Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies: Tonals

Hello, and thanks for joining me for the third installment of Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies! You can find the last two posts here:

  1. Solids
  2. Semi-Solids

Today’s yarn style is likely to be the most confusing for newbies as it is a term that cover anything from semi-solid to variegated yarns. The key thing to remember is the word itself: tonal. Meaning that whether the dyes used are of the same colour group or different colour groups they are very similar in tone. Now, I’m not going to go into tone in this post. I never really studied art. 😉 My knowledge of tints and hues etc is very limited but if you’re interested, there are a lot of great resources if you Google ‘colour tones’.

Tonals

As we discussed in the previous post, a semi-solid yarn can be referred to as a tonal as it features darker and lighter shades of the same or similar colours:

A semi-solid dyed yarn with speckles – MyMuddlings ‘Emerald City’ on Aran

MyMuddlings ‘Blushing Rose’ on fingering

Today’s post will be about colourways that have shades from different colour groups but still remain ‘tonal’. One of my favourite examples of this is my own colourway Wisteria Arbour:

MyMuddlings ‘Wisteria Arbour’ on fingering

As you can see from this picture, the overall ‘tone’of the yarn is fairly similar. There are no highly contrasting colours. This colourway features two different tones of purple along with some black and grey. So although black and purple are different colour groups, they create a variegated tonal.

The queen of variegated tonals (and variegateds and speckles – yes, I’m fan-girling!)  would have to be the extremely talented Kristin of Voolenvine Yarns. If you’ve been in the yarny world for any length of time you’ve likely heard of her. Her yarn is EXTREMEMLY popular and very hard to get. She has a knack for mixing just the right colours together to create stunning tonals:

Voolenvine Yarns ‘Taiga’ – Photo from Voolenvine Yarns

Voolenvine Yarns ‘Jilted Rose’ – Photo from Voolenvine Yarns

Voolenvine Yarns ‘Succulents’ – Photo from Voolenvine Yarns

As you can see, this woman has enviable talent! I can only hope to be as good as Kristin one day. #dyegoals 😉 I dye my variegated tonals in much the same ways as I dye my semi-solids, only with differing colour groups. Check back to the semi-solids post for more details.

So I hope these examples have helped to show the difference between semi-solid tonals and variegated tonals. I hope you can see how they are all ‘tonals’.

I know this is potentially the most confusing of all the hand dyed yarn types so if you have an questions, as always feel free to contact me via the comments or to my email address found on the ‘Find Me‘ page. What’s your favourite tonal yarn colourway or dyer? Are you a fan of Kristin’s work? Have you been able to get your hands on any of her yarn? Let me know in the comments.

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