Stripes and More: Two Skein Knitting Projects

If your stash is anything like mine, you have a lot of fingering weight skeins. They are easy to buy and easy to stash, so it comes as little surprise when you eventually realize you have a whole bunch of lonely, single skeins of fingering weight and sock yarn. I recently found two skeins in my stash that seem to have been secretly going out in the storage drawer, because they look like they are so in love:

On the left, Madeline Tosh Sock in Grenadine, and on the right, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Tayet Fingering in Fog.

Two-skein knitting projects are brilliant for reducing your stash and finally using beautiful skeins that demanded to go home with you but then fell silent when you tried to figure out what to make with them. Once I saw how in love my skeins were, I started looking at two skein knitting patterns and found so many amazing ones that it’s proving impossible to choose!

Shawls

Top Row, Left to Right: Aisling, Metropolitan

Middle Row, Left to Right: Mormorio, Loop

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Sizzle PopEmiliana

I’m utterly smitten with Metropolitan, but I so love the original colour combo that I don’t think I would be happy with my colour choices here. But Aisling, Mormorio, and Loop feel like the strong contenders for me. Or maybe Emiliana?

Cowls

When it comes to two-colour fingering weight cowls, there are lots of good options, but I’ve focused on these 6 that I really love:

 

Top Row, Left to Right: Yarn Tamer, Jujika

Middle Row, Left to Right: Seashore CowlUp North

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Chromatic Cowl, Foolproof

I’m considering Jujika, but I need to swatch to see what the crosses will look like- my yarns might not have enough contrast. I have loved the Seashore Cowl for so long I’m really surprised I haven’t knit it yet, and you guys know how much I love a cowl that keeps my shoulder cozy! All of these are cowls that I think are beautiful, but don’t feel hemmed in by just these examples if they don’t strike your fancy. Add up your total yardage for the two skeins you want to use, and do a Ravelry search based on the yardage. Just because a pattern doesn’t have stripes doesn’t mean you can’t add them in!

Socks

Socks and I have a dodgy history, because I have weird toes and have not spent enough time investigating the wonders of toe up constructions, or found my perfect toe pocket for my wide, snow-shovel type toes. But one day when I find the perfect toe pocket, these socks are all on my radar. Especially Alfrick!

Top Row, Left to Right: Luna Socks, Alfrick

Middle Row, Left to Right: Socks of a Different Stripe, Pixel Stitch Socks

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Carpita, There & Back Again Socks

Do you guys have any fingering weight skeins that could have a lovely relationship together in one of these two skein sock yarn patterns? I’m having a tough time deciding. Some swatching is definitely in order!

52 comments

  1. Sam   •  

    I made the seashore cowl a long time ago and loved it. I don’t think I have it any more, I should make a new one.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Sam,

      So good to hear a vote of confidence for Seashore as being really wearable once it’s done! I feel like it would be nice spring/summer knit, too.

      Have a great weekend!

      Julie

  2. Beth   •  

    I have a ton! Liking Alfrick especially!

    • Julie   •     Author

      So true, Alfrick is stunning! Another commenter pointed to me to a great sock tutorials, so I hope these socks are in my knitting future!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  3. Kylie M-W   •  

    I always have a ton of single sock skeins, and I love combining them, so I’m queueing several of this patterns. Looking forward to seeing which you end up choosing!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Kylie,

      I knew I couldn’t be the only one with all this fingering yarn in my stash! I had a lot of fun putting this post together, I think I’ll be referencing it for a long time to come. It’s going to be so hard to choose!

      Cheers,
      Julie

  4. miss agnes   •  

    So true, I also have so many single sock yarn skeins in my stash. Thanks for this great selection. I think you should swatch for a couple of patterns you like, and show us what it looks like. Your skeins do not have a lot of contrast so a heavily contrasted pattern will look very different, but it could be totally gorgeous too. You can never go wrong with stripes, these two colors will blend harmoniously, but I would be curious to see a swatch for Julia as well.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Agnes,

      A great idea! I will swatch a few of them and take photos and report back on it. A bit of a work in progress, but it will be worth it. Besides, even if it looks good in a few combos, I can always choose some other yarns and make a bunch of these patterns! I know I’ll be coming back to this post for a long time to come- I really love all these patterns.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  5. Sandy   •  

    I made Foolproof last year and love it!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Ooh, thanks so much for the thumbs up on Foolproof! It is a stunning cowl.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  6. Celeste   •  

    The Seashore Cowl reminded me of you the moment I saw it.

