Saturday, February 6, 2021

Acryligate... Acrylipocalypse... Acrylistinction...

 Okay, perhaps a bit dramatic... but, it truly feels that way if you don't have a yarn stash that rivals the product isles of a specialty store like Joann's, Hobby Lobby or Michaels..

Have you been out looking for yarn lately?? Not the expensive stuff that only knitters buy...
(inside joke.. knitters, please do NOT take offense and start eMailing me...) ...
I mean the acrylic, "scratchy stuff" that we Amigurumists love to use!!


It's getting harder and harder to find even the most basic colors like Aran, Light Blue & Baby Pink... nevermind the ami specific colors like Warm Brown, Spring Green & Coffee..

Although I have not personally purchased yarn in almost 3 years ... I was made aware of this shortage, when I was contacted by a client asking for HELP on color substitutions and because of rumors that colors were being discontinued... 

So, I did what I always do..
(first I contacted a slew of sister designers.. then... ) I went to the source for answers!

I wrote to Yarnspirations to address the shortage issues as well as request an answer to the rumors that Warm Brown, a staple in the Amigurumi Community, had been "discontinued"... (Spoiler Alert.. it has and it hasn't.)

As I had suspected, COVID-19 is largely responsible for the yarn shortages of Red Heart.. or at least, COVID is getting the blame..

I had figured that with lockdowns and such, mills haven't been exactly 'milling'... and with so many people being home and picking up hooks while binge watching whatever on Netflix or Hulu.... supplies were bound to run short or even out.. 

But as I was searching for Warm Brown the other night, I nearly had a heart attack at what a single skein of Red Heart .. the Blue Collar Worker's yarn... is selling for!
Amazon is selling "Warm Brown Classic" ..
(which is a 3&change oz skein) for almost 8 dollars... 
8 DOLLARS!!   
(I am not going to put in my 2 cents as to 'why' Warm Brown is no longer a 'super saver' skein.. at 7oz.... but... yeah... 16 dollars for what you used to get for around 4 or 5??  ... you can figure that out for yourself...)

and Walmart wasn't any better.. they DO have a few skeins remaining of Warm Brown Super Saver.. if you are willing to pay between 11 & 20 dollars for each one!!

As for Joann's, Michaels, Yarnspirations, etc - they have absolutely NONE in stock!

Supply & Demand Baby.... 
Price gouging ?? ... 
Or perhaps something in between..

So, I think I'll be looking for a new yarn to call my own
(eventually. I have been getting the hooking itch lately) .. and make a new Yarn Palette Ring... 

I do love the muted colors of Big Twist yarns... so maybe I'll go with that.  I haven't used them for my work because they were more expensive than Red Heart..  and let's keep it real.. most people love Red Heart because it is so inexpensive!
I am not a fan of ILTY for Amis (its too soft), but there are other medium weight yarns out there... 
I mean, if you're gonna have to pay $5 to $7 bucks
(or more) a skein for acrylic... might as well work with whatever is pretty and available eh??

For those of you who are strict followers of pattern instructions... color substitutions will not affect the overall completed project.  Sure it's going to change the aesthetics .. but who's to say that my color palette is the 'correct one'?  Rainbow Zebras and Pink Elephants are actually very adorable!
So yes, you can absolutely substitute Red Heart Warm Brown with another Red Heart yarn.. such as Aran Fleck or Cafe Latte... or completely go with another brand or even weight..
(weigh WILL affect the size of your project) - color changes have always been a discretionary aspect of the design anyway.

Comments for this post have been left open - so please tell me your thoughts...
what has been your experience in trying to find your own favorite colors.. or even brands.  I know of Red Heart, because it's what I use... are other brands also lacking in stock?

P.S. - I did offer to start a 'petition' for Yarnspirations... you know, to allow a visual demand/need/desire; for their 'sales & marketing dept' to return Warm Brown back into the Super Saver package...
a "yeah.. no thanks" was pretty much the answer..
which only firmed up, in my mind, the REAL reason it went from being a 7oz skein to a 3oz one...  
I was born on a day.. just not 'yester-day'.. 


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