A Lesson in Alternating Skeins

Yesterday I showed you all my newest WIP the Fable Cardigan from Kelbourne Woolens in Terra. I decided to use the Butternut colorway which is a light green yarn with tufts of purplely/pink in it. At first glance all the skeins (of the same dyelot) look alike but on closer review I noticed that some had more tufts than others making the yarn darker.

I didn't give it much thought at first and knitted away until I had finished the back and started on the fronts. It wasn't until I held up my front and back ribbings to see if they were matching* when I noticed such a dramatic color change. At that point I got out the back and laid it out and saw a definite line where I started a new ball.


(apologies for the phone pic, I was a bit too lazy and anxious to rip!)

When it comes to a yarn like Terra I usually am of the mindset that if it is in the same dyelot it's "close enough" and rarely (if ever!) alternate skeins. However, seeing the stark difference in the back I decided to rip it out and start over alternating skeins.

Instead of alternating skeins for the ENTIRE sweater I decided to group the most similar skeins together, using the lighter ones for the body and the darker for the ribbing/buttonband. With that done, I am alternating skeins for a few inches where I am changing balls.


Now the point where the new ball begins is harder to tell and I don't have to go about the business of untangling 4 to 6 balls as I still love doing the fronts and sleeves at the same time and usually have enough trouble keeping that straight alone.

I know this is a bit of a "cheat" and I perhaps won't have an overal blended sweater but it worked for me and I am happy with the way it is coming out.

Consider this Lesson Learned.

*When I work a sweater in pieces I will write down the number of rows I worked for a certain section (ribbing, after waist increasing/decreasing, etc) for the back so that I can do the same for the fronts BUT I always still hold the pieces together as an old habit to see if I am on target. Just incase you were wondering if I was winging it!

5 thoughts on “A Lesson in Alternating Skeins

  1. Lauren says:

    I have to use two skeins for a scarf I am doing because of the colorlot. Any suggestion how to bind off. Only thought I had was use both skeins on one row and then bind off together.


  2. Pat@zsxiaozhi says:

    Thanks for the walk through. I am not at this stage yet but I admire the work and plan to work on my own pieces.
    This particular one is not my favorite. I was reading one of your other posts and saw a purple scarf that I liked. However it wasn’t one set shade of purple. It was a blend of different values.
    Congrats on your success in the craft and thanks for sharing your photos.


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