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Break Your Color Barriers - Earth Stripe Wrap by Kaffe Fassett

As you may know, I am a great admirer of Kaffe Fassett.  There is really only one reason to admire him, as it overtakes all other possible reasons: his extraordinary use of color.  

Now.  I know a lot of people out there that would say, "Change the colors in a Kaffe Fassett pattern?  Are you nuts?"  Guilty as charged.

Peanut pattern by Yuki Ueda

When I (and honestly, everyone else) saw the cover of Rowan Magazine 42 back in 2007, I knew I had to have that wrap.

But I also knew that I did not possibly have the $$$$ for that wrap.  (Or, god forbid, the dress!!)

Kidsilk Haze is $15 a ball now, but it wasn't much cheaper back then.  The wrap takes 15 balls (in 10 different shades)... so, yeah.  Do the math, I'll cover my eyes.

But guess what?  Just at this time, a gorgeous sparkly sister yarn of Kidsilk Haze, Kidsilk Night, had just been discontinued.  The reasons for this still elude me.  It was simply divine -- the same weight and feel of the Haze, but with a subtle tastefully matched sparkle.  The hues were fabulous.

I preyed over 3 internet stores and my local yarn store, Mouliné, mopping up whatever stock was leftover.  I didn't know what colors would go together, I didn't even know whether there was enough available when I started ordering, but I managed to get 15 balls together of 10 of the 12 possible Night shades.

Shade Card, 2007 (another shade, Dazzle, is from previous cards)

Now, as expected, Kaffe wasn't going to make it easy for me.  This wrap isn't just striped with one color, but rather with two different colors held together at all times.  Accordingly, the shades can't be understood by looking at a shade card, I had to wait until the skeins were in my hand.

Even then, it proved tough!

I set up an Excel sheet with his original colors.  Then, I made a list of the yarn combinations I liked the least.  I realized that there were color combos he never used either, possibly for the same reasons... 

Somehow, it worked!  And it cost half as much to make!!

My exact color replacements can be found on Ravelry

Oddly, the color I thought I liked the least, I ended up liking the best, and it ends up only showing up occasionally in the wrap.  It's like a vein of gold amid layers of shale and sandstone.

Out of 252 projects on Ravelry, a small number have also played with color changing, to beautiful effects.

Necesik's Earth Stripe Wrap

PaulinaP's Earth Stripe Wrap

The punchline is, DON'T BE AFRAID TO CHANGE COLORS!  A designer is not privy to every color combination, and even if they are in their own brilliant way, they can only choose one of many possibilities to show you. No, no, a lighting bolt will not strike you down if you try a different color combination.  In fact, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you (and your friends) greatly prefer your version.

Some other examples of my drastically different color changes:

One of the reasons I am showing you this 'vintage' finished object is because Rowan has just released a lovely replacement for Kidsilk Night: Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.  This yarn has more natural fiber content, but still keeps oodles of sparkle.  In fact, I think it sparkles more.

Kidsilk Haze:    25g, 229yd, 70% kid mohair, 27% silk
Kidsilk Night:   25g, 219yd, 67% kid mohair, 18% silk, 15% nylon
Kidsilk Eclipse: 25g, 227yd, 66% kid mohair, 27% silk, 7% nylon

There are currently 8 shades.

I know that these would be fabulous in the Earth Stripe Wrap.  If you are shy, you can always use most of the original wrap colors, just replacing a few with some sparkle.  Go ahead, step on the wild side!  ;)

My Blood Stripe Wrap on Ravelry


  1. Gorgeous! And amen about changing colors; good advice about not being afraid!

  2. So ridiculously beautiful it makes my head hurt. I've just cast on 130 stitches with Drops Kid-Silk and ripped them back again after only 2 rows of garter stitch! Impossible!

  3. Nana, ripping out these fine mohair yarns is an awful process, I know! I always keep a little pair of scissors handy to cut hairs that stick together, especially at the edges. Don't be afraid to cut!

  4. Wow I love your wrap. The subtle hint of gold every now and then makes it pop.

  5. I admire your resourcefulness in finding a way to create beautiful pieces like this in spite of budget constraints! Your finished product is really lovely. Sometimes when you have to put more effort into projects, they are more meaningful in the end. Loved the other color versions you posted here as well!

  6. KnitigatingcircumstancesOctober 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I think your wrap is gorgeous. I also like the sparkle. It's funny, I have so often admired this pattern and never realised that it is made with two strands of different shades held together. I think that is part of the genius of the pattern. I also think Kaffe would be pleased that he is inspiring people to experiment with colour.

  7. The wrap, the color, everything about it is gorgeous! I love anything to wrap myself in, especially with the colder weather coming.

  8. It's really wonderfull looking! Your colorchoises are as beautiful as the original.
    I'm a little in shock though. I've just started knitting Kaffe Fassett's Jubilee Throw and after long doubtfull houres and much calculating, even trying and rejecting another yarn, I'm now using the yarn and colors he advises. And now I read this....... ;-). Should I reconsider?

    1. Ha, no, of course not! But I would say that it wouldn't be crazy to change a few of the panels that have colors you don't like. For the ones you love... keep them!


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