Well, there had to be something to sparkle up the knitting of a great big white thing, and here we are, right out of the gate with the first glitch. I wound the first skein of the yarn, and something was bothering me. The yarn looked… different. Not the yarn itself, that looks the same, but I’ve just finished knitting that layette out of this same stuff, and it looked to me like a different colour.
Now, the yarn I’m using is The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in the artfully named colour “White”. (It isn’t really. It’s more like a cream. I like it.) It doesn’t have a lot number, so there’s no way I screwed up that part, but when I put the new yarn beside the old yarn?
I’ve got them alternating here, old and new, and I think even with a computer monitor between us, you can see it’s not the same. It’s totally not the same. I showed it to Joe last night and usually when I engage him in knitting stuff, he does his best, but can’t see what I’m talking about. He’s good at the math stuff, but questions like “Is this lace too open?” or “Do you think this increase looks funny?” are usually met with this particular look. He does his best to answer, because I love knitting and he loves me, and pretending to care about the process of knitting is a smart deposit in the love bank for him, but right before he answers, there’s this flicker of fear that crosses his face. Not real fear, not like, how I feel about spiders or anything, just that briefest moment of alarm that we all feel when we find out there’s a test, and realize there’s no way you’re going to pass. Usually right after that he searches my face to try and figure out what I think, and then says that.
So, last night I show him two skeins of yarn, and I say “Do these look the same to you?” and Joe glances at them, and then says “Hell no. Are they supposed to?” I mumbled something foul, and he asked “Do you have a knitting problem now?” and I mumbled something foul again. Yes, indeed, I have a knitting problem now. Since there are no lot numbers, the problem is time. I bought the other skeins over a year ago. More like two years ago, and there’s no reason to expect that the yarn I buy now will be just the same. I was hoping though, that it would be closer than this. I was hoping the inevitable difference would be tiny, and I could cover it by using the different lots for different sections. You know- knit the middle and border out of one, and then knit the edge out of the other, something that would disguise the slight difference.
(You see it, right? Tell me you see it.)
This difference though is more than slight though, it’s obvious, even to a non-knitter who’d only pretending to care, and I think it would be too obvious for that kind of fix. That leaves me with two choices. I have eight skeins of the original, and I could just right now decide that come hell or high water, that blanket won’t take more than eight skeins. That’s about how much yarn I used for Lou’s blanket. It could be done. it would be risky, but it could be done. There’s be no way to get more if I ran out – and I don’t know if I want to play that particular game of chicken again. The other choice is to haul off and order more of the new white – and really, it turns out that I like the new white better than the old white – so that’s what I’m going to do.
This decision has its own set of risks. I can’t wait for the yarn to get here before I start knitting. The Loopy Ewe is great about shipping, but they can’t magic away the border, so it’s going to take a little bit. I’ll start knitting now with the four skeins I have, and when the new ones arrive, they just have to match. They simply have to. There’s no reason to think that they won’t – there’s only about a week between orders, and really, there is no dye lot. It should work. It should. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to figure something else out.*
So, that’s where I am. Getting ready to knit my swatch, waiting for my order to ship, and feeling a little sweaty about my knitting. Pretty much a regular Thursday.
*I’m thinking that by then, a chunky lap rug is going to make more sense than a lace blanket.