They create color variation and patterns spontaneously without the need to physically change skeins of yarn. As I began playing with different variegated yarns for this week’s newsletter, I began exploring a few of the different ways these variegations are created within a skein of yarn. These different methods can create a different look in your overall project.
Some yarns ply, or twist, together strands of different colors. They may use one yellow strand, one light blue strand, and one dark blue strand as in this example. This creates a variegated yarn that will have a consistent variegation throughout the entire project. A yarn like this will not create sections of color, but instead will have a regular “variegation.
The most common type of variegated yarn is one in which the entire strand of yarn morphs from one color to the next. You can really see the transformation from one color to the next in this pink, white, and brown yarn. When finding a yarn of this type for crochet, you want to make certain that there is a long stretch of each color. This will make the colors pool and create unique patterning. If the color stretches are too short the stitches will just look mottled with color changes occurring too frequently.
A yarn such as this yellow one uses more subtle colors, working with colors from a pale yellow to a deep yellow. A yarn such as this can create great depth in a project without noticeable pooling of colors. For this reason the length of each color is not as important, though good size stretches of each color might still be beneficiary.
This yarn changes colors too quickly as you can see. Some of the colors, such as the dark blue, are no more than 2 inches long. If you are working a tall stitch, a single stitch may use more than one color. While that is fine occasionally, if this consistently happens the colors become confusing to the eye.
A few yarns use both the first and second methods mentioned here. This yarn plies two variegated strand of yarn with a single strand of white. The single consistently colored strand will tie all of the different colored sections together. However, it is still important to find a yarn with adequate sections of each color. This particular yarn was a sample I chose specifically to show that the color sections need to be long. They are too short in this sample.
The best way to learn which variegated yarns create the affect you are looking for is to play. What are some yarns that you have found work well?