Yarn Stash: Where do you fit in & a bonus!

Yarn Stash: Where do you fit in & a bonus!

Another awesome week of polling and science. I’ll post the information below taken directly from the Facebook post in the group as always. Enjoy fellow yarn loving nerds!

For over a month, myself and another member have been having a discussion about one of my first pollings here, the one about the preferred yarns. (If you use the search box on the left hand side of this group page and insert my name you can find all of the polling results rather quickly.) In that polling I wanted to know if we leaned towards brands more because of the ease of accessibility or not. Worldwide that was the case with the exception of Australia. So, I considered my findings a success and have used that polling, which by the way has been our most participated in polling thus far as a basis for a lot of other pollings I’ve done.

Now imagine the lump that formed in my throat when she said (I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting her!), “I suspect that, because we were asked to name our most-used yarn in the original poll, the big brands appear to have a bigger share of the market than they do in reality. I named Stylecraft Special DK, for example, which is the one I use more often than any other, but in fact it represents less than 20% of my current stash of yarn in terms of number of balls/skeins, and less than 10% in terms of cash value.” Insert a train coming to a screeching halt, right here. Suddenly my science wasn’t so concrete and yet again, just like that, I knew nothing.

So, I had to find the answer. The problem is that what is “expensive” or “luxury” to some may not be to others, like my science friend quoted above. You know what they say about opinions right? So for the past few weeks I’ve been polling you all with this general purpose in mind, ultimately. Is my science broken!? Lets find out.

First I needed to establish a breaking point and last week I asked you what the most expensive yarn was in your stash. My goal was to see how much money was too much money for you all. Were you like my friend or were you like me? Which one of us was in the majority?

Turns out from that polling the average was $35 USD. But wait! A lot of those numbers were on cakes, like Scheepjes Whirls and Wolltraum cakes so.. I had to math some more, take into consideration that some of them may have been gifts and that was the only reason you had them (which some claimed) and that brought the average down to $14 USD as the breaking point. There was a lot of math involved in this.. but $14 USD is the number.

572 people participated in our polling this week. For those of you that are curious that is .86% of our group membership. It’s the second most participated in polling since we’ve started. (Hello other 99% of you. Why you no science!?)

When looking at the information below the number to the left of the / represents “common/normal” yarn and the number to the right of the / represents “premium/luxury.”

90/10 = 40.38%
100/0 = 29.54%
70/30 = 7.16%
60/40 = 5.9%
30/70 = 4.02%
80/20 = 3.67%
40/60 = 2.79%
20/80 = 2.27%
10/90 = 2.27%
50/50 = 1.74%
0/100 = .17%

What does this mean? Well, it means I do in fact know some things! Which is good.

86.65% of us have stashes that are mostly non “premium/luxury” yarns while 13.26% have either half and half or more “premium/luxury” yarn than “common” yarns.

The reality is that “big box” brands do have a bigger share in the market. Coincidently, I’ve come to dislike that term big box in reference to this because there are some yarns that made it into the top numbers that aren’t in big box stores.

So, most of you are like me. Finally. I never thought I would actually say those words. But fear not my questioning friend! Those of you who make up the 13.26% are in some wonderfully talented company. More than a few of that 13.26% actually spin and dye their own yarn. If I had that talent I’d probably be in your ranks as well.

Thank you again for participating and remember if you have a question you want to have answered please feel free to message me. I keep a notebook with all of them to use in the weekly polls.


P.S. I still haven’t gotten over qiviut and I may or may not have added holding it in my hand to my bucket list.


I had originally started to respond with this in this weeks polling thread but I got myself off on a tangent and oh look.. there’s more numbers. I probably could have waited until next week but, we have momentum going.. why wait right?

The term “big box” refers to large retail stores, most of them chains that sell items at a discounted price. Places like Wal-Mart, Aldi, Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, JoAnns and Lincraft as examples and what ever equivalent might be in your country. My point with my statement in this weeks polling is that not all of the yarns that made our list of most preferred yarns are found in big box stores. Yet they are being lumped in under the umbrella.

Brands like Stylecraft, which to the best of my knowledge can’t be purchased in any “big box” store anywhere yet it came in at the top of our most preferred brands, globally. I mean by a landslide, globally.

Brands like Paintbox that started as a small indy brand, is still sold at only ONE online retailer (don’t mention lovecrochet and loveknitting because they are the same company) came in with the over all global numbers.

It really is amazing when you sit down and actually give yourself a moment to think about it.

Vinnis Colours is a company started by and owned by a woman, just like most of us (don’t get upset fellas, its an example) that is based in South Africa, gives work to impoverished women (doesn’t just declare that a portion of their proceeds go to them, they actually give them work) and is in the grouping with massive, globally purchased and known brands that DO absolutely dominate the “big box” market like Red Heart.

That is astonishing. It’s fabulous, but also curious at the same time.

I hear people (well read people) all the time who say “I can’t afford anything but big box yarn.” Oh? Is that so? Take a seat Betsy and grab the scotch, I’m about to knock your socks off. (Please don’t take it personal any real Betsy reading this. It’s literally a name sitting in front of me so I grabbed it)

Luckily I happen to be a nerd who hoards excel spreadsheets filled with data and I have some numbers for you.

All of these numbers come from Aran (number 4) size acrylic yarn from each brand. All of these brands were in our top preferred yarns.

Vanna’s Choice (Made by Lion Brand) costs .0255 cents USD per meter. (Big Box)

I Love this Yarn (Hobby Lobby Brand Yarn) costs .0173 cents USD per meter. (Big Box)

Caron Simply Soft Made by Yarnspirations) costs .0155 cents USD per meter. (Big Box)

Paintbox Yarn costs .0146 cents USD per meter.

Loops and Threads (Michaels Brand Yarn) costs .0137 cents USD per meter. (Big Box)

Stylecraft costs .0108 cents USD per meter.

Red Heart costs .0088 cents USD per meter. (Big Box)

Aside from Red Heart, Stylecraft is cheaper than any of the other “big box” brands. Which is curious because I can now honestly say that I owned all of the above mentioned yarns and aside from Paintbox, Stylecraft is the softest, best quality of them all in my opinion. So this leads to the question of… if Stylecraft can make their fabulous yarn for such an affordable price, WHY are these other brands charging so much more when we know… WE KNOW because we all worked together to gather the data that it’s all made in the same darn place anyways? But, that is a question for a different time.

My point is… there is a .002 cent USD difference between Red Heart and Stylecraft. Yes, you can afford that yarn. It’s all acrylic. It’s all machine washable. It’s all low cost. It’s all made in the same darn place, except Red Heart and they ship in the actual materials to manufacture.

As a bonus to the bonus this week I am going to leave you with a little something just in case you feel like I’ve beaten you with a verbal baseball bat. Trust me it’ll make you feel better.

You ready?

Scheepjes Whirl? That coveted, all too sought after glorious yarn that nearly everyone drools over but is just too expensive for our tastes?

.0235 cents USD per meter.

That is less than Vanna’s Choice and it’s 60% cotton!

Insert a heavenly choir singing here and me dropping the mic to exit stage left.