What I'm referring to are my two newest creations, both of which are made of kettle-dyed yarns. What is kettle-dyed yarn exactly, you ask? Well, it is fiber or yarn that is dyed in one pot often by an artisan and increasingly by a commercial yarn company. The result: beautifully colored yarn with mottled and variegated effects that reduce color pooling.
And what is color pooling exactly? It occurs when you knit with a variegated yarn and end up with splotches of color rather than a diffuse color placement. Knitting with Noro results in lots of color pooling by design.
I don't care for Noro or color pooling, probably because of the first sweater I made for the beloved bf, Tom. I bought the Patons SWS because the colors looked so beautiful in the skeins! I envisioned this beautifully mottled blue, taupe, and tan creation that would be perfect for my blue-eyed, Danish-looking boyfriend.
NOT. Instead I got a sweater that started out with fairly uniform stripes through the body and ended up with large, diffuse swaths of color as I got to the shoulders. He's never worn the sweater; he claims it's too hot. But I suspect he thinks it's ugly because, let's face it, it is. I've been anti variegated yarn ever since.
But I've learned some new tricks since I made that first sweater for Tom. I recently finished the Under Toad aka Undercurrent where I used a solid yarn to break up variegated color - I love both the effect and the sweater.
When I recently started the Deb's Cardigan using the kettle-dyed Araucania Nature Wool, I alternated skeins regularly to break up any color pooling. I love the result, a fascinating but subtle explosion of color.
I unfortunately can't get the resulting sweater to photograph correctly; it always turns out too blue or turquoise and not the emerald shown in the swatch above. Just squint and imagine and you'll be able to see as it really is.
I've loving this cardigan. It fits perfectly; I tried it on last night and am delighted by how well it sits on my shoulders. I'll wear it with that top button unbuttoned to give me a little more neck room. But I'm looking forward to seeing the final product - and wearing it, too.
I briefly veered off course this weekend and started a sleeve for Norah Gaughan's Callen using an incredible kettle-dyed yarn, Queenland Collection Rustic Tweed. I bought this usually $10-a-skein wool/alpaca blend for an incredible $2/skein from DBNY. I've been looking for a pink tweed for a long time and when I found this one at such a great price, I jumped.
I'm alternating skeins of the Rustic Tweed to reduce color pooling. So far, so good. I wish you could touch the cuff; the yarn is so soft and so pretty.
I fell in love with the Callen at first site. I love the wide collar and oversized but classic cabling. Norah's model garment doesn't fasten but I don't wear belts so I'm going to have to figure something else out. I love the model garment's Blackstone Tweed in Narrangassat - I wish I could have afforded it but it would have been five times more than the Rustic Tweed and I need the dough.
Finally, my negative talk about variegated yarn is JMHO. Eisaku Noro has made a bloody fortunate with his color-pooling yarn; his scores of fans I'm sure would throw me in the kettle with all those fish! As I always say, your mileage may vary.