3 Tips for Switching Thread Dye Lots Mid-Project

Whether you miscalculated how much thread you needed for a project or lost some of it (story of my life), the end result is the same: You’re out of thread. When you go to buy more, there no more in that dye lot. We’ve all been there at least once, just enough to never make the mistake again.

Luckily for you, I’ve made that mistake a time or two so I have some foolproof fixes that only the most sharp needlepoint critics would notice should this happen to you in the future!

Use another color to break up the two shades of your original color

A few years ago I made a wedding gift for my friend Emily. Halfway through the project, I realized that I was not going to have enough thread to cover the entire background. Less than ideal. After a momentary panic, I pulled out the thread on the bottom half of the background and used the state of Virginia to divide the two background colors. The two different threads touched at so few spots it perfectly hid the imperfection.

Needlepoint Wedding Gift

So, next time you run out of colors, find ways to use the other elements in the project to break up the two different dye lots. Can you tell that the top and bottom of the door hanger are the same color but in different dye lots?

Transition slowly between colors

I’m a realist so I know that there are times when you might not have a giant element to help divide the two thread dye lots. In those cases, soften the transition between the two colors by doing one row of one dye lot, and one row of the other, repeating for as much space as you can. Depending on how much thread you have left, how big the project is or how many other elements are on the canvas, this could go on for a few stitches or a few inches. You be the judge of what will look best!

Go bold and switch up your colors

The first two solutions help you hide the transition between two dye lots but it’s possible that you want to take your project in an entirely different direction. Instead of continuing with the same color, change up your project plans by either going with a shade slightly darker or lighter than the original color for extra shading, or going with something completely different to make a bold statement.

Next time you run out of thread and can’t find more in the same dye lot, don’t panic! Take a few deep breaths and think through which of these solutions will work best with your project.

Speaking of projects, I'm just over midway through the aquatic animal belt for my brother and I'm realizing that I'm out of the green background. Not ideal but luckily I've got some solutions to get through the rest of them (see above). 

Do you have another go-to solution for when you run out of thread but aren’t done the project? Let me know what you do!