Overcoming the irrational fear of combining yarns

June 08, 2014

I have this irrational fear, it is completely daft. I've only managed to deal with it a couple of times but right now, I'm trying really hard. Let me tell you how daft this fear is: I have an aversion of knitting something that uses yarns from different manufacturers or dyers. I told you it was silly. I have an abundance of single skein yarns in my stash and I've realised that to knit something bigger, I might need to get a grip and start looking at how yarns would look when put together, regardless of where they came from. Do you have this problem? There must be somebody out there who also has this daft fear.

I don't even understand it myself. I try to justify to myself that it's because I'd be taking something away from the artistry that the dyer has created by combining it with somebody else's work yet as a dyer myself, I've seen projects on Ravelry that show the yarn that I have dyed paired with another indie dyer or two and the result is magical. So this is where I am at: I need to learn to realise that I can do this too.

I'm knitting Lightspeed by Stitchnerd, aka Susan Ashcroft and I have been brave.

Lightspeed by Countess Ablaze

I am using a yarn that I have dyed and a skein of Cascade 220 Heathers in Greystone. The yarn that I've dyed is from an OOAK batch called Say It Ain't Soon the yarn base Dr Donegal DK - I have a huge love of Donegal and tweed yarns and especially love to dye them. This is what I have to say on the product page in the shop:

[box ]Dr Donegal is another one of my statement yarns. Do not be fooled with the idea that tweed yarns are stiff and scratchy because this yarn has the pure soft luxury of merino entwined with Donegal neps to create a more unusual yarn. Constructed of four plies of merino, this yarn is both soft and strong.

85% superwash merino wool & 15% Donegal neps
100 grams
210 metres / 230 yards
DK weight[/box]


One of the things that I love about Donegal neps is that they look more prominent in the skein but once knitted, they add a gentle texture and aren't as obstructive as you'd think they'd be. But they are like Marmite, you either love them or you hate them. But what has really surprised me is how much I am actually enjoying the pairing up of two yarns - one hand dyed by me, the other is a commercially dyed yarn - and really enjoying the effect. Maybe this knitting project will be the one that makes me realise that pairing yarns together is not a sin, but actually can create something quite wonderful.