Babs describes her work as a dyer in two ways: first, the craftsmanship of the production dyer to create reliable, repeatable monochromes, week in and week out; and second, the creative flair of the artist who plays with color, looking for something new.
Our monochrome (solid) colors are dyed in a controlled way to help ensure consistency across skeins and from batch to batch. Our Babettes (variegated colorways) are dyed using a method that creates artistic variability from skein to skein and batch to batch. Babs uses the same color of dyes for each batch of a colorway but things can affect the appearance from batch to batch and skein to skein. The placement of colors can vary, and factors such as the temperature of the yarn, outside temperature (winter versus summer), and the yarn base can impact how the colors are taken up in the yarn.
We didn't expect that our Babette colorways would achieve the popularity that they have, and we also perhaps didn't expect that we'd end up with so many repeatable variegated colorways. There are now dozens of repeatable Babettes.
We'll be keeping the pink "Babette" stickers and labels on our repeatable, but variable, colorways like Biker Chick, Zombie Prom, and Berlin. These colorways are featured with representative photos on the website, but the yarn you receive may differ slightly.
But not every colorway can be repeatable. It is so important for Babs to keep fresh creativity in the dyeing process. There will always be new and unique colors, both monochromatic and variegated. Some we will plan to keep in the regular rotation of dyeing and some will come and go.
However, we recognize that this can be confusing and even frustrating when you're trying to plan a project or pick out yarn on the site. In the hopes of making the selection process a bit simpler, we've added a third category to help describe and differentiate our colorways: Wild Irises.
We are now labeling our non-repeatable colorways with a new purple sticker that reads "Wild Iris". (It also has "not repeatable" on it). In the above photo, left to right, Coffee Break is a (repeatable) Babette and has a pink sticker; Lipstick is a Wild Iris and has a purple sticker; and Slate is a monochrome colorway, no sticker required.
Additionally, if a skein from a batch of a repeatable Babette like Perfectly Wreckless is wildly atypical - if it turns out too dark, too light, or somehow missing some colors, we'll give it a different name (a person's given name) and a Wild Iris sticker as well.
We're adding graphics to the site to reflect this, and changing the wording on the product pages to be more specific that these colorways are unique.
We hope this helps you choose the right yarn for you!