How to make your own self-striping yarn out of materials you already have: Knitting Trick

Mar 21, 2016 | Knitting Tutorial | 2 comments

Recently, I got this vision of a fish I just had to knit. It would be stripy, in various shade of blue and green, small enough for my toddler son  wave around his head in his interpretation of swimming, or for him to “cook” in his favorite cooking pot. The only problem was, I didn’t have any yarn with the perfect colors and lengths of variation for this project. So I decided to create my own

stripy knit fish

Here’s the trick I used to make my own self-striping yarn

Note: this trick is definitely not for you if your a perfectionist-type knitter. It’s hard to get each length of color to be the exact same length, and if you look closely at the finished project, a few tiny knots are visible. But if you don’t mind imperfections, or, if you’re like me and actually delight in little imperfections (isn’t that part of the joy of hand-making?) then read on!

make your own self-striping yarn with materials you already have in your stash

Step 1: Choose out some yarns from your stash that you wish to work with. For my fish I stuck with yarns of similar thickness, but I think, with the right project, using yarns of varying thicknesses could also be really amazing. You don’t need to worry about exactly how many yarns you choose at this point. You can always add more later if you start your project and don’t have enough.

Step 2: Cut a piece of each yarn at (roughly) your desired length. For my fish, I cut each yarn about an arm-span long. This is a great length to create a stripy effect on a small project. If you’re knitting something bigger and want stripes, cut your yarn in longer increments.

Step 3: Array 2 of your yarn pieces as shown in the photo below

how to create your own self striping yarn

Step 4: Make a slip-knot with the right-hand yarn that goes around the left-hand yarn. See the photo below. Then pull the slip knot tight.


Step 5: Make a slip-knot with the left-hand yarn that goes around the right hand yarn. See photo below. Then pull the knot tight.

how to create variegated yarn out of the yarn already in your stash

Step 6: Pull the long-ends of both your yarns so that the two slip-knots slide into each other. The two slip-knots magically hold each other tight so that they can’t come undone. (See photo below)

make your own variegated yarn

Step 7: Cut the short ends of your yarn as close to the knots as possible. Don’t worry, the knots won’t come undone. Pull the yarn as hard as you can to test it. While these knots won’t be completely invisible in your final knitting project, they are pretty minimal.

Step 8: Repeat this process with all the pieces of yarn you cut, then roll your yarn into an lovely, self-striping yarn ball

That’s it! It’s so easy and addicting. All ready for your next knitting project.

Later this week, I’ll share the pattern for the simple fish I knit with my new self-striping yarn, so stay tuned for that


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