Knitting with Hand Dyed Yarns - Alternating Skeins

All of our yarn is hand-dyed.  Hand-dyed yarn will give you beautiful variations in your color.  Our semi-solid colors will have random irregularity because they are not dyed in large vats commercially.  Hand-dyed yarns can also give you an unwanted color pooling or you may see a visible line when you switch to a new skein.  This is particularly noticeable in larger projects such as sweaters.

Wool sweater

This photo shows the line that can be created when not alternating skeins.


Alternating skeins is the best way to stop both problems from happening. 

Before you begin, wind two skeins of yarn that you will work with at the same time.  Work two rows at a time using the first skein.  Then, switch to the other skein and knit the next two rows.  Repeat this, carrying your yarn at the side of your work, until you are finished.  To transition from one skein to the next, drop the yarn you were working with and pick up the next.  It is as easy as that!

One of our customers had this great suggestion –

“I will suggest an easier way of handling two different color yarns on round needles that is seamless. When adding in the second yarn, knit to the last 3 stitches; slip those last three stitches to the right needle and the other yarn is in the perfect position to pick up and knit. I usually keep a marker in the original beginning of the round--in this case center of the back--for reference. This method only works with two yarns, but it is truly seamless.”

 Wool knitted shawl

This photo shows alternating skeins and now you can see a uniform and appealing change in color.


Hand-dyed skeins are a wonderful way to enhance your color options in knitting and by understanding the challenges you will get a project you are proud of.


  • LEO

    Found your site thanks to Andrea Mowry and I am enjoying everybody about it. I recently learned about helix knitting in the round for jogless single row stripes. Someone also mentioned it as a way to knit with hand dyed yarn to interweave 2 skeins similar to what you suggest. Helix doesn’t require carrying any yarn up the side. Happy Knitting ya’ll!

  • Bonnie Kernan Bryant

    Wonderful tip! By the way, I love the purple!! Not only the color. but the pattern and the craftspersonship as well. beautiful!

  • Viviana

    I’m blown away, hadn’t thought of this before. Yet again, I’m still a beginner and want to try my luck at a nice sweater. Time to research and buy…….MMW, here I come.

  • Stephanie Johnson

    This sounds like it would work in cases where you accidentally got 2 different dye lots. Great idea!

    Thank you.

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