Understanding dye lot is crucial for any artist that works with fiber. When you crochet larger products, such as blankets, you often use multiple skeins of yarn. If your yarn is from a different dye lot, it could vary in color, creating a very noticeable eyesore in your project. So, how do you avoid it? I’m going to teach you about that today.
What is dye lot?
Before the yarn gets to the store shelves, it goes through a manufacturing process where it is spun, dyed, and wrapped up into skeins, which are the individual yarn packages that we know and love. When the yarn is dyed, it is often dyed in lots. This means that they dye a whole bunch of yarn all at the same time, then divide it into individual packaging. While manufacturers try to keep consistency amongst the dye lots, you see where errors could occur. And when you are working on a large project, even the slightest variation in color could completely change the look of your design.
Where do I find the dye lot of my yarn?
On yarn that uses dye lots, the lot number will be located on the label.
If you are shopping for yarn online, many websites will put the dye lot number in the product description.
What if there is no dye lot number on my yarn?
If you are purchasing yarn that someone has hand-dyed, and you plan to use more than one skein of it, I always email the seller and ask if they were dyed in the same batch or not. Many times they are not, so I use my discretion, and my information from the seller, to determine how much I’ll need.
Some brands will sell yarn that has “No Dye Lot” on the label. This is for colors that are typically the same color for each batch without much variation. Think of your white, and black yarn. Even though No Dye Lot is listed, I still like to try and purchase all of my yarn at the same time.
What if I can’t find another skein with the same dye lot number?
If you can’t find another skein with the same dye lot number, or if the yarn has No Dye Lot on the label, I recommend trying to go online to find the yarn. With the Internet today, we have the ability to search far and wide for products we might be looking for. Alternatively to this, you could change your pattern at the start to accommodate a possible shift in colors, if you have to purchase a color variation that isn’t the same brand as the one that you were using. Always try to stick with the same brand and product line that you were using before if you can.
How to crochet with different dye lots
If you absolutely have to crochet with two separate dye lots, and the color variations are noticeable, I recommend starting the new color on a new row rather than changing to the new yarn right in the middle of the row. This way if you do happen to notice a variation, you can separate it a bit more easily.
You could also find a creative way to alternate your pattern design a bit so that you can work it in where it would fit the best, if you absolutely had to.
How to avoid crocheting with two different dye lots
In order to avoid having to use different dye lots, know your pattern before you go shopping. Figure out your yarn yardage and check your labels to see how many yards you will need before you buy that amount. Always check your labels and try to buy all of your yarn at the same store, and at the same time.
Do you have any tips and tricks about yarn dye lots? I know some manufacturers have lines with No Dye Lots, and others don’t label their dye lot as such (but it’s still on there). If you have any information that we can share, please let me know in the comments below!