Some yarns are dyed precisely by machine to knit up into patterns such as stripes or faux Fair Isle, and are labeled self-patterning or self-striping. These yarns can be used very effectively to yield a complex-looking sock knit in plain stockinette stitch. A word of warning: The patterns are dyed based on a specific gauge, so if yours differs from that noted on the ball band, the look of the pattern might be different than you expect. Some self-patterning yarns have a photo of a swatch or finished sock printed on the ball band to give you an idea of how it looks knitted up.
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