Well, now that we've established that we're all a bunch of dirty old ladies.... Perhaps I should just speak for myself.
Anyhoo, a change of pace: Knitpicks. Discuss.
I am sort of out of the loop on a lot of these things. I have been a low-volume user of Knitpicks because, well, mostly I don't need anything, and I usually like to see what I'm buying before I buy it. As with most things, I prefer to support local as much as possible, though it's not always possible. (And acknowledging, of course, that Knitpicks is local for a good number of people in the Pacific Northwest.)
I have bought yarns from KP before -- some Swish Superwash for Red Scarf projects -- and been sort of satisfied, but quite underwhelmed. I find the balls so small and the yarns splitty and not exciting (I feel like they'll pill like a mofo), and the colors badly represented on the monitor. (For example, Merlot Heather is absolutely nothing like red wine, as I expected. It's brown.) My last shipment included nice colors, though I have not used them yet.
An aside: I'm not much of a lover of superwash yarns anyway, but if I have to use superwash, the best one I have come across so far is Cascade 220 superwash. It is truly different from the rest.
I am mostly suspicious of KP's super-super-super-super low pricing. Is that weird of me? I can't understand how their stuff can be priced so low. They are the Wal-Mart of yarns? Do they really deal with that much volume? Their stuff fell off a truck? Children are producing it somewhere in the world for 2 cents a day?
And then there was that debacle when they squashed Knit Pixie's name, which wasn't even remotely a similar business or a similar name, and that kind of stuck in the craw.
Am I going to get hate mail from this? I'm really not trying to provoke; I'm simply curious what other people think.
I just got their latest catalog, and I love the cover sweater, "Blue Pine Jacket." Love it. Most of their patterns that I've seen before have been "meh" and rather shapeless and lacking oomph, to my mind. But that one is a beauty. Then it goes, "Prices (for the completed project) starting at $39.06." You're KIDDING!
Well, that's a bargain, for sure. Will it hold up? Will it pill and be disgusting? And then their socks. "Starting at $2.99" or something. My GAWD. Really? These are yard sale prices. How can they produce a catalog and have the stock and run a business with these prices? Is it a front for organized crime? (I'm being hyperbolic on that one.)
Maybe I'm just crazy.
On the other hand, I recently relented, after resisting for a long time, to getting a set of Options needles, and I LOVE them. I would buy them again in a heartbeat and would recommend them to all my friends. Overall, they are far and away the best needles I've used, and suitable for a wide variety of yarns and projects.
So what is up? Tell me your opinions and your stories and your thoughts. Do they mesh with mine, or am I all wet? Am I a snob for thinking this is just too cheap to be good and true? Or is this a Pandora's Box I am opening?
Now remember, in this day and age, it will take a millisecond and a half for this post and all its comments to be made known to someone in Knitpicks. I don't intend to be mean. I've mentioned the things I love about KP and just have some questions that can't really be answered by the simple, "We've traveled the world looking for the best yarns at the best price." That answer just suggests to me maybe something not so attractive, along the lines I mentioned previously. I'm wondering if I'm just nuts for thinking that, and would like to hear what you all say and think. Try to keep the comments civil. I don't want this to turn into one of those blog wars some of us have witnessed in the past. I'm too fragile right now, and can't take it. Ha.