October 21, 2015

Tips for using variegated yarns together when knitting stripes!


Knitting projects that incorporate stripes is SO much fun!  Adding in that second colour and watching how the colours play together is very satisfying.  I suppose that is why most of the top shawl patterns on Ravelry are stripped - people love to knit them!  What can be more fun than stripes?  How about knitting the stripes using variegated yarn?  I can tell you now, if you've never done it, it's even more addictive than using semi-solid colourways and the results are fantastic!  The golden rule for knitting stripes using variegated yarn is to make sure there is plenty of contrast between both colours. If there is not enough, the colours will merge together and your stripes will disappear.  Below are a few simple tips to help you choose a variegated colour scheme that will ensure lots of contrast and wonderful stripes.

1. Use a complementary colour scheme 

Complementary colours are found on opposite sides of the colour wheel. When used together, these colours create vivid and bright colour combinations, more so than any other colour combinations, which means they are PERFECT for stripes.  Select your favorite variegated yarn and find another that incorporates complementary colours.



2. Make sure that there is enough variation of colour in each yarn

This tip is rather obvious, but I thought I would add it in because, as we all know, variegated yarns are full of colour, so much so that you may not realise that both colourways share similar hues.  For example, one skein might consist of mainly green hues and the second skein is red with a moderate amount of a similar shade of green.  This will mean that, once knitted, the green hues from both skeins will meld together and the stripes will be less apparent.  For ultimate contrast look for variegated colourways that contain completely different hues. 


3. Make sure your colours differ in tone

Tone, quite simply, is the lightness or darkness of a colour.  When it comes to any type of colourwork, including stripes, you want the colours to vary in tone as much as possible.  So, make sure that one skein has lighter or paler tones and the other skein has darker or saturated tones.



4. Take the twist test

A very simple and easy way to test out your colour combination is to twist both yarns together like so:



      This way you can see if there is enough contrast between the colourways, and whether you like the colour combination!



      In keeping with this week's blog theme, we have Variegated Shawl Kits available.  These shawl kits each contain two skeins of Uptown Sock dyed in two variegated colourways that will contrast beautifully together in a stripy or two-colour project.  All you need to do is find a stripy shawl pattern and cast on!  All kits are in-stock and ready to ship!

      Hope you find these tips helpful and, until next week, happy knitting!