Our shop is physically small, and the fact that we can pack it full of so much good, fun, fluffy, fuzzy, fiber-y goodness from so many US suppliers, is a good feeling; as our goal is to offer, and specialize in, as many American made supplies for the fiber arts community as possible. However, every now and again, we come to a knot in our plan and we need to make a choice. Do we cut the knot out, try to unravel it, or continue working with the knot in the final piece.
Recently a knot appeared. Honestly, we probably knew it was coming, yet it still took us by surprise, just like that final knot at the end of the well wrapped cake of yarn (“This time, it’s going to unwind perfectly, I just know it!".). There was no denying it anymore - mass produced U.S. made crochet hooks and knitting needles are hard to come by.
There are always Brittany and Denise (If you aren’t a stitcher, it sounds like a we’re talking about lunch table seating options in the high school cafeteria.). Both are great lines, with great products. We love that we always have the right needle size and cord length with our Denise set, and for those who do much Tunisian crochet, an interchangeable crochet set is a huge boon! The Birch wood used by Brittany is amazingly smooth and warm - a huge perk to those of us with cold hands, even in July. Both lines are also affordable, making them great for both the beginner and the stitcher with years of experience.
Now to the conundrum. If you haven’t heard, Kollage Square has now changed hands, the new owners have moved production to Canada. Sigh. This was our knot at the end of the cake of yarn. We knew the possibility was there, but we were in denial, or rather, hopeful, that as the yarn unraveled, it would do so in an orderly manner, and that the knot would never occur. But it did. And now we need to decide how to handle that knot.
We’ve decided to continue working with the knot intact; basically, without the analogy, we decided to continue carrying the Kollage Square needles. Why?
There are very few mass production hook and needle manufacturers located in the States in the first place, and many of them we already carry, or they don’t offer metal or circular options at an affordable retail price
The new production facility includes the current Kollage equipment, meaning the manufacturing process, and therefore the quality, should remain the same. The new employees are even being trained by the original equipment’s owner/operator.
The new location is geographically closer than the previous one; that makes it a bit more “regional”, even if it’s in Canada. The US is such a huge place, it sometimes takes something like this to remind us that we really aren’t that far, or different, from many of our northern neighbors. Besides, some of Lisa’s favorite people, places, and food (yes, food) are Canadian, eh. (Sorry, I know it's a stereotype, but I couldn't resist.)
Let’s not forget how much we love these needles! We know that a number of you have started replacing many of your needles and hooks with the Kollage equivalents. They are also the first set many of you reach for when casting on and crocheters like the wooden handles too, especially on the smaller sized hooks.
We realize, that due to our somewhat unorthodox mission of focusing on domestically produced items in a market flooded with quality imports (and a number of poor quality options), that there are a number of things we don’t carry. Or, like the little plastic stitch markers and other notions, we carry the imported items because there aren’t any other options available. However, we will continue to strive towards offering American made options first and foremost, and when we do find a domestic source for some of the harder to find items, we will try and switch to the American item.
But this is one of the few occasions where we will need to switch from the domestic product to an imported product. While there are a number of reasons that this switch saddens me, it’s also good to know the quality product is still available, and may be expanding in the future. So, if you are one of the Kollage Square converts, you can still get your Kollage Needles and Hooks at Darn Yarn.