How Many Variegated Yarns Is Too Many?

The Questions at Hand:

  • How many variegated yarns can you use in the same project?
  • How many should you use in the same project?

I deal with a couple of different types of FAQs (frequently asked questions) around here. The first and most important kind: the frequently asked questions that y’all ask me.

The second kind: the kind of questions that I keep asking myself. This is one of those recurring questions that pops into my mind every time I work with variegated yarn.

I know, I know, these are rather ridiculous questions, with no definitive, absolutely-correct-in-all-situations answers. Nevertheless I’ve worked at developing answers for the questions anyway. So, let’s have a look at some case studies, shall we?

The Spring Watercolor Crochet Pot Holder With 5 Variegated Yarn Colors

Afghan Stitch Potholders Crocheted Using 5 Different Variegated Yarn Colors and 2 Solid Colors.

Afghan Stitch Potholders Crocheted Using 5 Different Variegated Yarn Colors and 2 Solid Colors.

Here we have a crocheted potholder that I made using a total of seven different yarns. Five of the yarns are variegated colorways, and two of the yarns are solid-colored. You can see all except one of the yarns in the picture. (I accidentally forgot to include the solid white color in the photo.)

Overall, I’d consider this project to be a success, although there are some things I’d love to change about it.

  • I’d love to try crocheting this basic design again using variegated yarns that do not include any white. For example, I’d use a variegated pink that’s shades of light pink, medium pink and dark pink, plus an orange or peach that’s shades of light, medium, and dark, etc.
  • The pot holder is a little too big. If I had it to do over again, I’d make it smaller. This is not a deal-breaker.

Conclusion: There are situations in which it’s appropriate to use 5 variegated yarns.

Important Note: Most of the yarns used for crocheting this pot holder have been discontinued. However, if you would like to see the yarn list, or get more information about how to crochet this design, you can find it posted at crochet.about.com.

Striped Afghan Stitch Potholder With Cross Stitch


A Crocheted Potholder Featuring a Striped Design in Afghan Stitch, Plus  Cross Stitch and Variegated Yarn

A Crocheted Potholder Featuring a Striped Design in Afghan Stitch, Plus Cross Stitch and Variegated Yarn

Here we have a crocheted potholder that I made using a total of three different fibers. I used one variegated colorway of yarn, one solid-colored yarn, and one finer embroidery floss in a solid color. At lower left, you can see a work-in-progress picture that shows both the embroidery floss and the variegated yarn.

This colorway has some interesting things about it, but it turned out way too “busy” for my liking.

Overall, I’d consider this colorway of this project to be a failure, although I achieved success with other colorways of the project.

Check out this Striped Christmas Potholder to see a colorway I like better. In general, I think two solid stripes work better in this particular pattern; this is a case where it’s better to skip the variegated yarn.

If you should happen to disagree, no worries; I invite you to use the pattern with any yarn color combinations that would make you happy. You can use it with any colors you like — variegated or solid, the choice is yours.

Conclusion: There are situations in which even one variegated yarn is too many. Or, to put it another way, sometimes variegated yarn is just the wrong choice for the project in question.

You may disagree, and if you do, that’s fine. There’s room here for plenty of different opinions. In any case, I feel confident in saying that no arrests will be made by the crochet police due to differences of opinion on this issue.


Get More Case Studies: I have dozens more of these case studies to share, and not enough time to share them right now. You’re invited to check back soon to see what is new.

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Related Resources:

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