The uniqueness of hand painted variegated yarns poses a challenge
to knitters: each skein might be slightly—and sometimes not so
subtly—different. The skein may contain the same color scheme,
but the amount of each color varies and sometimes the colors are
darker or lighter. How do we knit them together so that the
individual differences between skeins are not noticeable on
the finished product?
Begin by winding the skeins into balls. It is easier to notice
the subtle color differences in wound balls than on loose skeins.
Following are sample projects and how to knit them with variegated yarn:
Lace scarf using 2 skeins of variegated yarn
Cast on with skein A and work 2 rows in pattern. Switch to skein B
and work 2 rows in pattern (don’t break off yarn, just pull it up
loosely at side of scarf whenever you are ready to resume with next color).
Back to skein A and work 2 rows. Continue this way, switching skeins
every 2 rows to end of scarf.
Lace shawl or scarf using 3 skeins of variegated yarn
Cast on with skein A and work 2 rows in pattern. Switch to skein B and
work 2 rows in pattern. Back to skein A and work 2 rows. Continue this way,
switching skeins every 2 rows, for about 20 to 30 rows (depending on
width of rows), then break off skein A and substitute with skein C.
witch between skeins B and C for about 20 to 30 rows, then break off
skein B and re-introduce skein A and alternate between A and C for
the next 20 to 30 rows. Then break off C and go back to skein B.
Continue this way to end of scarf or shawl.
Lace shawl using 4 skeins of variegated yarn
Start with 2 skeins—A and B. Cast on and work 2 rows in pattern
with skein A, switch to B and work 2 rows. Continue this way for
approximately 40 rows. Break off skein A, and start with skein C
and alternate every 2 rows between B and C. Continue for another
40 rows, then break off skein B and start with skein D. Alternate
every 2 rows between C and D. Continue for 40 rows, break off
skein C and re-introduce skein A. Alternate between A and D for
about 40 rows, then break off D and re-introduce skein B, and so on.
This way, each skein is introduced and worked together with another skein.
Mittens and hats using more than 1 skein of variegated yarn
Work with both skeins simultaneously and switch skeins every 2 rounds.
Sweater or cardigan
Here it gets a little trickier: divide the skeins into lighter and darker tones
(or if one color is more dominant, set skeins aside with similar color dominance).
Decide which tones you want to use for which part of the sweater. For example:
you might want to use the lighter skeins for sleeves and collar. Keep the body
of the sweater more or less uniform. If necessary, divide further for front and
back of sweater. Set aside the skeins for the sleeves
(about 25% of the entire amount of yarn).
Cast on with skein A for body of sweater, work 2 to 4 rows in pattern, switch to
skein B and work 2 to 4 rows in pattern. Back to skein A and work 2 to 4 rows.
Continue this way, switching skeins every 2 to 4 rows, for about 4 inches into
body of sweater or cardigan. Then break off color A and use color C. Alternate
between skeins B and C for the next 4 inches. Then, depending on how many skeins
you have put aside for each side, add 4th skein or continue alternating between
3 skeins and use the next 3 skeins for other side of sweater.
Sleeves are worked alternating between 2 skeins, breaking off 1 skein after 20
to 30 rounds into sleeve and adding 3rd skein for next 20 to 30 rounds. For collar
and/or borders, use whichever skein you have the most left over, so that you can
complete entire collar or borders on cardigan without switching skeins.
If you have more questions,
or need some assistance
knitting with any of our patterns,
Knitting Pattern Help