The Dye Lot Problem
The dye lot number is important information for hobbyist knitters and crocheters, because the use of yarn from different dye lots can spoil the appearance of handmade textiles. These shade variations may be subtle enough to be undetectable on a store shelf, but actual differences in shade becomes apparent during knitting or crocheting or after washing. Unmatched dye lots are a significant problem to knitters and crocheters because the problem manifests after days or weeks of labor, by which time the supplier's stock of the original dye lot may have been depleted.
The usual solution to the dye lot dilemma is to purchase sufficient skeins from the identical lot before beginning a project. Published craft designs provide estimated material quantities for this purpose. If the crafter neglects to check dye lots or a design underestimates the yarn requirement, or if a store lacks sufficient quantities of a single lot, then one compromise solution is to construct the item so that a contrasting color separates yarns from different lots. Other workarounds are to change stitch patterns for the odd lot, to use the odd lot for a border or other separate and contrasting element, or to conceal the juncture between two dye lots with a surface embellishment.
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