Using color in your knitting and crochet projects – varigated colorway and dyeing yarn.By Relief Share
Experiment with color. Enjoy the process of crafting a remarkable item to share with those less fortunate or sick. You will be doubly blessed as you put your love for your fellowman in action through service and charity.
We make so many items for the hospitals and for the sick and needy that it can get pretty hum drum to use the same yarn and colors over and over. To spice up our charity work and enjoy what we are doing again – we simply add variation and color. We either change up the pattern just a bit to make it slightly different and interesting – adding seed stitch to our knitting or using a variegated yarn instead of solid colors – and the joy in creating comes flowing back in again giving us a renewed love for the projects we are working on.
I ran across a wonderful tutorial on youtube on how to get the most from your variegated yarn. The idea was simple but brilliant. Mike suggests pulling the yarn from opposite ends to get a color reversal to double your benefit from using variegated yarns.
One of our Directors also has a marvelous way to make the most of variegated yarns. Jennifer Sundquist is an experienced knitter and crocheter and owns “The Tiny Panda” business – you can see her facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tiny-Panda/177250085656698 Her technique for working with variegated yarns is to watch how the colorway interacts with the pattern. When she sees that there is too much of a color being added to the project, she ties off some of that color and omits it from the yarn being used. By doing this simple technique, she can control how much of any color being integrated in the pattern is impacting the final result. This is especially helpful when using your own dyed yarns if the colorway turned out different than what you wanted. Don’t toss it out or put it in the back of your craft room – simply use the tying off technique to get the amount of any given color you are looking for.
If you are in a rut with your charity knitting and crochet by being bored with color – make your own! Another way to get the most from variegated yarn is to dye your own yarn. Wool is the best choice of yarn to work with and it can be dyed with koolaide and your microwave. Yes, it does work and the color is permanent. Jennifer has dyed some incredible colorways that are absolutely gorgeous. Using Koolaid to dye yarn to make beautiful colorway (variegated yarn)
Here is a tutorial on the internet on how to dye wool with koolaid: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html
Some of the wonderful colorways you can purchase in variegated yarns are found at the major chain craft stores. My favorites are:
Hobby Lobby – the store brand of Love That Yarn is always a good choice. You can find two types of variegated yarns in that brand. The ‘stripe’ version of the yarn will give you, yes, you guessed it, stripes – but not just solid stripes. There are pretty accents in the stripes that make your finished items wonderful. The other type of variegated yarn made by Love That Yarn is the ‘ombre’ – the more traditional type of variegated yarn with spotches of color.
I discovered, by accident when working on a charity fundraiser cocoon, that the ombre also makes amazing patterns when you least expect it. When making a cocoon, I put extra tension on the yarn and the basic ombre or splotch coloring turned into an argyle pattern. Very beautiful and more complex coloring and completely unexpected and welcome!
Another colorway that I love to use is Caron Simply Soft. In my opinion, that is some of the best yarn to use for baby projects as it is silky and soft and drapes beautifully. I also discovered that Wal Mart has three colorways that just came out a few weeks ago, as Wal Mart is adding all their fabric departments back (yay, Wal Mart – we love you again!) and the colorways are gorgeous. They are not available at any other stores in our Boise, Idaho area yet so I quickly bought up all that I could.
If you have ideas and comments on using color with yarn in your charity or other projects, we would love to hear from you. Our email is info@ReliefShare.org
Carol C Green
Oh – just a fun aside note: Yarn isn’t the only thing people like to dye. This is a picture of the latest rage from China – people are dyeing their dogs like other animals. Its safe and fun and quite interesting, but that is an entirely different post altogether *smile*