Dealing with Colour & Purchasing Remorse

The Crochet Crowd, Tips

Tips for Storing Yarn

Have you ever come to regret a project midway through?

More times than I can count, I have regretted two things in a project.

  1. Not investing in a better yarn.
  2. Realizing the colours weren’t exactly what I was envisioning.

As a kid, age 14 going to the yarn shop is based on what my job could afford me to purchase. Essentially, I would buy the cheapest yarns, even if the price was 50 cents less than the yarn I really wanted. By the time I was done the project, I wish I would have spent 50 cents more per ball because the same effort to make the afghan is identical. At the time of purchase it makes sense but maybe instead of buying all of my yarn at one time, I should have bought a few balls at a time, saved up my money and came back. BUT NO… I was anxious and the fear the store won’t bring back the same colours that I need. This is pre-dating the internet online shopping era but I think the same issues still exist today.

The reality was that if I would have spent 50 cents more at the time. I think the afghan would have cost me probably 7 dollars more! It would take me up to 4 months to do an afghan so over that time frame, 7 dollars is pretty minor and I could have budgeted for it.

I’m currently working on an afghan and I regret one of the colours within my project. Yes… I am sure the afghan looks great and highly professional but I wish I would have changed the one colour to give the afghan a completely different look. I wish I would have thought more outside of the box than following the pattern so closely. I love the concept, love everything about it, but wish I would have pushed myself creativity speaking to make a different choice. I’m now 3/4 down and I can’t help but think to myself… ‘man oh man, I really wish I would have thought about the colours more!’

Am I am alone in my thinking here? Let me your comments below!


About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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38 Responses to Dealing with Colour & Purchasing Remorse

  1. Patricia S says:

    I felt a twinge just today at Joann’s when I realized that, no, I was not completely satisfied with yarn I’d previously bought. It is for a blanket for my 20 month old granddaughter. Now that I’m saying it out loud I’m ready to buy some yarn I really like for it. So, thanks for asking the question!

  2. kathy says:

    I am terrible with picking colors. since I started pinterest I began a board with pictures I like from nature . this has helped somewhat but I still struggle with yarn colors! I like crazy, wild, bright colors but since I make lots of projects as gifts this doesn’t always work for someone else .I am finishing a cowl right now and while I love the colors I know it will end up in my closet because it is just too bright and crazy for most people! sometimes you are halfway through a project before you realize it isn’t the color/colors or look you wanted!

  3. Lisa Lee says:

    I don’t usually regret any yarn purchase, I’ve either used coupons or gotten it off craigslist (which is where I do 90% of my yarn shopping.) I DO regret that I can’t afford to go into a shop and buy expensive yarns but occasionally I’ll hit a really nice clearance. In that case, I don’t worry about color. I’ll use it sooner or later. On the off-chance that I’ve bought it from a store and then don’t like it, I have my receipt and won’t hesitate to exchange!

  4. Mary Beth says:

    I have a few skeins that I had liked when I purchased them, but now I’m not so crazy about the colors. So, my thought is, even though I don’t care for it, doesn’t mean someone else will agree. So I will either make a hat & scarf to donate for the homeless or donate the yarn itself to a local knitter’s group that makes & donates items to hospitals, nursing homes, and homeless.

  5. MARIA says:

    I tottaly get what you mean – I usually spend a lot of time choosing colors for a project (and it looks great when you put your skeins in line) but somehow sometimes it just doesn’t turn out like it was in your head – it looks great and everyone loves it, but… it’s not exactly as you pictured it – I really hate it when that happens (and I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t get easier for me to accept)

  6. Kathryn O'Dell says:

    Unfortunately, my problem is the colours – doesn’t matter the cost – I see the colours and IF I have the money, I buy the yarn – not with any specific project in mind – just that I MUST have that/those colours and I try to make sure that I purchase at least 3-4 balls of each so that Whatever project I do eventually use it for, I will have enough. IF I am buying it for a specific project, like an afghan, I try to match up the colours in the store so that I will not have a problem. Also, my other problem is that when I am depressed and I happen to be near a yarn shop, I purchase yarn or if near a pen shop – pens!! And one of the things that really depresses me is trying on clothes – and when they don’t fit (which is usually the case), I get depressed and have to buy pens or yarn – and one of the shops that I purchase clothes at just happens to also sell yarn – so lately, my stash has increased immensly

