Debbie Bliss. To me, she it the Martha Stewart of Knitting.
I was one lucky knitter to spend the afternoon with Debbie.
My knitting career began when I picked up a debbie bliss book. Those gorgeous baby knits...not the crazy primary coloured trucks and animal sweaters. These were tasteful, beautiful knits for babies.
My child will wear these knits
And away I went...knitting, learning, searching, discovering...all the while wanting to knit everything that debbie bliss designed.
Imagine how I felt the day that I discovered her yarn. I actually drove an hour to another town to find it...I had to have some.
Now, Debbie Bliss yarns are always found in my house. I love the cashmerino line, it is truely one of my favourites.
I was surprised to see the chatter on line recently about the cashmerino lines. Surprised, not disappointed...surprised. Could it be true? Does the label say cashmere content, but indeed it contains none? Do I care?
Well, let me just say it's not that I don't care. I would hate for something to be mislabeled, and the public mislead...but really, cashmere or not...this is fabulous yarn.
It is a joy to knit with and if it was made from dog hair (which it is not!) I would knit with it.
That brings me to yesterday.
Debbie was in town...at the LYS for her trunk show. I had to come to grips with the fact that I had no sitter, and was not going to meet her.
Well, my DH came home early! I had to go!
Firstly, she is a lovely, brilliant and down to earth woman. The knits...oh the knits she brought that we could try on! Do I have a new list of projects!
We ladies...the handful that were there, all chatted with Debbie, asking questions, admiring her designs and new yarns.
She spoke of the manufacturing end of her yarns and I had to pose the question. I hated to bring it up...but I am glad I did.
I've heard the rumors on line of the dispute in regards to the content of her yarn...
Do you want the whole story? she asks?
Yes, of course.
The rumors are just that. Rumors. There is no truth to them.
There seems to be some back stabbing going on in the yarn business...like most businesses.
A yarn Debbie Bliss has put her family name on is being slandered. This is unfair.
She has been to the manufacturer in Italy...she has had the yarn tested numerous times, and everytime the goat hair content is there.
The label is correct.
I have heard it from the woman's mouth and have seen the sincerity in her eyes. It is so unfortunate the turn this battle has taken. She is really troubled by this whole thing. Her company is a small company of eight people....who all work very hard to bring us these designs and yarns. This is not only hurting the integrity of her yarn, but it is damaging to her name and her person.
Debbie, stand behind your product. You have done nothing wrong and I for one stand behind you. There is no ground for any action on "their" part...but I must say that if someone was slandering my product and my name, I would certainly be taking legal action against THEM.
Here is Debbie's open letter:
"As you may know there has been some malicious rumours circulating in the USA suggesting that my cashmerino qualities contain no cashmere at all.On hearing about the rumours my distributors in the UK, Designer Yarns , who buy the yarn from a leading Italian manufacturer immediately started extensive retesting of all my cashmerino ranges in the UK and Italy,including DNA`tests. All conclusively confirmed the presence of cashmere in these yarns.
As you can imagine this has been an immensely stressful situation for me, not only does it bring into question my own integrity but also that my distributors, and the manufacturer, all who have had many years of experience in the business .I am a small outfit, not a impersonal, large corporation, and I rely on the loyalty and fantastic dedication of a small group of knitters and pattern checkers to make my projects happen.The potential damage that these attacks could have hurt us all.
I cannot emphasis enough that the rumours are untrue. Meanwhile I take great comfort in knowing that there are fantastically supportive knitters and retailers out there."
Debbie's test results can be found here.
Let's be done with it and just enjoy the knitting!