I bought two skeins of Cascade Yarn's Pura Alpaca in Lake Chalen Heather, thinking it would go great with this other alpaca yarn I had been gifted with for Christmas going on two years ago now. Except that I decided I didn't really like the two together, since they had slightly different weights. So I stashed the gifted yarn for later and began knitting up this shawl, about a year after buying the Cascade Yarn.
And I discovered that I was about a skein short for the project. So I went back to the yarn shop where I bought the yarn. Only to learn that they had discontinued the color I bought, because, as it turns out, I was the last person to buy it, so they'd tossed the rest of it in the clearance bin. Super sad day.
They offered to order it for me, but that would mean waiting for it to come in, and I was not in a waiting sort of mood. So I totally switched gears and bought a totally different yarn by the Malabrigo company. I almost went with the color 'zarzamora', just because it started with Z. But I received this piece of advice as an undergraduate wood furniture design student : go big or go home. Basically, if you have to fix something because of a flaw, a mistake, act of God, what have you, make it look like a deliberate choice. Don’t try to match because then it’s really going to look like you had to cover your tracks. When creating a patch or trying to make up a difference, don’t go for the closest color to what you’ve got because it’s going to be obvious - in that case, naturally occurring differences in wood species, but with yarn, it's a dye lot. Go big or go home. Change gears. Go with a different wood species that's a completely different color. Patch the hole where the router slipped up and ripped a gaping hole in the side of your blonde maple box with dark brown walnut. [someday I'll get a picture of that box up here...]
So I had a yarn problem. I had enough of the Cascade to bookend the project with the Lake Chalen color, but I needed to throw something in the middle to make it the right size. I picked out zarzamora and candombe, but without more than a swatch of the yarn I was using, I wasn't sure how I felt about it for the whole of the project. The great folks at Natural Stitches suggested, since I knew I needed the two skeins for the project, to buy the Malabrigo in the zarzamora and the candombe, and then return which ever color I didn't want as an exchange for the color I did. When I dug the project out, in it's half knitted glory, I realized what I had figured out already at the store: the zarzamora [it means 'blackberry'], while it had the perk of a great name going for it, wasn't doing it for me - it wasn't going big. The green in it wasn't quite right or something.
So I went with the bolder of the two. Which, in this image on the right, really doesn't look like much of a difference. On the left, you can see that there is a little more brown, blue and gold in this colorway. It's a total departure from the Cascade Alpaca.