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Crazy for Ewe
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Organic cotton

I just got an e-mail from Lion Brand yarns, purveyors of marginal quality knock-offs of designer yarns. They're touting a new line of organic cotton, so I took a look. It looks a lot like our Inca Cotton which has been so wonderful in top down sweaters, umbilical hats, and Mindful Knitting baby blankets. Knits up beautifully, gets softer everytime you wash it, and easy rather affordable - a hand of 325 yards costs $22.50. So, how does Lion do it, make organic yarn and sell it cheaply - after all, Lion Brand yarns are always cheaper, right? Wrong! Yard for yard, Lion Brand organic cotton is 8.52 cents per yard, while the Inca Cotton from Joseph Galler is 6.9 cents per yard. Do the math, and you'll find that a standard sized ladies sweater will cost $20.80 more in Lion Brand yarn than in the Inca Cotton from Joseph Galler. However, many folks who don't understand this will see a hank of Inca Cotton with a $22.50 price tag and say to themselves, "Hey, they sell this yarn down at Michaels for $6.99 a skein." So before you jump in and assume that whatever comes from Michaels is a great deal, do the math yourself and see what the numbers say. And never underestimate the value of the customer service you receive at your local yarn store, whether it's here at Crazy for Ewe or another small, independent business anywhere in the world.

  • musings

Comments on this post ( 3 )

  • Jan 19, 2007

    Thanks – we’d love to have you visit. Please feel free to be part of our virtual community by joining the e-mail list and visiting the blog. I usually ramble on in the newsletter too, which is on the shop website.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said that their good yarns are overpriced. It’s criminal the meager amount of yardage in those skeins. Thanks for the comment.

    — Ellen

  • Jan 31, 2008

    That’s true of a lot of LB yarns, I think – my favorite is when they do a 40 gram put-up, when everyone else has it at 50 grams. :P

    — Emy

  • Jan 18, 2007

    I wonder about a lot of the things Lion Brand does. Their patterns aren’t particularly well-designed, their yarns aren’t very good, and their good yarns are way overpriced. Did you see their mohair “I want to be Kidsilk” yarn – it’s over twice the price of Rowan Kidsilk! Honestly…

    I found your blog with the “next blog” button, and do I ever wish I could visit your shop! Here in Oklahoma, there are hardly any yarn shops, and the ones that do exist aren’t open very often or are an hour’s drive away. I’ll have to visit someday.

    — psammeadred

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