Tag Archives: hand-dyed yarn

Fall in Love with Sweater Knitting KAL: Tips for Knitting a Sweater with Hand-Dyed Yarn

As you know, we’re big fans of hand-dyed yarn here at Stash and they certainly help with that “Wow” factor in our finished projects. Since every skein of hand-dyed yarn is a little bit different, it can be a bit challenging to use in larger projects. However, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure that you’re happy with your finished sweater!

Here’s what you probably don’t want your sweater to look like:

No woman wants a line directly across the chest area! Needless to say, this sweater ended up in the frog pond.

There are a few things that went wrong here. The first being that my skeins didn’t match as closely as they should have. I also alternated the darkest two skeins instead of using all three at once.

So, how can you avoid a sweater with a big, obvious line when you change skeins?

1. When you’re shopping for yarn, choose the skeins that look the most alike. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when they’re twisted in their skeins, so it’s often a good idea to un-skein them and lay them next to each other. Like this:

2. Alternate Skeins while you knit. There are a few different ways to do this that we’ll discuss in just a minute.

3. If you’re knitting a top-down sweater, Save some yarn from the top to use when you go back and knit the sleeves. TRUST ME on this one (I speak from experience). It doesn’t need to be a lot, but I’d suggest phasing the skein you’re using when you split for the sleeves out and putting it aside to be used later. When you get ready to knit the sleeves, pull this skein out and use 1/2 for the top of each sleeve.

4. If you have skeins in your stash that you’re using and one skein is a bit different than the rest, use the different skein for things like trim, button bands, hems, and neckbands.

Alternating Skeins – to alternate skeins, work from two balls of yarn. Switch yarns every 2 rows (you can do 3 or 4 if you’re knitting in the round) by picking up the second strand of yarn from underneath the strand you’re working with. Make sure not to pull too tight when you pick up the new strand. 

If your skeins match really well, you can just alternate as you get close to the end of your ball to transition to the next one. It will look like this on the inside of your knitting:

When you knit a cardigan with button bands (or just front bands/collar) that are knit on afterwards, such as the Calligraphy Cardigan, you can alternate right at the edge of your knitting every 2 rows. Easy peasy.

If you’re knitting a pullover from the top town, alternate starting at the back raglan and after you split for the sleeves, alternate at the side seam. If the sweater is knit from the bottom up, you would alternate at the side seam and then transition to the back raglan.

This isn’t a pullover, but it has a decent shot of the back of the sweater so you can see where to alternate.

For a cardigan that has you knit the front bands as you go, you can either alternate at the sideseam/back raglan as in the previous example or you can alternate where the body meets the front band.

For Sleeves: alternate at the underarm, which will be the beginning of your round for each sleeve.

I know alternating skeins sounds a bit tedious, but it’s really worth it when knitting with hand-dyed yarn. I’ve never been sorry that I’ve alternated skeins, but several times that I haven’t I’ve regretted it (see: frogged sweater at the top of the post!).

Let us know if we can help you pick out well matching skeins at the shop or help you decide the best place to alternate skeins!


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Filed under Knit Alongs, Knitting, Stash, Tutorials, Uncategorized


We’re very fortunate here in the Willamette Valley to be surrounded by fiber animals. From heritage sheep breeders to alpaca and Angora, there’s a flurry of fleeces at our disposal.  We are lucky to have some of that local fiber

When it comes to yarn, Stash loves to support  small local companies who have a high quality product that shows the love that was put into it. That’s just what we found in Caress Luxury Yarns from Ingrid Reimers. Ingrid searches Oregon looking for the highest quality alpaca to blend into her luxurious yarns. Hand-dyed in small batches, the colors are soft yet saturated.

I couldn’t resist the lure of the 100% Royal Baby Alpaca. At just 100 yards per skein, you may wonder what can be done. Ingrid thoughtfully came up with an answer: a free pattern for these sweet fingerless mitts!

Mine knit up almost effortlessly over the course of a weekend. The yarn was heavenly, and seemed to get even softer as it was knit.

We also have the new fingering weight Petite Skeins in an alpaca/merino/nylon blend. At 120 yards per skein, they’re perfect for color work projects like gloves, hats, and striped shawls.

What colors would you pair together?

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Featured Yarn, Fiber, Knitting, Meet the Samples, Yarn

Feature Friday:: Pigeonroof Studios

Cassiopeia DK

Siren Two Sock

Siren Two Lace

This week at Stash we are loving the freshly dyed yarn stylings of Pigeonroof Studios.  These beauties are the work of independent dyer Krista McCurdy of Oakland, California.  Her colors are luminous and vibrant, rich and multi-tonal.  You may have seen the Cassiopeia DK in person during our Coastal Knits Trunk show knit up into the Gnarled Oak Cardigan. It has a lovely hand that we all loved when trying on the sample!

We could barely contain our excitement while unpacking this yarn.  Hand-dying yarn takes time, and while waiting for this order the excitement just kept growing!  Each unique color way is stunning, and color way names like Ghost Orchid, Vitals, and Cockleshell just add to the appeal.

Stash currently carries three luxurious bases: Siren Two Lace (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10%nylon), Siren Two Sock (same), and the Cassiopeia, a delicious blend of merino, cashmere, and silk (75//15/10).  Excuse me while I go pet it for a moment…

Here are some project ideas to get your wheels turning:

Siren Two Lace:

Siren Two Sock:

Cassiopeia DK:

*Available in Store       **Freebie

Happy weekending, Stashers!

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Filed under Books/Patterns, Featured Yarn, Knitting, Yarn