I bought a bunch of Fiber Optic gradient yarn at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool and just cast on a project that will use two of the gradient packs: a Sugar Maple sweater. I admit to falling in love with this pattern after seeing the Fiber Optic dyer wearing her version using a different gradient colorway. I think the sweater is going to look sharp in the onyx-to-crimson progression.
The pattern itself is pretty straightforward - it's a tweaked top-down raglan - but the hard part is dealing with the 30 mini-skeins that form the two gradient packs. I need to keep the skeins in the proper order, do joins, and take care of ends, but it will all be worth it to see a smooth and subtle color progression in the finished object.
I'm using a couple strategies to make the yarn wrangling easier. The first is joining by magic knot, as shown in the video above. I'm not usually one for joins using knots (they distort the fabric a bit), but this was the easiest way to waste as little yarn as possible and avoid the added density of woven-in ends.
The other thing I'm doing is joining as I go, as it seemed easier to deal with yarn from one mini-skein at a time. To keep everything in order, I strung all of the mini-skeins onto a spare bit of yarn (shown in the first photo) at the beginning of the project and secured the yarn with a slip knot. Now, it's really easy to grab a new skein whenever I need one.
I'm pretty happy with my systems for dealing with the mini-skeins and I can't wait to show you more of this sweater as it progresses!