September 14, 2022 in Brown Sheep

Spotlight on Shepherd’s Shades

Spotlight on Shepherd's Shades

Have you ever crafted with Shepherd’s Shades before? Now that fall is here it’s a good time to take a closer look at this bulky weight yarn, beloved among knitters and crocheters alike. Shepherd’s Shades is a fabulous yarn for fall/winter crafts—so fabulous, in fact, that its gradient shades feature in our current mystery knit along!

A grid of 4 gradients of Shepherd's Shades announcing Brown Sheeps Fall Mystery Knit Along
Clockwise from top left: Dove Grey, Steel, Obsidian; Seaspray, Ocean Floor, Weathered Teal; Lemon Juice, Sunshine, Maize; Smoky Phlox, Violet Verbena, Black Tulip

But before we get into the particulars of our latest MKAL—including some excellent alternative color options—let’s talk Shepherd’s Shades!

The Story of Shepherd’s Shades

18 skeins of Shepherd's Shades lie flat on cobblestone, illustrating the color gradients

What makes this yarn so special? The above image—and our selection of mystery knit along kits—should provide a hint. Notice anything interesting about the color selection?

We offer Shepherd’s Shades in coordinating gradients of three colors—light, medium, and dark. If you look at the color palette, we’ve dyed the colors in sets of three. Essentially, we designed Shepherd’s Shades for gorgeous color work crafting.

A bulky weight yarn, Shepherd’s Shades is especially suited for fall and winter garments and accessories. If you’ve ever worked with Waverly Wool, our needlepoint yarn, you might have noticed it’s a bit similar. That’s because both fibers are 100% wool yarns spun with a total of 6 plies. For Shepherd’s Shades, strands of wool are first twisted into groups of two. Then, three of those are twisted together for the finished yarn. The twist For Shepherd’s Shades is just slightly tighter than for Waverly Wool. Why? Because it’s intended for knitting and crocheting rather than needlepoint. A tighter twist gives better stitch definition. It also creates a denser, stronger fabric.

The twist in Shepherd’s Shades creates a robust yarn. With it, crafters can knit and crochet items that will stand the test of time. Sweaters, cardigans, and winter accessories work up quickly and stand up to a heavy winter rotation. Shepherd’s Shades is also great for felting projects. There’s so much you can do with this fantastic yarn—especially with its ample color palette!

The 2022 Fall Mystery Knit Along

Brown Sheep Fall MKAL

When we were devising our latest MKAL, we really wanted something colorful and quick. So, of course we thought of Shepherd’s Shades!

The subject of this MKAL is an asymmetrical triangle shawl that illustrates the versatility of Shepherd’s Shades yarn.  It utilizes three hues within a color gradient to mark the progress of the knitting as it moves from light to dark or dark to light. It features easily memorized lace and mosaic stitch patterns, and the clever color play keeps things interesting as you watch the colors shift.

Participants are encouraged to join our Fall MKAL forum on Spinning Yarns and share their progress on our social media channels using #BrownSheepFallMKAL2022. Here are some of the finer details:

  • Yarn: 6 skeins of Shepherd’s Shades; 1 skein in color A, 2 skeins in color B, and 3 skeins in color C.
  • Needles: US Size 8 (5 mm), 32” (80cm) or 40” (100cm) longer circular, or size to obtain gauge US Size 9 (5.5 mm), 32” (80cm) or 40” (100cm) longer circular, or size to obtain gauge
  • Gauge:
    • 15 stitches and 24 rows = 4”/10 cm in Lace pattern on smaller needles, blocked.
    • 15 stitches and 30 rows = 4”/10 cm in Mosaic pattern on larger needles, blocked.
  • Notions: Stitch markers, tapestry needle, blocking mats, pins/wires

There will be 4 clues in total. Participants will receive the first clue by email on September 20. The following clues will then be issued on a weekly basis every Tuesday. Remember to share pictures of your progress and the finished shawl with the hashtag #BrownSheepFallMKAL22 to be eligible for our prizes—two lucky knitters will win $50 gift certificates to the Brown Sheep shop!

And now we come to the fun part: color choices!

Shepherd’s Shades Color Options

Shepherd's Shades in Smokestone, Thunder Storm, Obsidian Is there anything more fun than picking out colors for your next great knit?? We put together 4 special kits for the MKAL, but they in no way cover all the fabulous color possibilities Shepherd’s Shades offers. We put together some alternative selections to make it easier for knitters to find the color stories that speak to them. Enjoy!

Shepherd's Shades in Raspbery, Rosebush, Red Plum

Shepherd's Shades in Pineapple, Carrot, Pumpkin

Shepherd's Shades in Reed, Marsh Grass, Asparagus

Shepherd's Shades in Spearmint, Fern, Clover

Shepherd's Shades in French Blue, Silver Blueberry, Casablanca Blue

Shepherd's Shades in Ice, Rain, Wedgewood

Shepherd's Shades in Blue Sky, Azure, Wild Indigo

Shepherd's Shades in Lavender Field, Lilac Spray, Deep Iris

Shepherd's Shades in Purple Coneflower, Boysenberry, Eggplant

Shepherd's Shades in Pink Sapphire, Carnation Quartz, Azalea

Shepherd's Shades in Buckskin, Maple Sugar, Chestnut

Shepherd's Shades in Rich Earth, English Oak, Walnut

An important note about color choices: For the MKAL, knitters can choose for their shawl to progress from light to dark (color A is light, color B is medium, color C is dark) or dark to light (color A is dark, color B is medium, color C is light). Be mindful of your color progression and yarn amounts when choosing a kit and also if you decide to build your own color gradient.

We’re offering free shipping on the kits and Shepherd’s Shades orders until October 11 with the code FallMKAL.

Have you worked with Shepherd’s Shades before? Are you participating in this year’s MKAL? What is your favorite color gradient? Let us know below and on social media!


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Shepherd's Shades Pin Image illustrating breadth of gradient colors