Like most of you, I do love my online yarn shopping. It’s convenient, the websites are very user-friendly, delivery is usually fast, online yarn shops regular send out great voucher codes and best of all you can do it from the comfort of our home.

This morning I decided to buy the yarn for one of the beautiful crochet and knitting tops in Marie Wallin’s latest book Filigree. She used Rowan 4-ply Summerlite so I thought I’d do the same. No substituting, no worry about getting the gauge right – all I had to do was decide what colour I want to use for Anemone.

I have two favourite online yarn shops: Deramores and Loveknitting, so that’s where I pointed my mouse, expecting to only have to compare the prices of their Rowan Summerlite.

Oh dear.  This was not going to be as easy as I thought. The shades of Rowan Summerlite on these two sites might as well have been two different brands, they were so different. The Pinched Pink shade immediately stood out for me, but for the wrong reasons.

On the Deramores site, this is what I saw. Pinched Pink is the colour in the big square. It looks like a muted orange-pink:

Rowan Pinched Pink Deramores

Here is Loveknitting‘s version of Rowan Summerlites shades with Pinched Pink as the main colour.  It looks fuchsia pink. Can this be the same yarn? Can it be the same shade? Apparently it is.  After reading this blogpost, Loveknitting have corrected the photographs they had on their website.

Rowan Pinched Pink Loveknitting

The correct shades are now showing on Loveknitting.com and they left a comment on this blogpost.

Loveknitting Rowan summerlite

On Rowan’s own website this is what Pinched Pink looks like. This is much more of what I would have expected from a Rowan shade: muted and soft. Not even close to how Deramores or Loveknitting has photographed the shade:

Rowan Pinched Pink Rowan website

I know we have to take into consideration computer resolution when looking at colours on a website, but I’m looking at these three website on my one laptop, so the differences are not in my screen resolution, it’s in the way the websites photographed the yarn.

I’m hesitant to make any colour decisions now that I’ve seen this. I was leaning towards Periwinkle or High Tide, but how can I be sure of what I’ll be getting? Go look for yourself the differences in High Tide on these three website. It’s quite shocking.

What would you do in this situation? It’s probably safest to use the Rowan colour chart to make my decision on what shade to buy. Or do it the old-fashioned way and just go to a bricks and mortar yarn shop.

Have you ever bought yarn online expecting one shade, only to find it looking totally different when it arrived?