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Knitmama
Seriously Hooked

USA
682 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  1:24:03 PM  Show Profile Send Knitmama a Private Message
This blog has some reviews of the various KnitPicks yarns. They're nowhere near as thorough as Clara's reviews are (can't wait to see her KnitPicks reviews!), but they are helpful nonetheless:

http://grumperinacrafts.blogspot.com/2005/02/knitpicks-review.html

Rachel
[IMG]http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/knit.gif[/IMG]

Clara
queen bee

USA
4403 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  1:33:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
What perfect timing! That's what this week's newsletter is about. Everybody's talking about this yarn and trying to figure out how in the world it can be so inexpensive. Do they pad it with shredded cardboard or something? Nah, nothing like that. But this is a very interesting development in the yarn world...

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Knitmama
Seriously Hooked

USA
682 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  1:48:10 PM  Show Profile Send Knitmama a Private Message
I'm going to need to order it before KnitPicks figures out they should be charging more! Can't wait to see the newsletter, Clara!

Rachel
[IMG]http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/knit.gif[/IMG]
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  1:52:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I'm still hoping that other distributors see what Knit Picks is doing, drop their prices to compete, and yarn shops can drop their prices while still making a significant profit....

Of course, I was also hoping to be beautiful, rich, and thin when I was an adult, so I suppose it might not happen...

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  2:10:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Clara
Everybody's talking about this yarn and trying to figure out how in the world it can be so inexpensive.


My guess is that this is the real price for this type & quality of yarn and other brands are just marked up to cover:
commission for distributors & reps who are the proverbial "middlemen"
licensing royalties to designers who allow their names on the label(Debbie Bliss, Jo Sharp, Adrienne Vittadini, Missoni, for example)
pattern designers to support the yarn
advertising
trade show costs (having a booth at numerous international trade shows each year costs a fortune)
It appears that Knitpicks does not have a lot of these expenses.

If all the branded yarn companies have to start competing heavily on price with private label makers they will cheapen the quality, just like what has happened in the apparel business. The yarns will come from China instead of Italy, for example. The money has to come from somewhere and it won't be their pockets.


GFTC of NYC
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jade
Permanent Resident

USA
1543 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  3:12:30 PM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by GFTC
The yarns will come from China instead of Italy, for example.
GFTC of NYC




And your point is?
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Parrot Girl
Permanent Resident

2129 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  3:17:01 PM  Show Profile Send Parrot Girl a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by jade

quote:
Originally posted by GFTC
The yarns will come from China instead of Italy, for example.
GFTC of NYC




And your point is?



People in China and most of Asia aren't paid as well as people in the west so costs are lower. I don't think she intended any insult.

"The past does not equal the future"

The other Fran in Kansas City
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carpe diem
Permanent Resident

1158 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  3:45:21 PM  Show Profile Send carpe diem a Private Message
Rachel - Thank you so much for sharing this link! The blogger mentioned a few things I forgot to mention in response to Knitpicks' yarn survey - did anyone else get it?

1) I forgot to compliment them on the center pull strand neatly tucked under the label - very nice and don't know of any other mfg that does that and

2) I spit spliced 3x in the one hank I've knit so far - one knot; an almost complete splitting of plies; and an unwoven slub.

I appreciate her comments about the difference between Andean Silk (merino/alpaca/sil) and Elegance (baby alpaca/silk). I will patiently wait for Clara's review before purchasing either.

My personal opinion about the price is that I'm certain Knitpicks will eventually raise their prices, still cheaper the designer/brand labels, but as long as they maintain quality, I don't expect their volume to drop significantly by that time, and time will tell!

~ Lisa, Seattle
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rfknits
Chatty Knitter

USA
282 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  3:57:38 PM  Show Profile Send rfknits a Private Message
I agree with GFTC that consumers may end up being the victim of the competition. I, for one, would pay more for quality. I mean, I'm already spending days, if not weeks, knitting, I might as well get quality materials, right?

GFTC was just explaning possible future outcome in yarn industry based on current trends in other industries.

I think her comments were taken a little more personally than needed...

