Every once in a while I feel the need to shake things up. Sometimes I end up with platinum blond hair. Or bring unexpected guests home for dinner. So far, I have not brought a puppy home on a whim.
Today, the change has to do with Shepherd Sock. If you think back a few years, the standard put up for sock yarn was small hanks, about 2 oz or 50 grams. One skein made one sock. That's how most everybody did it so Lorna's Laces did it that way too. I never really gave it any thought.
Over the past several years, the yarn world has been trending towards larger, 100 gram hanks and we've decided to join the crowd. But it's not just peer pressure. More than anything else, it has to do with feedback from knitters. Not long ago I sent out a note asking "All thing being equal, would you prefer a 100g or 50g skein of yarn?" The response was virtually unanimous. You wanted bigger skeins.
This wasn't a decision we took lightly. There a lots of great reasons that the big skeins make sense. Here are some of the things you told us about and we considered:
1) Consistency. Even in the same dye lot, hand dyed yarns have some variation. Where in the pot did the yarn sit? Did it get as hot as its neighbor? (Personally, I kind of like my socks to be fraternal twins, but not everyone agrees.) A bigger hank should help with some of that.
2) Fewer knots. This is pretty simple math. If we have the mill make bigger skeins, we run less risk of creating knots. I think it's pretty universally agreed that we all live with knots, but if we can avoid them, it's a good thing.
3) Fewer joins. This is close to #2, but from a somewhat different point of view. The bigger the skein, the fewer you will need for any given project. Coming from someone whose made about a zillion of those small shawls in the past year or so, I can see where not having to join a second skein could come in handy.
4)It's less expensive. This was no small consideration. We've been working really hard to avoid raising prices. A larger put-up is a cost saving measure from our end that helps us do that for you.
We just received our first shipment of the big hanks. They are 100g/435 yards. You should start to see them in your LYS over the next weeks and months. There will be a transition. Thanks in advance for bearing with us during that time.