|Yarns With Different Stripes
I've been reckoning with self-stripin', color-changin', tonal, shaded, ombré, and otherwise variegated yarns this week. Sometimes, color-shifting yarns radically change the look of my stitches, for better or for worse.
As I thought about this 30th newsletter issue, I took stock of the years I've invested in these rascally rabbits.
Below are two kinds of color shifting yarns that have worked out great for me over the years, and then an example of when things haven't worked.
1. L-o-o-o-ng Color Repeats
It's an important sign when I simply can't stop crocheting. With a stripy yarn it means that I've hit upon a great stitch and hook size for it.At right is my witness and stitchin' pal Colette. She saw my timeless yarn-trance with this week's Slip Tectonics. Ravelry: http://bit.ly/sB4kjt & site: http://bit.ly/rIHuT2 It also happened with Shakti Scarf (above) and Orbit Cowl (below).
This kind of crochet heaven happens most often with:
- A simple stitch. This kind of color-changer makes simple stitches look exciting to me.
- A very smooth yarn so that I see mostly the stitch texture no matter what the colors are doing. A soft sheen is nice too!
- The colors take a long time or several stitches to change
. Or as some say, "the yarn has long color repeats." I love when the color changes gradually, not abruptly.
One of my favorite yarns, Crystal Palace Mochi
Plus & Mini-Mochi (straw.com)
meets all three of these factors. This is how Orbit Cowl, Stitchmerge (at left)
, Parquet (blue swatch at left),
and Slip Tectonics came to be designed.
Long color shifts give me 'breathing room.'
If I do double-layer stitches (such as the how-to Stitchmerge http://bit.ly/nCfCcO or in Rav http://bit.ly/vWjuBC
), I know there'll be enough of each color to show on both sides. Or, I can do rows that gradually lengthen such as point-to-point shawls (rosy Islander http://bit.ly/kNtSnY)
, and know that I'll see interesting effects even in the longest rows.
See how the stripes are gradually wider at the narrow points? This was fun to make.
2. Tonal (Subtle Single-Tone Shading)
For luminous beauty I love these yarns! They vary only slightly within the same color range. The overall effect depends on how the yarn reflects light:
Shimmering shine for silk
: Shading emphasizes the yarn's gloss for Aero http://bit.ly/qRSlGT
Velvety Suede look for a matte yarn:
See Thaxton (last photos in right column)
: Doesn't the shaded marled yarn of Shakti Scarf (top left)
look almost like a tiger pelt?
A special advantage of tonal color shading: these yarns help me teach new crochet stitches in a classroom setting.
The student can easily distinguish the different strands of a stitch.
When it's NOT the Best Yarn-Hook-Stitch Combo...
While I loved the process
of crocheting this version of the Islander Wrap--because the rich colors were always changing (close up at left)--when I was done and stepped back, I just saw blotches. I didn't see individually-colored stitches anymore. So I made it again with looong-striping rosy yarn.
Competes with Special Stitch
: Compare these two Confounders. In the subtle color shifting cowl, the stitches shine through. In the confetti-like yarn, the stitches are lost in the hat version.
Muddy (red scarf at right)
: This is Shakti in two other color-changing yarns besides the tiger pelt at top.
As much as I love beaded silk yarn, the scarf at right loses all stitch texture and dramatic angles. It could be anything. Whereas, I love how the yarn in the left photo shows off the Shakti design!
If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks! --Vashti