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Hand Dyed Yarn

At Blackwattle all our yarns, except our natural colours, are hand dyed by Angela in her dye studio, located in our farm shed. Hand dyed yarns are stunning and individual works of art.  Their colours are complex and the fabric they create, when knitted or crocheted, display a wonderful warmth and depth of colour that you don’t get using commercial yarns.  

Due to their nature, hand dyed yarns, even from the same batch, will not be perfect matches. Colour variation within a dye lot is a very normal occurrence in hand-dyed yarn. There are many reasons why colour variations occur in hand dyed yarns: temperature and PH of the water, different yarn base batches, amount of mordants used, slight changes in dye amounts, yarn taking up dye differently depending on where it is sitting in the pot and how close it is to the heat source, just to name a few.

When knitting or crocheting it is highly recommended that you alternate skeins for each row, especially for larger projects such as jumpers and cardigans. Yes, alternating hand dyed yarns does take more time but it will be time well invested. You will be happy that you took the time to do this technique as the colours will blend in better and you will not get colour blocking or colour pooling in your finished garments. Sometimes you can see the colour differences in hand dyed yarns and at other times the colour difference is not noticeable, until you start knitting or crocheting, so it is very important to alternate rows with different skeins for your projects.

At Blackwattle, like other indie dyed yarn companies, we do not track incoming yarn base lots or dye lots. This means it’s impossible to tell whether yarns come from the same batch, so alternating skeins becomes very important to ensure your yarns blend together nicely and will hide any differences in our dye lots. 

How do I alternate skeins?

To alternate skeins, you will need to have two skeins of yarn from which you are ready to knit or crochet. If you’re making a flat project, work two rows, one row for the front and one row for the back with the first skein. If you’re making a project in the round, work only one row instead.

Once you have worked back to your starting point, drop the yarn from the first skein and pick up the yarn from the second skein. Work one/two rows until you return to the starting point, and drop the yarn from the second skein.  Pick up the first skein and repeat switching back and forth until you are done with your project.

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