Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Variegate or Not to Variegate, That is the Question

This week has really been a great, creative week for me. I was able to finish another bag (for me!) and have been working on a project that was in my "need to frog and reuse the yarn" bin.  Lyteyz talked me into finishing it when she was over Saturday and I'm glad she did.  New projects have been tumbling through my head, as well, which is always fun.  Granted, that usually means I'm going to go through a spurt of Crochet ADD which means my Mister is going to start getting stressed as the yarn slowly but surely takes over our house again, but, meh.  He'll get over it.

Actually, this week has been full of "new."  (Like when I said, "Well, that's new," when I sneezed and was surprised by a wee bit of wee that squeezed out. Being pregnant just keeps getting better and better.)  I am working on a new project utilizing a new yarn in a sock weight, which is also new to me.  However, what is not so new is that it's a variegated yarn.  I've had some bad experiences with variegated yarn (see blog post here)- it was the yarn I learned to crochet with and....well:

Yes. I know. Shut up.
The pattern for that purse was made with two strands of yarn held together. I held two strands of different variegated yarn together because, as my crochet newbie mind reasoned, if they were pretty individually, they must be mind blowingly beautiful together.  Obviously I was wrong.  Had I held one of the variegated with a solid yarn, the outcome would have been much more tempered rather than seizure inducing.

This is the first round ripple I made:

round ripple in pinks

I made it for my sister because she loves pink. That middle pink/red variegated yarn was one of my first yarn purchases (surprising, no?) and I loved it. However, I've always had a little "off" feeling with this blanket. Don't get me wrong- I was extremely proud of myself since I had just learned to crochet and made my first large item and my sister does use it. I like the stripe of variegated yarn that separates the colors, but that large puddle of variegated yarn in the middle has always bugged me. It just feels like it somehow doesn't quite belong there- center stage. Granted, now that I'm preggers, all I can see is a darkened areola on a large pink boob. I hope my sis doesn't read this post- all she'll think about is her boob blanket.

I've since learned how to use variegated yarn sparingly which has resulted in much better results:

First purse I made for her- makes up for the boob blanket

Made 3 of these- one for me!
But, other than felting with it (I have quite a few variegated wools in my stash), I'm a little gun shy about pulling out the multi-colored yarn.

Which brings me to today.  I had won a skein of Zen Garden Squooshy Yarn as one of my Bobby Awards last year (generously gifted by DodgeCreations.). The colorway is Grape Burst and it's in purples (my love!) and pinks, so of course I fell in love with it right away.

Purple AND Pink- swoon!
Doesn't it seem like it is going to be a self striping yarn?  The colors seemed spaced a good distance apart, so I was not bound with fear when I thought of using it.  Self striping? Bring it. Color puke stain? Makes me clench tight with nervousness- just like sneezing now.

So, imagine the knot in my stomach when I finally found a simple stitch pattern to showcase the purple and pink loverlies and, instead of self striping, I saw this:

Et tu, loverlies?
My nervous tic subsided a bit when I tweeted this pic earlier today and received feedback from @CrochetAllDay who said she thought it looked nice and from @CrochetKim who said she thought it was pretty. (Btw, Kim Guzman just happens to be one of the most gifted and awesome crochet designers out there. If you have ever been on Crochetville or seen any crochet magazine, you've seen her work. Her Luna Sweater is going to be the first garment I make myself once the Geekling arrives.) Since two crocheters that I very much respect voiced their approval, I find myself second guessing my original apprehension.

So, I'm going to continue on with this new project.  I think it's going to be yet another stole/wrap.  Yes I keep making them.  No I don't use them.  (Sadly, not even my L.A.D.Y. Stole of Transformation from last year. However, I actually want to add to its length but need some more Moda Dea Bamboo Wool, which just so happens to be discontinued.  I contacted someone on Ravelry who wants to destash it, so keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get it.)  Since I have just one skein of this Squooshy yarn, I'm a little concerned about the finished length.  I'm sure blocking will help with that, and I do have an idea for it if it is too short.  I'm hoping blocking will also help with the color distribution, as well.  We'll just have to see how it ends up.  Hopefully it won't be another variegated abomination that leaves another color puke stain on my crocheting career.  (Deep breaths, Gege, deep breaths.)   

