|Casablanca wound in balls - long|
stretches of color
I recently started a sweater using Cascade's Casablanca yarn, which has long stretches in each color. If I used only 1 skein at a time, the short rows of my sweater would have wide stripes, and the wider parts of the sweater would have skinnier stripes, and it would all look fairly color-blocked - an effect I didn't want.
By starting with three balls of yarn, each starting at a different point in the color sequence, my sweater is coming out with a more fair isle look. Still need to make more progress on the sweater to see how it all works out.
I also used the 3 balls of yarn trick on a toddler sweater, this time with one ball each of two solid colors and a coordinated ball of a variegated that includes those two colors. Because they all blend, the variegated yarn helped soften the stripey effect of the solid colors, and made the whole piece more lady-like.
If you use 3 different colors (A, B, and C), changing every row, the color sequence will be ABCABCABC - a 3-row repeat. If you use four colors (W, X, Y, and Z), and switch yarn at the end of each row, picking up the yarn that has been waiting the longest, you end up with an 8-row repeat: W-X-Y-Z-X-W-Z-Y. That puts the colors in slightly different sequence, making the fabric look fancier. It's another easy way to look clever.