As you might have gathered I have a bit of a thing for self patterning yarns. Recently I treated myself to a ball of Noro Silk Garden Sock and I am knitting it up into a Northern Lights shawl. The waves in the pattern make the long colour repeats come alive and if the finished projects on Ravelry are anything to go by the finished shawl is going to look stunning!
Whilst knitting I was thinking about how the long colour repeats are made in Noro yarns. It looks like it's all done in the spinning. The yarn is a single ply and the colour changes are gradual when the different coloured fibres meet and are spun.
I am a spinner and I am planning on having a go at this kind of effect myself. It will be trial and error, if I spin too little of each colour the stripes will be too short, too much and they will be too long. I'll keep you posted with my results.
It is quite easy to get a Noro effect using sock blanks, just knit a blank and hand paint it with wide stripes but that got me wondering... When you knit a shawl like Northern Lights as the rows get longer the stripes get narrower. I wondered if you could calculate the ratio of stitches so you could dye a sock blank that would enable the stripes to be even width throughout the shawl? It would be possible but might take a bit of working out! Something for the future I think.