Knitter’s Magazine is Calling it Quits

18 Jan

Knitter’s by XRX has announced that their Winter 2016 issue will be their last and they will cease publication. Why am I not surprised?

Out of the big 7 knitting magazines (Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple, Creative Knitting, Simply Knitting (UK) being the other 6), Knitter’s had the frumpiest and tackiest looking designs with the utmost garish colors to boot.

Every time I browsed through their issues, I had to cringe at the fug outfits staring back at me. Super thin and pretty models wearing the most dowdy, ill fitting sweaters. I get that there’s a lot of technique that goes into making some of these knits but it felt like they were made for the sake of showing said technique with no regards to how flattering it would look on a person. (and the colors….who’s the colorblind person picking them out?)

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from their fall 2016 issue. I’m sorry but this is just fug.

And because all the photos are taken by their head editor, the layout and design of the photos look extremely dated. I can pull out their magazine from 10 years ago and it still looks exactly the same. (just cuz you use super expensive photo equipment, doesn’t make your pics look better.)

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from 2006. Notice that this pic doesn’t look all that from the 2016 one? (Did someone never learn how to use F-stops on their camera lens?)

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Look at her lips. It’s saying “Ewwww”

Anyway, XRX has been seeing the dough flow in from Stitches, which is why they’ve expanded the Stitches venues and are now ditching the money loser, Knitter’s magazine.

It’s always sad to see a knitting publication close up shop but with this one, I totally saw it coming. Sorry Knitter’s!

 

Better Value Per Yard?

15 Jan

Rant time!

I see time and time again this statement when talking about the price of a yarn skein.

“It’s a much better value because I get 440yds per skein instead of 100yds for the same price”

Uh, no it isn’t! Not if it’s exactly the same 100g. It’s like the ridiculous statement that a pound of feathers is lighter than a pound of rocks. No it’s not. They’re exactly the same amount of yarn because fibers and yarn are sold by weight, not by yardage.

“The value per yer yard on this yarn is great!” Um, this ain’t fabric. Yarn isn’t sold per yard but by grams, people!

If we were to stick with the whole “better value because of yardage” logic, we should all be knitting with cobweb yarns. I mean, 5000yds+ per 100g. Great deal, right? (palm to forhead) Ugh, I hate such misinformation.

End of rant!

 

Happy 2017!

9 Jan

A new year and NO NEW RESOLUTIONS!

What’s the point of making a list when i know i won’t be able to keep up with it? Maybe I’m too cynical or just getting old. (yeah, yeah, I shouldn’t talk, still being in my 30s and all. haha!)

I just got back from a short trip to sunny Phoenix, Arizona to find a mountain of packages at our doorstep. You betcha I ran and hid those boxes in the laundry room before my husband saw them. (ah, the things us yarn hoarders do….we’ve got problems, y’all!)

Not much to report on other than showing off some of my “haul.” Call it eye candy or living vicariously through my crazy spending sprees.

Seasons Greetings!

20 Dec

We’re knee deep in holiday season 2016 and not much has changed in the Yarnphreak household. Other than the mountain of yarn that’s been creeping steadily into the dining room, it looks and feels pretty similar to 2015.

One key difference is probably the boxes of mini skeins that’s taking up a chunk of space. What mini skeins, you ask? Those would be the Koigu KPPPM skeins that I’ve been busily winding into 25yds and 50yds increments. Now that I’ve got enough for a full set (400g), time to destash these babies.

Feast your eyes on these!

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32 colors done, 8 more to go….

If anyone wants some, it’s the same as the regular KPPPM skein prices, which are $14-15 per skein. (Not gonna jack up prices just because they’re mini skeins. Have you seen what Koigu charges for their 11 yard minis? $3.75! That’s equivalent to $60 per 50g. Talk about insanity.)

These are my mini skein set prices, including free U.S shipping

28 x 50yd set: $112 (2 sets available)

40 x 25yd set: $82 (1 set available)

I already have some takers (pre-orders) for each of these sets so there’s only a few available. Please let me know via Ravelry (my id is ‘yarnphreak’ in case you didn’t know. ha!) if you want a set.

As for what to do with all these mini skeins, here are some suggestions:

Beekeeper’s Quilt (aka Hexipuffs)

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Mini Mania Scarf

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Missoni Falls Cowl

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Koigu Fair Isle Cowl

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Hitini Socks

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and any pattern that uses madelinetosh Unicorn Tails such as this Unicorn Stripes scarf

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Mini skeins are great! They’re like yarn Skittles. Just a taste of every color out there.

