There are a few skeins in my yarn stash that I bought on impulse, because I was really drawn to the colours in them, when I first saw them. Sometimes I am pretty stumped about how to use them, though, and they just sit around for a long time while I ponder one possibility or another.
This week I had a sudden epiphany to use one of the brightest rainbow skeins of Koigu KPPPM that I have to make a pair of socks from the book Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn. It's a pretty simple pattern, where you alternate stitches of variegated yarn with stitches of solid yarn, to break up some of the craziness of the variegated. As you can see, it really works to tone down what would otherwise be a pretty eye-searing rainbow of Koigu.
The solid I'm using is Malabrigo sock (so delicious and soft) in a deep dark reddish-brown called Cordovan. To be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to use this skein, either, since I felt the colour was too dark to show a stitch pattern very well. Fortunately I know from my weaving colour theory that dark colours work well with brights, leaving them as eye-popping as they originally were (as opposed to lighter colours, which tend to wash out brights when used together.) Since this stitch pattern alternates the two yarns, it gives an appearance similar to a plain weave using the same colours, so I was pretty sure my theories would play out well in reality. I am pretty excited about these -- in fact, I finished my Beet socks this afternoon and immediately cast on for these ones; I think the needles were still warm. What can I say? I'm a woman obsessed.