Absolute Scandal!

While on my recent travels in Scotland, I met a young lady who was knitting, on the bus. She used circular needles even though she was knitting a straight jumper. She said that if she used straight needles she was likely to poke the eyes out of neighbouring passengers, and as she travelled regularly between Glasgow and Manchester, the circular needles were ideal for the journey. I thought this was a very useful tip and I asked her about what she was knitting.

She produced the March 2010 issue of Simply Knitting and showed me the cable jumper that she was half way through. I was very impressed. In fact I liked the pattern so much when I arrived at my destination I popped into the nearest WH Smith to see if I could buy a copy of the magazine.

It's a very long time since I attempted anything as big as a jumper. And my previous efforts have been rather unsatisfactory, so it really has got to be a special pattern to tempt me to try again. The more I looked at the pattern the more I fell in love with it... a bit longer in the body would suit me better but that would be easy to adjust. I read the pattern instructions and there doesn't seem to be anything too difficult either. Great! Perhaps now is the time to put my previous knitting gremlins to rest.

Once I got home I Googled for stockists of the recommended wool. Rowan Lima it's called and comes in several beautiful shades... except there must be a mistake... The recommended retail price is £6.10 per 50g ball... The pattern calls for 13 balls! That is a staggering £79.30 just for one jumper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (plus the postage, plus the needles, plus the cost of the magazine in the first place!) Unbelievable! Even on ebay the cheapest Rowan Lima wool I could find was £5.35 which is only about £10 cheaper overall.

WHO ON EARTH CAN AFFORD TO KNIT THESE DAYS? (well obviously the girl I met on the bus... perhaps that's why she was on the bus...) but seriously guys, if I could afford to spend £80 on a jumper I probably wouldn't be knitting it myself! Well as you can imagine... at that price and with no guarantee that I can actually get the finished item to look anything like the one the model is wearing I think I will pass. Boy am I disappointed!


  1. Are you on Ravelry yet? If so, you can search for the pattern and every project using this pattern will pop up, along with every kind of yarn people have chosen to work with. And you can see the works-in-progress, the finished results, and any helpful notes others have made about the pattern, modifications they've made, etc.
    I'm guessing you are not (yet) on rav, and I encourage you to check it out! Also, while it is a hugely helpful and welcoming site, the sheer abundance of information can be a bit overwhelming, so if I can be of any assistance, please email me!
    Sincerely, your Friendly Knitting Enabler :)

  2. Ah quinn... I am on ravelry but as you said have been a little bit overwhelmed by it so far. Did not think to check out which other types of wool could be used for this jumper... that's a good idea. And thank you so much for the offer of assistance. This is great!! Except I suspect that even cheaper wool will not be cheap enough! But we shall see :-).

  3. This is something that is really bugging me! When I was little my Nan would knit all our jumpers as it was so much cheaper than buying them! I'm now looking around the wool shop in amazment - the cost of a ball of wool is shocking!

    I found a site on the internet that sells reduced yarn from about 69p for 50g. There seems to be quite a mix of types of yarn that they sell and they get new stock quite regularly so it's worth checking the site regularly - I don't know if you know of it but will send a link in case you don't.


  4. OMG Bright and New... fabulous site! I can see my jumper becoming a reality... but of course with acrylic yarn... but hey... that could be good too! Thank you so much. x

  5. The scandal here isn't that the wool costs so much as processing etc has to be taken into account as well as quality. No the scandal is that the market value of a fleece this year is about £2 and that has doubled on recent years. It costs somewhere in the region of £1.20 to have a sheep sheared so many farmers have been making a loss on wool for years.

    As it happens shearing is a preventative against flystrike.

    £1.20 to save a £300 ewe and all the lambs she will ever produce? Not so bad value really, but the Wool Marketing Board really seem to have let the farmers down here.


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