Category Archives: yarn companies

Thank you for your support and a minor celebration!

Hey there Minions and Ring Leaders!

Thank you to all of you who have purchased the CLF First Ever Book, be it on Amazon.com, or through our Website, or even in the .pdf version, your support has helped the CLF hit a new milestone. It was time to renew our website domain, and hosting service. Which runs just over $100.00 a year for what I am using (not counting the blog), and this is the first year that I did NOT have to dip into the household budget to pay for it! YAY! It was so nice to just be able to pay for the website from my little paypal account.  This year I may not be totally in the red, I may not be in the black but if I can get the CLF to breaking even, then I will be achieving several of my goals for this fine organization! 

1) Proving that you do not need to take out bridging loans to run a business.

2) Able to do more for the CLF and be that much closer to being able to pay for patterns for future books.

3) Showing that you can be for profit AND socially responsible!

What do I do with profits? Well, one day when I see any (grin) they will be invested directly back into the company. And maybe one day I can pay myself a little salary, that would be nice. I believe we can achieve great things in small ways, with good decisions, and firm core beliefs that run to the idea that if everyone does well we all do well! So, again thank you so much to everyone who has purchased the CLF First Ever Book, and also to those who have purchased our fabulous propoganda on our Zazzle Store!

By no means am I rolling in dough here folks, but if I am correct we just might squeak through even and that is a cool thought.

So a HUGE  CLF SALUTE TO ALL OUR GREAT SUPPORTERS!

Yarn Companies: RENT A CLUE

Dear Crochet Enthusiasts,

Get ready for another rant.

Your Humble Servant,

Fearless Leader

I cannot begin to count the number of discussions on the CLF HQ message board on Ravelry, where CLF members have brought up the disparity in pattern availability for crochet from various well known yarn companies. Let me list a few: Bernat, Berroco, Cascade, Phildar, Malabrigo, Dale of Norway, Noro, Lopi. Again just a small list of yarns, not all of them terribly spendy, nor difficult to find.

The yarn companies like to say that crocheters are “cheap” or don’t buy good yarn, or patterns.
Ok, you folks know that I have not always been “Fearless Leader”, I actually have worked in the business world, suits, good shoes, and a lovely briefcase to boot…So, let me explain some very SIMPLE business principles to these companies.

Yup, free business advice (and some of the “too big to fail” corps may want to pay attention, because this is old fashion business practice and has NOTHING to do with creative accounting)…

1) Sales aren’t always based on patterns. The majority of crocheters buy yarn without having a project or pattern in mind. (80% according to my own survey).

2) Putting down potential clientele is a way to turn off consumers, and is a great way to not make money.

3) In the list above, only a few can be described as “premiere” brands. Folks like Bernat and Berroco need to understand that their glory days at “The Yarn To Buy” rest back in the 1950’s and has declined ever since. They are not premiere brands, they are affordable, decent yarn, that many people use to substitute for more “expensive” and premiere brands. In other words, instead of insisting we (the crochet community) are cheap, recognize that you aren’t the spendy yarn in the market and you’re biting the hand that feeds you.

4) Fashion and function are two separate issues. Just because something is in fashion one year, doesn’t mean it will be forever. Functional yarn will always be in style, even if color popularity rotates. Fads are temporary…

5) Online the majority of crocheters are an average of 35 years old. They do more than one craft, and enjoy many kinds of fibers. 60% of online crocheters use patterns. 69% live on either coast of the USA.

“Cheap yarns” sell more than any other kind of yarn, putting it down doesn’t change the fact. They sell to all kinds of fiber artists, from crocheters, to luceters, to knitters, and tatters. If you think knitters buy less Red Heart Supersaver think again my friends.

High end, price tags will make a certain amount of money in any business, but they don’t sell consistently and in volume.

As I once admonished a sales person I managed, “I don’t care if you brought in the big account three months ago, you haven’t brought in anything since then. Mr. X brought in 20 accounts in the same amount of time, they may not be as big, but it spreads out our income.”

So, shut up about the cheap comments, because truly and honestly I only buy Bernat and other similar yarns when I’m making items for bazaars, or for family who won’t take care of more special projects. I’m not the only person who chooses to do this, in fact most of my knitting friends feel similarly.

Oh one last thing, we buy lots of yarn, all kinds of yarn, and we don’t have to do so to crochet. We can crochet with anything that bends around a hook. We are not limited to garments, we can make House Cozies if we want to… So if you want more money, it’s called marketing.

Market to us, and gee you just might see an increase in sales.

Fearless Leader Dork Alert…

I must apologize to Takhi Stacy Charles Yarn, actually more to Stacy Charles. I spelled his name wrong, and gave Darlisa the information incorrectly. So it’s totally my fault.

I feel kinda like a dork…but that’s nothing unusual right?

I do thank Mr. Charles for attending the Flamies. That was pretty darn cool!

In fact I think it was pretty good the corporate types all showed up to recieve their accolades. Because we spend oodles on yarn and products…and knowing they appreciate our business is encouraging.

Grammar Police Where Are You?

Dear Grammar Police,

I would like to entreat you to accost those who list handwork out of alphabetical order. You have no problem letting me know when spell check has missed my homonyms, or typos, or my over use of commas, and semi-colons. You, the Grammar Police, love to point out incomplete phrases, and run on sentences, you have skills, and I wish you to put them to good use. You can correct me any time you want, and often do, but why oh why don’t you get a hold of yarn companies, and catalogues for writing “Knit and Crochet” instead of “Crochet and Knit” ?

A list should be in alphabetical order: point blank.

Now, here are my reasons: I recently contacted a yarn company regarding their use of “Knit and Crochet” and politely asked them to revise their website to reflect the alphabetical listing. I wrote stating that it was obviously an oversight, because they have not ignored crochet as a market, but that we (the consumers) often feel like we’re getting second billing.

Their response was less than desired; I felt talked down to, I felt like was I was patted on the head, and frankly I was really annoyed.

To paraphrase what they wrote me; they use knit and crochet because of how the phrase flows.

Hmmm… I had years of voice lessons, classical voice lessons; if you’ve ever studied classical voice then you will understand that learning to enunciate while singing is a skill that requires years of practice. In fact, “electrocution” (elocution) lessons were a great part of my classical training. Did you know it’s easier to sing in a Latin root language than in English? Did you know why?

Vowels and consonants. Sound is carried on vowel sounds, and soft consonants (m, n, s,z), hard consonants end sound, (t, p,k,d)…So I want you to pronounce with me…let’s say this together phonetically, and if you think I’m wrong, that’s okay. I just think if they are going to say it’s a word flow issue, we should test it out 🙂

NihT anD croshay

Croshay and nihT

Which has the smoother flow?

See I find when I pronounce the “t” in knit that the t is a hard sound which breaks up the flow of the sounds in the phrase. When I say crochet (ay) this flows with more liquidity with two consecutive open vowel sounds and you’ll find you may pronounce the d of “and” softer too, with the t at the end of knit softer but still final. T is always a final sound when you pronounce words in English; It’s a hard, staccato, versus and open legato… 🙂

So next time someone says, it’s for the flow of the sounds and not about billing, I’ll just have to point out how very wrong that is….

You can fool part of the people, part of the time; but you can’t fool all the people, all of the time.

I think saying crochet and knit sounds more equal and less of a billing issue than vice versa…not because of the alphabet even, because of how the word sounds flow.

But pronounce it yourself and see what you think for yourself.