  7. Diane McDonald says:

    Actually Mikey you purchased your yarn in the correct manner when you were 14. I learned the hard way that you must purchase all your yarn at once for a project because you need to match the dye lot.
    But yes, I’ve made many a project that I wished I’d have used a better yarn or fabric for. I often think I’ll make another one with the correct materials, but then I’m off to some new project before I buy them.

  8. Debra Barton says:

    Oh my gosh! This happens to me all the time. Sometimes, though, it does take experimentation to see if color choices work with a particular design. Color sequences that look great with one design just don’t work with another. It may take me 2-3 tries (or more) before I am satisfied, but in the long run it is worth it

  9. Karin says:

    For me it is all about buying the inexpensive yarn. I live on such a tight budget that I can’t even consider buying really expensive yarn that I really want. If it really is just .50 cents I’ll spend it, but even though I have been hooking for 20+ years I have never been able to afford the yarn that I really want. (anything more than $5 a skein

  10. Grace says:

    If the yarn is expensive I tend to buy a few skein at time. I know JoAnn will carry the color I bought for a long period of time. So I don’t worry!! but than again it all depend of the type of brand! if it is seasonal … I stay away from those!

  11. tlsouthard says:

    One thing that I find helpful in dealing with color choices is the Design Seeds website. They have amazing pictures for inspiration, with the appropriate color palettes shown on the sides. They are not geared specifically toward yarn, but they are a wonderful place to go for inspiration – and to think outside our normal boxes once in a while. Here’s a link:

  12. I have a tub full of buyer’s remorse–when I first decided to start crocheting baby blankets for charity, I contacted a friend who had closed her yarn store, and asked if she had a stash of baby yarn. I bought her whole stash of 80 some balls of baby yarn, sight unseen, before I had made my first baby blanket. It is gorgeous yarn, I paid an amazing price of $1.00 per ball, but it is not at all right for making baby blankets. Maybe it would be okay for knitters, but it is really better yarn for baby clothes. So I either experiment with ways to use it, which slows down my ability to get blankets made, or I have it staring back at me, reminding me of my dumb mistake. It has made me much more aware of yarn weights and how to incorporate donated yarns into projects, but for the most part, it just sits there and makes me feel guilty.

  13. Mancy Pants says:

    The truth be told, I never go out and buy for a particular project in mind, I usually buy what I like at the time total impulse “puts head down in shame” what usually ends up happening, I get started on a project and need more of one I only bought one or two balls of so I go out and buy more, and usually grab what I can, too make sure not too run out. When it comes too how much they cost honestly I have too avoid some yarns that i think are beautiful the specialty yarns like red heart boutique for a example. because they only come in small balls, and are expensive, for me. I would probably end up having too pay much more then I can afford. As for colour, if it irritates me enough , I will frog frog , I don’t like working on projects that I do not like , I’ve had too do that many times , it takes the joy out of crochet , I’d rather change colour a 100 times over till I am happy with it!

  14. Carol Battistini says:

    Glad to hear you write this. I am a new crocheter and had that just happen to me. Good to know I am not the only one. So, now what started as an afghan for my mom with neonish colored flowers (seemed like a good idea at the time) is now going to be a blanket for my neice, lol

  15. Amanda says:

    I have regretted a lot of color and/or texture choices. If it isn’t working for me in the beginning then I use the yarn and make some scarves out of it to sell at an art/craft show. I have found if it something that I hated someone else loved.

  16. Becca Schwartz says:

    There have been many projects where the pattern and the yarn don’t work together for me – the Juicy Fruit afghan challenge you had is one of those for me. I was using Red Heart Super Saver which I normally love, but with that particular pattern it made it to dense and rough. I’m ripping the whole thing out and will find something else to do with the yarn down the road.

