As you know, I’ve developed a bit of a yarn buying issue in 2020. All of that yarn has been purchased on line. I normally support my LYS, but that is hard to do when you are staying home whenever possible.
When it comes to buying sock yarn from indie dyers I trust the dyer to post an accurate photo of the yarn. If it is a little off I don’t mind, as it can be hard to photograph some colors.
When it comes to sweater yarn, I rely on color cards. I started using color cards when I fell in love with using American wool. For about $10 many mills will send you a card with samples of all of the colors they produce. You can see the colors, you can see how they play with each other, you can feel the yarn and decide if it is something you would like to work with.
I currently have color cards from Harrisville Designs, Bartlett Yarns, and Beaverslide Dry Goods. I expect to add a color card from Peace Fleece early next year. I love knitting with wool from small mills, and being able to see and feel the yarn before I commit to a sweaters amount of yarn is important to me.
Do you have any color cards? Do you use them when searching for yarn on line?