Wander: The Magic of Marling


Marling is an engaging way to add texture, depth, and interest to your projects. Some yarns are dyed as marls: 1+ ply is a different color than the other(s). Cascade Ecological twist colors are a good example. The first color is very clearly a marl, but the second is much more subtle.


Cascade Eco Wool in #9016 – Silver Night Twist (left) and Cascade Eco Wool in #9004 – Ecru Beige Twist (right)

You can easily create this effect yourself! Just hold 2 or more strands of different color yarn together. That’s it! Take off, hold anything and everything together. This is great for stash-busting because we tend to gravitate towards a particular color palette. The odds that you have colors that will play well together are high.

  • hold different weights together, I love a lace with nearly any weight
  • hold similar colors together for subtle interest
  • hold opposite colors for intensity
  • hold a speckle or variegated with a solid
  • hold 1 color constant, changing the other as you go to fade
  • hold a mohair/silk or any silk lace with a wool, cotton, or linen to add loads of depth and texture

 I tried a bunch of marling with the swatches below. US size 7 for both.

Photos 1

As far as what needle size to use, I recommend swatching. Swatching also lets you know if that yellow sock really goes with that fuzzy opal mohair. Don’t forget that the intensity of your marl will vary in stockinette and garter.

Photos 3

IMG_7861Emily’s Ships & Seaside Cowl is a great example of what a single strand of mohair lace can do – check out the yellow in the white section. Here, she used Cascade Eco Wool and a single strand of Tweed Silk Cloud from Shibui, an especially sweet laceweight with the added texture of tweed!

My favorite for marling right now is Hedgehog Lace. It’s a boatload of yardage, clocking in at 1312 yards. The speckles and intensely saturated semi-solids make for easy impact. I’d pair the speckles with a neutral background to get a nice pop each time the specks show up. Remember when you first started knitting with hand dyed and would stop to stare at the perfect blip of pink on the left leg of that stitch? This will bring the feeling back.

Making Marls by Ceceilia Campochiaro, is a beautiful reference book. Loads of swatch by swatch samples and patterns. A Ravelry search will reveal plenty of patterns written as marls. Don’t forget that you can marl almost anything! Start looking at plain stockinette or garter patterns and imagine applying this technique. Our Q2 KAL is the perfect place to try it – silk or linen held with anything else – airy garter on big needles, lace with pops of color, tops with extra depth. Marling adds magic to any project! 


Let me know what you’re thinking of marling, or have marled!

Wander: Q2 KAL

Our Q2 knit-along has finally arrived! We want your spring/summer months to be as relaxed as possible, so this KAL fits right in:

  • any pattern
  • any ESK yarn with 20% silk and/or linen

That’s it! Make one or make tons, it’s up to you. Cast on begins April 1 and, if you want that bonus star, ends June 30. Specifics found here. Specializing in hand-dyed yarn means we have mountains of merino, alpaca, and other animal fibers. The silk and plant based fibers can get overlooked so let’s wander…

Silk and linen, by themselves or blended, can be crisp, drapey, silky, and cool. Block the heck out of the linen, throw it in the dryer – it only gets softer. Silk can take a firm blocking too, those lace patterns will open right up.

Malabrigo: Mora in Aguas, Merino Silk in Blackberry, Silkpaca in Pearl, Susurro in Sunset

Mora is a 100% silk fingering weight. Crisp with intense shine.

Susurro, a 50/25/25% silk/linen/merino blend. It’s a single-ply with loads of drape and glimmer. It works up beautifully in lace, and I can’t wait to see it in garter.

Silky Merino, a DK weight single that makes a nearly weightless shawl.

Silkpaca, a slinky laceweight made of alpaca/silk.



SweetGeorgia Flaxen Silk DK: Saffron, Lollipop, Birch, Deep Cove

SweetGeorgia recently sent us Flaxen Silk DK. Deep, rich color and shimmer. Perfect for a tee or open drapey vest.

Juniper Moon Zooey DK is a new shop favorite. 60/40% cotton/linen, looks great on a US 3 all the way to a US 9. It almost has the slightest marl look, I can’t get enough. I’m working on a simple vest in Greyhound to throw over tanks.

Emily and Jess are twinning with a marl of Zooey DK and Malabrigo Lace for Age of Brass and Steam. Jessica chose Amarula & Arco Iris for a ghostly rainbow while Emily went bright with Mint & Zarzamora!

Tracey is working a beautiful cowl in Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace in Wisteria.

There are many more qualifying yarns for Q2, don’t forget you can sort the website by fiber type. Feel free to send us an email or call if you’d like some help picking something out, we love to help.


  • food52 science-y food posts, best way to fry an egg anyone?
  • playing with marls (stay tuned!) and stitch dictionaries
  • new episodes of Ozark and The Office reruns
  • reading: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg and Seven Spoons cookbook from Tara O’Brady
  • planning a porch garden with my grey-ish black thumb
  • starting a crochet granny stripe blanket, so relaxing

What are your Q2 plans, knit, crochet, and otherwise?