Better yet, take Mom with me
Monday January 10th 2022, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,History,Knit,LYS

Early on in this whole pandemic thing, when everything had been on lockdown and particularly so in our area, the county north of us decided that a customer could buy something online and the shopkeeper could hand it to them outside now. You could have that close a contact, briefly. Youcouldn’t browse, you couldn’t go in, you couldn’t touch their credit card machine, but you could do that.

This is when they were still trying to figure out the details of how covid-19 is spread.

I talked to one of my local shops, saying that what I wanted was two bags of a particular blue Malabrigo Rios that matched so that I would have enough for an afghan. I knew that officially it’s ten skeins per bag equals one dye lot; rumor, though, is that they’re matched up in groups of ten but that the mill produces more than that in each lot. But that’s a rumor.


I wanted twenty skeins. I’ve found matching bags in the past, but I wasn’t going to be able to go in and eyeball anything.

Turns out the whole supply-chain mess meant the shop didn’t have and couldn’t get them in from Malabrigo for months.

But maybe her yarn rep had them on hand, she wondered.

Turns out she did.

Once those were delivered, I swung by the shop, they handed me the bags out on the sidewalk rather than frisbeeing them from, y’know, six social feet away through the car windows and all that and it was so good to see actual human faces again, not to mention old friends.

(Unspoken: Still here. Still here. And you too! Stay that way. Thank you for wearing those masks. Pray those vaccine researchers get their studies finished fast.)

I waited till I got home to see if my initial quick impression was correct. It was.

She’d been so relieved that the two bags matched like her rep had been sure of.

Now, here I interject a quick story about my folks visiting the dye works for a tapestry weaver in France at a time when they decided they needed just a bit more of this one color for their project, so the dyer was asked to create more.

He asked Mom if this and this matched.

She said no, not quite, and why. But no, sorry.

He hadn’t thought it was discernible but since clearly it was, he added just a touch more to the pot. There you go.

So blame it on the genetics. Here I was, staring at those blues, going, but they’re just not quite the same. This one’s more vibrant. This one’s darker. You can put them in all kinds of different lights and it doesn’t change the fact. It’s certainly not a huge difference, but…

So instead of becoming the next big project they’ve sat there for all this time because I can’t use them together unless I separate them by enough other colors and space that the difference might not matter, in which case I would no longer need twenty skeins of Matisse blue because half of the afghan would be something else altogether. Which has had me wondering if I should ask my friends who do diving and photography if they have a particular reef photo I could use, to riff on last year’s fish theme.

I’ve been musing about trying to match the one or the other, but I don’t know if inventories are back up yet.

Here, let me finish this other project first before I worry about it too much.

I just like to know what’s ahead.

6 Comments so far
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Eye opener…I doubt that any of us “sees” true color. In 2015 we moved and had carpet replaced in the new (to us) house. I spent weeks lugging around samples and visiting every carpet store in the area in order to get just the right color. About a month later I had cataract surgery…you guessed it…the carpet was the wrong color. I’ve read that cataracts actually begin to develop as soon as we’re born and continue to develop throughout our lives. For some it never becomes problematic enough for surgery, but for those of us who have the surgery the “real” world of color is a shocker!

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 01.11.22 @ 7:33 am

Color is so tricky! And being a hyper-see-er would be hard to deal with, I’m sure.

The lesson I keep re-learning is that the color on the computer may not match the color when the yarn gets here. “That’s a beautiful color–but not what I thought I was getting” is something I should know by now can happen.

Comment by ccr in MA 01.11.22 @ 8:09 am

Cataracts damage our ability to see blues and they add a yellow overlay to everything. I have a favorite deep teal blue sweater that has gradually become earthy-toned and more to the green side to my eyes than it is in real life. No surgery yet.

Computer monitors by their nature add blues, according to the resident geek.

Comment by AlisonH 01.11.22 @ 9:59 am

Can you alternate the 2 blues every row or two for your afghan? Would they blend enough then to not be jarring to your sight? And I totally understand the cataract color correction. I had my eyes done last year, one at a time, a month apart. So very fascinating to see the difference out of each eye! The old put a yellow-brown haze over everything. One lucky find, I had thought the magenta climbing roses in my back yard had reverted to their rootstock, becoming more tomato red. The bush thrived, so I didn’t replace it to get the “right” color. So happy to “see” they are magenta afterall!

Comment by DebbieR 01.11.22 @ 2:43 pm

As I read, a vision developed of one skein blue 1, a narrow stripe of black, one skein of blue 2, then black (or another color) and repeat. Kind of a quilter’s solution, and inspired by a shawl I made (can’t remeber the pattern).
I bet you’ll come up with something great!

Comment by Susan 01.12.22 @ 11:07 am

Isn’t fun and exciting to be able to think of what’s coming next on our needles?

May you enjoy every stitch these beauties become.

Comment by Suzanne 01.13.22 @ 8:11 am

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