Help with my "fade" project

I have this baby yarn that I was given… so it’s odd amounts and colors. I plan to use it to make a baby dress with a sort of fade. Pink at the top, then purple, blue, white, and maybe return to pink at the bottom. I don’t want it just color blocked, I want a bit of a gradual transition and can’t decide if I should just alternate rows for a bit (10 rows? more? less?) or do some other pattern. Anybody have advice, or a similar project to share?

That will be pretty. You can do it anyway you want, but I generally prefer the lighter colors at the top, and the darker colors at the bottom.

Are you wanting the colors to match up on the pieces, or be random?
Another method is to double the yarn, some two strands of the same color, other areas two different colors together and then gradatIng into another color.

So many choices! Have you chosen a pattern?


I like to do sand stitch on circular Needles, flat. Knit one row with white, slide. Knit next row with blue. Turn work. Knit next row with white, slide, knit with blue, turn. The white will break it up so it’s not blocky, but you can still have a nice color fade. If you run out of white, get some more that is similar.


I’m not familiar with “sand stitch”. Can you elaborate?

Doubling is a good idea, i hadn’t thought of that. I have tentatively planned to do the Eli baby dress:

It’s intended for Worsted and this stuff is baby weight. I was going to just try it and if turns out a smaller size no biggie. The dress will go to a sale at church, so it doesn’t really matter what size it is as long as it will fit some baby. But doubling would probably get closer to the right weight.

I was planning pink at the top because I have plenty of the white… so figured I’d use the others first and then just however much white i needed to finish. Maybe that’s not the best plan. Maybe double with the white - white the whole way through with the other colors changing.

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Oh, and the pattern is top-down, seamless, so there’s just one piece.

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I think holding white throughout will add to the fade. I would probably add a few stripe of the new color towards the end of the old color so it gives the illusion of pink fading to purple fading to blue fading out to white. I can’t wait to see the finished piece.

Happy crafting.


I found this “formula” I’m considering for the transitions:

Has anyone tried this or something similar?


The method she describes using one strand is what I was visualizing. I didn’t know that it was a legit method. Thanks for sharing the link.

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Sand stitch is similar to seed stitch. K1, p1, but with two of the same rows stacked on top of each other instead of alternating the stitches every rows.

For example: 10 sts
Row 1 with white: K1, p1, to end. Slide.
Row 2 with blue: k1, p1, to end. Turn work.
Row 3 with white: p1, k1 to end. Slide
Row 4: with blue: p1, k1 to end. Turn work.

Repeat rows 1-4.


I understand now, thank you!

I’ve done the single strand method a couple of times. Depending how close in color the yarns are, they will either stripe when alternating or they will fade into each other. I’ve had both happen.

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That is an adorable dress! I wish I had a granddaughter.

I like this idea! :bulb:

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I’ve designed a couple of transitions between colours.

The simpler one was this square. My idea (as far as I remember) was that the transition from orange to yellow (for example) started in the middle of the orange, and ended in the middle of the yellow — 16 rows. At the beginning of the first of those 16 rows, I wanted, notionally, 1 row per row to be orange, and 0 rows per row to be yellow; at the end, I wanted 0 rows per row to be orange, and 1 row per row to be yellow, with a smooth transition in between. So at the end of the first row, I wanted fifteen sixteenths of a row per row to be orange, and 1/16 of a row per row to be yellow; the average across the first row was 31/32 orange, and 1/32 yellow.

But since I was doing garter stitch, I wanted colour changes to occur only at the start of odd-numbered rows, so I had to do some rounding, and let both of the first two rows be orange.

But I accumulated the yellow-debt, so by the end of the third row, I wanted 1/32 + 3/32 + 5/32 = 9/32 of a row to be yellow. This was still too small for a pair of yellow rows, so rows three and four had to be orange, too.

By the end of the fifth row, I wanted 1/32 + 3/32 + 5/32 + 7/32 + 9/32 = 25/32 of a row to be yellow. This is more than half a row, so I rounded up and let the fifth row be yellow. But then I was committed to yellow for the sixth row, too.

By the end of the seventh row, I wanted a total of 1/32 + 3/32 + … + 13/32 = 49/32 of a row to be yellow. (Yes, the numerators are the squares of odd numbers.) This was less than the two yellow rows I already had, so another two orange rows went in.

At this stage, eight of the 16 rows of the orange-to-yellow transition were done, so symmetry could complete the transition: I had orange ⨉ 4, yellow ⨉ 2, orange ⨉ 2, so I swapped the colours and reversed the order, adding yellow ⨉ 2, orange ⨉ 2, yellow ⨉ 4.

That might sound like a complicated way of arriving at what looks like a simple fade, but that’s how my mind works.

The other (more elaborate and interesting) colour transition I designed was for my wife @DeborahMakarios, who wanted to knit the Sensible Shawl in roughly equal quantities of three colours. As far as I remember, the transition was based on the same idea, but since the rows were of such different lengths, the calculations took row lengths into account, and since there were so many rows, I got a computer to do the calculations for me and mock up a diagram of roughly what it would look like, so I could fine-tune it.


I love the math! Thanks for sharing your designs. I think I saw both of those projects in the Showcase thread but hadn’t paid attention to the pattern or math behind it.

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Here’s the shawl in question seen from the back…


If you carry three yarns: 1 one white, 2 pink; then 1 white, 1 pink, 1 lav; then 1 white, 2 lav; then 1 white, 1 lav, 1 blue; then 1 white, 2 blue. Most likely this will give you closer to heavy worsted or Aran wt, but it will be a nice fade. I would do a Fibonacci sequence for the color changes. Love the idea of the Sand Stitch mentioned in an earlier post.


Fibonacci sequence… now you’re talking. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Progress… the fade sequence I’m using is BAAABAABBAABBABBBA