For new knitters and crocheters, the idea of holding yarn doubled is wild. Why would we possibly want to make more work? And if not done carefully with intent, wouldn't this be a gigantic mess? There are actually several reasons why doubling your yarn is a great idea and can enhance a project!
One reason to combine yarns is stash busting. Want to make something with worsted weight yarn but have fingering to use up? If you have enough yardage, fingering held double will typically get you to worsted. (Check your gauge!!!)
You can also hold two completely different types of yarn together to yield a fabric with a different texture than either alone. Often this is done with something fluffy like mohair which, by itself, can be thin and fiddly to work with. Or, even better, add mohair with sequins to a simple wool yarn like in the mittens above! Every now and then, projects need some bling. ;)
Color is also another reason to hold yarn double. You can create a marled look in your garment by using 2 different colors. Or, if the color you really like is fingering weight but your project calls for DK? Hold it double and your prayers are answered. A great example of this is one of our favorite patterns, the Shifting Shadows Cowl. Here you are technically holding 3 strands of lace-weight yarn and depending on what 3 colors you are holding the colors shift.
It really is as simple as holding two strands together. If you have 2 balls of yarn to work with, you are good to go. If your yarn is wound into a cake? You can pull from the inside and then outside of the cake. If you only have one skein that you can't find the other end for? It gets a little more complicated but it still doable and breaks down like this:
- Weigh the yarn
- Start hand winding a ball from the end you have
- Stop when the original skein is half its weight
Get creative! Holding yarn doubled or tripled is a great way to play with color and texture using the yarn you have on hand.