Your swatch has the answer
So as always, swatching is informative. That’s the short version. The long version goes something like this.⠀
I started with the grey with neon speckles and the blue. It’s promising, but I see I’d need a smaller needle (that’s a two, and the fabric is too open for what I want).
Next I tried the purple and purple. And it’s lovely, but the contrast is too subtle for this project.
While I was working the purple swatch, I got distracted and tried out a solid gray yarn and gray floof, but again, way too subtle (and alas it was dark, so no picture of this one by itself).
Those two let me know that the blue yarn + blue floof I was considering in one of the yarn pairing pictures also wouldn’t be what I was looking for, so I didn’t even swatch it. Same goes for the gray with darker speckles and the dark purple floof from yesterday. Those were more subdued than what I wanted for this piece, so I didn’t swatch them.
However, since I’d figured out that I wanted a more high contrast pairing, I pulled out a dark gray yarn with teal speckles and tried that with the blue floof. It was good. But I think I’d have liked it better with an orange floof, which I don’t have (seriously, I need to start buying more fuzzy yarn), and it’s too thin for the project I have in mind. If I’d had it in a thicker base, or if I’d had a dark orange yarn to pair it with, I miiiiiiiight have gone with it. But I wanted to cast on now, and that meant stash diving, so it’s not the combo for this project. But I’m holding on to the idea of pairing that yarn with a dark orange fluff in some other project.
So I went back to the first swatch and went down a needle size (meaning I’m knitting something the yarn label calls worsted on ones) and ended up with a tighter fabric. So now I’m calling that the winner for the moment.
Though really, there are no losers. Every swatch taught me stuff, and at least one of them gave me an idea for another yarn I want to get and another project I want to do. It’s not a waste of yarn (these all got unraveled and the yarn is fine). It’s not a waste of time (each swatch took maybe fifteen minutes tops). It’s part of knitting, and you’ll be happier if you embrace it.