Auld Lang Syne Socks
These are Heidi Nick's Auld Lang Syne Socks. I was really excited to dye for this project because gradients and cables are not known for getting along well together - in fact, quite the opposite - and Heidi's cable designs are so stunning I wanted to make a yarn that would showcase them to the fullest.
Why don't cables and gradients get along famously?
The source of the argument is that cables generally "read" vertically - that is, your eye tends to follow cables up and down more than side to side and gradients tend to read horizontally. In combination, the two elements can confuse the eye - or they can look awesome together.
To make your cable knitting shine in gradient yarn, start by choosing a gradient with relatively smooth color transitions. Smooth transitions let the color element of the gradient add visual interest to your project instead of becoming a distraction because the smoother the color transitions, the less trouble your eye has following the vertical cables.
For maximum visibility for your cables, choose a relatively light-colored gradient. Pastels are your friend because they make your cable work easier to see. If you don't want to go full pastel, that's fine too - bright colors are a good second choice.
Next, think about how to best make your yarn work for your project. If you're working with a light-to-dark gradient, think about where you want the cables to be most visible and use the lighter end of the gradient in that area. For example, if you're making socks you plan to wear with shoes, you can use the darker end of the gradient for the less visible toe area, and the lighter end for the more visible leg area.
I hope this sheds some light on how cables and gradients can work together harmoniously, and gives you extra confidence to mix the two!
Pattern: Auld Lang Syne Socks, available on Ravelry for $5
Yarn: Infinite Twist Half-n-Half Sock Gradient, shown in Winter Blue.
Project Notes and more images here.