Variegated yarns are yarns that are dyed several different colors within one skein. The colors may be bright, contrasting hues such as red, blue, yellow and green, or they may be different shades of the same color. These yarns make unique patterns and bring variety to a crocheted piece without requiring you to change yarn frequently. Variegated yarns sometimes lend themselves to knitting more than crocheting, but there are crochet stitches that produce crisper pieces with variegated yarns.
One stitch that is used with variegated yarns is the granite stitch. The granite stitch produces a spike in the yarn every other stitch, breaking up the "pools" of color sometimes created by crocheting variegated yarns. It also provides a flatter piece for a more attractive look. The granite stitch is sometimes called the seed stitch. Make it by starting with one single crochet stitch, then chain one, skip a stitch, then single crochet in the next stitch. On the return row, single crochet in the chain one space, then chain one, skip the single crochet, then single crochet in the chain one space.
Since variegated yarns create busy patterns on their own, many crocheters like to let the yarn speak and keep the stitch pattern simple. A basic single crochet stitch is a frequent choice for many items made with variegated yarns. A single crochet stitch is formed by putting the hook in the indicated stitch, wrapping the yarn over, and pulling up a loop to leave two loops on the hook. Wrap yarn over, then pull both loops through on the hook.
In keeping with using simple stitches for variegated yarns, a double crochet stitch -- including double crochet variations like the granny stitch or the V-stitch -- is a good stitch for variegated yarns. Since double crochet uses more yarn per stitch than single, use variegated yarns with longer segments of individual color to avoid puddles of color. A double crochet stitch is made by pulling yarn over the hook then inserting into the right stitch. Wrap the yarn and pull up a loop, leaving three loops on the hook. Wrap yarn and pull through two of the loops, leaving two loops on the hook, then wrap the last time and pull through the last loop.
Although there are dozens of variations of the ripple stitch, it is characterized by hills and valleys. These hills and valleys may be more or less steep, and more or less pointed. The ripples are made by working stitches in a few loops, then skipping stitches to make a valley. The exact numbers depend on the look the crocheter is trying to achieve and will vary with the item being made. Some crafters like to use a variegated yarn for the one or two ripples, then switch to a solid color yarn, and alternate through the piece. This method is often used for baby blankets or afghans.
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