  17. Sandra Frazer says:

    When I can purchase in a local store I’m usually able to use that yarn. But, when I order online, which I do sometimes, it can be disappointing upon getting the yarn and the colors don’t look like their online photo or have a texture I like…To avoid that happening to me anymore I’ve started ordering only brand yarns I’ve used before and know it will work. As for the project you are currently working on; rip it out and start over! I know, you said you’re 3/4 of the way finished…but…if you’re not happy….I’ve done it before and it’s really not such a big deal…Of course havin said this; it does make a difference if you are working on one big piece and not a bunch of little pieces, like granny’s which could cause a waste of the yarn

  18. anette says:

    I am working on an afghan for my daughter-in-law. She likes bright colors but also the colors of fall..I picked a pattern and colors and struggled to “feel” my daughter-in-law in the afghan…I made 7 granny squares and decided that the colors weren’t right…luckily I only had to get 1 different color and am anxious to start over

  19. Linda says:

    I fully understand! I have a great vision in my head. I can see it, but it is almost like it is devoid of color. Like maybe I am paying the actual process of making it so much attention that I jump into the color scheme just so I can get started! I don’t put as much time and effort into the color choice as I do the patten itself.

  20. Cathy says:

    Oh, hell yes! I immediately regretted my choice in colors for the Juicy Fruits project. (Thank God I didn’t win. I would have been completely embarrassed.) I was attempting to mimic a sunflower, as that is my daughter’s favorite flower. It just ended up looking like a hot mess, and I hated the border:(

  21. Personally I prefer to buy all the necessary yarn at once. I didn’t always and regretted it bitterly. I knitted a coat a few years ago… my own design and all. The back is down to my calves! Well, I ran out of the yarn when I was almost done with the second front panel. So I went back to the store to get more and continued to finish my coat. It wasn’t until I was wearing it with better light than what I had at the time that I noticed the new yarn was off by several shades!!! I still love my coat and even made a matching scarf, but the enjoyment will always be dulled by the very noticeable color difference :(. I’d much rather have left over than run out ever again! If I don’t have enough money to buy the yarn I REALLY want I save up until I can afford to buy all I will need at once rather than risking off-shades again!

    As for the regrets on color choice, yes, I have had regrets though not very often. I knit and crochet (and sometimes weave) items for sale and I have found that even if I don’t like a particular item so much, someone else does and actually buys it to my surprise…hahaha. I have to remember that people have different tastes/likes

  22. Valerie McClintock says:

    Oh yes! Actually right now. Am making a throw for a family member, using the colors of an NFL team. Went with the yarn the pattern called for, but am regretting that choice. The colors are great, but the yarn itself is too soft and just doesn’t look as good as I had hoped it would. Have to finish it, though it annoys me.

  23. Angela L. says:

    I would rather frog a project and start over than hate the finished result! I guess I’m picky, but if it’s not just right I will redo it several times to be happy with it. Why put your time and effort into something you don’t really love? To me that defeats the purpose of crafting!!

  24. Evelyn O says:

    Until I started going to Crochet conferences I always tried to buy the cheapest yarn I could get away with even if the color wasn’t just right. Since I have found the joy of a good yarn ( no matter the cost) I have been much happier with my finished products. Not that I buy the most expensive yarns, but I buy the best for the project. I will often save up until I have enough money for the yarn. Ultimately I am much happier making the project an am very proud of the finished product.

  25. Linda says:

    Hindsight is a great teacher. I’ve finally gotten to the point where If I really don’t love my project, I frog it and use the yarn for something else, OR (and that’s a big “or”) I have actually thrown out some things I’ve started and hated as the project developed. Either the color wasn’t right, or the yarn was wrong, or the pattern was making me crazy. I hate having a half-finished project haunting me and giving me a guilt trip every time I look at it. It’s amazing how quickly that knot in my stomach goes away when I don’t have my mistakes hanging around.

