11 of the best self striping yarns
You can get some brilliant effects with different self striping yarns. Take a look at our pick of different sizes and styles and see if you agree with our favourites
Self striping yarn is not just for socks! Many knitters first come across the joys of self striping yarn when they are knitting for their feet, but the benefits of these clever yarns go way beyond that. You can get then in a whole host of different yarn weights so you can use them for garments, accessories and a whole host of makes in between. Self striping yarn lets you have the look of using lots of different colours of yarn in your project, but without ever having to change the yarn you are using. Instead the colour if the yarn changes along its length as you knit. The different effects you get depend on the way that the yarn has been dyed. Long colour runs give you longer, chunkier stripes. Some colour changes give very short repeats, which can gibe you a slight Fair Isle and other pattern effects in your project. We love the versatility of self striping yarns on offer. Mix things up with a luxury DK for a super-soft scarf. Or stick to socks but accept they will be the funkiest footwear in town.
Speaking of socks, check out our toe up sock knitting pattern and our best sock knitting patterns roundup while you are here. Or brush up on your technique with our knitting for beginners article and our how to cable knit guides.
11 of the best self striping yarns to try
1.Heart and Sole self striping yarn from Sirdar
Heart and Sole is Sirdar’s first sock yarn and it is great fun and great value! It's a 75% wool, 25% nylon blend which comes in 100g balls of 410m. Using the natural qualities of wool and nylon, this yarn will be strong, breathable and comfy on your skin – the perfect trio for socks!Tthe tight ply of the construction creates even stitches, ideal for pretty patterns, or you can just let the colours do the talking. All 11 shades feature bold colour-block combinations with cheeky inspirations. You can add some vibrancy to your feet with this yarn. It is machine washable at 40c and can be tumble dried.
2. Viridian Schafpate self striping yarn by Opal
The Viridian Schafpate self striping yarns have very clever dye repeats that make for some pretty interesting socks. Depending on the yarn you choose, you can get different patterns and effects. I have knitted several pairs of socks in the Kim colourway and love the bands of black and white blocks you get amid the coloured striped with this. But other colourways in the range will give you different colours with no white if you prefer. But they are all more decorative than you get with a typical self striping yarn, which explains why these colours have been around for so long. In colourways designed by the Viridian team for Opal, this self-striping sock yarn is 75% wool, 25% polyamide blend is a perfect 4 ply for your socks. Tightly plied, with great stitch definition, it will give you a lovely finish with sort colour change within the stripe. This yarn is sturdy to wear – the proportion of polyamide gives the wool extra longevity to put up with plenty of wear and tear in your heels. It is machine washable at 40 degrees and can be ironed.
3. Fjord self striping yarn from King Cole
A bit like the Scarfpate yarn above, King Cole’s Fjord self striping yarn is designed to gove you a Fair Isle effect. The distance between and length of colour repeats and sized to give you that repeating pattern look when knitted up into a jumper, hat or other larger project. Fjord is a DK 100% anti-pilling acrylic yarn that’s so soft it almost has that buttery lanolin feel. The colour changes and variegations are designed to create a Fair Isle effect with knitted stocking stitch. It is not such a good choice for smaller perfects that don't give you room for the effect to come through. It’s available in 19 colour combinations, from pastel to bright, three of which are new this season. Machine wash at 40oC and cool tumble dry. Get a real Fair Isle effect with our Fair Isle knitting pattern!
4. Mermaid self striping yarn from Marriner
For those on a budget and who like their yarns chock full of colour, then try Marriner Mermaid DK self striping yarn. It has really short colour variegations, which knits up into a fantastic multicoloured fabric that’s nicely lightweight. While this 100% acrylic may not be thesoftest we’ve ever felt, it does feel strong and consistent with an even twist – plus it comes at a bargain price. There are 10 colour combinations in the range, varying from neon shades to more subtle pastel colours. Machine wash at 40oC.
5. Glitz self striping yarn from King Cole
King Cole Glitz DK is a festive yarn, but we think these festive colours have a place in your self striping yarn box all year round! Of the 15 shades in the range, the above is the only self striping with a brilliant silver metallic thread running amid green, red and white stripes. It’s a pleasing mix of 97% hardy acrylic and 3% polyester, delivering precise stitch definition and colourful appeal for a budget price. Glitz DK is an all-round great yarn, ready when you want to knit something fun for Christmas, or perhaps a special project filled with sophistication and sparkle. This versatile, mid-weight DK comes with a varied pattern collection, which is filled with tops, cardis and more.
