Remember the baby star-ghan, thwarted by my yarn shortage?
I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to finish it. It was definitely too small without any additional yarn, so I went to my local Walmart in search of another skein of blue Red Heart Soft Baby. Unfortunately, the first Walmart I went to was completely out of blue, and there was a problem at the second one. I snagged the first skein of blue I came across and was about to chuck it into the cart when I actually looked at it. The yarn was clearly, clearly not the same color. I peered at it suspiciously, snorted at the ‘No Dye Lot’ tag (I’ve heard that before), and checked the color. Powder Blue. That’s what I had, right? The yellow yarn had still been encased in a ball band marking it as Powder Yellow, but the blue had been bandless. Besides, when I bought the yarn for Max’s baby things (more than two years ago and several states away) I just bought the blue and the yellow baby yarn that they had in stock. Walmart only carries a limited colorway – you know, one solid, one variegated yellow, one solid, one variegated blue, one solid, one variegated pink…you know. But if I could tell without a side-by-side comparison that the blues were different, there was no way on earth that it would blend in politely.
I stood there for a few minutes, contemplating my options, and reluctantly grabbed a skein of white with a vague idea of a cloudy border. When faced with the complete breakdown of your plan, fudge a fix and turn it into a design element, right? The irony of the situation is that I had stopped by Michael’s not twenty minutes earlier and hadn’t even thought to see whether they had the yarn I needed (do they carry Red Heart? I’m almost sure they do). Oh, well.
Anyway, to wrap up the dye-lot issue, I checked the Coats and Clark website when I got home, and it appears that my yarn was Sky Blue rather than Powder Blue (which would explain the obviously different coloring). I wish I’d known when I made Max’s baby ripple afghan that they made a paler blue: it’s pink, yellow and blue striped, and the blue is a jarringly different hue than the (powder) yellow and (powder) pink. (Powder blue would probably have matched beautifully.) But as I said, Walmart only carries one blue.
I sulked quietly to myself for a little while about changing the design (I do like to have things my own way, especially in terms of artistic direction) but I made myself get to work on it, and I have to say that it turned out nicely. Even if I still think that just blue with appliqued stars would have been cleaner, visually. Judge for yourself:
I will be posting a pattern for the star appliques – when I tried to find some, they were all far too gappy to be used attractively on a darker color (like the blue) – and I’m going to look into posting directions for the afghan. Because the underlying structure is not mine (Beth’s Little Star, remember?), I want to be careful not to step on copywritten toes.