Monday, December 18, 2006

Retrospective: GKIYH's Worst of 2006 (not hatin'; just statin')

The stomach bug is now working its way through the twins, so I'm going to post while I can and hope that I don't find myself indisposed in the near future...

1. Most Unnecessary Knitting Accessory: Light-up knitting needles. If someone started knitting with them in a movie theatre, I'd dump my popcorn on their head. I mean, what could be more distracting than that? Is knitting in the dark really a necessary or desirable thing? And if you're that into knitting, can't you do it without looking?

2. Not-Another-Disease-Tie-in Award: Pink Denise Interchangeable Needles. Yes, the fight against breast cancer is a worthy cause. But, c'mon, a special version of a specialized type of knitting needle? At over fifty bucks a pop? Feh. I guess I can't help feeling that there's something creepy about using a disease to make money. Runners-up: everything on this page by Mary Maxim.



3. A-Pox-On-All-Your-Houses Award: The fiber content imbroglio. Does Yarn X have the requisite amount of cashmere in it? If it's still a nice yarn, does it matter? What's an honest yarn shop owner to do: sell it and risk being sued, sell it with a disclaimer and risk being sued, or give it away and lose tons of money? Why won't the maker take it back if more than one test shows questionable content? Why did a competitor of the maker send the stuff out for testing anyway? And just whose tests are "right"? How can the ordinary knitter know?

Bad for knitters, bad for the designer whose name is on the label, bad for yarn shop owners, bad for the industry.

4. Worst Knitting Book Title Ever: Never Knit Your Man A Sweater (Unless You've Got the Ring). GKIYH sez: Never Name a Knitting Book Until You Can Think Of One that Doesn't Irk the Shit Out of Prospective Readers.

5. Biggest disappointment, books category. Andean Inspired Knitting by Helen Hamann. I haven't done extensive research into Andean folk knitting traditions, but I'm reasonably sure Andean knitters don't use Fun Fur



made of petrochemical byproducts.

6. WTF Award: Overaccessorized and overtribalized styling of Rowan 39. Surely no one is a bigger Rowan fan than me, but, geez, what were they thinking? Too many geegaws and ridiculous get-ups detract from garments that are otherwise not bad.



7. Most Ridiculous "have to have it" moment: When bidding reached nearly $50 for a skein of Trekking sock yarn on Ebay. Sheesh.

Runners-up: Koigu Miniskeins and Socks-That-Rock frenzies at various fiber festivals. Not that they aren't great yarns, mind you, but are they worth waiting in line for hours to get?

8. Biggest disappointment, yarn category. Berroco's Ultra Alpaca looked great on paper, but not so much in real life. The colors were off and the feel just didn't cut it. I was really hoping this would signal a more interesting turn in their product line and designs, but I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer for that.

Like, forever?

9. So Sad to See You Go Award. Bye-bye, Rowan Yorkshire Tweeds! Sniffle, sniffle. We'll miss you!



Runners-up: Bye, bye Rowan Polar and Noro Big Kureyon. Hello, great bargains on Ebay.

10. Worst Attempt to Bogart a Trademark Award. The SFSE "Stitch N Bitch" donnybrook. On the one hand, a sewing company that never used it; on the other, a hipster publishing powerhouse with more books sold than God. Should either of them really care if there's a group called "Podunk Stitch-N-Bitch"? Should the law recognize as a protected "trademark" a phrase that's been commonly used for over seventy years?

Et vous?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep - it was the best of knitting, it was the worst of knitting. Loved the one, not so much the other. But enjoyed reading both lists - thanks! Lydia

Anonymous said...

Oh I hate that Rowan book! I don't want to play a knitter's version of "Where's Waldo" trying to find what is knitted on the model.


I still love the pennies a gram koigu mill ends. Then again, I actually enjoy the frenzy and the thrill of digging at the booth every year. When Geyl is done we'll see if it was worth the time.

I don't get the STR freak out at the festivals. You can just order the yarn online anytime if you want it.

Lisa said...

Applause, applause to your best and worst. Although I confess that I still have to through my self into the Koigu mill ends frenzy just a few more times before I learn my lesson :)

julie said...

you are so right about the Yorkshire Tweed. I finally finished the cardigan that was in IK a couple of years ago by Nicky Epstein (I think). out of the 2-ply with floral intarsia cuffs and borders.

i've been wearing it everywhere - i'll get a petition soon asking me to stop! but i love it - it knits up GREAT. how could they - boo hoo.

jillian said...

You hit the nail on the head on every item! Thanks for an insightful and funny post :)

Anonymous said...

I did the Koigu frenzy this year. Yeah, it was kind of fun, but I'll probably never do it again. By the 4th push of a frumpy suburban housewife I was about to lose it. I'd like my yarn purchasing a bit more calm and much less frenzied.

And for awhile there I thought I was the only one underwhelmed by Socks that Rock. Why are they all that exciting exactly? I saw the huge booth at Stitches and was not very impressed. And it seems most of the made up socks I've seen online have had some nasty pooling going on. Ugh.

I still cry a little every night over Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply being gone. Sniff sniff.

Franklin said...

I think you show admirable restraint in limiting yourself to only one page of the Mary Maxim catalogue.

By the way, I've noticed that all the new Chibis on the shelf now have a see-through tube. That must mean my opaque, white-and-green Chibi has been discontinued, thereby making it "vintage" and "collectible". See ya on eBay!

