Why are there so many yarns about rainbows

I finished the Baby Venus sweater yesterday, and it did indeed turn out that if you follow the instructions (that’s a ProTip. My gift to you) it’s a remarkably quick, fun sweater.

The grafting is fun, the tubular cast-on is a treat, and in reality, when properly executed, the back inset looks nothing like a hump or a dorsal fin, and actually does improve the fit of the sweater. 

Cute as a button – which you will note, it now lacks three of.  I raided my button stash last night and came up with nothing, and looked for something right at Lettuce Knit when I went to knit night, but it was hard to find what I want. Probably because I have no idea what I’m looking for.  Something colourful, big, chunky without being too heavy for the sweater, nothing with corners to poke a baby… I don’t know. Maybe I’ll do ties. Ties could be good.  Or not. I’m torn. I knit on the rainbow socks while I thought about it.

(Note, for everyone who visited String Theory Colorworks and complained that they’re not selling this colourway (it’s trifolium) right now… I refer you to the little note on the front page that says "We are open to special orders!  Send us a message through the "Contact us" button to let us know what you’d like!"
You’re welcome.

Now I need something else to work on, and I’m wracked with indecision.  I went through the whole stash, and couldn’t pick a colour.  So I got out this batt. (It’s another one from Hanks in the Hood. Merino, bamboo, sparkle.)

Because if you can’t pick a colour, pick them all.

(…and yeah.  I see the rainbow theme too.  I’m chalking it up to spring fever. I feel sure it’s almost past.)

89 thoughts on “Why are there so many yarns about rainbows

  1. Can’t wait to see what beautiful yarn that fibre turns in to. I’m all about rainbows recently too.

  2. Thank you! Now I have that song stuck in my head. Be grateful that you are not sitting in the office next to me or you would have to suffer the fate of having to listen to me sing.

  3. There is something so pleasing about the perfect stripes in those socks. I was one of those people who immediately went to their website but I was just excited to see how MANY options they offer. Right now I’m just suffering from some severe indecision. I need to narrow down my favorites or I will find myself being lectured by my husband about “fiscal responsibility” and “providing for our children” and all that crap. 😉

  4. I love the batt!The colors are sure a precursor to what Spring might be. (Oregon) Looking forward to the yarn.

  5. I got all teary and blubbery when that song came on during the new Muppets movie. Still love it.

  6. Just watched the Kermit Rainbow Connection, with two little friends today, on YouTube by special request. A wonderful morning…
    Wonderful baby sweater, socks and batt…

  7. I think it’s so hard to find buttons in a sea of pretty because what that sweater needs is three white round buttons with a shank.

  8. The “trifolium” colorway should be named “crayon box”. Because that’s exactly what it looks like: a box of the big chunky crayons that are intended for kindergarteners.

  9. Love the batt, not so much the socks but I’m not a huge fan of rainbow yarns. I think turquoisey blue/green big round buttons for the baby sweater and I’m also thinking you’ll be hankering for some natural colours very, very soon 🙂

  10. When I was a teenager (way back before the Earth’s crust cooled according to my kids – but actually in the 70s), I had a pair of knee length toe socks in that colourway!

  11. I had to read the post three times before I got the Kermit comments ?? Brain dead ! I like the idea of copper buttons !

  12. It must be that time of year. I have a couple balls of mini mochi intense rainbow that are calling my name 🙂

  13. I agree the socks look totally retro. You should knit them with toes to complete the effect. That’s what my ’70s socks had!
    Merino/bamboo/sparkle – it will be interesting to see how you decide to spin it so the colors pop out.

  14. Spring colors are always high in my rotation (except for fall colors, but they are a seasonal treat)
    My theory is that in winter they make the outside white and grey damp and cold weather seem more warm and cheery, and in spring and summer…who can resist? A palette for all seasons, I say!

  15. Love the sweater!
    I learned about making buttons out of fimo clay at Stitches West this year from Jane Slicer-Smith. You could make some in any color, size or shape you want! And the somewhat rustic look of them is perfect for baby sweaters.
    Tip: Make a extra cuz you will never be able to do them exactly the same again!

