Variegated Yarn

Variegated yarn is oh so pretty, but in my opinion oh so difficult to work with. It’s hard to work with because it is difficult to find a pattern that it would work for. Like I referenced earlier in the blog that highly variegated yarn is a hard medium to find the perfect canvas for. The reason it is so difficult is because you need a blank canvas so the yarn doesn’t distract from the pattern/project. Another thing that you need to think about is the fact that variegated yarn has a tendency to pool. I for one am not a fan of pooling.

The socks are a great example of pulling, but it works because it makes a spiral. The only thing I'm kind of concerned about is that I am afraid that the pattern is getting over shadowed by the pooling.

The socks are a great example of pooling, but it works because it makes a spiral. The only thing I’m kind of concerned about is that I am afraid that the pattern is getting over shadowed by the pooling, but I am moving forward with it because it is a sock so it won’t be seen as much as other projects.

For those reason I haven’t purchased a variegated yarn in about two or three years now. Now you may be wondering if I haven’t done it in that long and I have such strong reservations how is it I have finished to projects recently with variegated yarn and that is because when I purchased it I didn’t know that it was going to be variegated and so when it came to me I had to be creative and find projects that would do the yarn and the pattern justice. As you probably have seen if you read the blog posts about my Trillian and Deviate I have found a few perfect patterns for that work great with variegated yarns. Martina Behm (designer of the Trillian) has many other projects that would work for variegated yarn.




My deviate

My deviate

With all of this being said I have changed my stance on variegated yarn. No it won’t be my go to purchase, and no I won’t be going out and buying it all the time. But when I find a great variegated yarn I will probably get it, it will probably be an impulsive buy, but that is okay.



  1. Totally 100% agree about variegated yarn! I don’t think I’ll choose it again. I love it in the skein, but it’s a magical mystery tour when you work with it. I have a dissected Manos project because I was trying to baffle the pooling. Disheartening. Alas! When I did my first handspun in a wacky array I thought maybe this was one way to prevent pooling 🙂

    • I have learned that some patterns look good with variegated yarn so I have decided not to totally give them the boot. Martina Behm’s designs are mostly made with variegated yarn so if you haven’t checked out her designs I highly recommend it, it may change your opinion on variegated yarns like it did mine. Quite a few of her patterns look great with handspun also.

  2. I agree that it is difficult matching the right pattern for variegated yarn. Most of the variegated yarn I have dealt with were socks in which case I usually find slip stitch patterns are great for breaking up the pooling. Plus Ravelry is awesome and you can just type in variegated sock pattern and you’d find so many options.

  3. I understand how a variegated yarn can be a pain to work with. It’s a gamble and trying to find its right fit can be annoying. I try to look at how other Ravelers use it or if a variegated was used for the pattern I’d like to use.

  4. I’ve avoided variegated yarns like the plague since I knit an oatmeal sweater with a green/ yellow combo yarn and it looked like weird camo. I’d never used variegated before and may not have since, but I like the way it looks on some projects. Thanks for the tip about Martina’s patterns. It’s true I’ve seen lots of them in variegated colors, but have yet to knit one.

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