Yarn colour and batch numbers

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Each ball of yarn carries a colour code and a batch number on their label. Yarns with the same batch number have been through the same colour run. Sometimes (not always) you may get very slight variations in tone if you have balls with different batch numbers. In most cases, the differences tend to be very minor and often hardly noticeable (it is still the same colour!), but we nevertheless aim to ship out yarn with the same batch number whenever possible. Unfortunately sometimes different batch numbers simply can't be avoided for a variety of reasons. 

Does it actually matter? The answer is that it depends a bit on the yarn: Variegated yarns or tweed yarns have variations of tone within the yarn itself and a different batch number won't affect the end result much at all. With other types of yarn, there are some simple tricks that will ensure that your knitted garment will have no noticeable differences in tone.

First, sort all the balls according to their batch numbers so you can determine whether you have any balls that have a different batch number and where you want to use them. You could knit the hems and cuffs with one and the basic pattern with another batch number and any difference in shade will be hardly noticeable. You can also aim to knit the front in one batch number and the back in the other, or work the sleeves in a different number to the body, and again, nobody will notice the difference. 

Sometimes, you may knit most of your jumper and realise that you are running out of yarn. Chances are that you end up buying a couple of extra balls of yarn with a different batch number at that point. To avoid any visible variation in tone, change to the new yarn slowly over several rows: Instead of simply finishing one batch and then starting with the next, over about 12 rows knit all RS rows with a ball from the first batch and all WS rows with a ball from the second batch. That way any colour variation will blend in and be hardly noticeable. 


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