6. Amitola self striping yarn by Louisa Harding
This beautiful 80% wool, 20% silk yarn is made up of intense shades that have been injection dyed to create long, subtly blended colour runs, resulting in a very different appearance to most variegated yarns.
The shade shown here is Landscape, and more muted options include Pirouette, Seascape and Biscuit. The combination of wool and silk in this yarn results in a very light fabric made up of even stitches – a quality that helps a little go a long way. There’s a lot of yarn on the ball and we think it’s lovely for knitting striking accessories such as shawls and scarves. It knits up as a lightweight DK yarn, with a 50g ball giving you 250 meters long self striping colour change.
7. Nordlys self striping yarn from Viking of Norway
This beautiful 4ply is a brilliant choice for colourful crochet sock or knitted shawl projects. Rather than short stripes, you get longer bands of colour and subtle changes from one shade to another with this yarn. Inspired by the northern lights, the colours change throughout the ball in long blended variegations, creating lovely colour gradients. The yarn is super-soft to the touch with a natural fluffy feel. 25% nylon gives you an extra level of smoothness alongside the 75% wool in its composition. It’s available in 30 intense colour combinations, varying from rainbow brights to elegant darks, plus some monochromes and solid shades too. Machine wash the yarn at 30 degrees.
8. Sugar 'N Cream Ombres self striping yarn from Lily
The Ombres additions to the existing Sugar’n Cream ranges provides a fun option for anyone after a fiesta of colour! This 100% cotton yarn is an aran-weight that’s easy to work with. It is quick to grow on the needle, producing a very sturdy fabric that’s perfect for projects that you want to last. However, it’s the awesome colours that are the real star of the show, with a whopping 42 shade combos in a huge range of styles, all with quick colour changes. Machine wash at 30oC and can be tumble dry on a low setting.
9. Kiddies Kaleidoscope self striping yarn from Cygnet
If you want a yarn with colours that blend beautifully from one shade to the other, then Cygnet’s Kiddies Kaleidoscope range is perfect for you. It features long and subtle marbled colour variegations in complementary tones. Considering this is a 100%acrylic yarn, you’ll be really impressed with how soft it is, making it perfect for kids’ and babies’ clothes. It’s available in 12 colour combinations, with some delicious rainbow tones and pastel shades. Machine wash at 40oC and cool iron.
10. Cotton quick print yarn from Grundl
For those who are all about the super-colourful yarns, here’s one just for you! The Cotton Quick Print range from German yarn brand Gründl is a 100% cotton yarn that’s packed full of quick colour changes, creating fantastically funky fabrics. This shiny 4ply cotton is both mercerised and gassed (a process where any loose fibres are singed off to create
a super-smooth yarn), plus it’s OEKO-TEX* certified as well. There are 16 variegated shades available and a uni-colour range too. Machine wash at 40oC. This is a great summer 4ply, with a cotton composition to keep you cool while the flashes of colour turn up the heat.
11. Kiddies Collection self striping yarn from Cygnet
Get your knitting needles ready for a limited edition yarn you’re sure to fall in love with – especially if you’re charmed by pretty colours. Lovely and lightweight, this 100% acrylic DK yarn creates beautifully smooth and soft knits for baby. Kiddies Collection comes in five variegated pastel shades, from the funfair hues of Katie to the greys and tans of Alfie and the icy-cool blues and greens of Teddy. Each balls knits into a simple stripe pattern that’ll instantly add interest to anything you knit for baby. It also comes with a subtle shade variation, bringing you a little extra colour boost now and then. Machine wash at 40°C.
More yarns to discover
Check out more of our yarn roundups! Try our best eyelash yarns or our best ombre yarn reviews. See which are our favourite alpaca yarns or our best merino yarns. Or for the spinners and felters amount you, try our best roving yarns review.
Hannah has worked on Gathered for 2 years, since our launch in 2019. At school Hannah learned to knit collaborating on dorcas blankets – now she edits our knitting section. She inherited her love of stitching and embroidery from her talented grandmother, and her passion for thread led her to be Editor of The World of Cross Stitching for six years. Card making is a more recent passion, developing from her position as editor of Cross Stitch Card Shop. She loves using kinetic techniques to make cards that move – she was editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine for over four years, creating loads of card making video tutorials at www.youtube.com/PapercraftTV.