Gorgeous Gradients Class Syllabus

This is the COMPLETE syllabus for Gorgeous Gradients and the Deep-Dive.

Here’s what you’ll be learning and doing in each week of Gorgeous Gradients, roughly speaking. Because this is our first time teaching the class, we may adapt the content in response to how the class is progressing. So don’t be surprised if there are minor changes to the syllabus during the course, though there shouldn’t be any big ones.

September 11: Choosing Yarns and Yarn Colors

You’ll receive instructions on choosing yarn colors for the class projects. You’ll also get your coupon code for discounts at Lunatic Fringe Yarns!

(Lunatic Fringe Yarns is graciously providing a coupon for Gorgeous Gradients participants for 10% off orders over $50, and – for orders over $100 – an ADDITIONAL bonus Mini cone in a whimsical color chosen by your favorite Lunatics.)

October 3, 6: Color Editor, Gradients Editor Prep Class (Pre-Work)

The week before class begins, we’ll post a mini-course on using the Color Editor in the online classroom, and also teach two live classes about using the Color Editor, an essential tool we’ll use throughout the course. 

Week One (October 8-14): Fabulous Colors, Fantastic Gradients

This week we’ll be diving right in and “getting your hands dirty” playing with gradient design. You’ll learn about the six different kinds of gradients – we’ll be working extensively with four of them, and we’ll touch on the two others towards the end of the class. 

You’ll choose one of two structures in which to weave your project – plain weave or 3/1 twill – and learn the pros and cons of each structure.

You’ll learn about how to design each type of gradient, and then you’ll pick a gradient type and structure to work with and dive straight into designing your warp gradient using the Gradient Editor and at least three warp colors (you can use more if you like).

For this week, you’ll be working with a solid weft; you’ll design weft gradients in Week Two.

Our primary goals this week are: to ground you in the very basics of gradient design, get you familiar with the Color/Gradient Editor, and get you designing as quickly as possible. That’s because learning by doing is a lot more fun than learning dry theory at the outset, and because the experience you get while playing with design will make the color theory that arrives in Week Two “stick” in your head a lot better.

Week Two (October 15-21): Make It Gorgeous! Mastering Gradient Design

In Week Two, now that you’ve gotten your feet wet, we’ll go more in-depth into the color theory of gradients. You’ll emerge from Week Two understanding how and why gradients work, and how to design them effectively. You’ll know how to design warp AND weft gradients, and how to design double gradients and reversible gradients. To make sure you remember it, you’ll practice what you’ve learned by designing your double-gradient cowl.

  • how to create smooth, blendy gradients, and how to create bold, dramatic gradients
  • how to deal with gradients in multiple colors without getting mud (and why getting mud sometimes doesn’t matter, because people’s eyes will IGNORE the mud!)
  • how to design weft gradients
  • how to create double gradients that look the same on front and back faces of the fabric
  • how to create reversible gradients, which look different on front and back faces of the fabric
  • three different ways you can finish your cowl project and how to plan for them

That may sound intimidating, but don’t worry – we’ll make everything clear, and also include exercises to make things easier and help cement your knowledge. You also have LIFETIME access to the course, so you have plenty of time to go back and re-read, re-watch, and re-consider everything you’ve learned.

You’ll also get a troubleshooting “cheat sheet” for when your gradients go wrong.

Project-wise, you’ll finish designing your cowl project and get ready to warp your loom!

Week Three (October 22-28): Warping and Weaving Your Color Gradients

In Week Three, you’ll learn about how to warp and weave your cowl. This week is “lighter” in theory/content than Week Two – intentionally, because there’s a TON of stuff packed into Week Two. Week Three is meant to give you a bit of a breather while you warp your loom and start weaving your cowl. (This does not mean that Week Three is watered down, just that it’s more about practical weaving stuff, rather than theory.)

In Week Three, you’ll learn the practical elements of warping and weaving a gradient piece.

