View Full Version : Shady KP?

06-05-2008, 02:28 PM
I just heard from a fellow knitter that KP may be ...stealing ideas?

Has anyone heard anything about this?

What exactly I heard was that the Harmony design was actually first devised by a small town man somewhere in the US, and that he didn't want to devulge the laminate process...


that the new sock blocks are really a rip off of another designers idea.

Of course...I would hate to believe this of my favorite online knitting store...but I am wondering...has anyone else heard this?

I also heard that in certain circles...KP is being refered to as the "Walmart of the knitting world"

Regardless...this will not change my opinion of the products....I was just curious!!!

06-05-2008, 02:38 PM
Sounds like sour grapes to me. There is nothing patentable or even tradmarkable about the sock blanks. And laminating wood has been around for ages

06-05-2008, 02:51 PM
I love them. They have to come up with worse than that for me. I want good fibers and can't afford a lot of other places.

06-05-2008, 03:29 PM
I agree-sour grapes-KP is doing well for a reason-great prices, great selection, and great service. And laminating wood is a procedure, not an individualized "patent-able" idea. Same for sock blocks-there are *lots* of different sock blocking tools on the market (at least I would think so, I've never actually shopped for any, lol). How can someone claim that only they have the right to produce and sell them?

Too bad people are saying these things! I have to admit, hearing something at one of my (not so) LYS~I was searching for teeny long circs to make my first pair of 2@a time socks using magic loop, and one of the sales people (not the owner at least) started commenting how another customer brought in her new Harmony needles, and how she was SOOO excited and in love with them. Then she proceeded to rag on them, that they weren't all that great, she didn't like them at all, what's the fuss, yada-yada-yada. All the while she didn't realize that I had a set at home of my own that *I* also think are GREAT. LOL~ I just blew it off, but wouldn't her face be red if she knew?!

Anyway, I do think since KP has gained such a loyal customer base and prices are so low, its not surprising that other sellers might start grumbling . ;) Oh well. I'm still going to shop there :cool:

06-05-2008, 05:07 PM
I have to say that I LOVE KP :heart: ...their products and customer service are top-notch and I doubt they'd do anything to jeopardize such a wonderful fan base and business. It is SO rare to get good customer service that I will follow a company really far for it and I think their integrity is pretty high.

Sure, I can see why they are called the Wal-Mart of the knitting world since their prices are so much less for good quality yarn and supplies and their sales are great too. I don't think that should be a derogatory term at all...affordable is a good thing! I'd rather go with them than a boutique with over-priced stuff that doesn't work well or stand up to use and time anyday.

06-05-2008, 06:22 PM
Oh...for the record...I love KP too! I think the service to Canada is awesome...I don't think they are slamming anyone for shipping....it comes exactly when they say it is coming....
Oh I can go on forever! They do say that they search the world for the best prices...and really...quite frankly....GOOD!

Sour grapes does sound like a very likely canidate. I couldn't believe what I was hearing from my friend today...I hadn't even heard a whisper of these things before...

And I have to agree with Jaxhil....it is also probably the bane of every LYS that ppl love their harmonies! I wouldn't doubt that the stories are even just fabrications!

06-05-2008, 07:36 PM
How do you know that customer service is awesome if you don't have to use it? I just think it's so funny that people go on and on about how GREAT their replacement parts are and how fast they came. I want needles that don't break and need replacement parts. I don't want to deal with customer service- EVER. I totally see the Wal-Mart aspect. Do a little googling and you'll find PLENTY of unhappy customers that agree that their products are not all they are cracked up to be.

I know, I'm probably going to bashed right and left for not jumping on the KP is the bestest bandwagon, but I got so frustrated and I think people should know that the product is not great. Three words of advice if using KP product- USE A LIFELINE!


Lisa R.
06-05-2008, 07:52 PM
I know, I'm probably going to bashed right and left for not jumping on the KP is the bestest bandwagon,

I certainly hope no one would bash you for stating an honest opinion!

