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The Making of an Urban Classic: Velvet Ziggurat and How to Work Color Changes over Short Rows

The Making of an Urban Classic: Velvet Ziggurat and How to Work Color Changes over Short Rows

Have you been seduced by the Gradient Yarn trend? I know I have, it seems like every yarn shop is just bursting with sets that move from shade to shade. Earlier this spring Lux Adorna asked me if I would be interested in working with a gradient set of their luscious 100% cashmere. I said YES!! (because I am a smart cookie when it comes to good ideas) and then proceeded to choose a set of Gray>Charcoal because I don't work with neutrals much and growth as a designer is also a good idea (remember> smart cookie). 

Velvet Ziggurat by Meghan Jones: The beauty of a gently curving stitch pattern combines with strong diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines, for a rectangular wrap based on a triangular shawl. The color changes of the gradient yarns are manipulated to illustrate the unusual shaping while still being allowed to naturally flow from one shade to the next.

When it came in the mail I literally took a very deep breath and sat and looked at it for about an hour. What was I thinking? Why had I chosen Gray? Me, the gal who loves color, who has 11 different paint colors on the walls of her house, and has a hard time dressing herself because all I own are Brights and I don't want to look like a pinata all the time. For me more color is good and  EVEN MORE color is EVEN BETTER! 

And now I had this gigantic hank of yarn in 4 different shades of Gray to Charcoal and I knew that I needed to design something totally new out of them. I really want to have  the gradient define the construction, and the construction enhance the gradient. Simply knitting from one end to the other was not going to cut it with this serious yarn I had. 

Velvet Ziggurat by Meghan Jones: The beauty of a gently curving stitch pattern combines with strong diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines, for a rectangular wrap based on a triangular shawl. The color changes of the gradient yarns are manipulated to illustrate the unusual shaping while still being allowed to naturally flow from one shade to the next.

I decided that this gray yarn was perhaps very Urban Chic, and it needed to have a design that reflected a tough, modern, angular vibe. A city knit, something that speaks of vertical buildings and sharp corners but still has a flow and dynamic for growth and movement. I wanted to start with a triangular shawl but also wanted a rectangle, not being able to decide I set about combining them. 

Velvet Ziggurat by Meghan Jones: The beauty of a gently curving stitch pattern combines with strong diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines, for a rectangular wrap based on a triangular shawl. The color changes of the gradient yarns are manipulated to illustrate the unusual shaping while still being allowed to naturally flow from one shade to the next.

Velvet Ziggurat starts with a classic top down triangular shawl complete with garter stitch tab. The pattern is deliberately not mirrored since I was interested in the visual tension that it creates in the finished piece. If you simple cannot handle an asymmetrical pattern it is pretty easy to work as a mirror image. Beginning with the mid light color the triangle blends into the lightest color halfway through. 

Velvet Ziggurat by Meghan Jones: The beauty of a gently curving stitch pattern combines with strong diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines, for a rectangular wrap based on a triangular shawl. The color changes of the gradient yarns are manipulated to illustrate the unusual shaping while still being allowed to naturally flow from one shade to the next.

Then stitches are cast on using the darkest shade and the border and garter stitch areas are worked with decreases and short rows to fill in the negative space, transitioning to a mid dark shade partway up. Finally all stitches are worked across for the top border which transitions to the mid light, and lightest shade again. 

If you can work a top down triangle shawl, short rows and decreases you can worked this pattern. It uses 400g total of heavy fingering/Sport weight yarn in 4 shades making it perfect for all those Fade themed kits being marketed right now. One more thing to note: the needle size change is pretty important and will help the shawl be a rectangle, not a droopy kinda triangle with borders. 

 

How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches

How To Work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches

At one point when working the Left Side Border and Garter Stitch Section you will need to work a short row wrap and change colors all in the same spot. To help you out with this maneuver I have put together a tutorial on just how to work it. 

How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches

Working on the wrong-side knit to the stitch about to be wrapped. 

 

How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches

Bring the yarn to the front of the work.
How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches
Slip the next stitch tip to tip and bring the yarn to the back of the work. 
How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches
Slip the stitch back to the left needle. 
How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches
Turn the work around. 
How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches
Drop the just used yarn behind the work. 
How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches
Bring the new yarn underneath the just used yarn behind the work. 
How to work a Color Change and Wrapped Stitches
Knit into the stitch, wrap the new yarn and pull through. 
It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it, the new yarn will float behind one stitch on the back of the work but once you work across all the stitches it is not noticeable at all. 
 

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