on the needles

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Odds & Ends & a Bit of Scandal

A couple of things -

First - thanks for all of the nice comments on my dear little birds. Harry Potter is coloring in at a really fast pace now. I'll post another picture of him soon so you can see the total transformation.

Second - I've been having trouble with my Bloglines interacting (or not!) with my Aol Browser. For some reason it suddenly stopped displaying pictures so most of the blogs I read were showing up with that awful little red X instead of pictures. So I have been mostly reading my blogs through another browser. Unfortunately that browser doesn't seem to want to recognize my Blogger ID - so I am unable to comment on blogs that use that system. The point of all of this is - if I usually comment on your blog but haven't been lately now you know why. I haven't stopped reading - I've just been temporarily gagged. :( I'll figure out a way around all of this or work out whatever bug is in the system as soon as I get a moment to rustle up some brain cells that are willing to co-operate! Been too busy around here.

Third - Have you seen this? Cara posted about it over on her blog January One. Apparently The Knit With Shop in PA is voluntarily recalling several Debbie Bliss and Noro yarns because the yarns do not actually have the cashmere content that was stated on the label. The yarn recall notice can be seen here.

The yarns in question are specifically:
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
KFI Cashmerino DK
Noro Amagi
Noro Cash Iroha
Noro Lotus

The Knit With Shop posted this letter
saying that they have tested the yarn and found that the Debbie Bliss and KFI yarns actually have no cashmere content whatsoever and that the Noro yarns contain less than half the cashmere content stated on the label. They also go further and say that the yarns are "defectively spun". The Knit With Shop says it has discovered this discrepancy after "scientific testing" and "expert fibre analysis". Needless to say, Knitting Fever International disputes The Knit With Shop's claim regarding the yarn.

So - what do you think? Personally, I would probably be more inclined to believe The Knit With Shop's claim than not (even though I have had no dealings whatsoever with them and never knew of their existence until I read about them on Cara's blog) - although I would appreciate a more explicit explanation about how they arrived at their conclusions. But rumblings about KFI's business practices have been going on for a long time within the industry itself and have been aired here and there throughout blogland as well. In many ways the complaints have been similar to the complaints about big stores like Walmart. I'm not going to go into a huge thing about it here - but I think most people who have used Noro yarns have had complaints about knots, badly spun yarn (thick and thin when it's not supposed to be), and excessive vegetable matter in the yarn. And as for Debbie Bliss yarns I personally have had yarn that literally just disintegrated in my hands as I attempted to knit with it because it was just so poorly spun, as well as excessive knots within skeins. Also most of her yarns pill like crazy and in my opinion don't stand up to ordinary wear and tear.

I used Debbie Bliss early on in my knitting career but you could go down into my massive stash and not find a single skein of her yarn in there. I do however have tons of Noro Silk Garden and Kureyon - despite the fact that I know full well there will be plenty of "duds", skeins that are almost unusable due to excessive knots and weak thin spots. Why the Noro? Because no other yarn really duplicates the striping effects and no one else has the color genius that Mr Noro has. So I put up with the bad in exchange for the good. However, that is an informed choice I make. I do not like the thought that I may be being duped into buying yarns which are not what they say they are.

I'd love to hear other opinions on this!

Back soon with more bird pictures - and - I'm working on the border of the Log Cabin Blanket!!


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