Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dye lots - a cautionary tale

So, you remember that I had those three skeins of ruinously expensive silk/wool Claudia Hand Painted yarn that eventually got made into a Möbius wrap, which I then frogged? I was left again with the dilemma of possessing yarn I wanted to use that was too nice to make something non-splendid with, but had too little of to make anything big.

Stroke of luck - the lovely WEBS had the same yarn on sale at half price and there was a pattern I wanted to do, so I purchased another three skeins. When they arrived I swore the order was wrong. Actually, I just swore. A lot. Here's why:

That's right, well spotted. The one on the right is the original dye lot, the one on the left is the new one. They look very, very different. Every part that was black on the original skeins is a blueish grey on the new ones. The colour number and name were the same, but I ask you, does the lighter one look as if it should be called Midnight? No? Well that's the name of the shade.

A little variation between dye lots is normal. I bought some yarn in the UK from two shops that each had about half of what I wanted, so I accepted the slight variation in colour. It's so slight that the photo below barely shows it.

To get over the difference if I was making a sweater I could use one batch for the body and another for the ribbing. Or I could alternate between skeins of the two versions (knit two rows in one, then two in another, and on.) Will try that with so-called Midnight and see how it works out for this cardigan.

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