Saturday, August 06, 2005

Dear Yarn Company. My campaign to reinstate normal yarn.

So, I've been thinking/saying for a while now that I'm going to start writing to yarn companies about the riduculous amounts of crap "fun" "fur" "yarn" that seems to be filling shelves. These yarns are meant to be novelties, accents, used in SMALL amounts. Some of these yarn companies (the ones I can usually afford, the ones I can usually find at inexpensive locations that shall not be named) are churning out primarily novelty yarns and what is more horrifying, they are producing massive quantities of patterns for garments made entirely or primarily from these yarns.

Well, I finally got around to writing Lionbrand. I got another newsletter from them today and the furry pillow was just too much for me. I don't know why I didn't write after the last one. I think I was just too stunned and speechless from all the furry poncho/capelets, not to mention the dog poncho.

I'm posting the content of my comment to LionBrand. I figure that if knitters and crocheters who appreciate cheaper yarns, but still want quality, usable (i.e. not furry) yarns write them, maybe they will do something about it. Look what happened with Martha's poncho!!!! (over and over and over...

I plan to adapt this letter for other companies that I plan to harass write. If you decide to join me, let me know. (Feel free to use this letter as a jumping off point if you want) I went to the Contact Us area of the Lionbrand website and just filled out the form, putting my letter in the comment area.

Here it is:

I am concerned with the way that your yarn selections seem to be headed towards mostly fun-fur and novelty yarns. Or is it just that those are the ones you advertise?

LionBrand seems to be making an effort to reach new knitters, and that's great. Spread the love. But, if the only yarns that are being advertised are these fuzzy faux whatevers then new knitters will never mature into good, lifelong knitters. They will fade away and it will only have been a fad for them.

I love to knit. I have worked with and loved the results from Wool Ease, Wool Ease Thick & Quick, Jiffy, MicroSpun, and even Homespun, which some people don't like working with. I like these products because of the results, but also because of the price. I can't afford the Rowan or Debbie Bliss I drool over, so I need to find a reasonable, affordable substitute.

The last time I was at a store in my area that carried these staple yarns from your company (Wool Ease etc) they had only one half section of one shelving set with WoolEase or other worsted weight "smooth" yarns, but they had 2 whole shelving units crammed with fuzzy, bumpy, furry, un-natural "yarn". (maybe you can tell I don't like the fun-furs?)

Please don't read this just as a customer who is picky or wanting to complain. This is more about encouraging your company to keep doing the things that you have done right in the past and to avoid going overboard on the candy-yarns.

If you go to the forum, in the knitting discussion area there is frequently a discussion somewhere about how much knitters need good, staple yarns and how much they hate fun-furs. The rumor that LB Cotton Ease was being discontinued caused massive hoarding, if I read the boards and blogs correctly. (BTW, I would have loved to work with Cotton Ease, but I could never find it here in Calgary).

Don't get them (the craftsters) or me started on the poncho. (BTW. PLEASE stop with the ponchos already. It's over. Long over)

So, why am I writing? It seemed that people writing in about the Martha Stewart poncho inspired your company to produce a look-alike and to focus on it. I am hoping that if knitters and crocheters who want to see more quality, usable, inexpensive yarns (or who don't like the fun-fur or the poncho) will write to you and request more of quality "smooth" yarns and less of "fuzzy" "yarns", maybe your company will see that you have knitters who already are customers who are starting to look elsewhere for yarn. Maybe you will scale back your focus on the novelty yarns and let them be just that: a novelty. Something interesting to use as an ACCENT, not as an entire garment. Focus on the basics, knitters will come. Honest.


  1. Just for your info, LB is going to launch 2 normal yarns in September. One is called Lion Cashmere (72% wool/15% nylon/13% cashmere) and Lion Wool (100% wool). I am waiting impatiently for September.


    I suppose that my email campaign probably wasn't responsible for that... :)


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