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A Mottled Problem


See the picture above? (Go ahead, click on it.)

That is a skein from our last shipment of Socks That Rock lightweight. See the lovely mottled effect? It’s pretty isn’t it? It would be a great new addition to our sock yarn line had we actually designed it this way and asked the mill to produce this yarn. We did not. So, we have over 2000 pounds of Socks That Rock lightweight with this lovely mottled effect that we did not add as a design feature or ask to be put in our yarn. It is, in fact, a mill error. It is a mill error we are trying desperately to resolve.

The mill keeps telling us that it’s us. It’s the dye job. Honestly, I would love it to be us because that, my dear knitters, is an easy fix. It is not us. Our lightweight yarn is spun form the same fiber we use in our mediumweight and heavyweight Socks That Rock yarn and we have no problems there or with any of the other yarns or fibers we are dyeing. You do the math.

After a whole lot of testing and trying to figure out what the hell was going on here, we’ve discovered it is not us. (Damn.) The yarn is structurally sound. It is all our lovely superwash top, so no worries on that front. Lightweight STR is a three-ply yarn and our discovery is that one of those singles is spun a little tighter than the other two. This means that it will not take dye the way same as those other two strands. What makes this a nightmare to deal with is that it runs inconsistently through the skeins and the whole shipment. Which also tells us it’s a mill issue—either a broken or almost broken machine or an operator error.

The inconsistent nature makes this quite the challenge to deal with. If it was uniform throughout each skein and each batch, then we’d thank the three wicked spinning sisters of fate, call it a design by nature, add it to our line as STR Goes FUNK and order a new batch of STR lightweight (without the one tightly-spun ply). However, it is not uniform and, here’s the clincher, the mill is still not convinced that this is them. (the skeins below are from the same shipment)


Why you ask? Because they sent a skein or two to a dye plant where they set the colour hard, heavy and hot, which, of course, works. So in their book, there is no issue.

Except, of course, that there IS in fact an issue. I am their loyal customer and I am a hand dyer, not a big commercial dye house (not that there’s anything wrong with big commercial dye houses). There’s a difference in how we create and set colours. My goal is and always has been to give you the yarn and colourways you’ve come to expect.

So where does this leave us? Extremely frustrated? You bet. That is the predominant feeling rolling around the Blue Moon barn. I know these things never come at a good time, but, seriously, it just could not be a worse one. (Knock on wood.)

These lovely Lightweight skeins are what we have in stock right now, until this error is corrected or we find another mill to spin this yarn for us. Please note: our mediumweight and heavyweight yarns are NOT mottled in any way.

If you have received a mottled skein or two and are unhappy, please do let us know.  We love our customers and your continued knit happiness is our goal. Of course, you can return it and we will refund your money and shipping. We ask that if you are placing an order for STR lightweight to finish a project, please say that in the notes field of you order so we can act accordingly.


If you are a sock club member, this is the yarn you received in May and this will also be true for July. As I said earlier, I think it has a pretty effect. It works well with both colourways for these months and, although it is not a planned choice, I do think it is interesting in these designs. If I thought otherwise, I’d send the whole 2,000 lbs. back. If I thought for one second that this lightweight batch was structurally unsound in anyway or ugly, it would have been returned, no matter what it cost us.

Speaking of cost… because of all of this over-spun drama, we are holding off on a much overdue price and skein size increase that we were going to implement this month. We want to be thoroughly sure this issue is resolved to our satisfaction. I keep thinking that if we knit the mill workers socks, maybe, just maybe, they would get it!!!

What would Blue Moon Fiber Arts be without you, the lovely knitters, spinners and fiber crafters? We are truly nothing without you. Thank you for your continued support and understanding. We will keep you posted.