  16. RE: your Tweet about an egg hunt? I kid you not, I had about 30 adults ranging in age from 24-38 involved in a really rousing egg hunt several years ago. Seriously, they were employing everything from the “I Spy” technique to flat out racing their neighbor. For plastic eggs filled with candy. I am far too mature for that sort of thing. Uh-huh.

  17. I’m really enjoying your spinning posts, now that I’ve finally (sort of) mastered my drop spindle. Not ready for a wheel. Might have to divorce before I get one–you wouldn’t believe my hubby’s remarks about medieval crafts.

  18. Yay rainbows! The sweater is adorable, the socks are wonderful and fun, and I can’t wait to see what the batt turns into!

  19. You knew you were about to earworm the bejeezus out of your readership, didn’t you? And you did it anyway. Ah, spring.
    (La da da de-dum, da doo.)

  20. ahh, Spring fever. May be why I want a warm,sunny yellow yarn to knit with.
    But I want the inside of the house to be warmer. These old houses …

  21. My almost 4 y/o son just requested a rainbow sweater – am seriously enjoying working with all the bright colors

  22. Those rainbow socks are absolutely gorgeous, I just love the bright colors! The baby sweater is awesome, sounds like a very interesting knit.

  23. Normally, I’m not at all a rainbow person, but you’ve picked quite the collection! The yarn used for the body of the baby sweater, in particular, is calling to me…I’ve never seen a rainbow multi grounded by brown, and it’s brilliant.

  24. I love the rainbow socks. I’d be afraid to wear them for fear a stranger would think I’m gay. Such a shame that the innocent rainbow got hijacked.

  25. What about i-cord frogs knit in the main body color for the sweater? And guys, my drop spindle kit came, and I’ve made actual yarn! It’s not very good yarn, but it’s yarn!

  26. I think wooden toggles like Paddington Bear’s duffle coat would be nice. The yarn is too busy for more colour in the buttons and I think the wooden look of toggles would go with the tweediness of the cardigan.

  27. How about bright yellow frog closures? Wouldn’t stick out too far or tangle like ties…..or try three different colors!

  28. Funny – the first time you showed a Hanks in the hood batt I thought your nephew Hank had made it when he was visiting you.

  29. I think it might be time to break out the Fimo and make some buttons. You can make them exactly as you like.

  30. Can’t wait to see the rainbow batt turned into yarn. Have fun at the wheel, happy Spring.

  31. I vote for toggles too, or plain round wooden buttons. Wouldn’t fight with the rainbow yarn. As for the Kermit reference, that’s still the only song my husband can play from his long-ago guitar lessons. It may be “our song.” How sappy is that?

  32. I am glad that the sweater worked out. It looks great! Buttons, not that you asked, I’m no help. I admire how your stripes line up. I’ve given up on self stripping yarn, because sock 1 has only matched sock 2 once (in one pair of socks, does that count as 2).

  33. You could pull out Wild Apples Bohus! BTW, are you doing the self-imposed sock club this year?

  34. How about no buttons, just large snaps (which won’t show when closed. Beautiful sweater, gorgeous socks, by the way!

  35. Jennifer @ 6:21 pm: we were talking nicely about socks and yarn until your bigotry showed up. Perhaps you could leave that in the closet (pun fully intended) from now on?

  36. Hi Stephanie,
    If you are looking for something different to knit, I just discovered a book called “Knitting Scandinavian: Slippers and Socks” by Laura Farson. It is full of tasty patterns and intriguing knitting tricks. For example, for slippers you use twined knitting, stranded knitting, waste yarn openings, all begun with a very unusual cast-on. Then you add in any variety of Scandinavian knitting patterns.
    I am busy with my first set of slippers and am finding them a hoot to knit.

  37. You’re definitely not the only one feeling spring fever! Seattle spring is (mostly) so dreary I can’t bear to work on anything that’s not a bright color. Though I have to say it’s pretty funny that we’re famous for our grey days (and it’s well deserved!) but I have seen way more rainbows in my 7 years here than in the previous 19 years in Wisconsin.

