Chunky yarn is great for thick, plush blankets and quick, cushiony hats. It’s not the easier yarn to find, however. But by working with multiple strands of yarn at once, you can get the thickness a pattern needs with 5x the colour and texture.
Fresh Stitches goes over a few of the common set ups for working with two strands of yarn at once. The tip that blew my mind: you can double strand from a single ball of yarn if it’s a center-pull ball. How did I not think of that??
Stephen West has posted his pattern on Ravelry for the Garter Squish blanket, which is knit with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn. Stephen happily states that the project “eats delicious yarn in no time at all, leaving lots of empty space in your yarn box or cabinet or room to fill with new wooly acquisitions” – the words of someone who understands the struggle!
Crochet projects can easily enjoy the benefits of multiple strands, too. Genuine Mudpie has shared its pattern for the delightfully soft and appropriately named Plush Clutch here.
For the more adventurous or fashion-inclined, Purl Soho has the knit confetti scarf pattern. It’s knit with (wait for it) seven different skeins of fingering weight yarn. Purl Soho also knit up some sample swatches in different colour schemes, so you know what you’re getting before you commit.
But before you get too excited with double-stranded or… septuple-stranded needlework, remember Fresh Stitches’s warning of pressing on even after clear gauge swatch warning signs. Instead of the 2 strands of lace-weight yarn the wrap called for, she decided on a laceweight and dk yarn. The result: a wrap that’s “stiff as a board, and sorta uncomfortable to wear.”
Double stranding (and septuple-stranding) gives a new spin to any project and is an easy way to substitute yarns. Don’t fret: enjoy chunky patterns even if there’s no chunky yarn around!