Friday, January 09, 2009

Genius or Madwoman, You Decide - A Tutorial on Making a Variegated Yarn Project When You've Run Out of Variegated Yarn

You might remember that I made a blue and white hat for Leenie for Christmas.

A close friend of hers saw it and fell in love with it. She wanted one of her own, in blue, just like Leen's. Alas, there was no more than a tiny gumball sized ball of the variegated yarn I had used. I offered different color combinations but wouldn't you know it, her coat is blue.

I perused my yarn stash and came up with 5 shades of blue which really got the wheels turning. Could I create a variegated look using pieces of these blue yarns? Could I cope with the seven gazillion ends I would have to weave in as a result? Would it just look weird?

Because I'm a madwoman (or a genius, as I said it's for you to decide) I dove into the project. Here's the result so far.

The brim is done in one solid color. I knew I wanted the color changes to come at fairly regular intervals around the hat, not always in the same spot of the hat. I accomplished this by using each color for one complete row plus 20 stitches. I chose 20 because there were 80 stitches around the hat and since I was using five colors it would take a little more than one go around to change all the colors, ensuring nothing would line up on one area of the hat.

This worked like a charm until the time came to decrease. Since 20 went into 80 four times, I tried to keep my decreased rows looking the same as the rest of the hat by dividing the new number of stitches in the row by 4. Then I would knit 1 complete row plus this new amount. If it divided unevenly I would round up rather than rounding down to figure out the new amount. I should mention that this was probably an unnecessary bit of insanity since actual variegated yarn wouldn't change to accommodate decreases.

Here they are side by side

So the lesson here is you can create a variegated yarn project without variegated yarn. Whether or not you should is totally up to you. So what do you think, genius or madwoman?


Anonymous said...

i'll say genius as its the whole point of your blog and way of life..don't go out and BUY and use what you already have...

i'm guessing this is how it was done before varigated yard was made...

celina in canada

DJ said...

you are a madwoman - in the nicest possible way! - but the hat looks great!!!

Anonymous said...

I love it! I have lots of left over yarn from various projects and your ideas always get me thinking.


Ruthie said...

LOL a little of both Katie :-)

You've become a knitting and hat making goddess. I need to find a good hot weather knitting project cause it's not fun to make something that's only worn a couple days a year!

Taradactyl in a Modern World said...

I vote 80/20, genius/madwoman, keep it up!