    I too have lonely skeins, but I never seem to have a problem finding projects for them when I want to. Either socks or my own pattern of sleeves I’ve been knitting and gifting for years are my go to. My problem is that I love some of my skeins so much that I’m keeping them as eye candy over knitting something that will only see the light of day during winters. Oh Madelinetosh I’m looking at you!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Celeste,

      I am definitely going to swatch for it, I have had the seashore cowl in my queue on and off for at least a few years, it seems so me! And I hear you on keeping skeins because they are so beautiful as is, it’s hard to believe anything you make with them will be as pretty as the skein itself!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  7. Kelly J. R.   •  

    How have I never come across the Up North cowl before?! I love it so much! A goal of mine for this year is to do some major stash-busting. So far so good with my projects this year.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Kelly,

      it happens to me all the time- there are just so many patterns coming out every day it’s impossible to have seen them all! I also want to reduce my stash, and this list is pretty much going to be my go-to to make that happen. The stash is crazy, and of course I still want to be able to get more yarn!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  8. Amy   •  

    I’ve been wanting to send a quick note with my appreciation for the time and work that goes into your blog. It’s concise, informative, and entertaining. It is a misconception that gifted individuals have things fly off their fingers in immediate perfection. There is work involved! Thanks for the Mondays and Fridays and the treats in between! I totally enjoy it.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you o much, I truly appreciate your kind words about my blog, and you taking the time to tell me! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  9. kathy b   •  

    Great post. I especially love the sock inspiration. I will have to consider THERE AND BACK AGAIN.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Those socks are all pretty gorgeous, aren’t they! I want to knit them ALL one day.

  10. LeslieM   •  

    Another fun post. Loop and Alfrick are both very seductive.

    • Julie   •     Author

      They certainly are! So glad you liked the post. 🙂

  11. knithughesey   •  

    The Mormorio shawl will look great in your yarns. I don’t like the knitted sample so much, because the white lace border kind of looks like an afterthought, but with your yarns it should be part of a harmonious whole. It is always fun to see what inspires you – I have knit the chromatic cowl – fun and functional. I have a couple of other stripe projects in the works, too.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I’ve knit the chromatic cowl in the past as well! But I gave it to my mom, who loved it when she saw it. I was thinking that with a more subtle colour scheme it would look very different from the original. Glad you are loving the striped projects recently!

  12. Melissa   •  

    Ohhh, I love all of these, but particularly the middle shawl row. Gorgeous. Thanks for the inspiration (lord knows I have a lot of those single skeins hanging around . . .)

    • Julie   •     Author

      So glad you found some ideas that you love! I think we are all guilty of that fingering weight and sock yarn hoarding. Just so pretty and so easy to pick up!

  13. Stephanie   •  

    Oh great. Now I want to make all of these–and I have the yarn to do it! I was just thinking along these same lines the other day. I want to make Bristol Ivy’s Nesting Wrap, which calls for 400 yards each of two colors of a yarn that has been classified anywhere between fingering and DK, but was thinking I could use up some of my beautiful single skeins of fingering. I’m torn between choosing a high contrast combo vs. a really subtle neutral pair. I can’t wait to see what your lovely skeins become, Julie!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Nesting Wrap is beautiful, I’m a fan of Bristol ivy’s patterns! Great chose. There are so many wonderful patterns out there to help us use up our wonderful sock and fingering yarns, there’s no shortage! But making a decision, that’s a totally different challenge. 😉

  14. stefanie   •  

    Ooh! How fun to have so many choices. I love having lots of sock yarn. You can mix more I feel with them in shawls and socks. I added a few of these patterns from these great collages.

    • Julie   •     Author

      So true, sock yarn is so wonderfully stash-able! I love it for these reasons, too. I thin I’ll be coming back tot his post a lot for a long time- I truly want to knit all of these!

  15. AngelaH   •  

    My new favourite way to use single skeins is to hold them together to create a marl. It depends on how much yardage you need, of course, but I’ve been doing a lot of knitting for babies and two fingering-weight skeins at 350-400 yards each is plenty to knit most 3-6 month sized baby sweaters that are designed for DK/worsted weight yarn. It creates such fun, unusual colourways, and generally protects against pooling/flashing if the skeins are hand-dyed.

    Bonus that most sock yarns are superwash!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Angela,

      Such a brilliant idea! I love the look of marled yarn, and I don’t do this enough. Even when it would help me work through my overly substantial stash!! And holding two strands together can make an otherwise sort of dull yarn really exciting.

  16. Snow   •  

    Great post! Must be all that the hearts and cupids arrows about….I have on my to-do list throwing a singles mingle for all my single skeins, hoping some relationships develop into couple skeins projects…other than stripes or a linen stitch scrapper. I’m hoping for true skein inspired love.
    I think Jujika would be a perfect choice for the subtle shading of the skeins and also in a wonderful tribute to the pattern inspiration of houndstooth pattern that often was in subtle tweeds…not always black and cream/white.
    You may want to consider Sweetness by Tin Can Knits.(search by pattern name on Rav-it’s not on their website since it was a collab) I get many compliments from knitters “I never thought to do that”
    It’s a side by side easy lace long cowl.
    It makes up quickly and there’s not a lot of color carrying. Just a simple twist where the colors join.
    Keep us posted on your choice!

    • Julie   •     Author

      I will check out Sweetness! True, this is a great time get those skeins mingling and see if love blossoms. When I swatch for Jujika I will be sure to share it!

