4.17.2007

A Simple Plan (Or Tragedy and Triumph and Why Customer Service Matters)

All right: The Trip back in Time that I promised. My darling boyfriend got me the Simple Knitted Bodice pattern last Christmas, as he'd seen me drooling over it many a time. Then came Stitches West, where Dreamweaver Yarns had the biggest selection of Tilli Thomas yarn I'd ever seen.

I finished my Eris sweater, and immediately cast on for the SKB. Apparently I angered the Gods of Knitting by starting another sweater so soon, because this turned out to be one of the most hellish projects I've ever worked on. It became immediately apparent that my silk yarn was Full. Of. Knots. So I wrote the company a polite e-mail letting them know that this was pretty uncool considering the price. They responded nicely, saying send us back the faulty yarn, and we'll send you some un-fucked-up yarn (not in those words exactly). So I ripped out 3 hours of knitting and mailed the yarn back.

I wanted to finish this sweater quickly, so I knit as far as I could with what I had (those Pure and Simple skeins go a LONG LONG way, by the way - excellent yardage for the price). That's when I realized I had a slight... problem:

This was where I ran out of beaded yarn. With the cuff of a sleeve, and ONE FREAKING ENTIRE SLEEVE AND NECKLINE to go. I sent off another e-mail to the company, which was sort of stupid, because I made it sound like I wanted to BUY another skein of beaded yarn (I searched everywhere for another skein of my colour before e-mailing - none was to be found). They quite rightly told me that they couldn't sell me yarn, because they're a wholesaler.

So I started calling local yarn shops. I finally found a place that sold the multi coloured yarn, but it was the Ritz line, which is like Rock Star but with a metallic thread. It was about a half hour from my house, so I figured I could tink out the bottom part of the sweater, use the Ritz there, and maybe match the arm lace. Labour intensive, but at least I'd match.

So I got in my chariot:

(Yes, that is a totally gratuitous shot of my car. It was looking awfully pretty that day). I drove to the yarn shop, picked up the Ritz (while I've loved Tilli Thomas' other yarns, I have to say, Ritz is pretty gaudy) and went home to finish my sweater. The Ritz had at least 5 knots, among other quality control issues. Of course, I only found this out after I'd unpicked the bottom of the sweater. I put the sweater down, considered setting it on fire, and vented my wrath on the Knittyboard.

The next day, I decided (based on Bina's excellent advice) to CALL the company and tell them my tale of woe. Not only did they send me a new skein of the Rock Star, they sent me a cheque to cover the crummy Ritz yarn. The lady was super nice, and was very apologetic for all the issues I'd had. I can say that this made all the difference in the odds of me ever buying this yarn again. I'll definitely be wary, and be buying extra, but it truly is lovely, and now I know if I have further problems I can get good, quick service from them.

Once I got my new skein, it was off to the races to finish. Luckily, the finished product is gorgeous, because if it hadn't turned out well (NINJAS!) I would be sobbing quietly in a padded room right now.

The actual finished photos:

Hanging, sadly, the best angle I could get.

And the crummy self-portraits:

Close up:

The Vital Statistics:

Pattern: Simple Knitted Bodice
Needles: Size 3 and 6 (I had to go up a size, because I am the Super Tight Knitter of Doom)
Yarn: Tilli Thomas Pure & Simple (100% silk) in American Beauty, Rock Star (100% silk with beads) in Multi Red/Ginger
Total Knitting Time: Due to yarn wait, two weeks. Without wait time it would have been done in about a week.
Total Knitting Irony: I had a full skein of the Pure & Simple left over, and about 2 yards of the beaded yarn left over. If you're making the medium of this sweater, get /3/ skeins of the beaded yarn.

Coming soon: The project that may actually put me in that above-mentioned padded room.

5 Comments:

Blogger bradyphrenia said...

i like the modeled shot. it looks gorgeous as an outfit. congrats on making it through all your struggles!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Jo said...

That is absolutely beautiful. It looks much better on you than on the hanger. And the color - well, wow.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Thea said...

really lovely sweater - I'm having similar customer service issues with Sublime Yarn, but so far, I can't say the company has been at all responsive. Am debating a call myself - who did you call? customer service or sales?

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one noticed the Ninjas :(

9:15 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

OMG. On the hanger, I thought, "Pf." On you--way hot! That is awesome!

Good for you for fighting the good fight. Last week, I got through to a human being at IBM (!!!) in just two key presses. Amazing.

2:06 PM  

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