  38. That is a good sweater for a Canadian winter. No one will ever lose that baby in the snow.

  39. I like the socks much better than the sweater, though both are nice – pretty and cheerful. I am, however, completely beguiled by that batt and can’t wait to see the yarn that it becomes. Something really special, I’ll bet.

  40. I also had a pair of rainbow toe socks! 🙂
    Such a cute little sweater! Check out Tessa Ann’s Etsy shop for buttons, you’re sure to find something you like. (I always do. And no, she has no idea who I am.)
    I’ve been knitting rainbows too – must be a reaction to winter grey….

  41. Rainbows must be in the air, I just started a stranded vest of my own design with Kauni rainbow and plain old white for the motif. Very bright and fun! Can’t stop knitting cuz I want to see how the next color looks.

  42. I’m on the homestretch of a rainbow Wingspan shawl and contemplating those rainbow socks.
    And “ugh” to the person who won’t wear rainbows because they’re “gay”. I’d rant but I need to get my GBLT Passover self back in the kitchen in time for the holiday. Chill though and try and let go of the bigotry.

  43. Re: Jennifer at 6:21 — Stop the homophobia. Now. And get over yourself. The gay rights movement adopted a rainbow as a symbol, because it reflects the diversity of GLBT people. But rainbows really belong to everyone. Because they also symbolize the diversity of the human race. And because you never know when or where you’ll see one.
    Ms. YH: Please go on and knit, spin, crochet, weave, sew, paint, whatever, as many examples of rainbows as you want. As long as you remember to swatch and to read through the pattern instructions :-)!

  44. Is that sweater really supposed to be that short and that fat? It looks out of proportion to me, or am I just weird?

  45. Dear Steph: As an editor who follows (and believes in and flouts) many rules herself, I must digress from the rainbow theme here to point out a blazing inaccuracy in the Sock Camp website: You would, in truth, so TOTALLY rock a pirate hat. In rainbow or any other color scheme.

  46. Sure wish I was your best friend. I’d love to own the yarn you spin from that batt!

  47. I love the rainbow socks! So much I may go find my rainbow ysparn in my stash from 12 years ago and start a pair of tube socks for my son while I try to figure out my sock camp project. Keep up the great posts Steph, see you at camp.

  48. Buttons – pick one of the solids in the variegated yarn – yellow, turquoise, red – which ever color stands out or is your favorite. Find some nice solid color plain plastic ones in that exact color (plastic.is OK for baby sweaters). They need to echo an existing color without being busy. Introducing any other color (even the background color) or texture is just distracting.

  49. Tip: when in doubt about fitting colours, close your eyes just a little, squint through your eyelashes, your vision will get hazy just a little bit, so much easier to see which colour dominates and should be rewarded with buttons in that colour or counteracted with a different colour. I learned this at a patchwork workshop, it never fails, you can even use it for those ghost (or drawn)pictures in the wanted by police TV broadcasts, it has something to do with the quick-scanning-to-recognise (danger)function of our eyes, which makes it able for us to decide in a splitsecond to run or stay.

  50. There were rainbow socks in the Catching Up post too, weren’t there? Did we ever find out where those gorgeous red shoes came from (hint hint hint)?

  51. That rainbow colour thing is getting around as I too seem to have it. Kauni in EQ colour way, swiss cheese scarf. It’s just so darn cheerful

  52. Definitely buttons! Some kind of plain plastic ones so they offset the beautiful, busyness of the sweater yarn.
    (Those socks are perfect–I would raid my stash and make them but I go through terrible bouts of Second _________ (add any project that includes a pair.) Syndrome when I make regular St st socks.)

  53. Have you considered Dorset buttons? I took a class at Stitches East a few years ago and I’ve been making them ever since. You can use up to 3 colors on each button, or 2 or just one solid. It’s actually embroidery if you want to nitpick but it’s perfect when nothing else seems just right. We found out in class that if you use a significantly heavier yarn for the 3rd step and then flip the button over you have a 3 dimensional rose! Just gorgeous.

