If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you've probably heard about my latest yarn saga - a project was almost doomed before it started. Just as a recap, I ordered 5 skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Wash from a fellow Raveler to knit a Rocky Coast Cardigan for the 2 Knit Lit Chicks Kardigan KAL. Things went downhill from there. I know you're thinking "downhill from where?" because it's barely started, but just follow along. It gets worse, trust me.

I don't know what I was thinking because, while that's enough yardage for my size in worsted weight, it's certainly not enough in DK. Especially not for a pattern that calls for 4-6" of positive ease. I panicked. I actually knit a gauge swatch in hopes that I was wrong before fully admitting defeat and trying to track down another skein.

Mad Tosh yarns can be hard to match because there are no dye lots. It's all hand dyed and if you're lucky enough to buy from the same kettle batch, you're usually okay. If it's not the same kettle batch, then all bets are off. To make matters worse, Wash (the beautiful, pale, minty, icey blue-green color I picked) was discontinued in May of 2012. I was pretty sure I was screwed, to be blunt. I was just about to forget the Tosh DK and order a different yarn altogether, when in a last ditch effort I posted an ISO (in search of) in the Mad Tosh Lovers group on Ravelry. Within minutes I had a private message alerting me that Jimmy Beans Wool had one skein left, and it was on sale. I hopped right on that. Problem solved. Now I just had to patiently wait for it (and my first order) to arrive in the mail.

Well, not so much. The yarn arrived on Friday, both from my first order of 5 skeins and my Jimmy Beans order. I ripped open both packages immediately. I couldn't wait. I laid everything out on the table and...they weren't even close. At all.

The yarn on the left is one of the 5 matching skeins of Wash that I first ordered. On the right is the skein from Jimmy Beans. No, you don't need your eyes checked, nor is your monitor playing tricks you. It's blue. VERY blue. It was boldly labeled as a "Onesie" aka one of a kind. However, the Jimmy Beans listing did not mention that, so I ordered it expecting it to be close. Well, at least closer than that.

So, what does any panicked knitter do in such a situation? I consulted the internet. Most people were as horrified and confused as I was. Some cautiously suggested that I alternate skeins, knowing full well that I would just end up with a striped, cabled cardigan (not a good look). 

It was not boding well for me at this point. Again, I was about to admit defeat - for the second time this project and I haven't even cast on yet. I sent PMs to every single person that had Wash listed in their destash section on Ravelry. Not one response. I dutifully checked every online retailer with no luck. I was starting to give up hope and was already picking out backup yarn to order.

In my true last ditch effort, I posted an IDSO (in desperate search of) listing in the Mad Tosh Lovers group. I relayed a very brief summary of my saga, including that I'd contacted everyone on Ravelry that I could. Not a skein to be found.

Within minutes, I had several offers. One local knitter had a skein and she was willing to trade for my blue "onesie". Another offer was from Australia - willing to ship across the world. And many more saying "I love this colorway, but I don't have specific plans and it's clear you need it. I'd be happy to send." That was it, I started crying. The power of Ravelry to help me finish this sweater is amazing. 

Knitters are some of the most understanding and compassionate people I have ever met - whether in person or online. The fact that so many knitters were willing to part with their beautiful yarn because a stranger needed "just one more skein", is really incredible.

With that, Brooke, the local knitter, and I met in the grocery store parking lot yesterday morning. We  exchanged yarn in what probably looked like a very shady deal, like only two diehard knitters can. Thanks again, Brooke. You've saved my sweater. 


  1. And the angels sang... :-) You just can't find better folks than fiber-lovers! Looking forward to seeing the finished project when it's done.

  2. Awesome!! so pleased you got the yarn that you needed, its a gorgeous colour. Well they both are, but I agree, a bit more similar is probably important!

  3. Hurrah! As a MadTosh fan, I know what you mean about the inconsistency within one colorway--but holy cow, that isn't even close!

  4. What a great story, don't you just love fibrey friends, they're the best!


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