But not always.
How do you pick a pattern that will work with this kind of yarn? I gravitate towards very intricate patterns of the Hazel Carter variety, such as Legends of the Shetland Seas. (Just finishing Spider Queen – yes it’s true!) I think I should be tuning it down a notch for a patterned yarn, yes?
What do you look for? A certain kind repeat? Large or small motifs? More or less background? A strong vertical or diagonal line? Garter stitch? Any type of pattern to avoid?
My own rule of thumb is the more complex the pattern, the less variegation in the yarn.
(Subject to change, of course, at my whim.)
If you are knitting a shawl that consists of one motif, done over and over, I think you could use a variegated yarn with good results.
But the Hazel Carter shawls you mention — definitely best done in a solid color.
Speaking of Variegated Yarns
The yarn I am using for my current shawl-in-progress is variegated. But in an extremely pleasant low-key kind of way. The different colors are very similar, so you get lovely shading without startling color changes. I love this yarn! Kathy, please dye some more! And if you could make some that was oh-so-gently shaded from ice-blue to silver, well, I’d be in heaven!