Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! In this six-part series I’m sharing a bunch of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.
Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking, and this Part 4 will look at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving!
As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.
Variegated Yarn Projects in Knitting
Knitting with variegated yarns can present some choices and challenges, and Crystal at VivereNelColore talks about her experiences with them (like this darling Toddler Tee),
and at CrafterNews, a helpful guest post by Wendy D. Johnson explores the question “To Variegate or Not to Variegate?”
Linda at PlanetShoup offers a list of “Practical Uses for Variegated Yarns and Threads,” and Sarah at IntrepidTulips has a list of “Knitting Stitches to Show Off Variegated Yarn.” The sock you see here is in slip stitch.
Now on to some real, live, gorgeous projects that use variegated yarns. I have to say I adore the fantastic combination of color and texture in this cowl. The Weinstock pattern is by Kerrie James of dyod*Studio and available on Craftsy.
Then there are a world of scarf patterns out there. Some that lend themselves to variegated yarns include this Bennington pattern by Melissa Leapman on Better Homes and Gardens,
this easy and pretty garter-stitched scarf also on Better Homes and Gardens,
this bright and fun seafoam pattern by Christine at FrazzledKnits (with lots of clarification in the comments),
and this playful puppet scarf for kids (and fun adults) from Better Homes and Gardens.
Variegated yarn can also make some outstanding socks. Anne Hanson of knitspot has her pattern for these basketweave socks available on Craftsy.
Some blankets and afghans look superb with variegated yarns, and I’ll just share a few favorites. One is this simple and elegant baby blanket by Jordan Reid on her RamshackleGlam blog.
Another is this Windowpane afghan on FreeKnitPatterns. Imagine these blocks in some various colorways of variegated yarns.
The Over the Rainbow blanket pattern by Drops Design is lovely and dramatic,
and I especially like this free pattern for the intriguing Honeycomb Waves blanket on MusingsofaYarnMom. The yarn used here is from Noro, which is so distinctive it really creates it’s own category of projects.
Beautiful Noro yarn projects can be seen in this Pinterest board by Sonja Sokol. There are some simply stunning pieces here.
One of the most fun looking projects on Sonja’s board is this POP!! blanket tutorial by Emily Wessel at TinCanKnits. I love the fun of it and how it can use up some leftover yarns.
Another project that uses up leftovers is this fun blanket WIP by Barbara Delinsky (with a link to the pattern in the comments). It uses both leftover solid and variegated yarns to a bright and colorful result! Also note how she uses knitting as a way to relieve anxiety.
There are a host of good ideas for using up variegated yarn scraps in this post by Beth at SerenityKnits. One of my favorites is this precious treasure pouch she found on Ravelry,
and another favorite from her post are these variegated cotton ditty bags where the colors have pooled into curious shapes.
Planned pooling is it’s own art and science, as exemplified by this article by Karla Steubing on the TwistCollective blog. She combined her expertise as a professor and statistician and her love of yarn to study how variegated yarns can be manipulated into fascinating patterns such as in this shrug. She has instructions on how to plan your own patterns and co-admins a Pooled Knits group on Ravelry.
Variegated Yarn Projects in Spinning and Dyeing
This article on Squidoo is an amazing resource for various methods of spinning and dyeing yarns. Of particular interest is the list that starts about two-thirds down the page called “DIY Hand Dyed Yarn.” The techniques linked there involve crock pots, Kool-Aid ice cubes, handpainting, hot pouring, easter egg dyes, ombre-dyeing, and tie-dyeing, all to produce variegated yarns.
In addition to that, Stacey at FreshStitches has a tutorial on how to Kool-Aid dye yarns with long colorways, similar to those intriguing Noro yarns.
When it comes to spinning variegated yarns, I’ve found a couple of articles of interest. In the first, SeaGreenandSapphire describes their experiment of spinning in two different methods and shows the results.
The second article is by Lisa D. Jacobs on EnneaCollective and it shares some interesting information on “impressionist color blending using variegated rovings.” The article compares using the colorway shown here vs. a more monochromatic colorway.
Variegated Yarn Projects in Weaving
Considering the volume of examples of the more artistic use of variegated yarns in weaving, I’m going to concentrate more on the more crafty side of the genre. For example, this excellent tutorial by Marlene of Wovenflame on weaving using a nail loom. These easy and quick squares can easily be combined into a larger, and what I imagine would be an incredibly warm and sturdy blanket.
On a much smaller scale is this tutorial from Sister Diane of CraftyPod while guest posting on Dabbled. These adorable woven sachets perfectly utilize this variegated yarn!
This unique combination of handmade paper and weaving makes for great wall art. Victoria Gertenbach has some more information on her TheSillyBooDilly site.
Next is this interesting branch weaving tutorial by wold360 on Instructables. This example creates a lot of visual interest through using some different weaving patterns. Although this particular example doesn’t use variegated yarns, it’s easy to see that they would look great in the mix!
A simpler version is the classic God’s eye project. This version by Lorelei at CraftsMumShip uses tree branches and variegated yarns,
where this version on CraftsbyAmanda uses good ol’ craft sticks. I think the button accents are a cute touch!
Just check out this fun finger knitted art tutorial by Hani at Craftionary. It’s inexpensive and colorful – I wonder what a grouping of these on a wall would look like?
From the ever-crafty and ever-thrifty Pam at GingerbreadSnowflakes comes this cereal box star ornament tutorial. Derived from similar straw ornaments that celebrate the stars, this example is a cheerful combination of solid and variegated yarns.
Lastly are two flower projects from Knitting-and that use a Clover 24-pin Hanaami loom. There’s a tutorial for six-petal version (that includes directions for making leaves) and a very cheerful eight-petal daisy tutorial. Take a look!
That wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of knitting, dyeing and spinning, and weaving that you would like to add to the comments?
Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery, Part 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms, and Part 3 which had projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Stay tuned for the next two parts of this series covering crochet, wreath making, string art, lace and tatting, and a whole lot more!