Sunday, November 19, 2006

I WANT to make this! I really really DO!

So why won't anyone let me?

Let's start again. Alerted to this glorious design by a fashion-conscious friend, I immediately set out to get the pattern. It was so me, so gorgeous, I just knew I'd look great in it. I was prepared for the hard work, probably some frogging, a late night or two, a few swearwords. It would be worth it.

So why can't I get the pattern?

I should make that clearer. Why do American-based online stores think it quite justifiable to charge something in the range of the Gross National Debt to post a paper pattern to Ireland? I mean, it can fit in an envelope, right? It doesn't weigh that much, right? Emigrants have been penning heartrending notes to their families back in Ireland since the postal system was invented, right?

So why this exorbitant extortion?

Let's name some names, shall we? The first stockist I hit upon was I saw they had Lantern Moon circulars as well, so decided to order a 5.5mm as a treat, to accompany the Travelling Cables pattern on its Atlantic crossing. The total came to around US$30. That was OK - the majority of it was for the needles, since Lantern Moons aren't cheap. They're still cheaper than Colonial Rosewood which I would always use if I could, but not the lowest priced on the market by any means.

Here comes the nub of the argument. You ready for this? To post one circular needle, wood, weight approx. 1 or 2 ozs, plus one paper pattern, weight negligible - they wanted US$32. That's for the postage, not the price of the items. The total bill would have been US$62.

Now I wanted the pattern like crazy, but that kind of bill I wasn't paying. So I dumped Yarnmarket and went looking elsewhere. Ah, Knitpixie. Do they have it? Yes, they do. OK, no risks with circular needles this time - just go for the pattern. US$6.50, that's fine. Now - postage?

Twenty dollars.

All the grannies in America who mailed fat letters back home for the price of a postage stamp must be staring open-mouthed by now. I'm not surprised. So was I, looking at the computer screen as if it had gone mad. Twenty dollars to post a pattern?

I will admit that I emailed Knitpixie. I was good and mad so I informed them I was going to tell the world about this on my weblog and anywhere else I could find. To give them credit (maybe it was my BIG threat, you think? A weblogger's threat must be pretty powerful, surely?) they replied fairly promptly, telling me that they did refund postage on occasion when it was found that the mailing costs were less than anticipated. Hmmm. Not quite good enough. How come, when they knew it was simply one pattern, they still asked for $20 up front in the first place? Thanks, but no thanks.

In the meantime, I'm still patternless. And likely to remain so unless someone comes up with a solution. Call me mean, call me Scrooge if you like, but there is no way I'm paying three or four times the cost of the original pattern just to get it across to here when I can post a letter in the other direction for 75c (that might be about 80 cents American). And although a shop over here might admittedly add on a few more pence for envelopes and things, that is all they would add on.

At this stage, frankly, I don't know what to do. Someone said the pattern had originally appeared in an issue of Vogue. Did it? If I searched on eBay or indeed in the archives of Vogue Knitting, could I order a back number? I'd rather spend my money that way than enriching the pockets of those who habitually rip off their customers with outrageous postal charges.

I suppose I could occupy my time at the moment, frustrated though I am, with deciding in what yarn this lovely jacket should be made. Any suggestions, gang? All advice welcomed.

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns


Blogger Karen said...

Hi! I am always game to help out a knitting buddy in time of need. I would be happy to get the pattern and send it to you if that would work. We could make it some sort of barter (or I could just come visit you sometime). Let me know if you are interested. I could get the needle as well. Maybe I could even buy them locally and therefore avoid any US postage as well. It looks like a lovely sweater and I would hate for the lack of a pattern to stand in your way!

5:14 AM  
Anonymous hilary said...

I am an Irish knitter living in America, and would be happy to mail it to you! I'm always sending my mum patterns for her to knit (for the kids: I'm too busy with all my stuff!!!) so it wouldn't be hard for me to do it.
Email me at

4:50 PM  

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