Just why do we love variegated yarn so much? Merion can tell you in one word – COLOUR!
You either love variegated yarn, or you haven’t found it yet. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with it in the end. Whether it’s the sheer joy of flying from one colour to another, or the tonal slide from shade to shade – it’s an adventure in colour with no ends to sew in!
The term “variegated” can mean all sorts of things yarnwise but fundamentally it means that there is more than one colour used in the yarn. It can be hand dyed or machine manufactured, and there can be many different effects, from self striping, to pattern effects – and long and short colour repeats. The joy of it is just creating a riot of colour without actually having to do anything but knit!
Noro were really the pioneers of variegated yarn, about forty years ago – when Eisaku Noro, the founder, created a mission to create yarn that was to be “free from existing concepts and limitations” and portray the beauty of nature in yarn. Even the simplest stitches look exotic in Noro yarn, whichever weight you choose!
Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn
Sometimes the heady change of colour brings an explosion in texture too – look at this beautiful injection of mohair in Lana Grossa’s Emozione Degradé – it’s like an oil painting!
Lana Grossa Emozione Degradé
Sometimes a gentle meander from shade to shade is what we need, like this Austermann Merino 105:
This even works wonderfully well in neutrals – like this Schachenmayr Tahiti, which is a lace weight yarn – just imagine the ombre effect in a shawl!
Print effects are great fun – take a look at this beautiful Cascade 220 Superwash Effects yarn, with a splatter effect!
Cascade 220 Superwash Effects
Short repeat colour prints are great favourites for sock knitters – like this gorgeous Rico Superba Bamboo 4ply:
Working with variegated yarn, even with a neutral barely changing tonal yarn, can bring such fabulous depth and dimension to your knitting! Give it a whirl with a scarf or a hat and see if you like it before committing to a big haul of yarn – and if you are wondering how these exotic shades look when knitted, take a look at the patterns knitted up for an idea – it might not show you the exact shade, but you’ll get a feel for the way the colours work, for example, the way the colours change in Noro Silk Garden in these simple legwarmers, below:
Show us your projects with variegated yarn on our Community! We’d love to see them!
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