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Use cross-fading gradient yarns to knit a quick project

by Charles Voth

This week, I’m looking at lightweight cotton-acrylic yarns that are excellent knits for the weeks when we transition from one season to the next. Today, I’m happy to introduce Red Heart it’s a wrap Rainbowgradient yarn from their it’s a wrap series of themed colorways. These are bright colors that transition gradually from one to another along the lengthy yardage of each cake. Yesterday we looked at Red Heart Croquetteanother delicate yarn. Both Croquette and Rainbow are also non-allergenic for those sensitive to animal fibers.

Hold 3 strands of It’s a Wrap Rainbow™ by Red Heart to make a quick, soft and warm scarf.

Each cake of it’s a wrap yarn, in this case the Rainbow™ series, consists of 623 yards [570m] of 4-ply yarn where the plies aren’t twisted; that’s just over 5 ¼ oz. [150g] of cotton-acrylic blend. Each ply consists of two even finer plies that have been twisted. The 4 plies are not twisted because the plies are “shifted” to form the gradients. At any point along the 600+ yards you will find that 2 or 3 of the plies are one color and the other plies are the next color in the gradient. There are tiny knots at the points where the one ply in a color is joined to the next color, but as these plies are so fine, you cannot feel the knot in the knit fabric.  It comes in 8 bright colorways!

I’ve folded the scarf in a zig-zag fashion to make it easier to see the transitions in the gradients of the 3 strands of Red Heart Rainbow™ held together.

If you love this yarn because of the gradients and the colors, but don’t have enough time to knit with lace-weight yarn (it’s a Craft Yarn Council #1 weight), you can always double or even triple up the strands to make a thicker yarn that knits at a DK or aran weight, respectively.

For fun, I thought it would be interesting to “cross-fade” the gradients; in other words, the direction of the gradients would be paired in opposite directions. So for this quick project, I held the outer and inner ends of one cake of it’s a wrap Rainbow™ in the Seaglass colorway together with another outer end of a second cake of the same colorway. In essence I have a 12 ply yarn now, which makes for quick knitting! It’s quite engaging to see how the colors fade in opposite directions.

By using 3 strands of Red Heart Rainbow™ together, you can make this quick 1-row pattern scarf with a depth of color because of the different blendings.

This pattern is a very slight variation of the One-Row Scarf by the Yarn Harlot.


Two cakes of Red Heart it’s a wrap Rainbow™. The Seaglass colorway appears in these pictures.

Size 8 US [5mm] needles.


Hold an outer strand from each cake together along with an inner end of one of the cakes throughout.

Cast on 28 (or any multiple of 4) stitches.

Row 1: Slip first st purlwise, k2, k1 through back loop (tbl), *p1, k2, k1tbl; rep from * across.

Repeat Row 1 until cake from which you are only one strand weighs 2⅝ oz [75g].

Bind off.

To make a “fraternal twin” to this scarf, you need only 1 more cake from which to use both ends, and then you would use the half of the single-strand cake for the 3 strand.

I modified the original pattern so that there could be a neat braided edge on both long sides of the scarf.

I’ve really enjoyed using this yarn and playing around with the cross-fading of the gradients. Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll share my shawl pattern using Red Heart’s it’s a wrap Rainbow™, where we use one cake for a very generously-sized shawl. It’s knit on reasonably-sized needles, too, so don’t worry: you’ll be able to wear it this fall if you get started right away.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Easy knit late summer stole – perfect – using Red Heart Croquette yarn

Go to part 4: Knitting an obtuse isosceles triangle shawl with one cake of Rainbow

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