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Creating Colors by Double Stranding

January 28th, 2011

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Anyone who has ever counted stitches or calculated gauge knows that math is an important part of knitting and crocheting.  Woolly Thoughts, a pair of “matheknitticians”, designed an afghan that makes 10 colors look like 55!   The design is based on triangular numbers–the number of dots that fit in an equilateral triangle, in case you forgot–and uses 10 colors double stranded in different combinations.

Imagine all the color combinations you can make using all 57 colors of Vanna’s Choice!  Actually, there are 1653 different colors to discover, and that doesn’t even include using Vanna’s Choice Baby!  Double stranding is an easy way to create tweedy colors and make projects look interesting.  Our patterns often use double stranding to add color and texture, such as in the Knit Glowing Colors Afghan and the Crochet Easy Tweed Scarf:

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  • Machelle Blankenship

    Amazing samples!!

  • Machelle Blankenship

    Amazing samples!!

  • Machelle Blankenship

    Amazing samples!!

  • Tom

    Wow, what a great idea. Thank you for sharing I will have to explore this!

  • Tom

    Wow, what a great idea. Thank you for sharing I will have to explore this!

  • Tom

    Wow, what a great idea. Thank you for sharing I will have to explore this!

  • Judymills

    I love to combine yarns to create new colourways and interesting textures! Take a boring old yarn and add something with a bit of sparkle or “lash” and voile!, amazing results. Each item is unique and special. Also a good way to use up the stash that we knitters collect! I also like to use one yarn, like Homespun, in complementary, changing colours. Or in stripes. There is no end to what we can create with yarn!

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  • Beeveeville

    I made a baby blanket by using a green and then adding different coloured yarns to it in different sized stripes. It turned out beautiful and my daughter loved it! A great way to make a unique gift!

  • Brenda

    I am always mixing yarns to come up with new colors and textures. I’ve been tired of the yarns that are coming out and needing to mix em up a bit. Love what I get and noone else can match them

  • Brenda

    I am always mixing yarns to come up with new colors and textures. I’ve been tired of the yarns that are coming out and needing to mix em up a bit. Love what I get and noone else can match them

  • Elvislives666

    I used a green and mustard yellow and it came out great!!! I knit a blanket for my son and he just loves it…the nice thing it comes out thick and so warm!!

  • Sherry

    What does it mean to double strand? Are you holding 2 different colors together while knitting or crocheting?

    • Cecilia

      yes that is what it means. Instead of just using one strand you use two, mostly different colors but people use two of the same color so it is thicker.

  • Pagrh

    @ Sherry…yes. I began a number of years ago while making baby blankets..the pinks were always too bright..I started mixing with white and it softened it nicely…that was 12 years ago and I still mix ‘em up quite often.

  • Sherry

    Thanks! How exciting! I will give it a try! You are right about the pinks! I always hated making girl baby blankets! I would use a combination of white and pink but never held together! Awesome! Thanks again!

  • Gleebelle

    I have been planning to do double stranding. Does it alter the pattern at all? Do you need to use a different size hook?

    • Cecilia

      I always like to use one size larger hook or needle just so it gets easier for me so I’m not struggling to get the two strands in the hook because they are so thick

  • Cailet

    Sometimes I use 2 or 3 strands of varigated yarns, That way the are more blended and it gives you all the colors, all the way through the Shawl. I like the way it comes out. I crochet so the yarns don’t make stripes like they do in knitting sometimes.

  • lstevens

    I knit and crochet for charity (hats, scarves, scarflets, lap robes) mostly using the afghan stitch (LOVE it), and had some baby yarn given to me to use. It is so thin that I decided to use 2 strands so that it would work up faster and I could use the same size crochet hook that I use for worsted weight yarn. The easiest way to do that is to use 2 skeins. Once when I didn’t have 2 skeins of one color I started mixing them, and it is beautiful!!! I love the idea of the double-stranded idea at the top!

