Have you ever created a project and tweaked the pattern a bit? Changed things up from what was strictly called for? I mean, beyond what is necessary to get a proper fit?
I feel that my creativity grows every time I pick up a new pattern, even if I follow it to the letter. For me, the chance to try a new stitch or a new fiber is what lured me to the pattern in the first place. It’s exciting to try something new.
But what if we took this a step further and experimented with varying types of yarn in a project? I mean, using two different yarn bases to create cool effects. Doing this just opens up a whole new world of expression.
One way of doing this is to use a single weight of yarn in two different bases. This works really well in projects where you are making stripes. Alternating the two bases, even from the same colorway, for each stripe will give a nice effect.
Take Joy and Dulcet fingering yarns, for instance. Joy is a SW Merino/Nylon blend that dyes up in deep, rich tones. Dulcet, on the other hand, is a blend of wool and Tencel. Tencel is a cellulose fiber that gives the yarn a nice sheen, but does not absorb color like wool. The result is muted, soothing tones. Even if a skein of Joy and a skein of Dulcet are dyed together in the same bath, the two will be vastly different. Creating a stripe of Joy followed by a strip of Dulcet in you project will result in an effect that not only highlights the different colors, but the different texture and sheen of the yarns. Just gorgeous!
Another method of blending yarns is holding strands of two different yarns together throughout your project. This will have the effect of showing off the differing fibers throughout the work, while still looking uniform. It is fun to experiment with contrasting colors and textures using this method. Even yarns of varying weight! I am partial to bulky and boucle. Fun!
Of course, gauge is critical when experimenting with mixing yarns. Even two yarns of the same weight can work up differently, so you need to be sure your gauge is correct or your finished project will be the incorrect size. That’s a real buzz kill.
Well, I hope you have been convinced to experiment, not only with color, but with texture and weight. Truly, the possibilities are endless!
Until next time…
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