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11 Knitting Patterns for Variegated Yarn

Variegated colorways are stunning! Here are a few patterns that are perfect for this kind of yarn.

Updated December 28, 2022
Knitting Patterns for Variegated Yarn

We've all fallen into the clever trap of variegated yarn before. You see it on the shelf at your LYS, you're dazzled by the clever colorways, and you buy it on impulse. But then you get home and start knitting with it, and it just makes your garments look busy and tacky.

Well never fear! There are a few things you can look out for when you're browsing patterns for that variegated yarn that's been sitting on your shelf for too long.

Below we have compiled a list of our favorite patterns that feature these stunning, color-changing yarns in creative ways. Plus we've put together a quick list of things to look out for in patterns that might mean they're a good match for your variegated yarn.

Which Patterns Are Best for Variegated Yarn?

1. Look for simple stitches
Hat patterns, like this one, that are primarily in stockinette stitch are a great match for variegated yarn. Designs that are simple or that don't have much variation in texture work well with variegated yarns because the yarn itself can really shine through instead of making the fabric look cluttered.

That's not to say that you shouldn't use texture at all, though. This seed stitch hat pattern, for example, uses lots of texture that is consistent throughout the majority of the hat, which makes it a good contender for variegated yarn.

2. Variegated yarn and colorwork don't always work together
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Brioche colorwork often is a good candidate for variegated yarns when paired with another solid yarn. This also goes for techniques like mosaic knitting where both colors of yarns are used for equal portions of the pattern. Stranded knitting, especially fair isle and other yoke patterns, often aren't good contenders for this, however.

3. The problem with lace
Lace knitting and variegated yarn can be stunning or a complete disaster. What we recommend is choosing lace stitches that are as simple as possible. Four-row repeat lace is a great option, especially stitches like feather and fan and little peacock.

Faux Fair Isle Knit Poncho

This easy poncho pattern will be a breeze for more seasoned knitters, and a fun new challenge for beginners. While we love the jewel tones of the original pattern, it would look gorgeous in lighter colors for spring, or more muted colors for winter.

Faux Fair Isle Knit Poncho

Bargello Poncho Pattern

This poncho is made using two simple rectangles sewn together. As a bargello pattern, this knit poncho uses a variegated yarn in offset strips to create a vibrant, multicolored design. This knit poncho pattern is cute when worn with the Vs in front or to the side, which makes it a versatile addition to your chilly weather wardrobe.

Bargello Easy Poncho Pattern

Garter Stitch Summer Sweater

This garter stitch summer sweater pattern is a great example of how texture and variegated yarn can work together to create something spectacular.

Garter Stitch Summer Sweater

Classic Ribbed Knit Hat Pattern

This beginner knitting hat has a super simple, repeating pattern that makes it work up fast and easy. Since it is a ribbed knit hat, the pattern stretches nicely around your head, keeping you warm without matting down your hair. 

Classic Ribbed Knit Hat Pattern

Knit Pouf with Pizzazz

With its delightful use of variegated yarn and sleek, contemporary style, this knit pouf will be a great addition to almost every room in your home. The intermediate knit pattern will complement just about any color scheme and is sure to get everyone's attention when they see it.

Knit Pouf with Pizzazz

Lacy Ripple Scarf

This soft, lacy knit scarf pattern features traditional lace stitches and a cozy, over-sized shape. This fashionable scarf is perfect for the transitional weather between summer and autumn.

Lacy Ripple Scarf

Eyelet Column Chevron Blanket

Chevron-based lace stitches were made for variegated yarn! This easy blanket pattern let's the lace and the yarn work their magic for stunning strips that will give you a blanket you'll treasure.

Eyelet Column Chevron Blanket

Seascape Lace Knit Blanket Pattern

The variegated jumbo yarn is super soft and cuddly, making this a cozy, touchable blanket knitting pattern you'll want to snuggle with on the couch for hours.

Seascape Lace Knit Blanket Pattern

Stained Glass Dishcloth

Knitters of all skill levels will be able to appreciate this practical, yet pretty, pattern. With a little patience and effort, you can avoid ever having to buy a dishcloth again. 

Stained Glass Dishcloth

Hitchhiker's Scarf

A simple stitch pattern and an attractive, earth tone variegated yarn collide to form the Hitchhiker's Scarf. This simple knit scarf pattern is a practical cold weather accessory for the man in your life.

Hitchhiker's Scarf

Tulip Ruffle Shawl

Brioche is famously tricky to knit, but once you get the hang of it, playing around with yarn matching is so much fun. As with this pattern, we recommend pairing a variegated yarn with a solid yarn to create some really stunning color-changing garments.

Tulip Ruffle Shawl

Brother and Sister Baby Cardigans

These free knitting patterns are each a little bit different, with the girl's version featuring a lacy detailing, and the boy's version featuring cables.

Brother and Sister Baby Cardigans
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