Monday, September 8, 2008


Yes, this is the follow up post to Fake It Til You Make It!

 It In that episode we were knitting (albeit fake knitting or loom knitting) a pink scarf. We did manage to disengage the scarf from the loom. The finished size was 72 x 5 inches of soft cuddly warmth. I promised you then that I would explain in a later post why I was loom knitting and why I thought it was relevant to this blog.

In our sporadic, yet never ending, quest to bring you all the pink ribbon news that’s fit to print we offer occasional Pink Ribbon Product Reviews. This is one of them.

I was at the craft store getting soap making supplies and had to go through the knitting section to get there. One of the items caught my eye because it had a pink ribbon on it. (Once one is involved in the BC cause one can spot a pink ribbon a mile away!)

This is the product – the Lion brand “Knit for Life” learn to knit kit. 

The packaging is pink, the yarn is pink, the knitting needles are pink, the plastic needle is blue but we will forgive this small oversight. The package also includes laminated Breast Self-Exam card, printed in pink. So for use of pink we will have to give them a 9.9!

The other question we always ask is if the product benefits the cause. Because they include a self-exam card they get points for awareness and education.

On the label is the following statement next to the pink ribbon symbol: “Benefiting a Charitable Foundation for Breast Cancer Research”

Okay. I was unsure if Charitable Foundation for Breast Cancer Research was the specific name of an organization or not. The small ‘a’ seemed to signify otherwise but the capital ‘C’ in Charitable implies a proper name. (Or perhaps, like me, they just capitalize whatever word strikes them as important - proper grammar be damned!)

The website listed on the package,, would be the most logical place to check. Right? Not so much. Lion Brand has a very cool site but no mention of this product. Searching revealed nothing about this, or any mention of Breast Cancer. There was a whole section on Prayer Shawls that, if I understand correctly, you can knit for people with cancer or other life tragedies. Ah well. A google search turned up nothing pertinent either. So although Lion may very well have given scads of money to the cause, we can’t say with any certainty that any money derived from this product helps anyone.

So, pink ribbon notwithstanding, how did this product do? Well. . . . . The reason I bought the knifty knitter loom was so that before I tackled learning how to knit for real I would have some concept of the whole knitting thing. I knew that you have to apply even tension but beyond that I don’t know much about knitting. Because my general knot tying is so wretched (I can tie a perfect noose. I can make a perfect square knot – 50% of the time. Beyond that I am lost) and because previous attempts to knit have been tangled, to say the least, I figured I wasn’t the targeted consumer they were promising would “Learn to Knit!” After I finished the Knifty Knitter scarf I felt ready! I was confident! I was excited! I was fooling myself!

I tried. I tried again. I read the instructions over and over. 

I made glorious fluffy knots. I kept trying. I began to suspect that the fault was not my own but the yarn itself.

 Look at it! It has a very tiny main thread, and all these strands just flailing about. So I got the bright idea to wet down the yarn so the threads would lay (lie?) somewhat flat. I guess there is a reason you never see people knitting with wet yarn.

Plan B – I would trim all the little ‘eye-lash’ threads off the main thread, which would allow me to actually see what I was doing and be better able to follow directions. You wouldn’t think it would take so long to trim up a one yard long stretch of yarn! So I have my newly sheared piece of dry yarn and I try again. The needles are large and the thread is very tiny – which means even if I were doing it correctly, which I wasn’t, it still wouldn’t look anything like the directions!

So I come to the conclusion that the yarn and the needles are incompatible. I know it isn’t me because didn’t I just finish Knifty Knitting a long glorious scarf? True, at this point the scarf was still stranded on the loom, and I did have to use tools not normally found in a knitting basket, and previous real knitting attempts by me proved unsuccessful, but this wasn’t my fault – it was the yarn!!!!

You think I was able to find any real yarn in the house? I looked high and low. I scattered the contents of drawers and closets and boxes. I finally found some rope that was just a little thicker than big poufy yarn, and since my needles were so big I figured this would work. There is a reason that you may see a person macramé with rope but you won’t see them knit with it! Heavy Sigh.

So I went into my garage and actually found yarn! I was so excited. The price sticker on the yarn read TG&Y and .99 cents. TG&Y? The TG&Y went out of business here about 20 years ago. And I have moved six, maybe seven times since then. How did this skien of yarn manage to make it? And why was it not buried deep in a box? I dunno, but I’m not going to question such incredible good luck.

I would like to say that I instantly began knitting like a pro. (Have you ever seen a professional knitter? It’s a machine!) To be honest it took me several false starts and many many many times of having to pull everything apart and start over. Oh, and I had to go see Charli.

So to be completely truthful, in my case the Lion “Knit for Life” “Learn to Knit” kit was not a useful product. After learning to knit from Charli, and practicing for hours on end, I did return to the yarn provided in the kit and commenced to make a small scarf. 

Midway through I realized it actually wanted to be a hatband.

 I will not be giving this as a gift to anyone because this is what I read on the Lion website when I was looking for information about their Charitable Foundation for Breast Cancer Research:

Knitting will give you a lifetime of pleasure and relaxation. You can create handmade knits for yourself and people you love. When you give a lovingly knit gift, part of you goes into it. Your time, talent, the yarn and color you select -- even the thoughts and feelings you have as your work -- are part of your knitted gift!

My thoughts and feelings? Oh man. At one point I noticed that my size 15 needles are 10mm. which means if I were to plunge them into a person, they would leave holes slightly larger than an Uzi slug. I also got to thinking that this type of yarn is called eye-lash yarn, and that I have never in my life purchased mascara that made my eyes look the ones in the commercials, and that the mascara advertising people are probably the same people who thought eye-lash yarn would be good to learn on, and that as hopeless as I seem to be knitting- I do know how to make a noose. [play ominous music here]  I also got to thinking that I have heard more than once that women who knit are frustrated sexually; and that that is total BS – but that maybe, just maybe, women who are promiscuous are frustrated knitters because I would much rather be . . . . . .

Anyway, the point is that my next project will have nice thoughts and feelings that can be part of my knitted gift!

Think maybe we ought to have a conclusion at some point? Me too. I’m anxious to get back to my knitting!

I wanted to like this product, it had so much pink promise! And the yarn really is fun! But between the lack of any information on the charitable end of it and the confusing directions, and the choice of learning yarn I really cannot recommend this product.

But I can recommend their site as a great resource for patterns if you already know how to knit! And much of their yarn is gorgeous!


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