Does anyone out there have some examples of good finished objects from variegated yarn?  Anyone?  Bueller?

10 comments:

  1. Hey there! You just posted on the ville for my felted bag giveaway......yes pinkie goodness! Variegated yarn....well I used it in the pink bag only for some stripes. Otherwise, I personally do not feel variegated does that well in projects. IMHO

    Let me know if you need any more wool yarn, I might have some! Perhaps an exchange - my yarn for your bag pattern? If you so desire.....PM at the ville if interested!

    BTW - I love reading your posts! You make me smile!

    kuddlekubs

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  2. Oh, my! ~blush~ Thank you for these incredibly sweet words. You have no idea how much they're appreciated.

    You're right. Variegated can be difficult. But, I really do like this swatch. There is just something about ripples, I think. :-) I did a leaflet for Annie's Attic with variegated yarns and it was quite an eye-opening experience.

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  3. Kuddlekubs- Thank you for reading! It's always nice when readers leave comments/feedback- I really appreciate it! I told ya I'd check out your project. :) I'll PM you at the 'ville Re:yarn stuff...I've got a pretty good stash so if you have something very tempting, I may be persuaded. ;) Have any Moda Dea Bamboo Wool in Bamboo? (dark green)?

    Kim- Thanks for stopping by! I'll see if I can find that leaflet- I'd love to see what you came up with. I tried combining my variegated yarn with a solid plum color. The colors together look nice (I'll put pictures tomorrow) but I was really loving the light feel of the sock yarn and feel like the bulky wt of the combined yarns is not right for what I have in mind. Argh. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just see what my FO looks like with just the variegated yarn.... eeeep! The suspense is killing me! :)

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  4. Hi there! Stopping by from the Ravelry blog thread.

    Your posts are so fun to read! I'm a crocheter too, who is finally learning how to knit properly this year. I think the pink/purple project you're working on looks great with that yarn! I know what you mean about variegated yarn nightmares though. I always check out projects made with certain yarn on Ravely now before I start so I can benefit from others experiences and see how it behaves.

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  5. Drat nope! None of that yarn in my stash! Sounds like you and I have enough wool to keep us going for years!

    kuddles

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  6. Hi Artifax! Thanks so much for stopping by. :) I also want to learn how to knit "properly" but I must admit, I've got too many crochet projects running through my head that taking time to knit keeps being put on the back burner.

    I was checking Ravelry for crochet projects made in this yarn- guess what? Zippo. Nada. Nothin'. So, my wrap/stole/whatever it's going to be, is going to be the first one. The pressure is on....

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  7. Kuddles- Drat. I was hoping you would have the Moda Dea. The lady on Ravelry who was willing to destash decided to keep hers. Argh. However, since you do have a large stash of wool, and since you like my patterns, how would you feel about being a tester for me? One of the reasons I have a hard time getting my patterns out is that I have to test them myself and some of them are quite large and require a bit of wool. I've got the wool, but not always the patience to make something a second time. What do you think? Email me: gegecrochet@yahoo.com if you're interested.....

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  8. Just sent you an email!!

    kuddles

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  9. Hi Gege, thanks for posting about your blog on the CLF board (I'm dnadiva on rav). I love your sense of humor, I think we might be twins separated at birth lol. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your projects! Your felted bags are so awesome, the turtle and the watermelon, wow. And the Head Eating Blood Clot nearly made my coffee come out of my nose!

    Do you mind if I link to some of your things on my blog, I'm trying to show off some crochet eye candy this month. I think the Mario blanket would be an excellent one!

    Julie (twistedstrands.blogspot.com)

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  10. Hi Julie! Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad I could bring a smile to your face...and coffee out your nose. ;)

    About linking my projects- absolutely! Just let me know when your post is up and I'll be sure to give you a shout out here. :)

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