For instance, with Moda, depending on the designer, I think that a lot of the reds are similar. Some of the lines can be mixed in a quilt without too much of a clash.
You are taking more of a chance with hand dyed yarns and you just need to have faith that ultimately if you are comfortable with a brand, that the color will be okay once it comes in the mail.
This is my latest order from THE LOOPY EWE They wrapped the yarn in tissue paper with one of their little stickers. Included in the order was a couple cards of yarn samples and a card to keep track of all of my needles. I especially liked the touch of the personal note. Yes, it is the personal stuff, along with the speedy service that makes the difference in where I choose to purchase my yarn.
I got a new pattern for a shawl that was designed by my friend Laura. Laura and I have met once. We spent several days together at the AQS show in Paducah. We met online in the about.com quilting forum. We were all working on New York Beauty quilts. There was a group of around 10 of us that talked all of the time. And continue to do so on a less regular basis, but we still keep in touch.
More, as time goes on. In this economy, I think that really good businesses need to have our support so they can continue to survive.