Horror #6: Mystical Disaster
Have you been reading the flap on Ravelry about a certain seller of hand-dyed yarns? I’m glued to it. Better than drama on TV.
I can’t link the seller, Mystical Creations, for you because her website is down. As is her Ebay store. And Etsy store. Emails were sent to former customers (I got one, but trashed it) stating that Danielle, the seller, was very ill and in the hospital and her family wouldn’t be able to complete any recent orders or refund money. Mysteriously, once the yarn started to hit the fan on Ravelry and folks began complaining to the Better Business Bureau and to the New Mexico Attorney General’s office, another email surfaced, stating that Danielle had died. Now, according to the Ravelry thread, the FBI is looking into her business for alleged online fraud. Alleged yarn fraud. Can you believe it?
I can. I
have had the evidence. Look:
Okay, so those photos are not very helpful. I figure that what’s inside the plastic bag is so evil it defies photography, because I couldn’t get a clear shot of it. I may have taken pictures of this yarn when it first arrived, but I can’t find them. That’s probably a good thing–I’m trying to eliminate all traces of its bad karma from my house. I’ll describe it instead.
One skein of superwash sock yarn, hand-dyed in several shades of very dark blue. It looked pretty when it arrived over a year ago. Pretty enough that I didn’t ask questions, didn’t undo the skein for a closer look, and set it aside.
My subconscious must have known. (It’s good about things like this. I trust it.) I left this skein in a plastic bag, inside another paper bag, segregated from the rest of my carefully preserved stash. Damn good thing I did.
After reading the Ravelry thread about how much trouble people have had with this yarn, I decided to take a closer look at it. There have been many, many reports of unevenly dyed skeins, skeins that are felted on the inside, and dye that bleeds like you would not believe when it gets wet. Some knitters have reported yarn that actually bled onto other things in their stash bins.
So. I unwound the allegedly evil skein. Yep, just as reported by others: white patches. An uneven, crappy dye job. At that point I thought it might still be salvageable. The blue was pretty, so I contacted a friend who’s a talented dyer and asked if I could rinse the yarn to get rid of any extra dye, and then perhaps overdye it to even out the color. Yes, she said, I could, although it might be pesty.
I was too curious not to. I grabbed the yarn and a big enamel basin and scurried down to the laundry room. Washed it. Rinsed it. Rinsed it again. And again. And again. After an entire afternoon of soaking and rinsing, perhaps twenty changes of water, that stuff still bled like it was getting paid to do it. The last change of water was as dark as the first. Like ink. Dark blue ink.
I left the yarn soaking so I could show it to the M.E. when he got home. He immediately got a trash bag and took it to the garbage can; I snapped a couple of quick shots as it was on its way out.
I just wanted it gone. As far as I was concerned, it had the hoodoo on it and I couldn’t imagine knitting with it. It was never properly set, or rinsed. If I had used it, made socks thinking nothing was wrong and then washed those socks, can you imagine what the other things in that load of laundry would have looked like?
My loss was relatively small. That skein, plus three of rayon boucle. Maybe $35 or $40 total. I consider myself lucky. Some people, I understand, are out hundreds. Unusable yarn all around. Orders never received. Lots of hard feelings. Nobody believes she was sick, or that she’s dead. I certainly don’t. Odd, I thought, how both emails recounting her fate were composed in what was exactly her writing style.
I believe Danielle is out there somewhere, a little nervous when the phone rings, peering through her curtains to see if that car pulling up outside has law enforcement license plates, dreaming up ways to elude the authorities and the hundreds of knitters who are furious with her. I hope, if the FBI is looking into the case, they’re faster than she is. She deserves her comeuppance, don’t you think?
If you have any of this yarn, I would strongly urge you not to use it. Not to give it away or sell it. It’s just flat-out bad. Please send it straight to its rightful home–the trash can.
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