Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Yarn Industry is Trying to KILL the IndeDesigner

Okay, they aren't really ...
But as a designer is it incredibly frustrating to find the perfect color to use, work up a pattern - place it out there for the buyer, only to have a few months later to get
"the color you listed has been discontinued, what can I use?"

And I am sure the buyer is just as frustrated and fearful the color change will not make the finished product look like the pattern they purchased.
Or even worse, a pattern calls for a yarn which you can only purchase online and the shipping alone would be enough to scream!

The Yarn Industry is concerned with profit.  They are not concerned about 40 or 400 people liking any particular shade of yarn, when they are making tens of thousands of skeins of yarn each month. Colors which are not in demand simply get dropped - most times without any advanced warning (in fact, the only warning we may get is "for a limited time" stamped across the outer package.).

Recently, a referral to a client (see the Doodled by You page DOES work!), requested a finished item for which one of the colors had indeed been discontinued. Usually, I can recommend a substitute without hesitation because I have my little cheat sheet bookmarked.
But on this day, I was drawing a blank - couldn't find my bookmark (after having to change my usual browser) and actually had to go to Red Heart's website and do some actual looking around to answer my client's question.

So, lesson learned - this website is NOT common knowledge

and I wanted to share with you all, my cheat sheet:

While it's not a 100% perfect solution - there are some gaps in the website with discontinued yarns, leading to another discontinued brand of yarn (so you may have to search again... and again)... it is close to perfect (at least in my opinion) ..

unless of course, you have an yarn encyclopedia of knowledge in your head... 
or just have a love-affair with fiber and don't care what sort of yarn you use.


Cathie Clark said...

Thank you! I'm saving this throughout ALL my browsers and tossing it into my external data box!!!! Maybe even a "cloud" space somewhere out there!!

Rozbud said...

Hi and thank you for the post. I have also used this site too many times. (I seem to have a love affair with old patterns and usually discontinued yarn specs.) Unfortunately, I have not found the site to be all that helpful. Perhaps the yarns I am attempting to substitute are just too far gone; or perhaps they are brands that the site doesn't cover. Whatever the reason, I am left to search for a substitute by matching stitch gauges (more accurate than weights) or yards per grams. It is possible, but time consuming. These methods also do not take fiber content and drape into account ~ another area that I am left to guesstimate from the original spec. I am hopeful that over time, yarnsub will expand into a more broadly useful site. Thanks again.

K4TT said...

Hi Rozbud. Have you tried to contact YarnSub directly with your issues? I am sure they are striving for the most comprehensive yarn substitute directory as I believe it is run by "knitters" (who are very particular about their yarns!)
You can reach them with this eMail address: hello (at)yarnsub (dot) com
I am sure they would love to hear your recommendations - especially with vintage type patterns and their "suggested materials"

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Katt! This is a wonderful resource. Will share with my yarn loving friends. :>

Central NY

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