  54. I read the post title running the “so” and “many” together as Kermie does, and adding the tune. Thanks for today’s earworm.
    And, nice job!

  55. Love the rainbow projects, keep them coming! Those socks are going to be fantastic, who won the cleaning war to get them? 🙂

  56. Love the finished sweater. What a cheerful little garment! Sometimes reading the comments is almost as educational as reading the blog. I guess somewhere in my mind I knew Fimo/Sculpey buttons were a possibility but now I want to run off and make my own.

  57. That batt is AMAZING! I can’t wait to see the yarn it makes! I’m completely giddy about it too. I have never been giddy about a batt EVER, but there’s something about that one that is just getting me filled with excitement.

  58. I also thought immediately of making polymer clay buttons for that beautiful baby sweater. You can make them just the size and color that you like. I know you can do it becuase you can do anything!

  59. @Mary at April 5, 2012 10:17 PM
    “That is a good sweater for a Canadian winter. No one will ever lose that baby in the snow.”
    Thank you for that LOL. Favorite blog comment of the week. 🙂
    And rainbows are meant to symbolize our radiant individuality, even as we stand side by side. Hats off to the GBLT community for reminding us ALL–gay, straight, whatever–that we should value everyone for who they are, and always, always invite them to stand beside us.
    After all, it’s not important WHO one loves; it’s important HOW one loves. And as long as love is freely given, it’s a good thing.

  60. Rock on, rainbow girl! Oh my, are people going to think the wee one wearing that beautiful sweater is gay? Gasp!

  61. Love those socks! The colorway is so colorful.
    Really makes me want to knit a pair. Thanks for the inspiration.

  62. I occasionally browse through my local thrift shop checking garments for unique and useful buttons. If the clothing robbed of it’s buttons is still very useful I just replace them with something plainer and donate it back.
    Love those socks.

  63. I remember being 5yrs old and my two older sisters, 15 & 13, had a pair each of the “rainbow” socks with toes. OHHHHH, how I had wanted a pair of my owm! I am new to the art of knitting and haven’t tried my hand at socks yet. When I do I think I’m going to make those my first pair! Does anyone know how many skeins of the Trifolium I would need?
    Thanks :0)

  64. I like the idea of either frogs or snaps. Ties get chewed on, buttons and toggles are too likely to wind up in the mouth. (Snaps at least have holes in them, and are harder for baby fingers to grab.)

  65. hi all:)
    was there ever an answer to what is the brand of Natalies shoes?
    they are the cutest thing!

  66. Steph, Jo-Ann’s online has some large (2-3 cm) plastic, primary colored buttons. Easy to sew on. Some are designs (dogs & other stuff) and some are just circular. Good for little peoples’ sweaters.

  67. i just love those socks!! they have a retro-80s-Rainbow-Brite-doll vibe to them. mmmm

  68. Ok, I’m gonna be honest here…I’m not loving the sweater. I’d probably love to knit it cuz I love those patterns where you have no idea where you’re going and then …BAM!…you’ve knitted the coolest thing ever and have no idea how you got there.
    I do love the sock yarn! I had some toe socks in the 70’s with those colors too!…and some suspenders in those colors like Mork (see Robin Williams on IMDB you youngsters)

  69. I LOVE RAINBOW colors also. Once when I was working in a LYS, we had some new yarns in and it was my task to knit a scarf. I tried, I truly did, to make it in a plain vanilla color, like tan or beige. I could not do it, the scarf ended up with Rainbow colors.
    Actually as a kid, I loved using bright colors. I could never figure out what to do with them and how to manage all the bright colors so they looked good together. WELL, I HAVE FOUND A SOLUTION – YARN BOMBING -THE BRIGHTER THE BETTER. When yarn is against a wire fence, it loses a lot of color – so if you used NEON colored yarns, they stand out. Do a google search for Yarn Bombing Norcross, GA. We made two different local news stations (with national affiliates) and several local papers!

  70. Rainbow yarn needs sunshine buttons. Yellow round buttons. Maybe with a shank or just make a shank. The good news is that there might be several good choices. M.

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