Knitting Knowledge: Dye Lots

Why are dye lots important?

If you’re new to knitting there are lots of things to learn and take on board: decoding a pattern; working out your gauge; choosing the right needles; and everything in between. One of the more fun things is choosing the yarn, but have you ever noticed the dye lot marked on the yarn’s band?

Dye Lots

Often knitters will find a yarn before a pattern, drawn in by squishability and colour. Generally that isn’t a problem, unless what you’d like to make needs more yarn than you have bought. This is where dye lot becomes important.

Yarn is dyed in batches, or lots. The dye lot identifies which batch the yarn has been dyed in. While the main colour will be the same, there will be variation in the colour from lot to lot. This difference can be very subtle but when seen on a finished garment, a difference in dye lot can stand out like a sore thumb.

The next few photos show part of a garment I made where the sleeve was initially made in a different dye lot.

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Can you spot the difference? It is very subtle. In case you can’t see it, the first and third images are of the sleeve made in a different dye lot.

Next time you’re buying yarn to make a garment, don’t forget to take a look at the dye lot. See if you can spot the difference.

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