Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New colors, and new yarns

JUST IN! Comfort DK from Berroco! The worsted weight Comfort has really taken off, and they just came out with the DK, so we have 24 great colors. And I mean great! Colors for babies, kids and adults. They really did well with the color palette. It's so new that we received the yarn yesterday, and when I went to put it up online, I realized that Berroco hadn't sent me a color card with the color names yet. And it's not even on their site yet. So I called them and thankfully D was able to email me the color names so I could be accurate when posting them online. We really appreciate when a yarn company is that responsive to us. To be able to contact them, and have them get back to us immediately with the answers we need - for us and for our customers, is really wonderful. I've called them before with pattern questions and I've been put right through to the correct people. They do a great job with customer service! Not to mention, their website is a wealth of information. As a yarn shop, we use their site multiple times a day - looking for yarn information, free patterns, color names, and more.

Some of the other large companies we deal with can take days and even weeks to get back to us when we call with an issue. We recently knit up a sweater from a pattern (from another company) and there was a major error in the number of stitches that it said to pick up for the neck. Our stitch AND row gauges were right on, and the pattern said to pick up 82 stitches around the neck (a V-neck, mind you!) The gauge on the larger needles was 4.5 stitches to the inch. The neckband was done on the smaller needles, which means the gauge was probably more like 5 stitches to the inch. Let's do the math - 82 stitches divided by 5 stitches to the inch = 16.4 inches! That would barely fit over a kid's head! Even if we used the larger needle, 82 stitches divided by 4.5 stitches to the inch = 18.22 inches. That's smaller than almost any adult head I've ever seen!

Of course, we always pick up stitches like this - 1 stitch for each stitch on horizontals and 3 stitches for every 4 rows on verticals and diagonals. By doing it this way, you would get a total of about 112 stitches. So... 112 stitches divided by 5 stitches to the inch = 22.4". Much better. But when we called this company to discuss our findings (and this obvious error) it took 2 weeks for them to get back to us. And when they did, even though the math clearly does not work in their pattern, they refused to admit that they had made a mistake. I guess it's just an example of customer service that could be a little better. So, in the end, we just put our own correction on the pattern, so that our customers will not run into any problems. And we appreciate the easier to deal with companies, even more.

Speaking of new Berroco things, we just received some gorgeous new Touche colors! This yarn is obviously great for kids, but it's a wonderful worsted weight alternative for adults who cannot wear wool. The color palette is so much better now than it was before. Speaking of new colors, we got a big box from Colinette yesterday, and in it we found three new Iona colors that we ordered last week: Toscana, Ginger Cinnabar and Morello Mash. They are lovely! Unfortunately there were no Ab Fabs in the box. We are still waiting for the Ab Fabs to come back into stock. Some of these have been backordered for months and months! This morning we got word that by Tuesday all Ab Fabs will be back in stock and shipping. We can only keep our fingers crossed, as we've heard that before and ended up disappointed. It is completely out of our control, though.

Also - new yarns from Plymouth! Heaven Lite - fun baby yarn - perfect for sweaters and blankets, Magica - great novelty yarn for scarves, and King George and Lafayette - lovely yarns from Plymouth's new "Bristol Yarn Gallery" division.

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