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Alternating Skeins When Knitting With Hand-dyed Yarns

Posted by Allison Barnes on
Alternating Skeins When Knitting With Hand-dyed Yarns

Have you been looking at beautiful sweater patterns but hesitating to start your first row? Knitting or crocheting large garments with hand dyed yarn is a beautiful investment!

Purchasing sweater quantities of hand-dyed yarn can be an expensive investment, however, it’s a wonderful way to add a gorgeous and cherished garment to your wardrobe. If you’re planning to knit or crochet a sweater, there’s one key thing you should do: alternate your skeins!

Alternating your skeins prevents colour pooling or noticeable changes between skeins. While the beauty of hand-dyed yarn is the subtle variations in colour, yarn will take up the dye differently based on its position in the pan, how close it is to heat source, chemicals present in the water (even just from city water treatments), the amount of water, and many other factors. This variation adds character but when you’re knitting a large garment, it can create pooling that may detract from your finished piece.

Although alternating skeins requires more planning and can be a bit tedious to get used to, it will result in a balanced flow of colours and a garment you’ll look at with pride!

Here’s how to alternate your skeins!

First, you’ll need to wind your yarns - this will make them easier to work with, plus you’ll be able to see more of the variation in each skein to choose the order in which you’ll alternate them!

If you’re making a flat project, work two rows, one on the right side and one on the wrong side; if you’re working in the round, only one row instead.

Once you’ve worked back to your starting point, drop the yarn from the first skein and pick up the second skein; repeat until you finish your project! When you’re working on large projects, you can opt to work multiple rows from each skein and gradually start alternating so you can work in the next couple of skeins gradually, rather than have to switch to both new skeins at the same time.

Happy knitting!

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