Faux Hounds is my newest shawl pattern and it utilizes the 3 to 1 stitch as well as a gradient to great a gentle flow of color and texture. I used two different yarn bases for Faux Hounds, a merino, yak and silk as the base color and a merino silk blend for the gradient. I get asked frequently if I do/is it okay to mix fibers and my answer is yes...with some rules.
I tend to keep my blends similar in base (these two are both heavily merino wool and have the silk) and I don't usually mix plant and animal bases. Why don't I mix plant and animal bases? They stretch differently as well as hold dye differently. Wool bases have lots of 'life' to them and spring back into place when they've been stretched out, usually why socks are hand knit with wool. A cotton yarn is much heavier than a wool and does not bounce back into shape when it's been stretched out.
Faux Hounds is an excellent example on how to combine different bases and how nicely they can knit together. Faux Hounds works great with a solid color base and a variegated, a solid with mini skeins, or a solid color with leftovers. There are so many opportunities to play with color. Also, doesn't the stitch remind you of houndstooth fabric? That's where Faux Hounds came from! A faux houndstooth print!