I have to say, I love KP and have thoroughly enjoyed using their products.

I can't say anything to the comments from the original post, because I don't know and don't want to comment in case it's just a rumor.

But I strongly believe that everyone should be allowed her own opinion, and be able to express it politely without getting bashed!!:)

06-05-2008, 08:26 PM
Customer service can be accessed for any number of reasons and not just complaints or requests for replacement parts. They can answer questions about products, recommend products if they are knowledgeable about them, take orders if you don't feel comfortable giving out information through a website, etc. As a matter of fact, if you want to blow the mind of a customer service rep...call them just to tell them that you love the company's products or that you want to praise a particular employee who was helpful or something positive...they get so little of that in any company that it makes their day.

I try to go out of my way to let people know how much I appreciate when things are done right or if there is a mistake (which happens in any company), if they are willing to make it right, that retains my loyalty.

I'm sure there are good and bad things with KP like with any company...it just depends on your experience and how it was handled.

Everyone's opinion is just as valid.

Tutu Carol
06-05-2008, 09:05 PM
I am on disability. :chair: I think you all know what that means, for those of you who do not: I live on $648 per month, yes it is true. I am not complaining, just explaining.

I used only the cheapest acrylics that I could find. (which really, really limits the knitting possibilities). A dear knittin' friend of mine told me about KP.

I can purchase high quality wool for the SAME price as the cheapest acrylics on earth. Oh, my oh my, I am a very happy knitter. (as well, many of my pals that have spare, yup, they give me their spare yarn :heart:)

SO, for my opinion. Gossip like that can ruin a good company, let us not go to negative "press" w/o facts. I am 100% behind KP & they won't loose one cent of my business.

Thank you.

06-05-2008, 10:26 PM
It's easy to find people with complaints -- they tend to speak up more than those who are satisfied.

I can only speak for my own experience, and I've NEVER been one to jump on a bandwagon. I think everyone wants needles that never break or need to be replaced, but real life doesn't always work out that way. Even the more expensive Addi Turbos are not always "perfect." The last pair I bought are performing fine, but they're much more blunt than I would prefer.

I've had my Options set for just over a year now, and I'm very happy with them. I bought the set because I knew I would get a lot of use from it, not because of anyone else. I dread getting on the phone to companies, even if I'm ordering some product I really want; but whenever I've spoken to KP customer service to place an order, I hung up feeling that the company appreciated my business and valued me as a customer.

So, KP isn't for everybody, and their products are not 100% flawless. It's a company that tries to make its customers happy and is reasonably successful in doing so.

I hope you don't feel I've bashed you. I respect your opinion but just wanted to present another perspective.

06-05-2008, 10:48 PM
I know, I'm probably going to bashed right and left for not jumping on the KP is the bestest bandwagon, but I got so frustrated and I think people should know that the product is not great. Three words of advice if using KP product- USE A LIFELINE!


Never!! No bashing on these boards.....only wooly hugs!

We are all entitled to opinions, and it is nice to use the boards for these such things, cause you find others that experience simular or the same, and at the very least...empathy!


06-06-2008, 07:26 AM
I just wanted to point out that Customer Service is not synonymous with Complaints Department. You use customer service for many things. I've needed to call Customer Service twice (not once for broken parts or anything). Both times the ladies were extremely helpful and you just felt like they would do ANYTHING to help you out.

I used to work in Customer Service, and it was amazing how many people would call me to complain about something, then asked to be transferred when the situation was resolved, for a different question. They were always surprised when I said that Customer Service took care of all that as well.

06-06-2008, 09:34 AM
I have contacted KP customer service twice. My order was lost somewhere in a warehouse of the USPS and hadn't arrived after a month. I called KP and they duplicated the order and sent it out. I received both packages the same day. I had to contact KP again for instructions for returning one package. They offered me a discount on the yarn in the second package if I wanted to keep it and sent me out a return mail sticker and thanked me for being honest enough to report the delivery of both packages. I love my Harmonys and have had no problems other than my own clumsiness. I have since ordered the Options dpn set and am very happy with those as well. I really like the yarn I got from them and don't find it of any lesser quality than that I bought at a LYS at 3 times the price.
That said there are enough places to shop that everyone has choices where to spend their knitting dollars.

