View Full Version : Epic Variegated Yarn Fail

06-29-2013, 10:48 PM
I bought this variegated yarn some years ago and finally decided make a hat with it. I've wound it into a large center-pull ball so I can use both the center pull end and the outside end at the same time (the pattern calls for 2 strands of yarn to be knit as a single strand). I know better than to expect most variegated yarn to make nice, neat stripes. I do, however, expect it not to make a hat that's half one color and half another - vertically! :Headbang: (Imagine knitting a hat for Two Face and you'll see the problem.)

Any advice? A google search gives several suggestions, but I'm not sure if they'll work for this problem. If it helps, I'm loom knitting, and switching peg sizes is much like switching needle sizes.


06-29-2013, 10:52 PM
How did you get it to do that? LOL! I couldn't do that if I tried.

06-30-2013, 12:13 AM
Heck if I know. Might be the color, might be the brand, might be operator error.

Sadly, most of the advice I can find is for this kind of non-stripe (http://knitting.about.com/od/yarn/qt/color-pooling.htm) (which is kind of cool), not half and half.

06-30-2013, 12:21 AM
Would it help to take a few inches off one end of the wool? I know it means unravelling but I don't know what else you could do.

06-30-2013, 01:01 AM
Um, am I a very bad person for wanting to see pics? I've had some major yarn fails, myself.

06-30-2013, 01:32 AM
I think pooling is a 'yarn+pattern =crazy' problem. The pattern just happens to be such that the areas of the same colour line up with one another. If you were to reknit you could try removing some of the yarn from one end so the colours don't line up. Or use a different pattern. Or pretend that's what you meant to do all along!

06-30-2013, 04:28 PM
I actually like pooling in variegated thread. Makes for an interesting surface texture. But I've never had any line up like that before.

06-30-2013, 10:18 PM
Thanks, guys! This really helps.

Would it help to take a few inches off one end of the wool? I know it means unravelling but I don't know what else you could do.
I'm trying that right now. It's not nearly half and half anymore, but it's showing signs of becoming a spiral instead. Or it will if the hat is long enough. :Huh:

Um, am I a very bad person for wanting to see pics? I've had some major yarn fails, myself.
I wish I had taken a photo, but I unraveled my work as soon as I realized what was happening. Maybe if my retry looks wacky, I'll take a pic.

Or use a different pattern.
I may have to look into that. Who knows, I may end up making something other than a hat.

06-30-2013, 10:25 PM
I think you should go with it, that's astounding and a great talking point!

06-30-2013, 10:56 PM
A spiral would be awesome! I have socks that tried that and then reversed the spiral for some reason - its not very clear because the colours are quite close to each other.

07-01-2013, 01:03 AM
Yeah! A spiral would be fantastic! You'll get people asking how you did it.

07-06-2013, 07:40 PM

Sorry I didn't see this sooner, since I write books about this sort of thing! One (not mine) that's really useful in understanding how variegated yarns behave is this one by Laura Bryant. (http://www.amazon.com/Artful-Color-Mindful-Knits-Definitive/dp/1933064269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373124926&sr=8-1&keywords=laura+bryant+knitting)

What happened (as you probably figured out) is that the amount of yarn needed to knit one circumference of you hat matched the color repeat in the yarn. To get this to change to a spiral you either need to work a tiny bit more (or a tiny bit less) yarn in each round. You can do this by working the hat on as little as one fewer or one more stitch. With one fewer stitch the spiral will go one way, with one more it will go in the opposite direction.

If you want to just break up the color, then working a round where you slip occasional stitches will use less yarn and will shift the occurrences of the colors around the hat. If you do this too often (or too tightly) it will make the hat smaller, but if you only do it occasionally and slip loosely, it shouldn't affect the size of the hat.

Hope it comes out well, in the end!


07-09-2013, 10:59 PM
Thanks, K1P1! I've already finished the hat, but I'll keep this mind for future reference.

07-16-2013, 11:01 PM
Fortunately, the hat was long enough for the color pool to make a decent spiral. I took pictures this time.

Work in progress from the inside:

And the outside:

And here's the finished product viewed from the back (modeled by one of my nephews):