We know our readers are loyal supporters of local yarn shops and independent dyers, so we think you'll be just as annoyed by this as we are! Yesterday's flip through The Instagram alerted us to a new yarn at the mega craft/imported "stuff" store also known as Hobby Lobby. It happened to hit this blog writer who has never been a fan of hobby lobby at the blog writing time of the week, so here ya go. Here's what Heather of The Lemonade Shop wrote on her Instagram page:
"I spent most of yesterday speechless, not sure if I wanted to cry or throw up. Why? Let me tell you… I was made aware that Hobby Lobby is offering colorways that are spot on and undeniably copies of some of my colorways. I’m still assessing how many have been replicated, and as I can see right now FOUR are dead on copies.
Now the frustrating part (and I will be honest with you on what a dyers life is like) - this is my job, this is our income, this is our family business and this is solely how my family is financially supported. We work endless hours every day of the week, whether it's dyeing, self promoting, coming up with new and exciting treats for you. The hustle is real and often important daily life stuff at home falls by the wayside. I get tired (and this is exasperated by an autoimmune disease), I evaluate my life choices, but then I am reminded that I love our industry and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Imagine how it feels to have Hobby Lobby, a corporate giant, offer up my colorways in their store and take all that hard work away. They have released a line of "hand-dyed yarn" in all their stores sourced from Turkey and dyed in India. Some are my colorways, some ride the line, and some I have seen from other dyers. I am not the only one, but I am the one that is the most blatant. The problem with this is that it creates a trickle down effect. It begins with yarn mills, then moves onto dyers, and then to your LYS’s. Most of these are small businesses, who rely on our industry to be strong and healthy. Does Hobby Lobby, a big box care about the knitting industry? My guess is no. And what about the people dyeing the yarn? I’d be willing to bet they are not being paid a fair wage. What we do is not life changing, but I like to think that we bring a little joy to everyone who buys our yarns. Hobby Lobby is taking that away from me and my family. They are taking away my ability to support my family with their lack of principals and outright theft. It makes me sick." 10/6/2020 Heather Rhoads
Retail priced at $14.99 for hand dyed yarn? We can be certain the wages are not fair. Cheap yarn is not good yarn. It's pretty insulting when you think about hand dyed wool, and wool in general. There's a lot more to yarn than the method of dyeing it too when you think it over..... there are the livelihoods of people who are tending the animals producing the wool, shearers, wool sorters, transportation of the fleece to mills, yarn mills (owners & employees), transportation of finished yarn to dye houses - in the case, the "hand dyers" in India - transportation of hand dyed yarn to Hobby Lobby distribution center, and the Hobby Lobby truck drivers who deliver the boxes, to mention a few parts of the yarn process. And on another level, cheating and stealing is not cool; we learn this early in life. Shame on you Hobby Lobby. Here are a couple pics of Heather's yarn compared to the hobby lobby yarn; you can see for yourself: