wear, partly because it felts quite well if mistreated  accordingly. my newest additions are two balls of noro sekku (well, YOU try to walk by a tiny little yarn shop on your holiday, when you in-laws paid for flight and hotel and the sun gleams on a basket of little noro gems!).

jungle snake
lizzard bag
cassiopia round bag



most beautiful colours of all the gradients i tried, but horrible texture. i cannot imagine wearing anything made from kauni next to my skin, or even with a layer of clothing in between. way, way too scratchy. but it is the best felting wool ever. i knitted with three varieties: 8/1, 8/2 and 2.5/2 and made a short-lived lace shawl and two bags.

kauni felted bag
the project box



this is my favorite for wearables so far, even though i only worked with it once. i made a raglan shirt with one ball from their “unikate” line and still have enough left for a shawlette. it’s a cotton/synthetics blend, so no possibility of scratchy wool. the yarn is very smooth and knits up to a flowing fabric. the downside: it’s unplied yarn. the strands just lie next to each other. not recommended to knit chatting or watching tv. and technically it’s not a true gradient, because it’s not dyed, but the colour change comes the single plies, gradually knotted in in the next colour when one ply ends. this creates a colour more akin to melange colourways. still, great yarn.

gradient shirt


gradiance yarns
wonderful, wonderful colours. and very slow, fully dyed colour changes. they do very different qualities of yarn and i have only tried my hand at a pretty DK wool yet that looks like a cocktail glass of campari orange or maybe tequila sunrise. pure wool with a very slight itch i probably would not wear on my neck, but i’m loving every bit of it for the colours. i have some of their alpaca mix here, too, in a subtile coffee-and-cream colourway, and this one feels like straight from heaven.

projects: (forthcoming)


so, if anyone is reading this: what are your favorite gradient yarns?

Posted in: basics