Here’s what’s in Week Three:


  • How to warp complex stripes easily using multiple warp chains, back to front or front to back
  • How to wind a complex stripe pattern using multiple colors on a warping board
  • Direct warping a complex stripe pattern on a rigid heddle loom


  • How to track color changes when weaving color gradient wefts
  • How to deal with tons of weft ends when weaving weft gradients
  • Pickup and hand manipulated techniques to enhance gradients in rigid heddle weaving 

Week Four (October 29-November 5): Finishing Your Cowl and Advanced Topics

In Week Four, we’ll cover finishing techniques for the cowl project, and also loop back around to cover some gradient topics that didn’t fit in neatly earlier in the course. Here are a few of the things that we’ll cover in Week Four:

  • At least three ways to finish your cowl (we may throw in a few more!)
  • Bundled-yarn gradients: how they work, pros and cons, when and how to use them
  • Gradient-dyed yarns: how they work, pros and cons, how to get yarns, and some tips on dyeing your own
  • How to showcase a gradient warp if you want it to be the star of the show
  • All the different knobs you can turn to affect the look of a gradient
  • Some tips on working with more complex drafts.

Get more information/sign up for Gorgeous Gradients here!

Gorgeous Gradients Deep-Dive Syllabus

Gorgeous Gradients Deep-Dive is an optional two-week add-on to Gorgeous Gradients that delves into structures beyond plain weave and twill. It costs $49 and can only be purchased along with Gorgeous Gradients. (That’s because Gorgeous Gradients lays the groundwork for the Deep-Dive; if you haven’t taken Gorgeous Gradients, the Deep-Dive won’t make sense.)

Deep-Dive Week One (November 5-11): Coordinating Color and Structural Patterning

The visual design in a piece of handwoven cloth is the color patterning in the warp overlaying the color patterning in the weft, interlaced in the pattern of the draft.

Usually, when you have a complicated design in the warp, a complicated design in the weft, AND a complicated design in the draft, you get visual chaos. This is why the common wisdom is “If you make the draft complicated, keep the colors simple, and if you make the colors complicated, keep the draft simple.”

This is a helpful rule of thumb for those who don’t understand how color works. However, I feel it’s too limiting for those who want to explore deeper, because if you coordinate a complex draft with complex colorwork, you can get results that make people’s heads explode with wonder!

So while we’re not going to get deep into the Theory of Everything Color in a single week (that’s an entire class of mine, Make Your Colors Sing), Week One is basically about understanding what factors determine whether a given gradient pattern and set of color choices will coordinate beautifully with, or make hash out of, your beautiful draft. 

Once you understand that, you’ll understand how to mix complex drafts with equally complex gradients with gorgeous (not messy!) results, and how to pick drafts that are appropriate for each of the six types of color gradients.

You’ll get hands-on practice with all of this theory in the Color Editor, as well.

Deep-Dive Week Two (November 12-19): Structural Tricks with Color Gradients

In Week Two, we’ll talk about some structural tricks you can do with complex drafts to deal with some of the color-mixing issues that we couldn’t really address in plain weave and 4-shaft straight twill. 

In particular, some drafts blend warp and weft colors, and others do not. Drafts that don’t blend colors allow you to sidestep muddy-color issues in color selection, which is handy, and also make for particularly interesting double and/or reversible gradients. 

You’ll learn to identify drafts that blend warp and weft colors (“blending drafts”) and drafts that keep them relatively separate (“separating drafts”). Then you’ll learn to exploit those properties to design gradients in colors that might otherwise conflict, and to create some pretty awesome reversible gradients! 

We’ll explore all of that in Week Two.

If we have time, we’ll also explore some interesting tricks that you can do with mini-gradients and drafts that have repeating motifs. These aren’t gradients on a grand scale, but by using shading in small units – a few threads at a time – you can completely change the look of a draft, making repeating motifs appear and disappear and giving the illusion of depth through shading. It’s a bit of a sidestep from the grand, sweeping gradients we’ve been working with until now, but consider it a little mignardise – a mini bonbon to top off a meal. 

Find more information about Gorgeous Gradients and the Deep-Dive here.

(Scroll to the bottom of the page – or follow this link – to skip the Gorgeous-Gradients only sales pitch and find the info/enrollment button for Gorgeous Gradients + Deep-Dive.)