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5 Tips for Combining Yarns to Get a Marled Look

5 Tips for Combining Yarns to Get a Marled Look

Since this year we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary, I've been thinking a bit about how things have changed. 

For example, years ago, when I would suggest that customers might want to create a unique fabric by holding two different strands of yarn together, they were not convinced. It seemed too complicated. Customers were sure that the yarns would tangle or that they wouldn't be able to "catch" both strands.

Since then pattern designer Andrea Mowry introduced us to the marl look with her Comfort Fade Cardi (pictured above). And Stephen West added his Marled Magic Shawl (pictured below).


This technique is everywhere now. "Yarn Held Together" is even a search term on Ravelry. So if you haven't tried it, I'd like to encourage you with these tips:
  1. Don't worry if your yarns twist around each other. This is bound to happen and just adds to the marled effect.
  2. If you discover after a few rows that you missed catching both strands in a stitch, you can always drop that stitch down to fix it, much like you would fix a dropped stitch
  3. If you are using up leftovers, holding them with a single skein like Courtney Flynn (aka flynnknit) does in her new scarf pattern, gives you a more cohesive look.
  4. To see what a marl is going to look like before you knit it, just lightly twist the two yarns together. Check the contrast - too much or too little?
To get an idea of what gauge you will get when you combine yarns, use this formula: (average gauge of Yarn 1 + average gauge of Yarn 2) / 3 = an estimate of the gauge you'll get when you hold them together. 

If this seems like too much work for you. You can play with yarns that have been "marled" for you: Plied Yarns (pictured above), Manos Marla and some of the colors of Chibi Paka and Mota. Enjoy!
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