Beautiful One-Skein Knitting Patterns for Hand-Dyed Yarns

One of the most exciting things about buying yarn from small, indie dyers like SpaceCadet Creations is that each skein is hand-created and unique, dyed on its own or in a very small dyelot, and not like any other skein in the world.  But now and again, someone will look at my shop and then contact me to say that they love my colours but… what can be made with yarns from such small-batch dyelots?  What can be knit out of a single skein of yarn?

Now, there are legions of addicted sock knitters who could probably jump in with an answer that question (“Socks!”) but, in reality, there are just so many beautiful projects that can be created from just one or two skeins of hand-dyed yarn!  Let me share a few patterns that have caught my eye…


Simple Things by Mary-Heather Cogar

© Mary-Heather Cogar, Used With Permission

This beautiful shawlette was designed to show off the colours of a of a single skein of sock yarn.  Mary-Heather chose simple stitchwork  to compliment the colours of even the most wildly variegated colourway, such as those in Sunset over a Stormy Sea, and the regular increases help reduce the chance of pooling.  The shawlette looks fantastic tucked into the top of a jacket — stylish and functional at the same time.  And I think it’s a perfect first project for anyone who is experimenting with hand-dyed yarns.

.’s #87 One Skein Lace Fingerless Gloves

©, Used with Permission

I fell in love with these the minute I saw them!  The lace pattern is delicate without being fussy, and the gloves look warm and lady-like at the same time.  Using just a single skein of yarn, I think this pattern would look stunning knit up in an autumn colourway.


Dalia by Ariane Caron-Lacoste

© Ariane Caron-Lacoste, Used with Permission

This little cowl is so sweet, so perfect, that I every time I see the picture I just want to cast on for it RIGHT NOW.  It’s always at a moment when I’m busy dyeing or blogging and so I can’t cast on but… still, as soon as I see it…  I want to start it RIGHT NOW!  I love the simplicity of it, how quick it would be…  how it would be a little gift just for me.  I’m seeing it in a warm colourway such as Bramble Rose.  You know…  I really am seeing it.

In fact, I may just have to stop blogging and go cast it on.  Right now.

The Importance of a Great Knitting Reference Book

The other day, when an unfamiliar knitting term tripped me up and I reached to my knitting books to find the answer, I realised just how important it is for every knitter to have a really great knitting reference book.   It needs to be a book that you can turn to when you’ve tried to figure things out for yourself and nothing has worked, when you’re frustrated and contemplating pulling the needles out and frogging the whole project.  It has to be a book that you trust and, most of all, one that really makes sense to you.

See if you can spot the book that's used most often...

And if it also happens to be a book that inspires you, challenges you, helps you to grow as a knitter…  Well, then, you’ve found a keeper — a book you will turn to year after year.

My (now vintage) copy of Vogue Knitting

I found exactly that book, back when I very first started knitting, and it has been my go-to knitting reference ever since.  It’s Vogue Knitting, The Ultimate Knitting Book and it’s excellent.  When I bought this book, I had been shown how to cast on and I could make knit stitches, but nothing more — and I had a real hankering to move past garter stitch!   This book taught me everything.  I started with mastering purl stitches and binding off (very exciting additions to my repertoire!), and then used it to move onto increases, decreases, cables, intarsia, stranded colourwork…   All learned on my own, just me and my trusty reference book.

The thing that I loved about this book is that the descriptions are so clear.  The pictures just made sense to me — I could see exactly what I was supposed to do for every single technique.

And it’s comprehensive.  As well as basic and advanced knitting techniques, it covers everything from the history of knitting, to the properties of different yarns, the care of knitted garments, and even the principles of knitwear design.

The Table of Contents

I tried other books as well — in fact, I began acquiring them with all the enthusiasm of, well, a new knitter — but none of them ever worked as well for me as the Vogue Knitting book.  Often the descriptions simply weren’t as clear, or the illustrations were too confusing, and always, always they simply weren’t as in depth.  Eventually I stopped collecting other reference books and realised I had found The One.

And we’ve been together for over 20 years now.  I couldn’t be happier.

Evidence of a well-loved book

So what is your favourite knitting reference book?  I’d love to know!