Lion Brand's Design Department shares tips on one of their favorite tips for creating a unique (and quick-to-make) project.
Yarn blending is the technique of stranding together several yarns to create a knit or crochet fabric. It takes all of the beautiful qualities of its component yarns and blends them into something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Take a few yarns and hold them together.
- Judge the combined thickness and select an appropriate needle or hook.
- Knit or crochet all yarns at once.
Yarn blending is so simple, yet it can yield infinite varieties and unexpected results. You can never predict what a yarn blend will look like until it is worked up. Therefore, an integral part of this process is creating swatches. After a few rows, you will get an idea of how the fabric will look and can evaluate the combination. Then you can adjust your work, adding in new yarns that you like. Since blends tend to be bulky, a swatch can be made in no time.
[Pictured: Knit Simple Cowl.]
- Use a large needle or hook. Generally, combining together several yarns yields a bulky weight yarn, so using a large needle or hook really helps keep the fabric pliable.
- Think tonally. Choose yarns that are different but share the same amount of lightness or darkness, so they will blend together when viewed.
- Select yarns that share a primary color. This will ensure that they colors blend together. For example, the blue, green and grey of the 5 1/2 Hour Throw all have blue bases.
- Try a variegated yarn, such as Sock-Ease™. Mixing a single variegated yarn into your blend can produce moments of color drama. See the Electric Colors Scarf as an example.
- Keep one of your yarns consistent throughout so that there is a visual continuity between changes.
- Strand with a metallic yarn like Vanna's Glamour™ to give a punch that really makes the other yarns stand out, such as in the Sandcastle Throw.
- Start with a simple pattern and let the fun begin. A subtle stitch pattern allows the colors to be the main focus of the project. Experiment with your own yarn blends to see what you can create.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in November 2010. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.