Scarlet; as in flame red. As in a flaming rant.
Dear Yarn Manufacturers,
Does the phrase Quality Control have a meaning, or even a role, in your business? My particular concern at the moment are knots in yarn skeins. I completely understand that when winding skeins for sales to the consumer, occasionally the huge cones you wind off of do come to an end and a knot is needed to continue on. I understand that in these lean economic times, watching the bottom line and allowing a knot in a skein is a large money saver and allows you to keep the costs of your product in a reasonable range. I truly do understand this and even can live with it.
Explain to me then, how when a skein containing only 210 yards (or even just 80 yards) can have a knot in every skein purchased. I know for a fact that the cones you wind off of have thousands of yards on them. I went to school. I even have 92 college credits. I passed most of my math with flying colors – OK, calculus was a disaster but it’s not needed to figure this one out; a several thousand yard cone should be able to produce several skeins of yarn with no knots.
Furthermore, please explain how a single skein of high quality yarn, that cost a minor fortune, can have FIVE knots in a single, 210 yard skein. Does this not strike you as excessive? Am I just being a whiner?
To top it all off, the offending ball of yarn by you (Ber….) had Stealth Knots in it. OK, this was not the most expensive yarn I ever bought. It wasn’t even a natural fiber. But you (the yarn company) assured my LYS, where it was being sold that it was a superior quality yarn for afghans and children’s wear and far better than any yarns sold at the big box discount chain stores. Harrumph! Even Red Heart can keep their knots to a minimum, what’s your excuse?
The point of this letter is to ask you to keep your knots (1) a maximum of one per skein (better yet, one per several skeins) (2) and to leave at least one-inch tails on every knot so they can be easily spotted before they cause a knitting (or weaving) disaster.
I’m sooooooo glad to get that off my chest. It’s been weighing on my mind for months now.
What is a Stealth Knot you ask? As illustrated by the two photos, a stealth knot is a knot that is tied as cunningly as possible to hide it’s existence. It is tied very tight to minimize it’s size and the tails are clipped so short they are right at the knot, rendering it nearly invisible. This is an unacceptable knotting process that is used by the most sinister of yarn manufacturers and should even be classified as evil. Why?
By it’s very nature, it is hard to notice. Hence, you are knitting along in a very complicated pattern or lace stitch and behold; a knot on your needle, before you can even notice it. The result is time spent (and very foul words) unknitting so you have several inches of yarn tail available before the knot so you can clip it out and splice in the new yarn. In the case of the lace pattern, unknit to the beginning of the row (for a shawl that has 430 stitches this causes very foul words). In the case of a machine knit garment, in a variegated, dark color this means the knot can go undetected until the garment is blocked. Meaning the entire section must be ripped out and re-knit. Very foul words, indeed. In the case of a wound warp, an undetected knot, once on the loom, is a serious breech of yarn manufacturer etiquette; an unacceptable low-blow.
Why would a yarn manufacturer use knots that they have gone to great lengths to hide? They have an evil, gleeful goal to cause pain, frustration and irritation to the yarn users of the world. They are evil. But we are their customers and we are on the Internet. And Ravelry. And their days of spiteful glee are numbered.
He, he (gleeful, spiteful chuckle).