Kathy Merrick said...

Oh, yes, a lamentable day when Rowan Yorkshire Tweed was discontinued.
I soon began a frenzy of locating and buying up what I could.
In fact, my best score was much 4-ply at Rosie's. Yay lovely Lisa.
That 4-ply was the closest thing I've ever found to beloved long-departed Rowan Donegal Lambswool Tweed.
Where have all the good smooth lightweight wools in many beautiful color choices gone?

Cynthia said...

Excellent lists. Thanks so much for saying out loud what MANY think but are afraid to say--donate to breast cancer research charities and buy you stuff for the stuff. Often only pennies go to the charities and it is not very helpful. For an excellent (if a bit nasty--which I love) discussion of this, use the link to I Blame the Patriarchy.....

Anonymous said...

this is a great list... :)

I found your blog while searching for ball winders, and had to stay because go sh*t in your hat was a FAVORITE phrase of my grandmother who passed away last year, so i think i'll have to book mark this.

I did want to ask - i was thinking of getting that wooden ball winder that you mentioned - and places say it can do 6+ oz. DO you know how many it can really handle? Just out of curiosity? One reason I want a ball winder is so i can tweed two yarns together, which is one reason I ask... :)

Thanks - and i look forward to reading more of your blog. . . :)

Anonymous said...

Well, the best & worst of lists have been right on the mark, as usual. I have to particularly thank you, though, for the comment about the stomach bug. It prompted an "Oh shit!" moment and a quick scramble out of the house as I remembered I was supposed to go get my flu shot today. So if I manage to dodge the flu this season, I'll tell everyone I owe it all to you, dear. xoxo

margaret in manhattan said...

great list - um - Franklin? yours truly is the infamous Pink Chibi ebay seller. what a great piece of internet trivia that was ...

I'm wondering how those Square Needles by Kollage worked out for people - I use circs for most of my knitting, so I couldn't really comment with any kind of authority.

Happy Hols,

Barb B. said...

Worst of the KnList for 2006...letting every second email be about KnitPics, and dumping my email praising Black Bunny.
Love the list, and gotta agree with all of them
Barb B.

alice said...

On the Socks that Rock, yes I know it's available online vendors, but I'd really like to feel the yarn and see the colors before buying (having been burned on some Bearfoot that's entirely too olive green for my taste). But, somehow, it seems to my cynical eyes that the only people who seem to be able to get it are high-traffic knitbloggers, who, of course, blog about it and contribute to creating a demand that the current distribution network can't satisfy.

Lori said...

Great list - agree with them all, although I also agree w/the commenter that sometimes seeing and feeling yarn in person is much much better than buying it online, at least the first time.

Carol said...

Maybe free samples are being given to prominent knitbloggers to create buzz.....

Leanne said...

Great list! I agree with them all (especially the one about the huge influx of pink ribbon stuff. It's really starting to creep me out.)

doloreshaze said...

Here's the thing about those lighted needles--one of the times I get the most knitting done is during technical rehearsals of any given show I'm working on. I knit. In the dark. For hours at a time. Now, granted I'm generally not working on my most cabley, lacey, 45-colors-y garments at that time, but I've never felt the need to knit with skinny flashlights, all the same.

Diane said...

Great list. Those light up needles creep me out.

Coco Schapparelli von Furstenburg III said...

Great list. The fighting about fiber content right on target. If you like the yarn knit with it and wear the final product with pride. When I learned to knit almost 25 years ago, Luise, the eccentric knitting maven who taught me, tried to post an ad on the back page of the Village Voice advertising weekly Stitch'n'Bitch sessions. They would not take the ad and I cannot remember the exact reason why, but the phrase has been around longer than Mae West's wit; so how can one party claim to own it? Thanks for bringing that up.

Anonymous said...

I did want to add to your "the Best" list -- the Knitting Olympics was a great example of knitters striving to do their best, and it got a lot of positive, if puzzled, media attention.

Anonymous said...

How about the Lantern Moon black sheep tape measures and the LYS waiting lists for them? Good goards.

Sue said...

Denise needles in pink!!! Give me a break. Oh wait, that's what the cables do when you try to slide the wool along them. I love the needle tips in the Denise set, sharp and smooth, but hate the cables; I've broken 4 in the 2 years I've owned the set. Needless to say, the set sits in the corner and I pay little to no attention to it.

Deborah C. said...

Amen to that list. I don't buy anything to support various causes, I'd rather donate directly and have all the funds go to the charity. The "support your charity by buying my product" schtick just hits me the wrong way.

One thing I miss - You Knit What??!! That blog always made me laugh.

Carol said...

good point, deborah, i'd forgotten about YKW. although toward the end, i thought they were reaching a little too far for mockworthy stuff.

sherry, i had no idea there were waiting lists for the sheep tape measures! it's only the black sheep because of the symbolism, i take it?

Anonymous said...

truly awesome top ten.

=Tamar said...

Probably the first of many...
FSM = Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Carol said...

I agree with everything! Especially all the "pink" crap for breast cancer research. Just donate the money if you want to support it! Why buy pink crap?

Marg B said...

And the demise of You Knit What (sniff!)

Alison said...

I actually like the pink Denise cords, sometimes a lighter color cord is a better contrast with your knitting! I completely agree about STR though, I saw those lines at Maryland and Rhinebeck and was amazed.