Blending Yarns of Different Dye Lots: A Guide to Striping Technique
Crocheting and knitting can be fun and relaxing hobbies, but it can also be frustrating when the dye lots of your yarn don’t match! This can be especially obvious when you shift from one skein to the next, and becomes more apparent if you’re using commercially manufactured multi-color yarn; and again when using hand-dyed yarn where the colors can vary greatly from skein to skein. We’ve all experienced (or at least seen) this with commercial multi-color yarns! They are so fun on one hand, but the colors have a tendency to “puddle”, and when you change to the next skein, it’s a totally different puddling effect! All of this can create an unintentional color blocking effect that simply looks like we didn’t plan very well, and ran out of yarn.
Not so fun!
However, there is a solution to this problem! By using this striping technique, you can blend three skeins of yarn together and even out the color variations. In this blog post, I’ll go over how to do this.
Step 1: Choose Your Yarns
The first step in blending yarns of different dye lots is to choose your yarns. You’ll need three skeins of the same type of yarn, but with different dye lots. If you’re using hand dyed yarn, look for skeins that have similar colors, but are not exactly the same. If you’re using commercial multi-color yarn, grab 3 skeins of the same colorway.
Step 2: Wind Your Yarn into cakes (if you don’t have a ckae winder, a SOFT hand wound ball will do as well)
This is an important step, as it helps you inspect the yarn for damage. Sometimes commercial yarns in particular will have a break (1-2 small knots is normal, and considered acceptable in manufacturing standards!). Particularly with commercial yarns, when this happens it usually totally shifts the color patterning, and it’s nice to be aware of where that is happening. You could at this point even cut the knot, and start a seperate cake or ball.
Step 3: Start Knitting or Crocheting
Now that you have your yarns wound into cakes, you’re ready to start knitting or crocheting. Begin by using one of the skeins, and work the first row (CLICK HERE for a tutorial on how to do long-tail cast-on with 2 skeins of yarn!). At the end of the starting row, attach the second skein of yarn, and stitch the next row.
DO NOT CUT THE YARN! You are going to carry it up the ends, very gently.
Attach the 3rd skein, and stitch back again, dropping skein 3 at the end of the 3rd row, and gently carry up the first skein to stitch the 4th row, then gently pick up the second skein to stitch the 5th row.
Step 4: Repeat the Process
Keep repeating the striping process, being sure to keep your tensionj where you carry up even. You don’t want it too loose, or too tight. You may have to consider stitching a boarder if that raw wedge is going to be exposed. You may have to give more attention to keeping the cakes from tangling together each time you turn a row, but it is well work the effort for the end result.
This works almost invisibly when stitching in the round!
In conclusion, blending yarns of different dye lots can be a fiddly task, but with the right technique, it can also be a fun and creative one. By using this striping technique, you can blend differing yarn dye lots together and create a unique and beautiful project. So grab your yarn, needles, and hook, and start experimenting today!