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Knitting patterns for speckled yarn

Brain Frieze knit cowl patternSpeckled yarn is having a moment! I first saw it a few years ago in the form of acid yellow speckles on a cream base. True confessions, I didn’t love it. But as I’ve seen more versions of this yarn confetti, if you will, it’s grown on me. 

One of the samples in our store is a gorgeous project, Susan Ashcroft’s Brain Frieze Cowl. Store manager Susan Melka knit this version from Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat and Tosh Merino Light. The Cheshire Cat yarn is speckled (it’s the Dreadfully Frightened colorway from Halloween 2016), and the Tosh Light, a light green and yellow variegated colorway called Filagree. The two yarns work together beautifully to make a light, airy cowl.

This is the trick to using speckled yarn in a multi-yarn project: choose colors that complement each other. You need enough contrast in the non-speckled yarn so that the speckle stands out, but not so much that it overpowers it.

Check out this beautiful thing from my friend Carmen:

Building Blocks knit shawl pattern
The Building Blocks knit shawl pattern by Stephen West (photo copyright Carmen Wiley)

Isn’t it gorgeous? Carmen’s yarn choices are the key to the success of this project; she picked two speckled yarns with similar colors and pulled out the blue and orange from each of them for her solid yarns. The transition from solid to speckled is perfect. Great job, Carmen!

Stephen West's Dotted Rays shawl knitting patternStephen West has several shawl patterns that use speckled yarn to great effect. One of my favorites is Dotted Rays, at right. It uses his speckled fade technique, where he starts with the lightest color and introduces each new color by knitting two-row stripes (two rows of the old color, two rows of the new color) until switching entirely to the new color. He’s a special designer, and this technique really shows off speckled yarns.

You don’t always have to use speckled yarns with solids or variegated yarns, though. Try using a speckled yarn for a hat or a pair of socks Might I suggest Tosh Merino Light in Found Pottery for either of those options? I love it!

The Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelley McClure, a free pattern on Ravelry, would be spectacular in the speckled yarn.

<br />Sockhead Slouch Hat knitting pattern by Kelley McClure and Tosh Light in Found Pottery

Sockhead Slouch hat knitting pattern by Kelley McClure and Tosh Light in Found Pottery (left photo copyright Kelley McClure)

I’ve seen several sock knitting patterns made up with speckled yarn, and they are so cute—like confetti on your feet! Try Kate Atherley’s Basic Ribbed Socks (free on Ravelry) with speckled yarn.

And you have to make something with this combo:

Gorgeous combo of Tosh Merino Light Yarn

This is Tosh Merino Light in Electric Rainbow and Tosh Merino Light in Penumbra. Yes, please.

What are your favorite patterns to knit with speckled yarn? Tell me about your confetti knitting adventures, and share your tips for combining it with other yarns.


Kathleen Cubley

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