Long Time, No Posts…

5 Nov

What can I say? I’m not very organized nor do I stick to a schedule.

Quick recap of the last 3 months:

  1. Began to accept that perhaps my stash is indeed TOO big.
  2. Destashed a good 500+ skeins via Facebook and Ravelry
  3. Had a big ass yarn sale in my garage at the end of September14462981_10153800222126960_5984445333103881516_n
  4. Went to Budapest and Vienna for a week (girls only trip with sister)

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    at the Hundertwasser Museum (Vienna), holding Opal Hundertwasser yarn

  5. Winding off 200g-300g from laceweight cone yarns and selling off the cones14502738_10153800222141960_5964798433380628721_n
  6. Turning sock yarns into 25yds/50yds mini skeins to destash any yarn I won’t be using
  7. Willing to sell off 95% of my stash since i won’t be able to knit with them all anyway.14440961_10153800222186960_2059858722300027379_n

And there you have it. My big stash will be no more. (Pretty sure I’ll be left with half the stash, so still a big ass stash but nothing like it was before, when it ate up my house and all the closet spaces)

The good thing to come of all this is that I’m finally able to save up some money in my savings account. A rainy day fund is always good to have, for those just in case moments.

Another thing I noticed is that yarn prices have gotten pretty expensive so that I can sell some of my older yarns (that’s still in production) for the newer retail price markup. (I mean, I usually sell half off retail so a yarn that would have been $4 can now be sold for $5. Inflation occurs in yarn too!)

 

Buying yarn from overseas

22 Jul

Here’s something you might encounter if you order yarn from countries that charge in currencies other than the US dollar – should I pay via Paypal’s currency conversion (which give poor exchange rates) OR use my credit cards and let them handle the conversion? From all the blog posts that I read via a Google search, it seemed like Visa/Mastercards were the way to go. So I took the plunge and charged the transaction in Canadian dollars, hoping my credit cards would give me a better deal.

Well, oops!

I just did the math and I lost about $7 by doing it this way cuz credit card companies have a foreign transaction fee that runs around 2-3%, which wipes out any savings you get from their lower currency exchange rate. Lesson learned.

Conclusion: If you’re buying from overseas, just use Paypal’s currency conversion. It’s easier and cheaper. (kicking myself for doing something stupid. $7 could have bought me two more ball of yarn! gah!!!)

Summer Stashing

3 Jun

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As we’re winding into summer, all those warm wooley yarns seem offputting, right? All those airy, lacey knits made with cellulose fibers like cotton are calling our name.

But nope, not gonna fall for that. I’m such a slow knitter that by the time I’m actually done knitting a summer top, it’ll be fall or winter. Sure I can save it and wear it next summer but the vicious cycle will continue. Do I really want to subject my poor hands to knitting with cotton yarn? Every time I’ve knit with cotton, I wonder if I’m asking for arthritis. Sure, I’m only in my 30s but there’s no sense in torturing my joints, right?

And besides, when it’s sweltering outside, who the hell wants to wear knits, anyway? I’ll be reaching for that el cheapo tank top I bought from Costco (or Old Navy), a bottle of sunblock, a big hat, and sunglasses. There’s no way I’m throwing on an extra layer (airy knits need to be layered, unless you’re REALLY comfortable with your bra showing through. And no bra? Well, I’d be flashing strangers too if I had perfect breasts!)

Back to my mountain of merino and cashmere…

Insane Stashing

1 May

Ok, so as you already may know, I have a tendency to overbuy certain yarns. While many knitters will buy a few skeins here and there, I sometimes see a good deal and just buy the whole damn lot. (my biggest “score” if you will was 85 pounds….but I’m planning to sell off 2/3 of it so I guess that doesn’t really count)

Well, time and time again I “run into” this person on Ebay or online yarn shops who swipes the yarn from right under my nose. On more than several occasions has this person outbid me in the last seconds of an auction or bought out a ton of sale yarn. And while the bidders names stay anonymous, the internet and Ravelry has allowed me to track down said person so I know who she is. And guess what? She’s got a stash even bigger than mine!

