I'm nearing the finish line with my very first jumper, and beyond the initial ribbing disaster, there have been no further knitting hi-jinks to report. I have, however, developed a deep love-hate relationship with the yarn I'm using.
I prefer to knit in decent wool or cotton rather than acrylics or blends, especially if an item is a gift, as this particular jumper is. The price of the yarn usually reflects it's 'luxury' status, and I am usually happy to pay the extra cost. However, this jumper was my first knitting project using Debbie Bliss branded yarns and I have to say, I am not impressed. I usually stick to Rowan as I love their milk cottons for knitting soft baby items. However, my local wool shop (which is a bit of an overly grand way of putting it, as it is actually just the wool department of John Lewis) had Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Aran Tweed yarn in the exact colour that I knew this person would love. So I bought it.
And the problems began. I found that the yarn had random bits of twig and straw wound in the strands, which would have made for one scratchy jumper. I think I've maanged to catch all of the stray bits, but this was a pretty common issue over 10 balls of yarn, so not exaclty an isolated incident. Then, despite being careful to buy from the same dye lot number, two of my balls had bright purple threads in places. I know a tweed is a mish mash of colours, but beige and browns are acceptable, not purple. There were also random knots along the length of the yarn and in places it was obvious that the strand had snapped and been hastily, and crudely, knotted together by, I can only assume, the manufacturer.
But the final straw came last night as I was carefully seaming the shoulders. The yarn kept simply snapping! I was not impressed at having to unpick several inches of yarn to properly weave it in. With the cost of wool, even acrylics and man-made ones, reaching ridiculous rates, it seems that it is no longer cheaper to knit your own things. And with shoddy, so-called designer brands not delivering the promised finish, how do we know which to avoid?
Oh, and the response from a 'representative' of Debbie Bliss when I complained? Basically, because the yarn is made from natural fibres and not man-made, there will be weaker spots and flaws in the yarn. Deal with it.
I'm seriously unimpressed.
Right, rant over! Normal service will now be resumed!!