Ordering hand dyed online

I may have made a big mistake. I am new to sock knitting, but already addicted. So I orderd 3 different kinds of hand dyed yarn from webs. I so far have only recieved 2, but one of them looked nothing like the picture on the web site. The website had deep greens and very royal blues. The skein I got was kind of mixture of sagey greens and white. When I called customer service, they told me that with hand dyed there is color variations. Maybe I should stick to what I can see in person, but the website photos are so tempting. Was this just a bad batch, or has this happened to any of you?

I have only purchased hand-dyed yarn from www.vintagepurls.co.nz in New Zealand and have been thrilled with EVERY skein, and I must have purchased about 13 colours (sock & lace) over the past 8 months. I have also done her Winter 2009 Sock Club and have been rapt!

I would call Webs back and ask to speak to a supervisor. Hand dyed yarn does have some variation and there is always the computer monitor variation issue, but this sounds pretty out of bounds. If they won’t budge, I would very nicely explain that you won’t be buying yarn from them anymore and see what happens. Some sites put of photos of each skein, and some are just better about making sure the colors match. I would try yarnmarket, who will actually check for you if they think the skein in their hands matches the one on the site page. Their customer service is outstanding.

I have been to Webs and it is really a great place to go if you can. I bought some sock yarn while there and would have bought more but I didn’t have projects in mind at the time. I didn’t want to under buy the amount of yarn needed.
>>On the other side, I went on their web site and found some thread I thought would make a very nice knitted doily. The picture showed nice sheen and the texture looked good. I got the material and it wasn’t what I saw on their web site picture. The site picture was better than the actual material. I just sent it back and I am out shipping which was about 10 dollars( five to me and five to send back) If the picture had been more accurate I wouldn’t have bought the thread and be out any money.
>>If pictures were better on all the web sites then it wouldn’t be a problem.
>>I went on eBay and bought this beautiful mulberry silk which was exactly what was pictured and am very happy!

I’ve never ordered from Webs. Sorry you had a bad experience and hope they will make it right for you.

When I first started knitting I would buy yarn online - hand dyed or not about 50% of the time I felt like what I ended up with was not what I expected and had paid for. I have since stopped buying yarn online and only buy at my LYS and local festivals where I can touch and see.
A girl in my local knitting group just gave me some hand dyed yarn that she bought on line and was unhappy with. It is clearly an amatuer dye job but as I had no expectations for the yarn, I like it…having seen the pictures and read the ad she was expecting something very different than she got and was disappointed. She was told the same thing you were - in hand dyed no two are alike and variation is expected.

I think I learned a valuable lesson from this. As someone else said I think I will stick to shows and my LYS for my hand dyed sock yarn. I just recieved another skein from my order and while it looks like the picture, in person, I would not have purchased it. I have not been disappointed with Knit pics yarn and will keep buying from them, but I need to resist the urge to get seduced by the photos on other websites.

Have you thought about dying your own yarn? I got some beautiful silk on eBay. Some I plan on dying and the rest I will not. I did get a kit from my LYS which is specifically for certain types of yarn. I have bought some beautiful yarn online and will continue to do so. But there are really some times where I really want to be able to touch the yarn. Sometimes I get yarn my LYS sells but online as it is cheaper even with shipping and handling. Don’t get me wrong I am waiting for a hank of yarn at my LYS because the colors are right and the feel is fabulous but it will cost me $37.50 for this particular hank of cotton.:x:

This is why I go on Ravelry and check out many different stashed yarns and projects with that yarn. Everyone uses different cameras and lighting, so you really get a feel for the yarn. Also. many of them are from different batches, so you can see the colour variations.

Without batting an eye, I’d contact Webs, tell them that this has been a major disappointment, that you know that photos of hand dyed yarn and the actual item can be different, but you never expected it to be this different, and you’d like your money back. I would not keep the yarn-- you don’t like and probably won’t use it, and hand-dyed yarn is never cheap.

I did return the first skein, but after shipping and loosing the discount for spending over 50.00, I probably won’t see much of a credit on my acct. I am going to keep the second skein, even though I am not in love with it, everyone on raverly seems to think this is the best sock yarn,(dream in color, smooshy) So I figure I should try it. Live and learn I guess.

If I were in your shoes, I would ask them if they can do anything about the shipping. Shipping charges are usually much higher than actual shipping. They charge for the time and effort and packing materials. Think of it-- when a company charges for shipping, they go by price. So if you buy a skein of yarn that’s $50 or 2 books which total $30, they’re going to charge you less for shipping the books, even though they are much heavier and need protective packing. It evens out in the end for them. I would explain just what a bad experience this has been, and can they do anything about it. It’s not as if they color was slightly lighter or darker-- it sounds as if it was really, really different. It’s worth a try.