Out of the Toy Box! Knitting with marled, self-striping chunky yarn

What have you knit with a self-striping bulky yarn that has a barber pole twist to it? Anything for the little ones in your life? This week we’ll be looking at Toy Box, a new kid on the block. This soft yarn is perfect for baby and toddler knits as it’s very soft, and easy to take care of.

This soft yarn comes in colorways reminiscent of favorite toys. This is the Lincoln Logs colorway.

Toy Box has 9 self-striping colorways and 3 solid colors. The palette is best suited to children’s wear, but there are a few muted versions of familiar colorways like a pink and green watermelon or a sedate series of fall colors which would work for an adult wardrobe as well.

The names of the colorways tickled my funny bone. All the yarns are named after items you would find in a toy box. Lincoln Logs and Silly Putty would be my two favorite names and probably even my preferred color combinations, but all the colorways are beautiful.

Having the options of three solid colors is also a great idea. Jump Rope (white), Kite (pink) and Frisbee (blue) each coordinate with more than one of the multi-colored skeins, and, depending on the design, can frame or highlight the marled colors.

Do you remember that pale peachy color of the original Silly Putty? You can see it in this colorway of Toy Box surrounded by other complementary colors for some fun knits.

Each colorway contains at least six colors. As the yarn has 2 plies of contrasting colors that are spun together, the transitions between stripes is gradual and creates a subtle tweedy effect. One ply transitions between three or four of the colors and the other ply transitions between the remaining three or two colors respectively.

This is Toy Box in Hula Hoop! A playful blend of cool colors.

The yarn is 100% machine washable and dryer-friendly acrylic.

I unspun the end of one skein to figure out the yarn’s anatomy. There are two thicker plies that are twisted around each other creating the barber pole effect, but within each ply there is more going on. There are long airy fibers with lots of built-in crimps. These curly fibers are quite long (mostly longer than 2”) which means that the likelihood of pilling is greatly reduced. There’s a lot of bounce and “air” left in each of these two plies because the fluffy fibers are spun around a core of two fine white threads. The threads give the yarn the structure it needs to behave well, and to keep the integrity of the knit stitches, but they are surrounded by the softer crimped fibers, which are what bring the colors and color transitions into the yarn.

Crimped soft fibers give Toy Box loft, softness, and warmth and the 2 fine binder threads give the yarn integrity and sturdiness.

Tomorrow we’ll look at how the yarn looks in a swatch or two to get a better idea of how gradual the self-striping color changes are, and the type of drape we can achieve.

The blues and grays in Toy Box Wiffle Ball, will have you knitting many fun, airy and soft projects.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Using a swatch to practice weaving in ends with a crochet hook

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