28 December 2008

What Was I Thinking?

Musings on the February Lady Sweater:

1) A lovely pattern... for someone who isn't pear-shaped like me.

2) I like the color I chose, but I don't like the "Factory Farms" yarn. Splitty.

3) Come to think of it, I don't much like "Factory Farm Yarns" itself any more. I had an awful time with their interchangeable needles. I did some research online and found out many people had trouble with them. Yes, I know they are exchanging them out... but for how long? And why should I have to wait when I want to knit?

I also had several poor experiences with "Factory Farm Yarns'" customer service. We're talking bad enough to make me cry.

I then heard that "Factory Farm Yarns" allegedly asked for information from an American craftsman (someone I actually know) about how his product was made... and promptly took that information, and resources from the craftsman's supplier, and had their own similar product manufactured overseas. The craftsman's handmade items - and his family - took a hit. Not cool.

I realize that "Factory Farm Yarns'" prices are "good" - but with those low prices comes a lack of personal attention. When I made a goof on this sweater using "Factory Farm's" yarn, I certainly wasn't going to be rude enough to take it to my LYS to ask for their help. So I saved some money, but who did I have to help me out?

And if I don't support my local LYS, they may not be there in the future! That's more important than ever with the little hiccup the economy just had. I'll be damned if I'll see Dixie ever go out of business, after she and Cindi were so kind and welcoming to me. If not for the LYS, I probably wouldn't have any friends in this town, as that's the only place a farmer lady gets to meet others - and I've met so many dear people there! (Hi Sue, Sonja, Dianne, and of course Michelle!)

I don't buy factory farmed meat. As with my food, I want to buy local when it comes to my yarn and needles - needles that I may just need the same day in an emergency, rather than a week later... and ones which I expect to last a lifetime rather than fall apart on their first outing.

So I'm making a couple of resolutions for 2009:

Buy local in all things and support vendors in my community. If I need something they don't have, I'll buy from another small vendor (I will be loyal to YDK but I can continue shopping at The Loopy Ewe for Araucania, and because of their great personal service.)

No more "Factory Farm Yarns". I'm not sending my dollars straight to their executives' pockets, with no benefits going to the poor people in other countries who make their allegedly copied stuff.

No. More. Sweaters. I need simple, meditative knitting that I can pick up at any time, without following a pattern - especially with Chef Jeff here after his company's reorganization! [SHOOT ME NOW, SHOOT ME NOW!] I just gave over half of my clothes to Goodwill because, living on a farm, I never wear anything that isn't sweats/fleece or Polartec or denim.

With four dogs jumping on me all day, I definitely do not need a lace cardigan. (A lace shawl, though, to take away this constant chill, would be a good thing. And that's what I'm going to cast on with my YDK yarn just as soon as I've ripped out this cardigan. Maybe before.)

And I would like to knit more for charity in 2009 - helpful for my mental state, and helpful to someone who actually needs clothing.

Now, what to do with my "Factory Farm Yarns" stash...? It's bugging me to look at it. I feel like a sellout having it here.

Chef Jeff is cooking duck a la Francais tonight; olives, capers, fennel, and red wine. He's also making duck stock. The smells here tonight are making my stomach growl! I guess it isn't so bad having him home for a time (but ask me how I feel after I've seen the pots, pans, dishes, and glasses in the kitchen later tonight!)


mlanezoo said...

Hey Stas! I left a comment last night, but it didn't show up for some reason. Anyway, I just want to say thanks for this blog - I agree with it 100%!! Fortunately, I don't have but a skein or two of the Factory Farm yarn, but I did just purchase a couple of those colorful DPNs. Makes me sick to think of it...when I hear what they did to your friends!

Another thing about that Factory Farm yarn...it may seem like you are getting a good deal, but if you look at the yardage (and quality) it really isn't a bargain!

moiraeknittoo said...

I didn't realize that they'd ripped off that Craftsman. In hindsight, it's perfectly obvious of course, but I had honestly forgotten about that company. If I'm ever able to buy knitting related things again, I will definitely buy from them. And I agree...I think I'm going to give up purchasing from Factory Farms (it took me a bit to figure out who you were referring to...such is the danger of being housebound due to snow for over two weeks and having run out of coffee over a week ago) as well. I do'nt much like the majority of their yarns, and resolve to buy small farm/small company in 2009.

quiltparalegal said...

Hi, there Stas-
I always buy local because I too wish to suppport my local yarn store!

I've never heard of Factory Farm and so never purchased anything from them. Yes, I know your personal friend, a great gal, whom I also met through Spindlers, but I was not aware until recently when I discovered she was blogging again and learned about all her woes....she doesn't need this in her life now!!!

Dianne said...

Wow, I didn't realize they ripped that off from "them."
The story in the Factory Farms catalogs about the rainbow spoons must have been fabricated! Wow, do I feel betrayed!