Self-Striping yarns are becoming more and more common now. They’re mostly made for things like socks, but can also be implemented in things like; leg warmers, fingerless mittens, hats, etc.
Self-striping, refers to yarn that will stripe for you; there is no need to switch colours or struggle with carrying around more than one ball of yarn. You don’t need to continually look at a pattern because all the hard work is taken out of knitting this kind of yarn. You can make a plain stockinette stitch sock, which turns out beautifully patterned.
I’ve been dyeing a few self-striping hanks of yarn and that is lots of fun, but knitting with this kind of yarn it completely addictive. You know what the next colour is going to be, but seeing how it lines up next to the previous one makes you want to do just one more stripe.
The type of yarn dyed by indie dyers is one-of-a-kind, there can be multiples of a batch and they may be close, but not exactly the same. Each hank is hand dyed by a person. Whether they are dip dyed or hand painted, there is going to be slight variations between each hank.
There are certain kinds of yarn that are self-striping, but they the patterns are computer generated. These hanks of yarn will be exactly the same every time. The computer generated pattern also means there can be a lot more intricate pattern than hand dyed yarn. The photo below is Regia yarn.
This is one of my favourite types of variegated yarn. It makes for excellent mindless knitting and there is always an exceptional finished object at the end.