  26. Ally says:

    I always have so much choosing the colors that I’ve never really had the issue of color or purchase regret. I’ve learned to not buy my yarn online, however, because somehow I always end up with a mixed batch of lot numbers… Not sure why they can never seem to send me what I ask for. I think the important thing about color and yarn is to always go for the little bit more expensive and think about what you’re going to make with it… when making multi-colored items like afghans, pull all the colors YOU want together in the store and compare them side by side, and if you aren’t sure than don’t buy it!

  27. Joanne Kundra says:

    I have never regretted the yarn I purchased but color of the yarn, yes. I’ve been told I’m pretty good at finding colors to go together well and have never had any schooling on color theory. Now in the days of Pinterest, I have found that searching for color pallets (like those that interior designers use when selecting paing colors that go together well in a room),is an interesting way to decide what colors work together and would give an interesting look to what I am making.

  28. I live in rural Alberta in Canada. Love crocheting and am loving your site I don’t usually bash but In this case I need to This tiny community had many many little hobby shops and a huge variety of yarns Then the magic pricing of Wally world hit and one by one we lost our hobby shops We are now reduced in selection and colour Just finding the primary ones can be a challenge I have learned to not look at yarn unless I have $50 to spare On my Budget that means saving for 3 months. I am still looking for a gold colour so I can make my own “Hudson Bay” blanket 🙂 Love your stash articles 🙂 My frustration in My own corner of crochet world 🙂

  29. brandy deollos says:

    I buy my yarn alittle at a time. i go to others and say ok this is what i want to make give me color ideas and it helps. i dont think i have ever followed a pattern as is. i dont like to be like everyone else. i like to make things diiferent and colors to pop.

  30. Renea Tutt says:

    It always takes me longer to pick colors than to decide on the project. It is such a big decision and when you invest so much time and money you want it to look fabulous. I get frustrated in my area because you can never find the yarn that the project is shown in unless you order online. Who wants to wait that long, not me!

  31. Jan says:

    Using regrettable colors is my biggest issue! Although, I am currently working on a batch of pillows for my bed, and of course, decided to go “cheap” and really do not like the feel of the yarn. I have learned over the years to get what I really like or love, regardless of price, because if Jan ain’t happy, no one is happy!! 🙂

  32. Lauren says:

    On yarn value – think about what you typically spend per hour for entertainment. $10 for a movie ticket, for a 2 hour show? Or $45 for a concert – that’s 3 hours? How long will you be entertained by that $5 ball of yarn vs. that $20 skein of heaven? I have to look at the time value, rather than compare to buying a $4 hat at the store, or a $10 scarf at the mall. I’m a spinner, so I get way more hours of entertainment when I buy fleece or prepped fiber to spin, instead of yarn as well.

    On colors – everyone can benefit from an introduction to color theory. And always look at all the yarn in the best approximation of the lighting the final object will live in.

  33. Marion says:

    this has happened to me more times than I can count, in fact as I sit her reading and replying to this, I’m staring at a bag of yarn ( Bernat Pipsqueak) beautiful color, but didn’t realize until halfway through my project how difficult it is to see my stiches, thus making me frustrated and just setting it aside. I also find myself loving a pattern but because I’m still relatively a beginner I get reading the directions don’t understand them, then get frustrated and give up.
    I’m glad I’m not alone.

    Have a great day and happy hooking.

    • Simone says:

      Oh i agree. Bought 3 skeins of it and hate that yarn:( i even trird usunf it coupled with another yarn and still a disaster:(. I think i’ll make a cute pillow and stuff it in there so its nit a complete loss

    • inkpattie says:

      I bought some Pipsqueak, and around the same time saw a cool video by BobWilson123 for a mile-a-minute blanket. It was a lucky accident that I used Pipsqueak yarn for that project–you are always crocheting into a hole, not a stitch, so it is very easy to find where to go next. And the overall projected ended up looking like a solid fluff-ball, which was nice for a baby blanket. You could use it for any granny square type project and get the same result–crochet into the gaps and you can always feel the gaps!

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