I ordered yarn today for a new project. I needed 5 colours that coordinated, and before starting to shop I had an idea in mind for the sorts of colours I was looking for.
My first step was to try and order a shade card – I have one for the brand of embroidery silks I use and it’s incredibly useful to be able to see the little samples of all of the different colours in real life when I’m designing. The brand of yarn I wanted to buy used to do shade cards but it seems that nowhere stocks them anymore.
Instead I had to work from the photographs of the various shades of yarn on the website I was going to be buying them from. The only problem being that the tiny thumbnail, the larger photo and the zoomed in picture all looked slightly different – how could I know which one was accurate? In the end I realised that some of the colours I was considering were ones I’m using for another project so I got that out and was able to see them for real. Unsurprisingly they looked different still to all of the versions I was seeing online!
In the end, with the aid of my mom who has a brilliant eye for colour, I chose a selection based on mini balls of yarn I’d had in my Paintbox yarn advent calendar. They weren’t the colours I’d initially planned to use for this project, but I’m really happy with them. The whole experience of trying to choose them made me frustrated.
Frustrated that it’s so hard to accurately capture the colour of yarns in photographs. Frustrated that shade cards for yarn don’t seem to be a thing for all yarns (when I was searching there were a couple of brands that did have them, just none of the ones I wanted to buy). Most of all though frustrated that despite the fact I have two yarn stores within a five miles drive of my house neither of them stock full ranges of anything which leaves me resorting to online shopping. Over time the yarn pegs I create with each new yarn I use will work as my own shade card, but this is going to be a long process!