Today we’d like to demystify buying independent handdyed yarn. What are some good tips and tricks for selecting our yarns for your projects? What are the secrets behind Zen Yarn Garden hand-dyed yarns?
Above all else, your yarn is handdyed for you when you order it. This means that each one-of-a kind skein is created uniquely for you. When you view our website, you see that we have many stock colourways. These colourways are created with care so that they are replicable, but even when we repeat the steps as carefully as possible, each skein is a unique creation. This means that the skeins you receive in your order may show some variation from the stock photos: in particular, colour placement and saturation might be slightly different in your skein. This could be due to many factors: where your skeins were in our dyepots, precisely who is doing the dyeing on any given day, variations in the dye itself, temperature differences in the water, or differences in base yarns, to name a few.
How can you minimize this variation in your projects? First, you should always order all the yarn you need for a projectat the same time. If you’re unsure about what yardage you will use, always round up to ensure you have enough for your project. Because we dye to order, this means that all of your skeins will be dyed at the same time which helps minimize differences between skeins.
Second, in larger garments you should alternate skeins as you knit. This will help break up colours in a single skein as well as blend them with other skeins where there might be slight variations. While this may sound difficult, it’s actually fairly easy (we promise!). In projects that are knit flat, you can simply work two rows in one skein, followed by two rows in the next skein. While the skeins aren’t in use, carry the yarns loosely up the side of your project. As long as you’re only carrying a strand for a few rows at the edge, you won’t even notice it when the project is complete. You can also repeat this process for projects knit in the round. At the beginning of every round, or every other round, switch the yarn you’re using by loosely twisting the yarns together at the back of your work, carrying the unused yarn up to the next row. By alternating skeins, you’ll end up with a project that is even in tone despite small differences in your skeins.
Third, if you don’t like much variation in your skeins, we recommend selecting your yarns from the wonderful tonal colours we have in our catalog. Because tonal skeins have fewer numbers of colours in the skein, there’s a higher likelihood of the skeins being well matched. You can still alternate throughout your project, but there should be less overall variance in tonal projects.
We are very proud of the hand-dyed yarns we bring to your beautiful projects and we hope that these tips will help you enjoy our yarns to the fullest. We can’t wait to see what you create! Please share your projects with us using the #zenyarngarden hashtag on Instagram.
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