The stripe effect

by knittinginatree

How do you feel about self striping yarn? On one level it can be a wondrous thing and put any knitter at ease. Socks, for example can come out quite nicely on self striping yarn. Unfortunately, self-striping just makes me too nervous. If the yarn doesn’t visually show it, I want some other kind of indicator on the label when I purchase a skein or two, or in this case five.

I’m looking at you Cascade Eco Duo. You were so unassuming and delightful when I first found you but it’s since been a rocky road. The Duo in the name is to reference the blend of 70% baby Alpaca and 30% Merino. (YUM!) The softness and the way the fiber glides off and on my US #8 birch needles is simply scrumptious. However, on closer swatch inspection you will begin to see the striping creeping in.

I could even get behind Cascade’s eco practices and the fact that the self striping is actually the result of blending natural colors straight from these two lovely creatures. Nevertheless, large chunks of stripe across my bust was the last thing I intended this yarn to churn out. For a while I thought we could work together and I started designing a sweater knit on the bias. Try as I might, it just wasn’t working. Then, when I thought all else had failed…

I remembered this age old trick. Working with more than one skein at a time and sometimes five different skeins (using a different skein per row) can rely turn a sad case of chunky stripes into a fine fabric. I think my relationship with cascade Eco Duo may now be restored. I lightened up the photo a bit so you could see the difference in color texture between these swatches, it’s more muted in person. And, if you’re curious, I’m knitting this fine fiber up into Doric