Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bigger and Better

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.

14 comments:

momsue84 said...

Wonderful news!!! Thank you so much!

kateohkatie said...

In general, I like the idea a lot. However, I do/did find the smaller skeins handy for small projects - I liked being able to spend $11 and get the yarn for just a pair of fingerless gloves, rather than investing $20-$22 and then having over half of the skein left over. But overall, I think that the benefits of larger hanks will make up for that one small detriment. Either way, I continue to love Shepherd Sock! :-)

Mandy said...

Perhaps you need a "bigger and better" colourway to highlight the change. :)
Wonderful to hear. I'll be watching for it at the LYSs

grumperina said...

A change I can definitely live with! I love big 100 gram skeins of yarn!

kewpiedoll99 said...

This is super! I love that you were looking for ways to save costs and avoid raising prices. Thanks! I'll look for the new put-ups in my LYS.

Allison von Berg said...

Cool! Awesome idea!

Christine said...

Awesome! I'm excited to get my hands on some of the larger skeins!

Tara said...

I agree, I think the larger skeins are a great idea. I really prefer my sock yarn in 100g chunks so hooray!

Annie said...

Yay! This is entirely made of good, baby!

Sasha M. said...

I find myself rather excited for this change. I'm especially glad to hear that the yardage will remain generous.

You know... now that I think about it, I realize that I've never actually had a knot in any skein of Lorna's Laces yarn that I've worked with (knock on wood). It's one of the many reasons I adore LL so much.

Elizabeth Green Musselman said...

I love yarn with a little meat on its bones.

brenda said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Good!

ME215 said...

YAY!!!! Thanks for including all of us in your decision making process. That's the kind of company I like to do business with... And with my big feet, that extra 5 yds just might come in handy. haha ;)

Anonymous said...

My DH will only wear socks made with LL yarn, so he will be happy with my cost savings too. Good work!