DK weight yarn has always been my go to for lighter weight garments and accessories such as childrens’ sweaters and lacy shawls. But being on lockdown this summer with only my credit card for company, my stash has grown to include a variety of novelty yarns. Novelty yarns are so eye catching that I can’t help but buy a skein. (Yes, we have all done that!) The lighter DK weight is perfect for combining different yarns and textures to create something new and unique.
How To Start
Start by plying two ends of DK alpaca together and knit a swatch to test your gauge. I have found that two DK stands will give me a worsted weight yarn, so I can mix DK (such as the baby alpaca available here from Pick of the Knitter) and worsted in the same garment. Years ago, a friend of mine knitted an amazing sweater from DK yarn, a knobby boucle and a ribbon yarn. She added or dropped different yarns in the same color family throughout the sweater giving the appearance of subtle stripes. Consider picking a family of color, like blue or red and adding one, two or three novelty yarns to your base DK and see what you can create. The subtle change in colors from the different yarns can be stunning.
Ways You Can Use Plying
Plying can not only give you different color shades, but also different textures. Alpaca yarn is a matte finish, whereas bamboo, rayon and silk are glossy, and cotton yarn can be a combination of both. If you want to start slow, just adding a single thread of metallic thread will change the feel of plain yarn, without adding to the weight or cost. Another simple way to add texture is to cut different lengths of ribbon or yarn and tie them on as you knit to give the more distressed appearance that is popular now.
Have fun, be creative. The best thing about knitting is, if you don’t like the combination of yarns you are using, you can always unravel it and use the yarn again.