But as a designer is it incredibly frustrating to find the perfect color to use, work up a pattern - place it out there for the buyer, only to have a few months later to get
"the color you listed has been discontinued, what can I use?"
And I am sure the buyer is just as frustrated and fearful the color change will not make the finished product look like the pattern they purchased.
Or even worse, a pattern calls for a yarn which you can only purchase online and the shipping alone would be enough to scream!
The Yarn Industry is concerned with profit. They are not concerned about 40 or 400 people liking any particular shade of yarn, when they are making tens of thousands of skeins of yarn each month. Colors which are not in demand simply get dropped - most times without any advanced warning (in fact, the only warning we may get is "for a limited time" stamped across the outer package.).
Recently, a referral to a client (see the Doodled by You page DOES work!), requested a finished item for which one of the colors had indeed been discontinued. Usually, I can recommend a substitute without hesitation because I have my little cheat sheet bookmarked.
But on this day, I was drawing a blank - couldn't find my bookmark (after having to change my usual browser) and actually had to go to Red Heart's website and do some actual looking around to answer my client's question.
So, lesson learned - this website is NOT common knowledge
and I wanted to share with you all, my cheat sheet:
While it's not a 100% perfect solution - there are some gaps in the website with discontinued yarns, leading to another discontinued brand of yarn (so you may have to search again... and again)... it is close to perfect (at least in my opinion) ..
unless of course, you have an yarn encyclopedia of knowledge in your head...
or just have a love-affair with fiber and don't care what sort of yarn you use.