RIP Knit Club Kits – But I’m Still Enjoying You Lots

Back in a different time and place  – 2018 – I discovered Knitting kits. These high quality knitting kits opened a whole new world of knitting for me. I started using real wool and other “luxury” all-natural fibers for the first time, and my knitting skill increased by leaps and bounds. 

My late husband gifted me my first kit for Christmas at the end of 2018 (after a helpful nudge from me, of course). I blogged about this kit in 2019, “Knitting Kits – Worth the Money?” I learned a new and previously-unknown-to-me technique, mosaic knitting, along with several other more advanced techniques.

Reader, I fell in love. I went on to purchase several more kits from Kitterly and learned to make Raglan sweaters, additional mosaic colorwork techniques, and even German short rows (gasp!). Having achieved at least an “advanced intermediate” level of knitting, I proceeded on, discovering kits and videos on Bluprint and monthly subscription kits with Knitcrate. Oh my, did my knitting skills level up! 

Then 2020 happened. The bottom fell out of all these lovely knitting kit companies. Kitterly quietly went out of business – or at least they quit sending out ads and emails. Bluprint’s more publicized demise suddenly put me in the position of “buy them now or not at all,” and I quickly purchased a number of high quality kits at pennies on the dollar. My stash went from one basket to three baskets to a situation of wondering where I would even store all these kits I knew I wouldn’t get to for a long time.

Knitcrate hung in until just last month. I think most of its customers saw the handwriting on the wall, with an astonishing 80% clearance sale in late 2022 signaling that the end was nigh. Like with Bluprint, I recognized this was crunch time. I could get terrific deals on gorgeous alpaca, wool, and even silk-blend yarns. Then, it would all be gone.

So here I am, in early 2023, finally getting to one of those Bluprint kits I bought for next-to-nothing over two years ago. I’m still learning lots and increasing my skills, making an oversized Raglan sweater with complicated cables and a shawl collar. It’s sad, seeing references to “online resources” through my former Bluprint account. Those online resources just aren’t there anymore. I’m really, really glad I bought so many kits when I did and even more glad I have the print copies of the patterns in my hands. 

Meanwhile, I’ve got an entire cabinet of yarns I’ve purchased through Knitcrate over the last couple of years. While those yarn purchases seemed extravagant at the time, I rationalized that I was getting high quality products at terrific deals. Yes, I was. That fact is truer now than when I made the purchases in the first place.

RIP Kitterly, Bluprint, and especially Knitcrate, with its monthly surprise packages and friendly online community of crafters. I’m still enjoying your kits. I’m still enjoying your yarns. And with a mammoth stash of clearance sale kits stocked up, I will continue to enjoy and learn from you for several years to come. 

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, interrelated stories about knitters and those for whom they knit and love. The sequel to this book, The Knitting Guild of All Saints, has just been released! Available in paperback and on Kindle, included in Kindle Unlimited. 

Are you using a kit subscription or other knitting kit you love? Feel free to give them a shout-out in the comments. I have no dog in the hunt, and I’m happy to help out knit companies who need the business! 

Is Yarn As Addictive As Candy?

It’s been said that yarn-buying and knitting are two separate hobbies. I’m inclined to agree. With all sorts of lovely, soft yarns on the market these days, it’s easy to get carried away. 

This past year, I made the big switch from buying cheap, synthetic yarns to buying higher quality, all-natural yarns. I’m really glad I did. The yarns are softer and much better looking. As an environmentalist, I can feel better about purchasing more sustainable products. 

After bumping up my knitting skills in the last year as well, I’m also ready to say, “my knitting is worth the better yarns.” If I’m going to use my much-practiced skills and well-honed techniques, I should quality materials. If you’re just starting out, using cheaper materials is recommended. But I’m well past that stage in my life. It’s time to “own” my more advanced stage of knitting.

Yet I still go through a heck of a lot of yarn, as much as I knit. It’s hard to pass up on the pastel violet yarn that would make a gorgeous springtime sweater…or the yellow and orange sherbet fingerling alpaca that would be just the thing for a summer garment…or the silk and wool blend navy blue yarn that would match everything in my winter wardrobe. 

Yarn is indeed as addictive as candy. One look, and you want to indulge. Visions of all the great sweaters, scarves, cowls, hats, and even summer tops dance in your head. You feel better just having the stuff in your hands. And, like candy, you can have too much. Your yarn storage bins bulge with yarns that’s been sitting there, un-knitted, for the last several years. You cringe at your credit card bill and vow to say “enough!”

It’s “yarn diet” time for me, I’m afraid. I’ve promised myself I’ll knit through the four sweater projects and three or four smaller stashes of yarn before I buy any more yarn. But once I’ve knit through these projects….I can buy more yarn!!!

Happy Knitting (and Yarn Buying), Cindy

Cynthia Coe is a writer, book reviewer, and avid knitter. Her books and blog posts can be found on her Amazon Author Page

A Shout-Out to Ewe Knit & Sew for the swirl-pop yarn in the photo! What a great marketing idea!

The Perils of Knitting the Stash

Some say buying yarn is as much of a hobby as actually knitting yarn. I’m guilty of that myself.

You go to the yarn store and see those lovely skeins calling your name. You only have a vague idea of what you will realistically do with that lovely yarn. You buy it on faith…or maybe hope…or maybe just sheer avarice. You take it home and maybe leave it in your “to do” basket of planned or unplanned knitting projects.

But there those lovely skeins of yarn sit for weeks. Or months. Or even years. 

My longest running member of my yarn stash is a bag of undyed cotton yarn I bought on vacation in Monserrat years ago. Who has yarn purchased on a Caribbean island?! I had to have it. I had misty plans of making a summer sweater from that yarn. After the island was nearly obliterated by a volcano, I kept that yarn around just to remember a wonderful place I had once visited. I now have a more solid plan to knit a shawl with it.  We’ll see.

The perils of keeping a stash is that you, ultimately and inevitably, have more yarn that you’ll probably use. If you completely knit through your stash on a regular basis, you’re a better person than I. But most of us over-buy yarn with nothing more than hopes and dreams. If we do use skeins from the stash, we often have too much yarn and skeins left over, too little to use for something else. Or worse, we haven’t bought enough for a project, finding that out long after the yarn is available. 

So what’s a knitter to do? Keep feeding the stash? Put yourself on a yarn diet? 

I’m challenging myself to donate unused yarn to schools or children’s summer programs. I’ve got a big bag for some lucky organization! But in the meantime, I’m eyeing that lovely new yarn I just spotted in the craft store….

Happy Knitting (and Stashing!), Cindy

Cynthia Coe is a writer, book reviewer, and avid knitter. Her books and blog posts can be found on her Amazon Author Page.