Now today, I was entering my newly purchased yarn from Little Knits onto my Ravelry stash page when I noticed that said person has purchased about 20-30 skeins of every single color that had been offered originally. (by the time I got to the Little Knits site there was only 1 color remaining. Yep, she had swiped most of the inventory)

It got me thinking….that’s a lot of friggin yarn! I mean, I know it was a really good deal but that’s about $900 she dropped in one fell swoop. (it’s no wonder she swiped all those auction bids from me – she’s got a warchest of funds!)

I’ve seen some odd Ravelry stashes where a person has 1000 skeins of the same yarn in every single color and it’s totally obvious it’s a storefront (which is frowned upon by Ravelry). But this chick just stashes them all. It’s so weird….but it got me thinking, “Do people see my stash and think the same?” (UPDATE 5/24/2016 – Just found an ebay store that looks to be hers. She’s flipping yarn for about 2.5x what she paid. Ugh, i hate people like this!)

Well, I’m about to tell you that all my yarn is going up for sale. Ok, almost all of it. (like 95% of them) I’ve been putting stuff up little by little and hope to eventually get it down to a more reasonable size, cuz honestly, it is getting pretty cramped in my house and my family doesn’t want to put up with it.

Getting cheap lace yarns from Chainette and Ruffle Yarns

11 Apr

Remember that awful ruffle scarf phase a few years back? Well, now that the flash-in-the-pan novelty yarn trend is over, many stores are closing out those ruffle yarns at low, low, prices. 390T390Some are going for 90% off, yet not a single taker. Yeah, I wouldn’t touch that stuff with a ten foot pole even if they gave it away.

But wait! There’s still hope for some of these yarns! You can actually unravel these monstrosities and get usable laceweight or fingering yarns for cheap! It sure beats digging through the thrift store for secondhand sweaters that may or may not have been worn by not-so-clean individuals. Trying to remove someone else’s body odor from a sweater is the pits! (pun intended)

chainette1Chainette yarns, as you may recall, are yarns that mimic an i-cord. Some examples include Louisa Harding Kashmir, Berroco Flicker, Rowan Lima, Classic Elite Chalet, and Cascade Eco Duo. Nice yarns but I wouldn’t unravel these since you’ll end up with SUPER thin strands which would be more suited to weaving and machine knitting. Doable but it will take a very long time to manually wind them up.

What you want is the super bulky stuff, preferably with a lux fiber content and even better if it’s low priced. Here’s where it gets tricky. (because, why would anyone sell luxury fibers for cheap, right?) Well, they’ll be highly discounted if nobody wants them and that’s where the novelty yarn thing kicks in.

Yes, there were many acrylic, polyester, nylon blends but some of the bigger yarn names like Rowan and Sc60952Large_78e4hulana jumped on the novelty bandwagon too. And they didn’t use the synthetics but went for kidsilk mohair and silk. Kidsilk Creation and Kidsilk Aura from Rowan, Kid Setair from Schulana are all super bulky yarns that can be found in your local yarn shop’s clearance bins. All are 50g skeins and all of them are super kid mohair-silk blend chainette yarns. If you check the going rate of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, it is $15/25g. Considering I was able to buy all these chainette “kidsilk” yarns for approx $6/50g. Let’s do the math – that’s a savings of 80%!

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Another famous-for-novelty-yarns is Berroco (They always seem to include a novelty yarn in their lineup for some odd reason) and they had an “interesting” mesh tape yarn called “Glee” made up of 70% wool and 30% nylon. At only 6 yds/80g, this thing was asking to be discontinued. I picked some up when it was sold for a whopping $1/skein. This one yielded fingering weight yarn when unraveled.

Now to take these bad boys apart. Take one end of the chainette and pull on the laceweight strand which will begin to unravel the loosely knit i-cord quite easily. Now, using your ball winder, crank away! After what will seem like an eternity (since you’re winding approximately 458yds), you’ll have a nice caked skein of laceweight all ready to go. Now, repeat the process til you have enough for your project and feel smug knowing you got this quality laceweight yarn for cheap!

 

Ravelry: R-A-V-E-L-R-Y

12 Mar

Can I get something off my chest? (the little mosquito bites that I have for a chest…sigh…)

It’s Ravelry, as in “unRAVEL” something. Not RAVERLY, which I see so often.

Raverly would be if I took some Ecstasy and danced to EDM in a warehouse with a bunch of other tweakers. Get it straight!

That is all.