Today, a simple question: why variegated yarn? Why? Why does it draw me in and make me want to pick it up, to buy it, to imagine it becoming something that somehow magically maintains the look of the beautifully dyed skein?

I was just spending some time on the Miss Babs webstore adding things to a cart that will never be purchased–just for fun, you know the drill . . . I love Wolves Den and Venitian Glass and Soul Food and Whimsical.

The trouble is the finished object, the pattern, the result. I have finished exactly one knitted thing that I really *like* in variegated yarn.


Yep, socks, but only when they are freshly knitted and not worn or washed. As far as knitted FOs go, give me a heathered (but solid) colorway any day of the week and I will love it, no questions asked.

As for spinning, I cannot get enough of the variegated colorways in all sorts of braids. And I love the resulting yarn (most of the time); but then I come up against the problem, once again: what to make with the finished skeins?

I would love to hear your opinions on this variegated issue!

My realization? I love the solid/heathers for my FOs and my variegated for the yarn stash, erm, “curated collection”I have growing upstairs.


This entry was posted in big questions, decisions, patterns, sock yarn, Uncategorized, variegated yarn, why?, yarn, yarn-lover. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Variegated?

  1. polwygle says:

    I agree. Pretty in the skeins but not so pretty as a FO. Orange Smoothie Knits has a nice shawl pattern good for variegated yarns. I’ve not made it up yet but it looks pretty. Let me see if I can find it for you. Sweet Anemone.


  2. Oooh, I love the Old Crow yarns, particularly the green and purple one. I’m a huge fan of variegateds, particularly as the variety in the yarn makes them so much more fun to stitch with. You never know quite what you’re going to get.

    As a rule of thumb, really intricate patterns tend to ‘show up’ better in plainer yarns but I often enjoy using variegated yarns anyway. It’s always worth having a look at photos of people’s finished projects on Ravelry and which yarn they’ve used to get some idea of whether it will work or not. Variegates vary so much that it can be hard to tell without knitting a bit up but if you don’t mind things like pooling and flashing then I usually just go for it. If I liked the colours in a skein, then I tend to like them on the finished item!


    • lissymail says:

      Excellent ideas! I love the idea of checking Rav–and the fact that they have patterns made by multiple people in multiple yarns is awesome! I just need to learn to use all those seach features they offer! Thanks!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. chrisknits says:

    A lovely shawl pattern will do wonders with variegated. Something simple, not too lacy, and when paired with a solid can make a stunning piece.


  4. Roxane says:

    If you aren’t loving a variegated yarn that you are knitting up, try a slip stitch pattern. It can break things up and add depth. Here is an example:


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