Steph
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platys
Seriously Hooked

USA
719 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  4:01:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit platys's Homepage Send platys a Private Message
There is a ton of interest in the knitpicks yarn - I saw a big spike in my blog traffic (well, its a baby blog, you know), and it turns out it was because folks were searching for knitpicks yarn, and coming across an entry I made that provided links to some of the early reviews that were coming out. I'm still getting huge hits (well, huge for me) on knitpicks and on that entry in particular.

Gail
http://www.knittergail.com
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  4:24:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
In answer to Jade, there is no "dissing" going on here. China has a very well developed manufacturing base. As we all know a good portion of what used to be made in USA is now made there. If you look at the labels in WalMart most of the clothing is made in China. All the toys are made there; so are the pots and pans. They have huge factories and lots of people to work in them. This is a good thing in many ways and the quality of the merchandise is very good for the prices that need to be attained. It's not just WalMart either, many of the bigger American manufacturers in the dept stores have an Asian partner who owns factories in China. All of them at the least have connections to factories there. That's not an opinion, that's how it is.

However, when it comes to certain things the highest end comes from elsewhere. If you have ever compared a cashmere sweater that costs $99 to one that costs $1200 you know they are both cashmere but they are not the same. This also goes for shoes and bags. Both are leather but the ones from the factories in China are made with lower price point as the goal. Often the higher end in sweaters and leather goods is made in Italy.

My point is that if you look at yarn labels, the higher end yarns are often from Italy and other European countries. Just like the sweater and leather businesses, if the mfg is forced to work backwards from price, the factories in China can supply but the goods will be different. In addition to the raw materials being cheaper the factories in China are set up to do finished packages which is another way to keep the price down. The factories in Italy specialize - in other words they can make the yarn but may not be able to print the labels. Each independent operation will increase the price so being able to do a package from beginning to end is one of the advantages to mfg in China.

So.....anything can be made at a lower price but it is apples and oranges, as they say. We have Rowan, Colinette, Lion Brand, and Red Heart don't we? And wouldn't it be nice to always have those choices?


GFTC of NYC
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knittiegirl
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  07:43:41 AM  Show Profile Send knittiegirl a Private Message
Excellent review. I think I might have to ask for some of the Elegance for my birthday next month. I'm really looking forward to your review, Clara.

Thanks!

Fall down seven times, get up eight.
http://khrystyn.typepad.com/
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lizzi
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
553 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  08:53:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit lizzi's Homepage Send lizzi a Private Message
I bought enough Merino Style for a sweater for my sweetie, and I'm absolutely thrilled with it. Unfortunately, now it looks like I didn't buy enough...I might have to order more! Oh, no, whatever shall I do :)

Has anyone gotten either of the laceweight yarns yet? I've had a craving for lace again lately, and I have a shawl design stuck in my head that I must get going, I've been stumped for ideas lately, so I don't want to lose this one. And I love the colors of Shimmer...I'm going to have a hard time picking out just one!

Lizzi
http://amimono.blogspot.com
http://projectkoolaid.blogspot.com

"Flimsy as it is, it's open-mike punk rock, red, white, and blue" --Cake, You Turn the Screws
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Broadwaybaby
Warming Up

73 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  09:24:09 AM  Show Profile Send Broadwaybaby a Private Message
I just ordered some Shimmer from them and will post when it arrives, I ordered Iris and Peppermint.
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MMario
Permanent Resident

2209 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  09:32:02 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
I got some of both lace-weights. 'Shimmer' in Deep Woods and the 'Alpaca Cloud' in Tide Pool. Colour is fantastic. feel is great - so far all I've done is wind one hank into a ball - but not a single solitary defect did I find -



MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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fillyjonk
Permanent Resident

1127 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  3:04:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit fillyjonk's Homepage Send fillyjonk a Private Message
I ordered some of the various yarns for scarves and some of the silk blend for a pair of armwarmers.

I've already started on the Sock Garden sockyarn I ordered earlier, and although at the time I said "It seems distressingly softly spun" it's knitting up beautifully - super stitch definition, nice hand. I am knitting it fairly tightly (9-10 sts per inch) because it's all merino and I want these socks to last. (I'd like to see them come out with solid-colored sockyarn as well, for those of us who want to do fancy-stitch or colorworked socks).

