A name, not a number
March 12, 2009
You and I are both rational, clued-up people, right? We don’t believe everything we see on the television.We’re hip to marketing shenanigans like cross-selling, up-selling and promotional hype. And we know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But, when it comes to buying yarn, I find myself behaving very… irrationally of late. In short, I fall for the packaging rather than the actual yarn. (Not that I’m unhappy about that, you understand. It’s worked out pretty well so far. It’s just curious.)
Does a yarn have colourways that are simply numbers? Then it’s unlikely I’ll be buying it. After all, where is the allure of “7834”? A name like “Ultramarine” is a small step up, as it helps me know what the colour will look like in my hands. But what really satisfies my romantic knitterly soul is a name more obscure, more metaphorical, more… allegorical. Something like “April in Paris” or “Memories of the Alhambra”. And if I have to actually think for a few moments about why the name suits the colourway, so much the better.
(Also, is the yarn blue? I’ve noticed I buy a lot of blue yarn. And fabric. I’m far more likely to buy a so-so fabric/item of clothing/yarn in blue than a much nicer one in a different colour. But that’s probably just me.)
Give your yarn a unique selling point, like naming it after a fragmentary Ancient Greek epic and prequel to the Trojan War which you’re translating and providing a different snippet of the story which corresponds to each colourway, and I’m pretty much hitting that “Add to Cart” button pronto. The yarn in question is Kypria, by the Sanguine Gryphon. I am now the proud possessor of the two skeins in this post, Thetis, and The Deep-Bosomed Earth, both purchased from online yarn store The Loopy Ewe. Kypria is a superwash merino, bamboo, nylon mix, and the subtle variations in saturated colour are beautiful.
This is all despite Customs’ attempts to thwart my yarn acquisition, that is. My yarn’s been sitting in UK Customs for three weeks, and they’ve just got round to asking for customs fees from me. How much d’ya think on a package worth about £30 ($46)?£12.74. £12.74! That’s apparently £4.74 for “VAT on goods over £18 imported from outside the European Union”, and £8 as a “handling fee”. That’s really quite a handling fee. Doesn’t it seem a leetle out of proportion to the tiny amount of VAT? Is it really worth Customs’ while to crack down on my two skeins of yarn? Wouldn’t their time better spent cracking down on drugs smuggling, etc, than standing between a girl and her yarn? So many questions. Oh well. (Perhaps I should point out that this in no way the Loopy Ewe’s fault, and that Sheri was very helpful when I emailed wondering if she could help me track down the package. I was just unlucky. Or perhaps it was a sign to me to buy less yarn.)
This now gives me exactly seven days to knit Robin a pair of birthday socks. Eek.