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October 08, 2009


Too funny! I completely agree...
Looking forward to what you come up with.

They are so pretty, I wonder what they will be?

Oh my. I think you should just leave them sitting there together in that pretty bowl. ;-) Gorgeous!

Like you, I have been disappointed over and over. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with to make these yarns look as pretty when they're knit up as they do when they compel me to buy them! I have had some success with lacy or patterned scarves, but never with socks.

If you can crack this one, you'll be immortalized!

I've found that these yarns work best (not great, but as well as they can) in drop-stitch patterns such as the celebrated Clapotis. Those long dropped stitches show off the yarn as yarn, instead of knitting it up into murk.

But even Clapotis is a better garment in a solid color, if you ask me! It's something about the scale at which one wants to see color relative to the human body. A bright pink scarf reads better than a multi-colored one.

Oh the siren songs of the skeins! But don't most of us just add these to the teetering piles because they look and feel so good - not actually for knitting with?

You're right, they do look better in a skein, displaying them as is is a brilliant idea, they look so pretty.

You are not the only one; my stash is full of such skeins.

I am another such knitter. As a matter of fact, I really don't like to buy yarn if it's in the rounder skeins or wound into balls, or shown online in swatches, unless I've already seen it knitted into something and I know it's beautiful. However, those pretty twisted up skeins get me every time, and I just can't resist some of them. I have one in my sock stash right now, and it's going to break my heart when I have to untwist and wind it.

How about a beautiful scarf?

I agree, too! I have had some luck with the Aquaphobia sock pattern, which is designed for these yarns - you might check it out.

Many times I have been "saved" from a regrettable purchase by seeing a swatch of my intended beloved! That said, I have had good luck using them in conjunction with a solid, in sort of a mock multicolor fair isle or stripe. I think the solid gives the eye some much needed rest.

There is a book about knitting socks with hand dyed yarn - when to use which type of color variations - but I haven't had the chance to read through it. You never know, it could have the answers to the universe in there.
Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn

You are not alone! :) Good luck with your quest. Please share the results with us, your fellow skein-junkies.

If you want to have a little practise trip to Heaven, try viditing the Colinette workshop in llanfair Caereinion - bliss, and skeined bliss at that!

Bewitched by some little Colinette skeins today at Ally Pally so watching the blog eagerly to see what you come up with.

Those skeins are always more enchanting... they are beautiful in that state AND their Possibilities are always more intriguing than what becomes reality.

This is off topic, but why does my copy of GAOD have a completely different cover than the one shown on your sidebar?

You're not the only one. I bought some recently that looked wonderful in the skein, but not so much knitted up.

There's a newish book called "Knit One Below" that has some lovely sweaters knit out of two space-dyed yarns, using a tuck stitch. Very pretty.

I couldn't agree with you more, the color pooling on some of the hand dyed yarn that I have used made the garment look like an eye-sore. But again and again I am tempted to purchase these gorgeous skeins, and now have a lovely skein stash. Great for looking at, touching, and playing with.


Companion yesterday at Ally Pally show was highly tmpted to buy a mahoosive skein of floaty raspberry pink merino wool simply for its beauty. Her plan was to hang it as art. Perhaps you two could collaborate ;-)

Yes I'm new to this sort of wool and wondering if I have just set myself up for a massive disappointment with the purchase of some Hand Maiden Casbah in Morgana. It already looks darkly muddy wound into a ball.

Slip stitch patterns are a good way to display the colours of a handpainted.

No, you are definitely not the only one! I don't buy them any more.

I love the hand dyed skeins, they are such little works of art and always fill me with the warm and fuzzies. Gave up on knitting and have been playing around with some simple weaving so that the colours can come out.

Lots of people buy the variegated skeins to use as "garnish" with semi solids, rather to use alone.

Do you use ravelry?
There are heaps of ideas in the projects archives there.

I have set myself the task of knitting a pair of socks for all the females in my family for this Christmas. Having fallen in love with skeins of Mirasol yarn I purchased plenty in different colourways. Now onto my fifth pair of socks I have noticed that the colourways I like best once knitted up, are those were the hues are more subtle, rather than contrasting. I have tried starting from each end of a skein to see if it makes a difference to the way the "pooling" comes out but with this brand it seems to be much the same.

Koigu handpainted yarn looks wonderful in a shawl. Then when the shawl is worn with the dominant color in the skein is it remarkable. I think the color changes-splashes-are closer together.

So agree, skeins can be such a let down when knitted, especially if the colours you like least clump together. Even winding them into balls seems to diminish them. Twisted is definitely their natural state.
I've had some success using them as front and rib borders to solid garments - less intense than the short rows round a sock.

I recently finished a crochet scarf made of tiny squares - the little size and varied yarns seemed to work well using up all my skeins of hand painted yarns - kept the colours fresher! can see it here http://mousybrownshouse.typepad.com/poised-to-take-flight/2009/09/complete.html

I am fond of double seed stitch or My So Called Scarf (pattern) for hand paints.

you are not the only one! I am seduced by them as objects only to be disappointed in just about any knitted piece. I did knit a sweater for my husband out of colinette and used a knit / purl pattern stitch that ended up looking like aurora borealis - I liked that. I find I prefer kettle-dyed to hand painted knitted up.

You're really not the only one. I promise. There are some truly gorgeous handpainted yarns out there, but I just can't see myself using them. If I do use them, it's for socks where no one really sees them much anyway. I very much prefer solid or slightly variegated yarns. Though I really do love my handspun. Maybe it's something about knowing that I made it that makes it the exception?

I always admire handpainted yarns like these but rarely buy them anymore as I don't like them knit up either. I'd be tempted just to leave them in that bowl!

I agree they look better made into skeins than knitted up.

I completely agree. I no longer purchase them and am happy to simply gaze upon them in the shop or on the screen. I suppose I could see myself displaying them as skeins one day, although I am not at that point yet.

Not knowing a lot about yarn and knitting I am intrigued to see how these balls will come out once knitted...

Oh, thank you for saying this...you are definately NOT the only one who feels that way. I thought there was something sort of "wrong" with me for not uber-loving the knitted look of hand-painted yarns. But, when they are knotted into those twisty hanks & skeins...you are so very right...they are beautiful enough to wear like jewelry. Or eat. ha ha!

I just bought 10 "sample" skeins of handspun alpaca lace weight yarn. I got them mostly to enjoy the exquisite softness and deep colors in perfect little bite-size skein amounts. I put them in a felted bowl.

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