The Joys (and perils) of Hand-dyed Yarn

Girasole with Yarn

I promised you some yarn pictures today and yarn pictures you shall have. I’ve been working away at my Girasole shawl and I must say that this pattern is so well-written and such fun to knit. Now maybe I’ll change my tune when we get up to 600+ stitches per round but for now, I’m really enjoying the journey. I had every intention of trying one of the special methods that folks have posted online for beginning a circular shawl in such a way that there is no hole in the middle. However, I just couldn’t quite figure out what to do just by looking at the pictures so I ended up just casting on and using my normal Magic Loop method to start off. It leaves a little hole but I really don’t mind. We’ll call it a “design element.” I’m just finishing up Chart “C” and getting ready to head into Chart “D”.

Hey Teach Color Variations

I was having so much fun working on the Girasole shawl that I was ignoring my “Hey Teach” sweater. I suddenly realized that this is the week that our class is supposed to be starting to seam all the pieces together so I had to force myself to put down the Girasole and pick up the Hey Teach right front bodice, which was all I had left to do before class. Do you notice any problem in this picture? Well……my heart gave a little leap when I laid out the pieces and realized that when I grabbed another skein for the front bodice, I apparently grabbed a skein that had been purchased in a “second go-round.” The colorway is the same and all the skeins are from the same company (Dream in Color) but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the left bodice is a slightly different hue than the right bodice. Such is the nature of hand-dyed yarn. That’s why it is always a good idea to buy enough yarn for your project in one purchase. That way the vendor can pull skeins for you that look as close as possible in color (if you are purchasing yarn online). Of course, if you are doing the purchasing in person, you can do the matching yourself.

Hey Teach Bodice Variations

I did an even bigger “no-no.” This particular colorway was hard to find last year so I had purchased some when it became available from my local yarn shop and then later, had purchased more from an online vendor that I often use. I didn’t have a particular project in mind at the time so I just threw them all together into one storage bin. When I finally got around to knitting up “Hey Teach”, I must have had my mind on my next piece of chocolate cake and obviously not on color variations when I reached into the bin and grabbed another skein for that second bodice piece.

Hey Teach Sleeves

I suppose most knitters would be going bonkers right about now and resolving to reknit one bodice to match the other pieces. Not me. I consider all of my knitting to be a journey and I like to look back over what I’ve done and see the things I’ve learned along the way. Every time I wear this sweater, I’ll be giving myself a fresh little object lesson in hand-dyed yarn color variations. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun relating the story of my knitting “faux-paux” to those I observe eyeing my knitted ying-yang front. And I’ll be reminding myself of just how unique hand-dyed yarns are and how lucky I am to have such easy access to them.


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