Knitting with Novelty Yarns

Sometimes you just want to knit with something different from your favorite stand-bys. Sometimes a project screams out to be made from funky and unique yarn. Whatever your reasons for using novelty yarns, it’s nice to know they exist for those times when you want or need a change. We did a review of  novelty yarns in this year's Knitscene Accessories, and thought it would be fun to knit some up to see what they looked like. Novelty yarns tend to look interesting as skeins, but it is often difficult to tell how they will look knitted. I knit up small swatches of some of the yarns we included in Accessories to get a better sense of the finished fabrics.

Prism's Plume is the first novelty yarn I tried. It’s 100% nylon and feels super soft and smooth. The color shown is “Lipstick” and it is a gorgeous firey blend of pinks and reds. This yarn has volume and epic wisps, and it would be perfect in a scarf or as an accent on a garment that would get a great deal of movement.

Also from Prism, Constellation is a metallic, nylon ribbon yarn that comes in bright and vibrant colors. The finished product is thick and textured, excellent for embellishments and accents. It also looks very different if you knit with the yarn folded in half, as it comes (and as I have done), or unfolded to be completely flat. Either way, this knits up to be a really fun and festive fabric.


Marmot from Berroco is also 100% nylon and also has wisps, but its colorways are a bit subtler than Plume. It is still very smooth and thick and the rich maroon and black blend is an ideal combination for cold weather wear. This yarn is very soft, really fun and easy to knit with and comfortable against the skin.

Filatura di Crosa’s Mixy is new for Fall 2013. The yarn’s subtle metallic flair and slow-changing color repeats make it turn into beautifully tonal fabric as you knit. Here, the main color is purple, but there are also repeats of green, gold, red and blue, creating a regal combination of colors.

Next I knit up two versions of Tecido Trico from Circulo. Rendado is edged with lace while Abstrato is fetively polka-dotted. These ribbon yarns are really interesting because you knit into pre-made holes in them and thus the whole knitting process is slightly different. Once you understand the mechanics though, it knits quickly and makes a fun, ruffled fabric. I have seen a lot of scarves online made from these yarns, and they always have great volume and movement.

Yarn companies are crafting novelty yarns to showcase different materials, test different yarn constructions, and to add a little flair to the yarn market. You might try adding a bit of a faux fur edging to a knit hat for winter, or knitting  jewelry with some blingy string. If you're feeling bold, you could make a summer tank in glitzy ribbon yarn. It's hard not to experiment with novelty yarns—you might find something you didn't know you were missing!

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