Friday, December 5, 2008

Warning: Rant Ahead

I love Berroco yarns. And their patterns. And they employ my favorite designer ever, Norah Gaughan (Benissimo's designers are a *very* close second).

But this, well, I found it kind of offensive. And now they're on part 3 of a series on "recession fashion"!

In a recession, I realize they have to take a look at saving money. But are people really cutting back to where $50 is a deal>

Not in my world! My most expensive projects are in the $50-70 range. I like to buy expensive yarns and make smaller projects with them in a time of recession, not spend as much as my most expensive projects!

Here's a clue, Berroco - try listing smaller projects, not full sweaters, or giving a discount on your yarns (as in, buy a book or pattern booklet get 15% off or something) and don't try to kid that you're into the whole cutting the budget thing.

For those of us who have to cut our budget down, here are some better ideas:

1. Learn to unravel old sweaters from the thrift store. I can get all the cashmere/angora I want for $10 a sweater!
2. Learn to use expensive yarns next to the skin or places where the design impact will matter. Its not necessary to use the most expensive wool for a standard stockinette cardi, but it is necessary to use softer product for a pullover or for a cardi that will be worn on your skin, like with a tank top.
3. Buy some $10 gift cards from the store each month instead of buying yarn. Save them up to make a big purchase and it won't feel so bad in this economy (its already paid for!). If your yarn is "no dye lot", than buy one skein at a time.
4. Use your stash. Nothing costs more than yarn you aren't using. And if you just can't bring yourself to use something, donate it. Get it to someone who will be overjoyed at the thought of using your neon green fun fur (hello new crocheted Oscar!).
5. Learn to block acrylic. Its a different technique than learning to block wool, but once you try it, you'll never go back. I'm still learning it myself, but there are several projects that I need to photograph that show the results of learning to lightly block it.
6. Learn about knockoff brands. Like Noro Kureyon? Try Patons SWS. Like fancy sock yarn? Try Knitpicks. Like Malabrigo? Try some of the hand-dyed yarn on etsy. Hobby Lobby is especially famous for knocking brands off. I particularly like I Love This Yarn's selections!
7. Hankering for something new to learn? Purchase a set of knitting looms and learn how to knit differently. You'll be amazed at the way it will blow your mind at just how many ways you can enjoy knitting!

All of those will help squeeze some yarn time out of your budget without insulting you, making it seem like its a token gesture, or making it "fashionable" to be under budget.

Berroco, I'll still buy your yarns and avidly read Norah's blog, but like the parent of a five year old, all I can say is that I'm very, very disappointed in the company.

1 comment:

Cirilia said...

Hi Concetta--Cirilia here, a member of the Berroco Design Team. We did carefully consider the dollar amount for this collection of projects. We realize that $50 is on the high end for a lot of people so we were sure to include many projects that can actually be worked for far less. We started thinking like econnoisseurs back in September and then the cap was $25 (for the yarn AND the gift item the knitted covers were made for):

Personally I will cut back on many other things so that I can continue to enjoy knitting with high quality yarns. I think Berroco offers many yarns that are high quality at a good price. When you're investing so much time in a project I feel like it pays to get the best quality materials you can.

I hope you'll take another look at the Recession Collection--you'll find that today's issue contains a discussion of working from stashed yarns:

And I'm sure you already know that we're not ones to shy away from acrylic yarns. I think you'll be really excited about our Comfort patterns for next season. I'd love to hear your blocking advice.