Yesterday, I introduced Lion Brand Mandala Baby DK, a 100% acrylic yarn, created to make colorful knits for young people that will wash as well as they wear.
When I talked about how perfect Mandala Baby yarn is for making the Caramoor Hat, I made a child’s hat from an adult pattern and learned that there are some considerations to make when planning a project with a long-span, variegated yarn.
The color spans in Mandala Baby DK are SO long, I was able to knit an entire hat without encountering a color change! I had even wound off some yarn from the start of the ball in the hope I would, but it didn’t!
So, there are factors to consider when using a yarn that has such long spans of color. Here are a few:
- Small projects such as my hat may not have many (or any) color changes appear in the project.
- The colors on each ball of yarn might end in different places. Care might be needed to make sure there isn’t a rapid “color jump” when a new ball is introduced.
- The width of the stripes will vary as the number of stitches per row change. This can work to the knitter’s/ designer’s advantage or disadvantage.
- A sweater could end up with different colors on the various parts. This, too, could be an effective advantage or it could cause a knitting disappointment. Remember, though: while the knitter might be disappointed in the result, a 4-year-old recipient is apt to be delighted to have a sweater with a lavender front, a pink sleeve, and turquoise halfway up the other sleeve!
A little imagination and planning, accompanied by an online pattern search will reveal many options for Mandala Baby DK. Imagine a sweater made from sleeve to sleeve, or a baby blanket done in “faux Fair Isle,” mitered squares, mirrored stripes, or even Roman stripes!
To keep color blocks relatively even, it’s important to look for a pattern that has very little shaping: a drop-shoulder sweater is a better choice than a raglan because there’s less shaping in the various parts. Likewise, Mandala Baby DK is absolutely fabulous for baby blankets, whether you choose the crayon-bright Rainbow Falls or the more pastel Arendelle colorway. Another interesting effect could be made by making one big, mitered square, a “dishcloth” square, or panels measuring ¼ to ⅓ of the total width of the blanket. So many ideas, so little time!
For the next two posts, I’ll run with the sleeve-to-sleeve sweater idea and show you how to knit a child’s sweater from nothing more than the diagram in a pattern. After that, I’ll share some tips for choosing complimentary colors to go with Mandala Baby DK for “faux Fair Isle” and Roman Stripes.