I'm sure we've all been tempted by self-striping, variegated, space-dyed and self-patterning yarn. Whatever name you give it, the colors can call out to our creative selves but they may not always work out as planned.

The length of the color repeats play a big part in the success of using these types of yarns.


For example, this blanket is knit with a yarn that has very long repeats. The panels are approx 20" wide and the stripes are 1.5 to 3 inches with these long repeats.
Quick Win: Right Angles Blanket

Here is another example of long repeats.
This blanket is knit with the ribber across the full width of a bulky machine (110 stitches). The stripes are wide because of the long color repeats in the yarn.
Quick Win: Fisherman Rib Blanket"

SHORT REPEATS (sock yarn)

Self-striping sock yarn is designed to stripe across narrow sections - (48 - 54 stitches | sock width). This design breaks the sweater into narrow panels, taking advantage of the short color repeats.


When planning to use this type of yarn for garments, keep in mind the width of the garment pieces:
  • Sleeves will be narrower than the back of a sweater and the stripes will be wider.
  • The back will be wider than cardigan fronts and the stripes will be different.

After knitting the left and right fronts for her sweater fellow knitter, Terri,was initially disappointed with the arrangement of the stripes.

Her finished sweater turned out beautifully, the shawl collar camouflaged the stripes and the recipient (her mother) is thrilled with her sweater.

To prevent this "mis-match" she had 2 choices:
  1. Unwind the end from one ball of yarn, locate and match the color repeat for the 2nd side. Start each piece from matching ends. (this will not work with hand-dyed yarns)

  2. Knit the sweater front in one piece with a Steek down the center front. Use Cut 'n Sew to create 2 matching cardigan fronts
Do you use self striping, self-patterning, space dyed, variegated yarns?
Comment Below

Login You must be logged in to add your comments