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Why does variegated/multi-colored yarn come in smaller skeins than solid colors? I can't imagine the different colors taking up more room, or making the yarn heavier...why can't they all just be the same size?

Ellen
chose a solid color over a variegated just because I'd need fewer skeins...and I'm still peeved about it!
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There's no hard and fast rule to yardage on yarn, unfortunately. Actually, there's no rules at all, far as I can tell.

Take a look at Debbie Bliss sometime. All the balls have very little yardage, but the chunky merino has even fewer yards than the aran merino. Why? I dunno, just does.
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I just finished my new blanket/afghan. The yarn I purchased at Walmart was a beautiful smoky blue variegated and it came in the larger skeins. They had a number of different colors in the variegated there. I'm not sure if they were all the same brand though, but this one is Mainstays Crafts. I also got a variegated large skein variety in muted blue/pink and white to do my nephew's blanket. I bought that in October at a local shop near my parents. I have noticed the yarn shops here in the city do have only the smaller skeins. Could it just be a location issue?

Stacie
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What I'm talking about is the same style and brand of yarn, but the solids come in larger skeins than variegated. This is true of Red Heart, Sugar 'n Cream, and Lion brands. If a particular type comes in both solids and variegated, the variegated will be in smaller skeins. Michael's had the Red Heart Super Saver yarn on sale (don't worry--it's not for a garment, scarf, or afghan; it's for a purse, so it needs to be stiff)--the solid colors were in 8 oz. skeins, while the variegated were only in 6 oz. skeins. I needed 7 oz.

I also got some Patons Grace in a variegated--they have the decency to make their solids and multi-color skeins the same size :-)

Ellen
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Are varigated yarns harder to make? I know the hand-dyed ones are. (I've watched the dye process -- I've never done it myself.) I bet they're a little more complicated in the factory, too.
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Are varigated yarns harder to make? I know the hand-dyed ones are. (I've watched the dye process -- I've never done it myself.) I bet they're a little more complicated in the factory, too.

so...in order to have the skein price the same, they put in less.

Jean
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Are varigated yarns harder to make? I know the hand-dyed ones are. (I've watched the dye process -- I've never done it myself.) I bet they're a little more complicated in the factory, too.

so...in order to have the skein price the same, they put in less.


Yah, I'll buy this. It makes sense. I still wish the skeins were the same size, even if more expensive. I guess the masses (say that with your nose in the air) prefer skeins to be the same cost, rather than the same size. Or maybe it's easier bookkeeping.

Ah well...

BTW, Jean, you gots balloons today!

Ellen
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"Are varigated yarns harder to make? I know the hand-dyed ones are. (I've watched the dye process -- I've never done it myself.) I bet they're a little more complicated in the factory, too.

"so...in order to have the skein price the same, they put in less.


"Yah, I'll buy this. It makes sense. I still wish the skeins were the same size, even if more expensive. I guess the masses (say that with your nose in the air) prefer skeins to be the same cost, rather than the same size. Or maybe it's easier bookkeeping."

Yes the process is more complicated, that's one factor. Another, though minor, factor is that the yarn that scoffs up plenty of dye is slightly heavier than less heavily-dyed yarns, and when bought by weight, can result in a skein with less yardage. This is true of light and dark skeins of the same yarns...

And as far as the "masses" go, premium yarns usually carry the same yardage, but do cost $.50 to $1 per skein more. The budget varieties do the less-yardage thing.

Best,
Barbara in Brooklyn
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