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I Got Stuck With Yarn in Two Different Dye Lots - Now What?

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Question: I Got Stuck With Yarn in Two Different Dye Lots - Now What?
I ordered some yarn online a few months ago, and I just discovered that the seller sent me two different dye lots. I didn't discover this until past her allowed return date. I was planning on making a sweater with the yarn. Can I still use it for my sweater, or should I donate it?
Answer:

First of all, I would contact the seller and advise her of the situation. Perhaps she will still make good on her mistake even though it is past her allowed return date.

If she won't help you, the decision is yours to make whether or not you want to use the yarn or donate it.

If you do decide to use the yarn, a little pre-planning can avoid the normal problems associated with crocheting using two different dye lots.

Do not crochet the first half of your sweater using dye lot A and the other half of your sweater using dye lot B. If you do it that way, the contrast between the dye lots is likely to end up being too noticeable. Try this trick instead:

Count the number of balls of each dye lot that you have.

If you have even amounts of each dye lot – half of one dye lot, half of the other dye lot:

  • Crochet the first two rows with dye lot A.
  • Crochet the third and fourth rows with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the fifth and sixth rows with dye lot A.
  • Crochet the seventh and eighth rows with dye lot B, and so on.
  • Continue alternating the dye lots for the entire project.

If there is a huge variation between dye lots, this will give you a subtle striped effect. If there is not much variation between the dye lots, you might not even notice the stripe at all.

Either way, this technique will ensure that your shift from one dye lot to the next doesn't look like glaring mistake. The whole sweater will be subtly striped. If anyone even notices the striping, it will look intentional. It might even add a bit of visual interest to your design – definitely a plus!

Weaving in Ends Vs. Carrying Yarns up the Sides of the Work:

If you decide to use this method, you'll have to decide how to deal with the color changes. You can cut the yarn after each row, but if you do that, you’ll have to weave in a huge mess of loose ends.

I don’t know about you, but weaving in ends is probably my least favorite part of a crochet project. Perhaps you disagree; if you happen to think weaving in ends is therapeutic, by all means, go ahead and do it that way.

Otherwise, I'd recommend carrying the unused yarns up the sides, as knitters do, rather than cutting each yarn at the end of the row and weaving in all those ends. When you join the sweater pieces, you can easily hide the carried yarns in the seams.

What if You Have More of One Dye Lot Than the Other?

If you have uneven amounts of each dye lot, you can still use a variation of this technique.

If one-third of your yarn is from dye lot A and two-thirds is from dye lot B, do this:

  • Crochet the first row with dye lot A.
  • Crochet the second row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the third row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the fourth row with dye lot A.
  • Crochet the fifth row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the sixth row with dye lot B, and so on.
  • Continue crocheting in this manner for the entire project.

If one-fourth of your yarn is from dye lot A and three-quarters of your yarn is from dye lot B, do this:

  • Crochet the first row with dye lot A.
  • Crochet the second row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the third row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the fourth row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the fifth row with dye lot A.
  • Crochet the sixth row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the seventh row with dye lot B.
  • Crochet the eighth row with dye lot B, and so on.
  • Continue crocheting in this manner for the entire project.

I hope this helps! Best of luck with your sweater, if you decide to complete it.

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