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  • Thank you. I have learned to steer away from any hand dyed yarns other than semi-solids after buying skeins that I loved of the others to find that I didn’t like how they knitted up. This should help me make some better decisions although part of the magic of hand dyed yarn is that each skein is special in its own way. I am ok with the fact that I can admire a yarn but know I don’t need to bring it home with me.

  • I love these FF yarns! I’ve tried many different weights in a hat, shawls, cowl, doubled up, etc. The patterns that emerge are interesting and surprising color combos. And the yarn is so soft and wonderful to work with. I can’t wait to get my next mini skein pack for socks!

  • Thanks for the analysis-not forthcoming from any other sites I follow. Would appreciate more info on weights, fibers, dyes. Your take on what you need for specific types of projects, what can work as substitutes. Revelry throws it all on the wall but without the subtle clues about how it knits, hangs, drape.

  • Very helpful. Thanks!

  • Great info. Would be nice if LYS And online merchants had signs indicating which dying process was used for the yarns.

  • Great information! I watched the first 2 episodes of Vera (Season 11) last night. I do love her!

  • I always see recommendations to alternate skeins to prevent pooling, but never for the reason I actually alternate skeins: because there are often subtle differences in skeins that are much more noticeable if you don’t alternate. One skein might be slightly more vibrant, have a little more of one color, etc.—this happens even with speckled colorways. I love hand-dyed yarn and use all these different types, but I’ve come to realize I’ll almost always be happier with the result if I alternate. Maybe other people don’t see the subtle differences, but I do! Occasionally, the differences are not to subtle, too.

  • I always assumed any textured stitches would “get lost” in speckled or intermittent dyed yarns. I’d like to see a swatch with those 2 types of dyed yarn

    • I’m doing a year long KAL with these yarns, and every month is a new stitch pattern! So I could take some photos if you want.

  • Hubby and I are watching Vera. Love all the British crime dramas. Thanks,as always, for your informative blog. I have always loved variegated yarns, the wilder and brighter, the better. I even dye my own yarn to get just the color I want.

    • Thank you for this very helpful article. I’ve shied away from some hand-dyed yarns just because I haven’t been able to picture how they would look knitted up. Definitely hanging on to this guide!

  • What a great article! Who knew? Thanks so much Jill!

  • I know this is knitting… but here’s a granny square question. Love making them…. Hate changing colors. I’m not concerned that the color changes in the middle of a row…or that I have 2 rows of the same color.
    I’m looking for a type of pattern that would have distinct color changes that takes place the equivalent of every 1-3 rows, with very obvious color changes.
    Do you know what category this would be?
    It seems like Varigated with clear color breaks…. But with less frequent changes….
    This is super helpful BTW!!

    • Maybe you mean self-striping sock yarn? That will give you a few rows of each color, IF you’re knitting socks. But if you’re looking for stripes like that in a sweater, you’d be better off manually switching colors every few rows. It’s not hard to do.

  • SO HELPFUL. Thanks a million!

  • Thank you so much for this awesome article! It was just enough info for a non-dyer knitter or crocheted to choose patterns. I often love watching the dye process via YouTube channels and I so appreciate all the work that goes into hand dying yarn but at the end of the day I want to know how do I make the best use of this beautiful hand dyed yarn?

  • I really appreciate this post, thank you Jillian! Its so helpful to see a swatch of these yarns knitted up, I wish more yarn sellers did this in their shops and online.

  • Just the sort of refreshing and thoughtful post I come here for every morning. My knitting companion, my mom, has gone on now, and it is great to have a place go where people are thoughtful about knitting.and wonderful to find such a clear explanation! I am not a pooling fan, but love variation. Now I will choose more wisely, maybe!

  • This is very helpful especially seeing your swatches. Thank you for this info.

  • Such an enjoyable article. Thanks, Jillian. I do love the variety of yarn-talking writers on this site who are always a part of my morning ritual. Having knit with passion for just about a year, I do recognize a seasonal urgency to have things in the works. Looking forward to marling soon.

  • Oh, I love this! So helpful! I often shy away from skeins for fear I won’t like the way they knit up. This sure helps to take some of the fear out of it.

  • Just have to add my new current favorite way to use intermittent skeins. It’s called Applied Pooling and there’s a great pattern on ravelry called Float by Dawn Baker. I’ve knit a bunch of variations and worked with Theodora’s Pearls, an indie dyer in CO to dye yarn just for this technique. Whenever you reach that pop of color you knit a cluster type stitch. I love the randomness – it’s really fun!

    • Dawn Barker, perhaps?

  • Wonderland yarns are some of my FAVORITES! I love working with them!

  • At last! A clear description of various dying methods. I love many hand dyed yarns in the skein, but don’t like them knit up. Thanks!

  • Thanks for highlighting Wonderland yarns. I’ve knit with their gradient yarns and they are fabulous.

  • Thank you for showing that. I’ve so often not bought a varigated yarn (yeah, I know, unbelievable) because I wasn’t sure I’d like the finished article.
    I wish my lys would knit a little swatch of each yarn.

  • That was so helpful!! Thanks for doing all of the swatching!

  • File this one under “things I’ve always wanted to know but didn’t really know how to articulate.” Home run, Jillian!

  • THIS was the best article I have read in ages. It really answered some questions I just didn’t know how to ask. Thank you.

  • What so you mean by “alternate skeins”?

    • Knit two rows flat (or one round) with one skein then switch to a second skein, and alternate those two skeins every two rows or one round. This blends any shade differences so the piece doesn’t look striped.

  • This was so interesting! Thanks very much- I’d love to see more like this.

  • So a few months ago I went into my LYS to buy buttons for my Daytripper Cardigan. Thankfully I know myself well enough that I tucked my birthday gift certificate into my bag before I left. My LYS (The Warm Ewe in Chatham, NY) had just started carrying Wonderland Yarns, and I fell in love with the sample swatch of Mad Hatter in the Rainy Day Rainbow colorway. It’s an intermittent, which I’d never seen before. A beautiful dove gray with a rainbow at the end. I walked out with all four skeins they had in stock, and just cast on for a sweater last week. The pattern is a top-down raglan, mostly stockinette with a simple lace pattern down the sleeves and the sides. I’m only about six inches in, but I can already tell that it will be an absolutely stunning sweater and I managed to match yarn and pattern perfectly.

    This is so helpful – I’m sometimes disappointed by how a hand-dyed yarn works up even when they are beautiful in the skein. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much for this! It is a big helping hand up toward next-level thinking about how yarn color/dye pattern and stitch pattern interact. I wish my LYS would display knit-up swatches of various hand dyed yarns. That would be yet another reason to shop in person.