Question about yarn from a new knitter. Help!

Hi folks,

So I’m working on my first real knitting project - a ribbed scarf. I’ve been at it for a while and after 3 balls of yarn it’s getting close to long enough.

However, I’m a few rows into my 4th ball and I’m starting to notice that the yarn doesn’t feel quite right. It feels and looks significantly thinner and I don’t know what to do.

I bought the yarn a year ago (yes, I’ve been procrastinating) and I definitely didn’t buy the wrong kind - all the labels are same, this ball just feels much thinner.

Not sure if you can tell from this photo (the top third is more narrow, hole-y, and thin) but the difference is quite obvious when you feel the scarf.

Has this ever happened to you? What should I do???

Interesting… I’m not sure, but here’s some ideas.

  1. Are you using the same size needles?
  2. Do you have the correct number of stitches?
  3. Could you be knitting tighter?
  4. Some yarns use a very similar label on all their yarns…could this one be a lighter weight type?

Skeins can sometimes be randomly different, but I think it’s usually color at issue not yarn weight. Hopefully someone else can figure it out.

Thanks for the quick reply! To answer your questions…

  1. Yup, they’re the same needles. I only have one set.

  2. Yup, I just counted and the number of stitches is still the same.

  3. This is my first project and I realize that I started out knitting quite tight then got looser, so by the end of the 3rd ball, it was an inch wider than the beginning, haha oops. But once I started the 4th ball, I was still knitting a bit loose, definitely not tight.

  4. Just checked the labels again and all of them say 4 Medium. Is this the weight? If so, all the labels are a 4.

I’m quite certain this is a yarn weight issue. When I grab the part knitted with ball #4, it feels much less substantial than the parts knitted with balls #1-3.

Does this mean there’s nothing I can do to fix this? If anyone else has ideas I could really use the help. Thanks!

Clearly it’s the yarn. I would go to the source, that is, the yarn company. What yarn is it? On the label, is there a dye lot, batch lot, etc.? There should be some numbers printed on there. If the 3 other labels say one thing, and the thinner one says another, then that’s your answer. They either make it in different weights and mislabeled it, but my instinct is that you got part of a batch that was badly spun. I would contact them and tell them all the numbers and ask if they have any that matches the first 3. By the way, I wouldn’t try to work through the place where you got it-- I have a feeling they aren’t going to be able to help much in this situation, unless they happen to have some from the other lot still in their shop a year later and can match the first 3 skeins. Not likely, but perhaps worth a try.

Yes, even the dye makes a difference in the yarn, making some feel thick, or stiffer, etc, and other completely different. Most major yarn companies do entire dye lots at the same time in huge vats, to avoid this. But if you happened to pick up balls from different dye lots, this could easily happen. I am a professional embroiderer/digitizer. On my 15 needle commercial machine, I always keep the black in one position, as well as the dark blue, and white. Black will almost always be smaller than white and needs a different tension (a big pain on a big machine like that - not so simple to set, so you want to avoid it if possible.)

Thanks for your replies! Unfortunately the lot numbers are the same on all of the labels… here it is, it’s Bernat Cashmere Natural Blends.

Maybe I should just give up and settle with a short scarf =( How long would you recommend a scarf to be? Right now it’s a bit shorter than my height, so it’s around 5’6". Is that too short?

Something around your own height is just about right, it may stretch out a little longer too. I would still contact Bernat and let them know about the thickness descrepancy, you might want to keep a snip of the thicker yarn in case they want too see it. The yarn has been discontinued, but they may send you another or a coupon for a skein. You never know.