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The Magic Of Color Changing Yarn
By: Barbara Breiter

[Note: click on the photos or highlighted text to see patterns or yarns described.]

Yarn that is dyed so it changes colors is great fun to knit or crochet. Watching the color pattern reveal itself as you work is a joy. Yarn that is dyed with short lengths of color before it changes is often referred to as a print (Wool-Ease and Vanna's Choice comes in print colors). Generally the color changes every 3 to 4 stitches and combines perhaps 3 total colors. Lion Brand's new Amazing yarn has very long color changes and multiple colors that "bleed" into one another, creating beautiful effects.

Everything you knit or crochet with Amazing will look totally different. The more stitches (the wider the piece) in your project, the less often the color will change on the same row. So a scarf, for example, will appear to have blocks of color rather than a striped effect you might see in a sweater.

When you run out of yarn and add a new skein, if you begin the second skein as you normally would it will likely not match where you left off. You will see a noticeable color change in your work that could be jarring. To avoid this, you need to unwind the new skein until you find the exact place in the color scheme where the old one ended. This does waste some yarn, but it's the only way to get the skeins to match up.

Although knitting or crocheting with this yarn in rows produces striking effects, try it in ways that create fabrics that move in various directions. This shows off the colors in an entirely different way.

Patterns that are worked diagonally or on the bias produce stripes of color that move diagonally rather than horizontally. Try this easy baby blanket in crochet or knit. This knit scarf is also worked diagonally.

Miters are another wonderful way to use a yarn like this, as colors magically move in an "L" shape. This knit scarf and afghan both use miters.

A relative of miters, triangles are combined together in this knit scarf and would be fabulous.

Granny squares are yet another way to create unique designs. Try them individually crocheted and then seamed together or one big granny square as in this crochet baby blanket.

Finally, try some of these cloth patterns. Many of them have fabrics that move in directions other than back and forth in rows. Due to the fiber content of Amazing, these would be better suited as decorative doilies or used under vases.

Some of these patterns use a different weight of yarn but the projects are all such that the gauge isn't absolutely vital. Explore, experiment, and have fun!

Barbara Breiter
Knitting On The Net

Authored by Barbara Breiter

Barbara Breiter is the author of THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO KNITTING & CROCHETING. Find her online at
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