  • Vsplunkett66

    Thank you for this post! I just finished up a baby blanket, and was wondering what to create next for my next pattern. One glimpse of this post was all the inspiration I needed!

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  • Fabritique

    In the late 60′s I made the ultimate stranded sweater – 4 strands on a size 35, ribbing on a 15. Started with 4 brown, changed to 3 brown and 1 gold then 2 and 2, 1 brown and 3 gol,then all goldat the top. Looked great and very custom! The stitches were loose – I don’t think you can knit tightly on such a large needle, and the sweater was very warm. Needed to be handwashed and handled gently, but lasted forever. Shnuffy1

  • Nanacindy

    I tried doing this and got great results with a man’s stocking hat made with his college colors. (Orange and Blue)
    Go Illinois!

  • Tigerlily

    This is just awesome! Just make sure that you check out the original website for this — http://www.woollythoughts.com/ — and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the link for Illusion Knitting. It’s unbelievable!

  • Tigerlily

    This is just awesome! Just make sure that you check out the original website for this — http://www.woollythoughts.com/ — and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the link for Illusion Knitting. It’s unbelievable!

  • Pwells47

    This is so neat! I found a afghan pattern for Homespun yarn that’s knit with two different colors and picks up another every 4″. I just used what I had and it came out terrific. Everyone comments on the look. Great way to use your stash.

  • Ceja

    Some years ago, I crocheted an afghan (one huge granny square) holding 3 strands of yarn at one time. Started with 3 white and every 4th round would drop one strand, picking up one strand of the next color. The very warm and heavy afghan shaded from white to peach to brown. IE: www-wwp-wpp-ppp-ppb-pbb-bbb My husband immediately claimed it as “HIS afghan”.

  • Missy

    I have mixed two very different colors of wool and felted them…some beautiful results!

  • Nancrow

    My aunt first mentioned a rainbow afghan she made many years ago using 2 strands, but the thought made me nervous at the time. Later I found another 2 strand pattern for slipper socks that I could use to use up some extra yarn and I was in need of a good project, so I tried it. Those things have become a winter staple for my whole family. Oddly enouigh, it never occured to me to try 2 strands for any of the afghans I have made since then
    I will certainly be checking this out… as soon as I finish my current project. *sigh*

  • Nancrow

    My aunt first mentioned a rainbow afghan she made many years ago using 2 strands, but the thought made me nervous at the time. Later I found another 2 strand pattern for slipper socks that I could use to use up some extra yarn and I was in need of a good project, so I tried it. Those things have become a winter staple for my whole family. Oddly enouigh, it never occured to me to try 2 strands for any of the afghans I have made since then
    I will certainly be checking this out… as soon as I finish my current project. *sigh*

  • Rita

    Is the pattern for the beautiful afghan pictured available?

    • Zontee

      Hi Rita, that pattern is available for purchase through Woolly Thoughts, the website described in the blog post. Click the highlighted name above to access their website.

  • Cecilia

    I love using two different colors it is like small thin stripes without having to keep on adding different skeins of yarn. I like to use contrasting colors like blue and orange

  • Cpf467640cef

    I start a crochet jacket years ago & pick out a 3 mixed color yarns but didn’t finish it. Now need more yarns to match it as I got some bigger. I feel bad for not checking how many yarns I need as I didn’t see it. I kind of quess 4 will do it but not now. I can’t found the 3 mixed color of mid-dark green, dark tan, & dark beige. I just read that you can get 3 solid color put together & I wonder if this will work to do this with this”Special Details Jacket” pattern with the left over yarns I have. I got this out of a little book or booklet crochet Jackets which my friend had which I pick one out of it. I wonder if some body have that kind of book. This one printing in on one of it page to said you can used the zipper in front of this jacket. What do you think, ladies, I need help on this? Thanks. cpf467640cef@ copper.net Carlotta

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