Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nice work if you can get it

Human behaviour fascinates me, particularly human consumer behaviour. I just watched a yarn site sell $15,000USD of yarn in four minutes. I then watched people get on a ravelry board and boast they'd 'won' some. There was someone up at 2 am and was devastated she'd 'missed out'. Someone said 'I didn't get any this time. But it was a good experience for next time' (that one really stupedfied me.)

So, in the interest of human behavioural research, I am going to conduct a very rudimentary consumer behaviour experiment. Right here, right now.

I'd ask you first to clear your mind of any predetermined knowledge you may or may not have about independent yarn dyers products or labels. Any predetermined knowledge present in your mind will skew the results of my experiment. Thank you.

No googling until after you've done the test.

Please examine the following pictures:




There are two skeins of identical silk/merino yarn in the above photo. One was coloured by the talented colourist Sundara. The other was coloured in knitabulous' sink by knitabulous.



There are two skeins of silk lace in the above photo. One of them was coloured by the incredible Madeline Tosh. The other by knitabulous. Knitabulous was completely unaware of Madeline Tosh's colourway when dyeing her own yarn.




There are two skeins of silk lace in the above photo. One of them was coloured by Claudia's handpainted yarns, the other by knitabulous.

I'd be interested to see, in the absence of labels, which of the two yarns people liked more. Or whether people could really tell which was a professional colourist's work and which was slapped out of my sink.

Because, taste in colour is personal, it's discretionary, and is blind to labels. Taste in yarn, on the other hand, isn't.

If you feel like humouring me, put your answers in the comments.

(and it isn't any secret which yarn is which - you should be able to do it in a few clicks if you're interested)

36 comments:

Caffeine Faerie said...

I love all the yarn - it looks so gorgeous. Now, colour preferences.
First photo: I like the one on the left - the sweet-pea colours.
Second Photo:Tough choice - the one on the right with the leetle more red through it.
Third Photo: really, really tough choice - I'll have to go with the old gold coloured one.

That's all colour preference, and its quite a difficult choice to make. And I have no idea which one's were professional, and which one's weren't. Which means your dyeing skills are fantastic!

Michelle said...

I have no idea as they all look great and I don't care who dyed it - but I would definitely pay you $15,000 for all 6! Beautiful! And dammit woman - you need to go into the dying business.

The Ravelry crap about "missing out" and "OMG the seller must hate me because she must have known I'd go to the loo at exactly the time she posted the yarn" drives me insane. People can be such poopooheads.

Courtney said...

They're all such beautiful colors that it's hard to decide, but in the spirit of the experiment, I thought hard about it and made my choices:

1. I think I like vivid colors of the pink one on the right a bit better.

2. I agree with the first comment on this one - I like the one on the right with a touch more red in it.

3. Actually, I like both colors a lot, but if I were to buy just one, I think I'd go with the blue one on the left.

And congrats on selling out all that yarn so fast! I'm going to try for some next time. :)

knitabulous said...

Oh sheet! It wasn't me who sold the yarn! I'll have to go and edit the post to make it less confusing!

M-H said...

Hmmm. 1st, one on the right. 2nd: one on the right. 3rd: Ill take both please. I've got no idea which ones were you. All look absolutely delicious to me. If you're giving them away my absolute fave was that gold silk in the last pic. :) (Jo-King!)

M-H said...

Doh - I meant the ones on the left for one and two. ::blushes and runs::

Jussi said...

don't know about the first 2 pics but OMG the champagney colourway is delicious!

BTW email me with the name of the site that sold out - I'm so out of the loop, but love to rubberneck when I get a chance!

Caffeine Faerie said...

Damn lady - you need to go into business! I'd buy your colourways any day. Old Gold/Champagney/Silvery - whatever - it is beautiful!!!!

Bells said...

I don't have time just now to go into preferences but I must ask - why aren't you selling?

Wollmeise is the only one I'll try hard to get inline for but I never do and i don't lose sleep over it.

I just like to buy something I like, when i see it, really.

Rose Red said...

Heh, when I read the first para I immediately though "dammit, I've missed another Wollmeise update". Except I know I didn't because I checked it earlier today...Which probably proves your point.

As to the yarns - photo 1, I think the one on the left is yours, and it is the one I like the best (but that's not hard, since I'd never pick pink!). Photo 2, don't know as have never seen any MadTosh in person or even that much on the web. I like the one on the right best (again, it's less pink, more red). Photo 3, I think the blue one is Claudia's but I'd happily buy either.

And if you are thinking about going into the dying business, you really should you know - especially now there's no Daphne from the Knittery...

LynS said...

Here goes...first pic, left; second and third pics, right. Love them all. Are you selling? However, I'm still mystified about how you can judge the 'feel' of the yarn online. I'd hate to pay all that money and then hate the texture of the yarn.

Katewillknit said...

