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Revive your knitting with marled gradient yarns!

 

This week, we’ll be exploring Classic Shades Frenzy by Universal Yarn. This soft bulky yarn is full of color and the way the yarn was spun makes it easy to knit without any of the struggles of some multi-color knitting techniques because it is a marled gradient yarn.

4 new exciting colors of Class Shades Frenzy, spun with a marled gradient construction, will inspire you to make memorable knits.
4 new exciting colors of Class Shades Frenzy, spun with a marled gradient construction, will inspire you to make memorable knits.

 

I’ve blogged about Classic Shades Frenzy before, but there are new colors that deserve some limelight, and I’ve thought of some patterns, techniques, and other “yarny” info that will be interesting to many of you this week.

Gradients provide beautiful color transitions and a marled twist that incorporates different colors of the fibers gives your knitted fabric a delightful tweedy appearance.
Gradients provide beautiful color transitions and a marled twist that incorporates different colors of the fibers gives your knitted fabric a delightful tweedy appearance.

 

We call yarn a “marled yarn” when either fibers of different colors or plies of different colors are twisted together to create a barber pole effect. A gradient yarn is one where one color transitions to another gradually, often with intermediate shades between the two colors. When knit, these yarns bring a tweedy look to the fabric and can create visual surprises when one color moves to the next. Classic Shades Frenzy, is a single ply yarn, usually called a “singles yarn”. We’ll explore that aspect to this yarn tomorrow.

I’d like to introduce you to four new and exciting colors in Frenzy.

First, let’s look at Botanica, which is inspired by a lush English garden filled with blossoms of different hues, intensities, and shades. I can see the colors of yellow and multicolored irises, lavender, foxglove, and pink valerian, the pure white of allysum, and many different greens. There’s a play of light and shadows in the yarn, too.

The warm tones of this blend and the muted contrast with cream and charcoal elicit the beauty of an English cottage garden.
The warm tones of this blend and the muted contrast with cream and charcoal elicit the beauty of an English cottage garden.

 

When I look at Quarry, I see a rock face that is catching the last rays of light on a summer’s twilight. The mix of charcoal, black, and silver, with the splashes of violet give me a feeling of strength and calm.

Many images come to mind from this swatch knitted in the quarry colorway. What about a romantic vampire story with moonlight shining on a cold stone wall of a castle?
Many images come to mind from this swatch knitted in the quarry colorway. What about a romantic vampire story with moonlight shining on a cold stone wall of a castle?

 

Madras contains the colors that are quintessentially the colors of the light plaid cotton fabric from India. While the original Madras fabric was mostly red, charcoal, and off-white, there were many more colors and color combinations once this fabric was adopted by designers in the UK and the US. The blues and warm reds are typical of many Madras plaids.

The warm, spicy, terracotta reds and cool summer sky and indigo blues create a perfect contrast in the Madras colorway of Classic Shades Frenzy yarn.
The warm, spicy, terracotta reds and cool summer sky and indigo blues create a perfect contrast in the Madras colorway of Classic Shades Frenzy yarn.

 

The Fern colorway of Frenzy takes me back to my university years, when I studied at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. The campus is set in the middle of a Pacific rain forest, through which I biked to and from classes. The mosses and ferns and raindrops created a lush, moody environment, which was perfect for stopping to read or to ponder as I pedaled by.

The fern colorway is the most inspiring to me, and you'll see it knit up in creative ways this week.
The fern colorway is the most inspiring to me, and you’ll see it knit up in creative ways this week.

 

Color is important as it can trigger both memory and emotion. It can also inspire us. The way these colors are blended into gradients and marled together really makes this yarn unique. Which colors of Classic Shades Frenzy inspire you to knit?

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Don’t get unspun by single-ply yarns!

About Charles Voth

I’m Charles Voth, a crochet and knitting professional. I enjoy reviewing yarns and tools to help others find materials that will help them be happy with what they stitch. I design garments and accessories and items for the home. I teach both crafts at yarn stores, in schools, and at craft shows and retail events. I am also a technical editor of both crochet and knitting patterns and illustrate the charts and diagrams that make pattern reading accessible to so many.

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