Can you use handspun, self-striping yarns, marled, and speckle or multicolour yarns in colourwork? How about holding 2 lighter weight yarns together to create your own marled effect?
There are some yarn types that are a bit WACKY… but can still be really effective for colourwork.
Are you ready to get more experimental with colourwork? Alexa and I can point you towards the right resources, answer your questions, and keep the inspiration flowing – Get our excellent email updates.
This post is the third in our 5-part Week Of Colour! Check out the other posts too:
Using hand spun yarn in stranded colourwork
When using ‘crazy’ colourful yarns for colourwork, we would argue that in each case the key is making sure you have really strong contrast. That’s why we suggest pairing a wacky yarn with a solid or kettle-dyed yarn.
Wednesday’s hat is made from the Anthology pattern in Baah Yarns Sonoma in ‘night sky’ as the background colour with Sweatermaker Yarns Mac (hand spun) in a pale blue + rainbow as the foreground colour.
This colourwork chart is a 4-stitch repeat, and will fit evenly on the swatch hat or cowl pattern included with the Strange Brew sweater recipe.
This hat is a perfectly lovely hat, but in all honesty, it is also just a swatch! Immediately after completing it, I was overwhelmed by ideas about how I could adjust and improve the stitch pattern. Below are my thoughts for how I might adjust the pattern for a more interesting motif which takes the great aspects of the original and expands upon them. This might be the beginning of my Strange Brew Knitalong design…
what if I love my speckles!?
For Hunter’s hat (pictured below), I used the Anthology pattern. My semi solid as the main colour and the speckle as the contrast. I worked Chart A 4 times, Chart B 3 times, and Chart C 3 times. I worked the decreases in the speckle. I topped it with a confetti pompom using both colours.
self striping yarns in colourwork
There are a lot of colourwork knitters who pair a self-striping yarn with a solid when working colourwork. The blending is automatic, and so there are far less ends to weave in – always a bonus!
While this isn’t stranded colourwork (it’s a slip-stitch pattern), we made a LOT of Bumble hats and sweaters using a solid colour yarn paired with a self-striping yarn. These examples give you a sense of the effect you could also achieve with stranded colourwork patterns.
I find these ‘wacky’ yarns really addictive and delicious, but sometimes quite challenging to use in a way that really highlights their beauty. So if you’re feeling adventurous, grab your wacky yarns and the Strange Brew pattern to design your own yoke sweater, or choose one of our ready-to-knit colourwork patterns.
Sometimes spinners have a difficult time finding projects to showcase their beautiful yarns! The strategy of pairing handspun with solids or commercial yarns can both highlight the special nature of the handspun, and make the precious yarn stretch a bit further! To share this idea, just click the links below to share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or by email.
Crazy Colour from TCK: