Knitting with handpainted yarn

Hello. Just a quick question. I remember reading somewhere that when you knit with a handpainted/ hand dyed yarn that you should alternate between skeins every couple of rows to make sure the colors stay uniform. Does anyone do this? :shrug: I am knitting a lace scarf with artyarns regal silk, and wondering if I should do this. Both skeins LOOK identical, but am I risking it by not alternating? :oo: Thanks for you opinions! :heart:

Supposedly you can get pooling if you knit with one skein–where you get blotches of the same color together. I kind of like the look, but not everyone does.

I’ve never had a problem, but I have more hand-painted in my stash than I’ve knit with, yet.

I have read that too… but in all honesty I have never done it.

Me neither. :slight_smile:

I use handpainted yarn alot (I LOVE IT). If you buy two skeins at the same time they will not be exactly identical but they will generally be close enough not to matter. When you do something uniform in size like a scarf the pooling is generally not a problem as you wind up with a consistent “pattern” of sorts.

When I run into a problem is when I do sweaters. The body of the sweater has one pattern and then because of the drastic change in the number of stitches in the sleeves the “pooling” becomes more apparent. As Ingrid says sometimes the pooling add to the interest of the piece so may not necessarily be a problem. I have also found that even WITH using two different skeins you may have pooling of a different sort.

I am currently finishing a sweater where I discovered too late that I needed another skein of yarn. I ordered it and the colors were MAJORLY different (much lighter). So, I used the odd skein for the plackets and cuffs and it look rather nice.

I’m working with handpainted now. I tried switching every two rows, but carrying the yarn up the side pulled the side together, so I gave it up. If it starts to look “poolly” and weird, I just break the yarn and change skeins. No problem yet.

Just another comment — I just finished a scarf with hand painted yarn – I used yarn from one skein only, and it looks great!


thanks for all your suggestions! I finished one pattern repeat, the colors pool a little, but in a nice way. Thanks a lot!

I have used hand-painted or hand-dyed yarns a few times and I have run into problems by not alternating. It wasn’t so much a question of pooling as the skeins of yarn being slightly different colors from one another. In particular I am thinking of a couple of projects I worked on with Alchemy yarns. They don’t have dye lots, but I bought the yarn at the same time. In a group of 8 skeins, for example, 2 had more blue than the others, one was lighter than the others, and one was darker than the others. Alternating did help, it’s no biggie to carry the yarn up the side, just do it loosely. But it didn’t fix the problem completely because there were more than 2 color patterns, and I wasn’t about to have all those ball attached alternating 3 or 4. So sometimes alternating between light and more blue, then sometimes between dark and more blue, and sometimes between dark and regular, etc.

Same thing with the Coachella I just made. If you go to the Whatcha Knittin forum, you can see in my evening Coachella each time I changed yarns. Starts off lighter, then the next skein had more mottling in it. The next skein was light again, and the last was darker than the others. I couldn’t tell they were this different just by looking. They all looked gray to me. :shrug:

I ran into a problem knitting a sweater out of Mmmmmmmmalabrigo. Ostensibly the yarns were all from the same dye lot, but when knit, the differences in the coloring were glaring. I wish I had alternated every few rows. For a small project, though, the pooling has never been an issue for me. It creates a really neat effect on socks!

I have heard of it, but I never do it. On socks, I think it looks nice and I haven’t worked with handpainted yarn on other projects yet. I am planning on hand-dyeing some yarn for a clapotis, but I think I’ll made 1 large skein with enough yarn for the whole project, so the separate skeins will look identical.

I have done it both ways. I used some Malabrigo for Wicked and it came out fine (3 skeins).

I made a sweater from 5 hanks of from and alternated every 2 rows. It was kind of a pain, but definitely worth the extra effort.

I made the Anthropologie capelet from Colinette Wigwam and also needed to alternate, since one skein was vastly different, and the store did not have any more in stock.

I have some Colinette Point 5 waiting to become a cropped cardigan from Vogue Knitting, but have not decided if I am going to need to alternate.