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Speckles are so hot right now!

March 30, 2017

#specklesaresohotrightnow

Hey, Stephen West has been saying it for years, and he couldn’t be wrong, right?! And thousands of knitters on Instagram agree

We’ve been loving the speckles lately, how about you? Do you have a sweet stash of speckled yarns calling out for just the right project? Let’s take a look at the joyful spattering of contrast and serendipity you find in speckled yarns, and look at a few ways you might put those precious skeins to work!

Slice Shawl

I worked one of the segments of the Slice shawl in a great speckle colourway called ‘monarch’ by Hedgehog Fibres. More details on Slice here.

Speckled Flax Hack

Alexa recently made a modified Flax pullover for Hunter in a @houseofalamode speckle colourway called ‘Tinsel’. She blogged all about it here.

The World's Simplest Mitten

I made some tiny mittens for Max in a semi solid + a speckle colourway by Joma Yarns. All the details about this project (and the excellent free pattern!) here.

knitty gritty speckled details!

First, grab a yarn that you love! I’ve got a few really lovely speckles in my stash just waiting to be enjoyed; lets look at these beauties in detail!

Speckled Yarns

Speckles vs. semi solids or hand paints? It’s a sliding scale.

Left Column, then right column; top to bottom:

  1. Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in ‘Monarch’
  2. Colinette Jitterbug (discontinued, this is vintage stash – it was actually one of the few skeins I brought with me from Canada when I originally moved my life to the UK in two suitcases… I love it THAT much); in ‘Blue Parrot’
  3. La Bien Aimee Merino Singles in ‘Aimee’s Sweater’
  4. Baerenwolle BAERfoot Sock in ‘Turquoise’
  5. Sparkleduck Solo in ‘Here be Dragons’
  6. Baerenwolle BAERfoot Sock in ‘One of a BAER’

What do you think? I’d say the Sparkleduck and the Colinette fall a bit more into the category of ‘handpaint’ or ‘variegated’ or ‘multi’ colourways, as opposed to what folk are calling ‘speckle’ these days, which typically refers to shorter shots and dots of colour overlaid on a natural or tonal base colour. But the tips for working with speckles apply to variegated or handpaint colourways too.

Another one I’m working with right now is a LUSCIOUS colourway called ‘Turbillion’ in The Uncommon Thread BFL Fingering. Words cannot properly describe how much I adore this yarn; it’s a deep grey overlaid with speckles of gold, blue, and red. Colour genius!

Uncommon Thread Turbillion

This is a little sneak peek of something new coming soon!

choosing a project; a few tips for your speckled lovelies

There are a few things that tend to work out well. One technique is to pair a speckle or variegated yarn with a semi solid, to break up the crazy a little bit, and frame it.

Prism Hat

Alexa knit a little Prism hat for Bodhi in single row stripes of turquoise and speckle.

Prism stripes

You can do the same with a fair-isle pattern by using a speckle, semi-solid, or variegated as a contrast colour, as long as there is a strong contrast between this CC and the main colour.

Neve Colourwork Yoke

This little fair-isle prototype pairs a multi-colour hand paint with cream. It is successful because all of the colours in the variegated yarn contrast strongly with the main colour.

One of the best things to do? KISS … Keep It Simple (with) Speckles!

Some of the best projects I’ve seen speckles worked into were the simplest ones! Our Simple Collection is a great place to start, with 10 simple and free designs that are perfect to get that speckle out of the stash and onto the needles!

Project credits: Harvest by CountessAblaze, Barley by jrjinaustin, Bounce by katjn66, Barley by leftfootdaisy, Flax by thecleverclove,

Who dyed your speckle? We always love to hear a good yarn recommendation! Let us know in the comments, or share your photos and tips on your favourite social spot #specklesaresohotrightnow

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Simple TCK designs that work well with a speckle:


Rivulet by Tin Can KnitsWaffles Blanket by Tin Can KnitsRaindrops by Tin Can Knits

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2017 11:28 am

    I’m working on a Flax Light (my first top-down sweater!) with Knit Picks’ Andromeda Speckle. I’m loving all the speckled yarn right now. Literally all of it, lol.

  2. April 4, 2017 9:53 am

    I’m definitely on board with keeping it simple. So far, my favorite use of speckled yarn is for a simple pair of socks! And I tend to like the speckles a little more subtle in color. I have used commercial yarn for this and am currently waiting for a Hedgerow yarns skein to come my way!

  3. April 3, 2017 4:18 pm

    I see fabulous speckly yarns from indie dyers on Instagram every day, and it’s so hard to resist buying them! I have my eye on a peachy one from Flock Fibre Studio https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/465221856/fireside-dk-peach-pit-colourway?ref=shop_home_active_4, and I’m scheming about making a toddler sweater from it.

    • April 4, 2017 11:06 am

      I have the EXACT same problem! I’ve been on a bit of a speckled stash enhancement binge lately….

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