Yarn Hacker

A post with no name for lack of imagination


We’re going on a trip soon, from the icy, freezing, thrice-cursed winter in Toronto to the picturesque snowy landscape that is Middle-of-Nowhere, Alberta. At this point, the only good thing, weather-wise, that I can see coming of this, is that maybe Toronto will feel balmy and comfortable when we come back. Right.

My mission now is to come up with the perfect project to take along with me. And I did! (Go me!) I’m going to bring the Purple Rose Afghan (first mentioned here).

So, I dipped into the stash. The yarn for this project was bought two years ago when I was working at the Michaels in Burlington. I bought an embarrassing amount of yarn during their annual Employee Appreciation Sale. Like, 3 shopping carts full. Anyhow, the yarn for this blanket has been living in the drawer under the TV for quite some time now. (What? What do YOU keep in the drawer under the TV?)

I remember “over-buying” when I bought this yarn. You know, because sometimes patterns lie about yarn requirements. It was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, even if I was using the same yarn the pattern calls for, and had already made this very blanket using this same yarn. Ahem. So, over the years, knowing that I’d over-bought, I started dipping into it when I needed a certain colour. (I think you’re starting to see where this is going…)

Friday morning I was getting ready for work when I remembered that I needed a new project. No, the striped baby blanket wasn’t finished, but I ran out of green yarn (not to worry, Mom brought me some today… along with some more baby yarn… it’s a disease, I tell you!). So I thought to myself, “I know, I’ll start working on the purple rose blanket!” I opened the drawer, and knowing that I’d been dipping into the stash, I had a flash of insight and decided to check to make sure I had enough.

Here’s the picture:
purple rose blanket yarn

Here are the yarn requirements:
off white – 10 balls
dark purple – 6 balls
light purple – 4 balls
green – 4 balls

You see the problem.

I definitely bought way more of the off-white than I needed for this blanket. So, where did they all go? I don’t see an abundance of off-white projects sitting around. The only time I remember using it was for a Flying Spaghetti Monster purse (which I couldn’t find when looking for half-finished projects), and a little bit for the Settlers of Catan blanket. Where did the rest go?

So, I called Michaels in Mississauga. (Does anyone else find it odd that there isn’t a single Michaels store that is possible to get to on the TTC? Here is my Facebook group about it.) My parents were coming to town, and they agreed to drive me out there. It was another flash of insight to actually call first.

I called asking if I could bring in the 7 balls I had, and trade them for 10 balls with the same dye lot number and pay for the extra 3. After much time on hold I was told that they don’t do that sort of thing if you bought the yarn so long ago. (Why? Yarn doesn’t go bad!) The manager said that maybe we could work something out, though. After more time on hold, someone else came to the phone and said, “yes, we have them.” Er… Have what? I asked, “You have 10 balls of Bernat Satin ‘Silk’ with the same dye lot?” “You wanted 10? Er… hang on.” More time on hold. “No, the most we have is 8.”


So when my parents showed up I told them, and suggested that maybe we just go to the local Zellers and see if we can get something similar. No luck, as Zellers was sold out of that colour.

Well, Mom and I always enjoy a trip to Michaels (she lives within a 15 minute drive of *three* of them. Does that seem fair to any of you?) so we went to the Mississauga store anyway, with the same plan in mind of trying to find three balls of a similar dye lot. Well, upon our arrival we discovered that Bernat Satin is on sale this week! That was a surprise. Mom was mad that she hadn’t received a flier, though.

We were just about to give up and leave, when I thought, if this yarn is on sale, they probably got a lot in. Having worked at Michaels, I understand the codes they write on the boxes of over-stock found above the shelves. I looked up. Sure enough, there were 8 boxes of Bernat Satin up there. We found an employee and asked her if she could look in the boxes. She claimed to have down-stocked the yarn department just that morning, so all of the colours they had were on the shelf. I explained to her the dye lot problem, so she agreed to look.

Low and behold! In the fifth box she looked in there were four packages of the Silk colour, all with the same dye lot. There are 6 balls in a package.

I have to say, when I worked at Michaels, I hated climbing up those ladders and looking in all the boxes when something like this came up, but I did it anyway. I’m kind of disappointed that no one at this store thought to check when I called, especially since the yarn was on sale.

Anyhow, I picked up two packages of the yarn (it seemed easier than opening them… it has nothing to do with wanting 12 balls more than I wanted 10 balls…), as well as two in the green (the dye lots on the green don’t matter as much for this pattern), then carted them up to the cash.

Naturally, I didn’t exchange the yarn I had. I mean, clearly I make a lot of projects out of this off-white yarn (lack of evidence aside).

Here is the yarn I acquired today:
more yarn

So I’m all set for my trip. Oh, wait. Maybe I should think about packing some clothes, too…


  1. Alberta in February, how chic!

  2. (1) Yay to finding the yarn you needed and on sale!

    (2) Shakria reference?? I totally didn’t catch it.

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