  17. Susan   •  

    I just bought two gorgeous skeins of alpaca fingering weight in a deep charcoal and light blue, and I’m still trying to decide what to do with them. This post gave me a lot to mull over!
    There are also some lovely designs by Libby Johnson (trulymyrtle on Rav), a few of which use two colors.
    Sigh. Sometimes I think there are too many choices and then I get decision paralysis and I end up knitting plain socks.

    🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Susan,

      So true- the sheer number of beautiful knitting patterns out there is totally overwhelming! I had to make a decision at one point to stop looking for more patterns that fit my criteria, and narrow down to 6 of each category that I felt I wanted to look at over and over again. After all, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing when I’m knitting! I am planning on coming back tot his list though- I secretly would love to knit all of these. Even the chromatic cowl, which I knit a few years ago but gave to my mom. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Julie

  18. Neulisti   •  

    My stash is also full of these single skeins of fingering weight yarn. For me, the biggest hurdle is, I feel I can’t sacrifice the beautiful yarn until I find the perfect project for it. So I just keep hoarding. Which is just silly and I should just start using all those precious skeins.

    • Julie   •     Author

      It’s tricky because sometimes we don’t know what those skeins will be great as until we start swatching, but they look so lovely in skein form, it’s hard to take the plunge! Totally been there, my friend.

  19. Alina   •  

    This is so true about the hidden yarn stash treasures. That’s why I rarely start working with yarn immediately I got it – sometimes it needs to be in a box for awhile before the perfect match can be found. I also think it is great to mix the yarns together and knit with two threads – it creates variegated color effect and it knits up much faster, as the gauge is bigger. I am sure you will create a beautiful piece with these two skeins!

    • Julie   •     Author

      HI Alina, That is such a good tip about hanging on to it for a while and figuring out what it might want to be, and any other yarns that it might work with! I don’t knit with strands held double as much as I would like, even though it is a brilliant tip for working through an over abundant stash, and also adding dimension to yarns that are otherwise not doing it for you. Great ideas!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  20. felinityknits   •  

    Oh what a brilliant post! Thank you for these, I absolutely love some of these combinations – gorgeous! Particularly Mormorio, but also all the socks.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Mormorio is so lovely, isn’t it?! It’s going to be hard to choose!! I think that one might be a great fit for my skeins, though.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  21. Val   •  

    I love all your picks here! And it’s a great reminder that I’d been meaning to cast on a pair Pixel socks. Only now that I’ve seen Alfrick I might cast on for those instead? So many gorgeous options!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Val,

      There are so many beautiful sock options!! These are really all my faves, I hope to knit them all one day. Big knitting dreams, right?

      Cheers,

      Julie

  22. Rosie   •  

    Yes, I can believe that the two skeins were madly dating – they look stunning as a pair! They would certainly make a beautiful set of socks, but I too have had issues with knitting socks in the past… that darn instep gets me every time.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Rosie,

      Funny how socks can cause challenges for so many, there is a huge variety of feet out there and we all have little things that make knitting fr them a special tweak! One day I’ll get my perfect sock toe sorted. Another knitter turned me on to the Fish Lips Kiss Heel Sock pattern, and I thought it was just for a heel, but it’s a 16 page doc on how to create a custom fit sock that works perfectly for your foot, and how to make a template for your foot, and all sorts of cool tricks. I’ve just started to go through it, but I’m hoping to do a post on it in the future when I knit them!

  23. Brenda   •  

    That happened to me when I was packing yarn for a trip one time. I wound both the skeins up, and had separate plans for each of them, but then, looking at them sitting there together, I just couldn’t keep them apart. I immediately went to Ravelry in a flurry (I was leaving the next day). They ended up becoming a Daybreak (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/daybreak) shawl, and they really are lovely together.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Daybreak, what a great pattern!! You totally know how it is when yarn skeins decide they need to be together. 🙂

  24. Tahnee   •  

    I’m exactly the same and have quite a generous stash of fingering weight skeins lying around. I love taking them all out to see if anything matches up. Great lists of patterns, there’s a lot of them I’d love to try. Those Luna socks are insanely gorgeous!

    • Julie   •     Author

      So true- those fingering weight skeins are so easy to stash! I hope the next time you take them out, you look at these patterns and fins a great match!

  25. Lisa   •  

    Mormorio is my first pick, followed by fullproof or seashore. I agree that you don’t have a lot of contrast, so some of these may fall flat.

    I do have a couple of skeins that are paired together and waiting for the perfect home, specifically two skeins of Malabrigo Sock (teal and a lettuce green) that I can’t pair to separate. Maybe someday the right pattern will come along.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Lisa,

      Your Malabrigo Teal and Lettuce Green combo sounds fantastic! They will be great together one day.

      Cheers,

      Julie

  26. Tien   •  

    What a lovely round-up of projects! I’m especially drooling over all those pretty two color shawls. My faves are Metropolitan and Loop. Love the beautiful combination of yarn that you will be using.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I agree, these are all my favourites and choosing has come down to ‘which will I knit first?’. I suspect there will come a time when I’ll have worked my way through all of these!

      Cheers,

      Julie

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