Recently, I knitted a Lucy Pevensie Cardigan for a custom order, and decided it was a good time to stock up on the mustard coloured yarn. I had four balls left, so while I was waiting for the new stock to arrive, I started knitting the cardigan with the yarn I already had.
The cardigan has a moss stitch yoke, a beautiful textured stitch which is good to knit by hand. when I was hand knitting the back yoke one evening, I started one of the newly arrived balls of yarn, only to discover the next day that there was an obvious difference in shade! I hadn't noticed until I saw it in the daylight. the new yarn was a slightly darker shade, too different to the original shade to get away with, or use for another part of the cardigan.
The moral of this story is a simple one: always order the amount of yarn you need in one go, plus some extra just in case you need it.
Sometimes, the same yarn in the same colour/shade can come out slightly different. Yarn manufacturers dye their yarn in big batches, and each batch is given a unique code called the "dye lot". Even when it's experts and they are using an exact dye recipe, due to the natural qualities of wool, and because there are so many variables in the dye process, it is almost impossible that any two dye lots will turn out the exact same colour.
This is a problem I had rarely encountered before, because most of the time the shade variation is so minimal you can hardly see it. it's just those unlucky occasions where it does matter, and then you're kicking yourself for not ordering more yarn in the first place!
Fortunately, I had just enough of the original yarn to complete the cardigan. Nevertheless, I will definitely use this anecdote as an excuse to buy large quantities of yarn!
The most important thing in my life is my relationship with the God who made me and loves me!