Hmmm. Can't choose based on which looks 'more expertly dyed'. Would have to go on colour preference only ... 1st Left (plus it looks a little more smooshy), 2nd Left, 3rd Really really tough, right at a pinch.

Michelle said...

all the colourways are gorgeous and you should go into the dyeing business!!!

i personally don't buy yarn just because it's dyed by some professional or someone famous. as long as the colourways are gorgeous and the yarn itself is of good quality, i'll buy it ^_^

Anonymous said...

Left, right, right - but they're all beautiful
Grandma Flea

2paw said...

Honestly, I don't care much about labels, as evidenced by my Target jeans!!! If I like it, I will buy it. There are more important things in the world other than getting or missing out on some wool!! Truly, I couldn't discern the difference here!!!

travellersyarn said...

I love them all, but especially the beigy one (but the blue as well...)

romelda McKee said...

I buy yarn first by color preference. A colorway will strike my attention and then I feel and read the label. So by color on number one, the delicate shadings on the left are very appealing. On number two I am not really drawn to either but on number three, I would not be able to wait to put my needles in the one on the right. Knit on!!

The Scarlet Tree said...

Ok I dont know about any of the yarn mentioned...but here is what I thought.
In the 1st picture - I like the
1st colourway.
In the 2nd and 3rd pictures - I like the 2nd colourways, the champange colour is really nice.
Interesting, might google it now.

Charmaine said...

I think with these hand dyed yarns it is easy the real test is to see what they look like knitted up. But you never get to see that do you, until you've shelled out your money!

donnac368 said...

I was going to say that discerning eyes prefer more subtlety, but the last shot has your skein winning in that category (to me) so comparing apples to apples and if price is a factor, I like yours better. Great job - you are so talented. Etsy shop on the way?

Courtney said...

Haha, I see now that it wasn't you with the $15,000 of yarn... But if you start selling yours on Etsy, I'll definitely snap some up! ;)

ginevra said...

Left; right; left ;)

Do tell once you've finished your experiment, won't you? And say you're starting a business? (You just need to learn to hype yourself up more ... ugh)

Luni said...

You make some interesting points. Personally, I don't see staying up to some odd hour of the morning to "win" yarn at high prices. But then, my love for multiple colors in a single skein has faded a bit. Most of my yarn purchases are driven by price. I like sales.
That said, my guess as to which yarn is yours would be right, left, right, from the top pic down. I'm guessing those simply because they have fewer colors in them and I think they would be easier to dye. That means I am assuming that the value of the sought-after yarn is based on effort and quality and not just the name of the dyer. However, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that assumption is invalid.

ambermoggie said...

1 - right
2 left
3 right

FloridaMo said...

Right,
Right,
Right,
and if you decide to sell any of those I would be a buyer (unless it meant staying up several hours past my bedtime because you're in a way far away time zone).

Ruby Girl said...

The are all very nice, and it is a very hard choice, but as a quick look and decide I like from top to bottom, right, right (although a hard choice, and left (blue). I am not really into labels or the most expensive, just what I like. Will be interested to see which ones are which. By most comments you could be a very rich lady, now get back in the kitchen and dye some more yarn.

Loves2knit said...

Left, right, left. Those are my favorites of the displays. Since I don't know which ones you dyed yourself, I can just say whichever they are, they're fabulous!! Gorgeous yarn. Are you selling??? I'd buy :)

Anonymous said...

My favorites are:
left, left, right

But i also would take them all

best wishes
petra

NaloMeli said...

It's gorgeous! I wish my dyeing looked like that.

I'm going with colors: Left, left, right.

Ann said...

The colors of the yarns are gorgeous & they all look just as good. You have done a great dyeing job. I don't really worry about brands if the color appeals to me. But more important is the type of yarn as I love merino & cashmere.

PinkPorcupine said...

Left, right, right. But it's not all about color. The sheen on the second photo was the determining factor. I actually don't enjoy tremendous amounts of shine...some is ok, but when you have to pass out sunglasses to view your handknits it's a bit too much. :)

donyale said...

Like them all and would pay for any of them....so spill - we all want to know which is which....purely for Research purposes of course ;)

jae said...

hmmm... left, left, right. I remember when I was at a conference and everyone was so upset that a booth with Socks that Rock sold out (back when they first became "must have"). I didn't understand - the colors were gorgeous but the yarn base was a bit course for me. For me, it's about the fiber first, color second, label last.

janitalatifa said...

right left both!
this is a subject that i have actually been thinking a lot about. It does seem like the indie dyeing thing is exploding and that is cool because I think that we all need some beauty and color in our lives right now. BUT it is going a bit crazy when people just have to have a certain yarn/colorway.

jacqueline said...

Ok....I've been meaning to write you an email asking this, but talking to Meg today and talking about your dying skills made me remember my question - so I thought I'd post a comment instead. I need to know where you buy your undyed 100% silk from(you can email me)

And yes....a proper email is to come!

missfee said...

they are gorgeous and i can't tell - but you should sell