In our last blog post we talked about degrade yarns, so today we thought we would touch on self striping yarns. One of the best things to happen to yarn in the last few decades has been the introduction of self striping and self patterning yarns. Whether computer generated colors or hand painted, this craze has opened up a whole new world of knitting for a variety of reasons — no switching colors, no carrying yarn, and best of all, we no longer have a ton of ends to weave in!!
When self striping yarns first came on the scene, they were used primarily for socks and we watched sock knitting soar. We began to see people on buses, subways, and in airports knitting. The color combinations were limitless, and there was no end of fibre blends. Fast forward a few years and now we see patterning and striping yarns in an array of weights and with a ton of pattern support. For example, look at Robbie Laughlin’s free pattern, Spring Garden Shawl, knit in Estelle Lumiere.
Knit in worsted weight, this dispels the myth that all of the lovely striping yarns out there are only available in fingering weight. The eyelet section in this pattern gives this enough detail to make it appropriate for a fancy evening out, but it’s also something you would feel comfortable wearing as a simple throw over your shoulders for a walk in the woods. This side to side knit shawl is a must have fall accessory.
Also in the worsted weight, self striping family is Lang Mille Colori 200g. Our classic among the multi colored yarns is now available in cakes. We love cakes since they make it possible to see absolutely every color in the ball–no surprise neon green hidden in the middle of the ball that you don’t see until you’ve started your knitting!
Also in the Mille Colori line is Mille Colori Baby and Mille Colori Baby Luxe. Both are single ply, fingering weight, superwash merino yarns. Produced from high quality merino wool, Mille Colori Baby Luxe brings together a number of wonderful features: softness, breathability, easy care, and incomparable colour combinations. The addition of glinting fibres creates points of light in the yarn, like stars in the evening sky. Mille Colori Baby has all of the same wonderful features with 30 shades to tempt you. This super soft merino is perfect for shawls, wraps, and anything baby.
With over 3500 projects being knit on Ravelry in Mille Colori Baby, there is no lack of inspiration for this yarn. In fact, this was the original yarn used in Christy Kamm’s hugely popular Zick Zack Scarf.
Mille Colori Color #51
Mille Colori Color #52
We couldn’t talk about self striping or self patterning yarns without mentioning the ever popular Heritage Prints from Cascade. If this isn’t the softest yarn out there we don’t know what is! Available in both DK and fingering weights, there are a plethora of free patterns available.
Heritage Prints is a fingering weight, self patterning, super soft yarn in a machine washable blend of superwash merino and nylon. We can pretty much guarantee that once you knit with Heritage you won’t want to knit with anything else! Patterns and stripes emerge all on their own as you work. Available in 14 tantalizing colorways, this yarn is great for one skein projects like socks, mittens, or hats.
Heritage 150 Prints is the same great fiber blend as Heritage Prints but in a heavier gauge and also features a fun self patterning element that will make colorwork easy and enjoyable. This yarn is perfect for a slightly heavier sock, and absolutely ideal for baby projects, hats, cowls, or anything that is next to your skin.
These socks and baby sweater patterns are just a few examples of what you can create with just one or two balls of Heritage Prints 150 from Cascade Yarns. Imagine showing up at a baby shower with that little sweater as a gift. No one need ever know that you didn’t painstakingly do all of that colorwork. That can be your own little secret while you bask in the accolades.
Whatever your favorite self striping or self patterning yarn, let’s just all be thankful this dyeing technique was developed. Do you have a favorite or go to pattern for self striping yarns? Leave a comment and tell us all about it.
Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!