Rookie error

When I was a kid, our LYS used to tuck a couple of extra balls of yarn in a pigeonhole behind the till, just in case the pattern my mum was buying yarn for needed a bit more than the suggested amount. So I learned very early on that shades vary between dye lots and have never bought yarn without ensuring I have enough of the same dye lot to complete a project.

A while back, I decided to crochet Emma Bunny from Edward’s Menagerie. I found a ball of pink yarn in my stash and began.


At the time I knew there wasn’t enough for a whole Emma, but I knew my LYS carried some of that shade in stock and, these days, with computer mixing, differences between dye lots are imperceptible. And so what if the new ball wasn’t quite exact? I could use that for the legs as a slight difference between legs and head/body wouldn’t really show or matter.


The yarn was out of stock when I went to buy some, so I had to wait a while.

I crochet on – even making one leg, as I would so sure the colour wouldn’t be that different. But when I purchased and started crocheting with my new (according to the ball band, same shade – different dye lot) yarn, the difference was not insignificant!


Yes, yes, I know it’s all my own fault and, since I’m not a seasoned crocheter it was good practice for my tension, which,  as you see from the pics leaves something to be desired. I presume the manufacture decided to change the shade slightly, rather than the computer mixing being so different. But still, I’ve re-learnt the lesson I learned all those years ago – always start your project with sufficient yarn to finish it.

Anyone else prepared to fess up to any rookie errors they’ve committed when they should have know better?

Bekki Hill

24 thoughts on “Rookie error

  1. I knit a sweater with hand dyed yarn. I ignored the dyer’s advice to use two balls, switching every row. Top down, all went very well. Sleeves are perfect, yoke area perfect. Got down to the body, only one skein left, and all sorts of pooling happened. Thus, I have a wonderful maroon/burgundy sweater with two light gray blobs in the middle – one in front, one in back. I wear it anyway, but it drives me nuts, and isn’t the go-to sweater it could have been.

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      1. I do sympathise. I think those are definitely two of my top reasons for coming a cropper on most occassions . And I can definitely say almost exactly the same over Emma Bunny, I was being lazy, and trying to hurry up and have a rabbit! I have bits of one 😦

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    1. What a good shop. Most will usually take one back in my experience, but they like to sell it to you first – which is understandable. You are good. I never put in a lifeline – so there’s another rookie error waiting to happen 🙂

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m going to start again and crochet it all in the same shade – some of my tension is quite a mess on some of the parts in the first colour, so will be a good thing to do. I spoke to a friend today and she said she’s using the same yarn in a different colour and she’s gone down a hook size and it’s making the tension come out much better, so I’ll give that a go too.


  2. I make all sorts of errors when I should have known better – even with those skills where I’m not a rookie. I have scoured the internet for a ball of yarn with the same dye lot as some my Mum had bought and run out of just before the end of her project. It was a successful search eventually but very time consuming so if you can find a friendly shop that will let you buy more than you need and return the excess as they used to in ‘the old days’ that would definitely be a shop to stick with.

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  3. Rookie error, joining wool in the middle of a row then having to frog rows and rows to join at the start! I am obsessed with dye lot numbers having worked in a wool shop. Did you know that wallpaper also has batch numbers!

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    1. I so hate the way a ball of wool tempts you to just knit one more row when there isn’t enough to get to the other end.
      I do have a hazey memory of wallpaper having batch numbers – but I mostly paint now – although that definitely has batch numbers too 🙂

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  4. I once ran out of yarn for a sweater, being a rookie. 🙂 I did manage to track down the same dye lot, at a yarn store miles and miles away. It was worth it, as I wore the sweater for years after still.
    Maybe just finish the cute bunny in the colours you have, and then dye it in a shade or 2 darker? Hopefully all the shades then look the same. 🙂

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  5. I remember those days at my local wool shop when I was little. I’m pleased to say the tradition continues here in Gibraltar, on the one and only time I bought wool there for a specific project, the lady did the same thing for me. Normally I just buy a few balls of colours I like and add them to my stash for a later date and I come a big unstuck like you did. What a shame:-(

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  6. Yep, I stand guilty of this too. What’s even worse is that it wasn’t that long ago….I picked up a dormant WIP that had been hidden for a couple of years, in the meantime I had used the yarn for that project for something else so I had to order some more. You can guess the rest…I now have a beautiful cabled cardi in several shades of blue. I’m going to dye it at some point and see if this rectifies my rookie error!

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