Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Dear Knit Picks

Dear Knit Picks

I have a small complaint. I understand that you cannot possibly check every single skein of yarn you have for defects and abnormalities. I know you cannot be held responsible for minor things that go wrong with your yarn. I realize that I purchased my Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed sock yarn about a year ago, that it was on sale and that I have no right to return to you and complain at this late date. Honestly though, as knitters, I think you’ll understand why I want to have my little rantfest about this particular yarn. Someone, somewhere, did something wrong and I wound up with some funky looking socks. Now, just so you know, I’m not particularly picky about socks and sock yarn. I don’t make any effort at all to avoid pooling or to match up my stripes on self striping yarn. For me, two socks that look like they came from the same dye lot are a pair, even if the stripes are off and that bothers other people. Seriously, I can’t be bothered with that sort of thing. If someone has enough time to look at, complain about or let themselves be bothered by my mis-matched socks, they simply have too much time on their hands – and they certainly shouldn’t expect me to knit anything for them, ever.

Back to the topic at hand. As mentioned, last year I bought some of the Knit Picks Essential (now stroll) kettle dyed yarn when it was on sale. My aunt picked out the colours she liked and I put it aside for (mostly) her socks. So far, so good. Last month, I dug the Timber yarn out and started knitting a pair of socks. However, instead of giving me that lovely shaded effect I usually got from the kettle dyed yarn, it was just a solid colour, and not a very pretty one at that (mud comes to mind, as do a few other shades, but we just won’t mention them since I prefer to keep that kind of language out of my blog). I figured since it was much to late to even contemplate complaining about it and my aunt likes the brown colours anyway, I just kept knitting. This is where we come to the heart of the problem. As I was nearly finished with the shaft of the Second Sock, I came to the last few yards of the skein and it suddenly started looking like it was supposed to look; the different shades started coming out. Worse still, I started a new skein to finish the pair, and it was perfect. All the highlights started popping out and it really looked quite nice. I was so surprised, I even checked the yarn and dye lot numbers to make sure I wasn’t using two different lots or even two different colours. I wasn’t. It was the same yarn, same dye lot. Since this is all very difficult to visualize, I give you pictures:

Tell me that after having seen the socks, you don’t understand what I mean. Tell me you can’t see the problem. Obviously as knitters, you will. It looks like I abruptly switched yarns 2/3rds of the way through. This tests even my ambivalence towards less than perfect socks. Seriously, a lot of knitters I know would have abandoned these socks, thrown out the yarn, knit a new pair and complained copiously about, at and to you at Knit Picks. Fortunately, I am lazy and have no desire to have knit for 12 hours without actually having something to show for it. I am now seriously trying to convince myself that not only will my aunt probably just be happy to have another pair of hand knit socks, but she’ll mostly likely only wear them with her boots and no one else will ever see them. It’s not easy, even for me. It’s asking a lot in my opinion.

I will say that I’ve been perfectly happy with the kettle dyed up until now and am slightly miffed that you’ve taken it out of your selection (although I have to admit I bought quite a lot of it during your sale). I’m sure something just went wrong during the dying process and someone fell asleep on the job and let it soak too long or forgot to agitate the barrel or something (I don’t dye yarn, so I’m guessing here). Still, I can’t help but find the whole episode a little less than satisfying. So Knit Picks, a slap on the hand to yourselves so that I feel better, OK?

Of course, you could always argue that if I have enough time to complain about this, I have too much time on my hands anyway, but shhhhhh!