Self-striping yarn: You’ve seen it in the shop, but since you aren’t a sock knitter you’ve passed it on by. Or maybe you are a sock knitter, and your stash has so many balls of the stuff that you need some non-sock options to work through all of it. Or something in between. Or maybe…you haven’t heard of self-striping yarn at all yet. Just wait!
Self-striping yarn is just what it sounds like: yarn that changes colors for you, so you don’t have to fiddle around with multiple balls of solid-colored yarn. Some of the patterns just stripe, like Berroco Sox Metallic; check out the Berroco website to see how this sock yarn with gold and silver highlights knits up. Some sock yarns are printed with more complicated patterns; Knitting Fever Indulgence 6-ply, for example, knits up into socks that look like they have fair isle patterning in them.
What if you just aren’t a sock person? Are patterned yarns lost to you for good? Of course not! fibre space is here to show you what to do with them.
The Patches Baby Sweater, an adorable pattern available for download on Ravelry, can be made with Indulgence or any other patterned sock yarn. This would be a great project for a long car trip this summer, and it’s a fun introduction to modular knitting as well.
Is your favorite kid just a bit older? Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Surprise Jackets, for which patterns are now available in baby, child, and adult sizes, are old favorites for self-striping yarn. The surprise of this pattern is that you knit it flat, then fold it into a jacket. It’s like magic! Plus, if you haven’t yet knit something by knitting’s resident genius, you haven’t lived a full knitting life. Now’s the time!
Some companies, like Crystal Palace, make self-striping yarns in heavier weights, and there are knitters who swear by variegated yarns for beginners, because the color changes make it easy for them to see individual stitches. We think you’ll learn something, beginner or not, if you use Crystal Palace’s Mochi Plus for a Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood. This pattern, which is available for free on the Brooklyn Tweed website, capitalizes on the color changes in two skeins of striping yarn to create a rainbow of stripes. This is another perfect travel project, and would be a great holiday gift for a loved one. Those of us at the shop who have made this scarf loved to watch the stripes of the two skeins combine in surprising ways as the skeins’ colors changed.
Not up for a whole scarf? Try Sandi Rosner’s Mochi Plus Swirl Hat. Available for free on the Crystal Palace website, this pattern uses a unique spiral construction to create a stylish hat that really shows off the variegation in the yarn. This project would be fun for a near-beginner; the hat is knit flat and then seamed, and worked in garter stitch in different directions. This hat looks like it could take you through fall into winter, and would be a great gift as well. Since it uses just two balls of yarn we’re betting you’ll want to make more than one.
Whatever you decide to make with your variegated yarn, stop in and show us the results; we love to see finished objects!