I don't think the high-end yarns will be driven out by yarns like KnitPicks. But it is really nice to have that option - where there's a middle ground between Red Heart and the basic basic Lion Brand stuff (their not-so-basic stuff isn't that inexpensive) and the really high-end, $10 for 50 grams, type yarns.

What I'd *like* to see (the old Christian-hippie in me, I guess) is for KnitPicks to do something on the order of Manos, where they help support women's cooperatives or some such with some of the yarns they offer. I suppose prices might be a bit more, but if the yarns were nice and I knew some of the money was going to help people, I'd buy it.

If I like the yarns I've got in the most recent order, I'm definitely trying their laceweight. I adore some of the colors they've got (the deep turquiose blue will be PERFECT for the dragonfly shawl from NeedleBeetle) and it's a nice price.
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blazfglori
Permanent Resident

USA
1333 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  3:25:46 PM  Show Profile Send blazfglori a Private Message
Hmmm....

Would the *Elegance* yarn be a good choice to use for a Clapotis?

If not, what is a good *easy on the checkbook* yarn to use for one?

Thanks!

~Lori

Proud Mama Of Gunnar & Trapper
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sanesi
Chatty Knitter

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  4:47:22 PM  Show Profile Send sanesi a Private Message
Clara's review is here! It's fabulous, check it out.

My new blog: http://paintpurl.typepad.com/
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carpe diem
Permanent Resident

1158 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  6:16:20 PM  Show Profile Send carpe diem a Private Message
Super! Yet of course I have another question regarding the Sock Garden & Landscape yarns being *superwash* merino. I was under the impression that is NOT machine washable, only the striping yarn. Is that a typo by chance? Probably I'm misreading it

~ Lisa, Seattle
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Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  8:50:35 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
I read Clara's reviews, and the alpaca yarns sound fine. I imagine that's because Peru is already where so many alpaca yarns are spun.

I wonder if this whole situation is going to be similar to the one with the Elann Highland yarns. Great prices for wool yarns spun in Peru, but then you start seeing complaints on the Internet from knitters about fuzzing and pilling once they start wearing garments made from the yarns.

I got myself a skein of the Elann Highland Chunky, a beautiful heathered purple. It knit up just fine, and the swatch looked great. Then I did one of those rub tests - it was fuzz and pills all over the place, and pretty quickly, too.

Someone on an earlier post mentioned about Italian yarns. I've checked out the Italian websites for Baruffa, Filatura di Crosa, Filtes King and Grignasco. Though I couldn't find anything much about their handknitting yarns, what I did learn is that they all mainly make yarn for the commercial woven and knitwear industries. They all make thin 2-ply yarns for clothing manufacturers. The four companies mentioned above take the same thin yarns, combine 6-12 of these strands and twist them up into thicker yarns, which are then sold to handknitters.

It's not like these spinning mills are going to disappear because American knitters start buying yarn made in Peru. Plus, the Italian mills have to use the better quality wools, since their larger commercial customers expect that. We just benefit from their decisions to also make handknitting yarns. Yes, they're pricey, but I think a knitter gets a better assurance of quality. (Just my opinion BTW)
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grumperina
New Pal

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  9:50:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit grumperina's Homepage Send grumperina a Private Message
Thank you for bringing attention to my review :). I was so impressed with KnitPicks yarns and prices, that I just had to write about them!

I'm sorry that it wasn't as thorough as Clara's. In my defense, although I knit A LOT, I only learned in July and there's just so much fiber expertise that one can get in such a short amount of time. Also, because I'm a graduate student on a limited income, I wasn't able to keep the Wool of the Andes and the Andean Silk - I just took pictures and wrote my impressions, I couldn't swatch.

I'm glad that you are finding the review helpful, and happy knitting :).
Kathy

quote:
Originally posted by Knitmama

This blog has some reviews of the various KnitPicks yarns. They're nowhere near as thorough as Clara's reviews are (can't wait to see her KnitPicks reviews!), but they are helpful nonetheless:

http://grumperinacrafts.blogspot.com/2005/02/knitpicks-review.html

Rachel
[IMG]http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/knit.gif[/IMG]



My knitting webpage: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~vernovsk/knitting.htm
My knitting blog: http://grumperinacrafts.blogspot.com/
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