Both the fun and frustration of working with variegated and semi-solid yarns is that you never quite know what it’s going to look like until you start knitting with it. I only intended on knitting one red hat so I could double check the pattern I was writing and not have to borrow the original, my roommate’s Christmas present, for pattern photos, but after I finished the first version on the left, I wasn’t happy with the pooling I ended up with. It’s not as noticeable in this picture in the body of the hat, but the whole thing is a little bit stripey like the ribbed band, and I felt like it competed with the texture of the stitch pattern too much to make it a good sample for pattern photos. The yarn I used, Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted, comes in big skeins so I had plenty of yarn to knit two hats, and I decided to finished the first and knit another! The second one is knit alternating the yarn every row. I worked from both ends of a yarn cake to make it work with a single skein. The difference is subtle but significant. The overall color is the same, but there are no obvious stripes in the second version. Some people will alternate their semi-solid and variegated yarn from the start without waiting to see if they have to, but I tend to cross my fingers and only alternate skeins if it becomes clear that I have to. Sometimes I get lucky like I did with the grey version of this hat, and sometimes I don’t.
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