06-06-2008, 09:52 AM
I work for a global outsourcing company. Among our many talents, we provide contact center services for companies all over the world. I work in that particular business, and know from almost 10 years of experience that "customer service" isn't just about the person who answers the phone when you call. It's also about the quality of your experience in placing an order (and I know that some people have had website issues with KP, I'm not one of them), as wella s getting accurate and reasonably quick delivery of the products that you ordered.

I've placed two orders. In February, I ordered my Harmony set (with which I have had zero problems, and there is almost always something on my Harmony tips!!) plus some laceweight yarn that's yummy but a bit difficult for me to handle, so sitting in the stash for the moment. I liked my set so much that I ordered 3 sets of metal tips in May, along with two sets of Harmony dpns for socks. Love, love, love them all. Love the points, love the quality, etc. I am finding that I actually like the metal tips better, because there's no drag from the transition between wood and metal, so I can see an order for the metal tips set in my near future. I like the Harmony dpns, as well, but am struggling a bit with them only because I don't knit with wool (allergic), so I'm using really grabby yarn - makes it a bit tough...but probably not ready for metal dpns, either...may just have to learn magic loop or to do two at a time on circs or something. :-)

Anyway, I'm another vote for "KP is great, this sounds like sour grapes", but can't speak to the quality of the yarns, since I've not used them much, or the customer service representatives, since I've not had any reason to call. :D

ETA: The KP sock blocks referred to here are similar to Conjoined Creations' Flat Feet, which my LYS carries, except Flat Feet is hand-dyed for you, while KP is selling you a blank chunk of knitted-up yarn that you can dye/paint for yourself and then knit from the end of the block. It's a cool idea. Wish they'd do these Bare blocks in something other than *^%$% wool!!

06-06-2008, 10:37 AM
Sounds like sour grapes to me. There is nothing patentable or even tradmarkable about the sock blanks. And laminating wood has been around for ages

Exactly. Somebody recently began selling "Flat Feet," a piece of machine-knitted stockinette that has been hand-painted. When unraveled and knit into socks, you get random effects from interesting patterns to blobby splotches. Cute idea, though the manufacturer goes a bit far to call it "art." KnitPicks may have taken some inspiration from the idea, but their sock blanks are undyed, unpainted pieces of fabric that you can color yourself, then knit into socks or anything else you want. You could easily knit a blank yourself (though I sort of hate the idea of knitting something only to unravel it).

As for laminated wood, half of cheap furniture in the stores is made of wood or "wood products" impregnated with plastic for added strength. Someone else might have had the idea before KP, but KP did the work of developing, manufacturing and marketing laminated wood needles.

When I was in the advertising business we talked about a "universal idea pool" through which unrelated creative people simultaneously came up with similar ideas as a result of who knows what influences. Often, when an product (or book or song) is a hit, people will come out of the shadows and complain that they had the idea first. Sometimes the claim is supportable, often it is not.

This also applies to calling KP "the Walmart of the knitting industry." What exactly is that supposed to mean? That they mistreat their employees and employ sweatshop labor? And what are these "certain circles" that are making the accusations? It really is wrong to spread rumors about a company without evidence.

06-06-2008, 01:21 PM
I like KN, they do have some good prices on yarn. That being said I don't think they are the "end all be all". I've had lots of trouble with my Options, cables coming apart and the joins not being smooth. KP has always sent replacement parts, although I wish I didn't have to deal with replacement parts......

They are just one of several places on the internet I buy from and will most likely continue to.

06-09-2008, 10:20 PM
Does KnitPicks have the highest quality, most luxurious yarns on the market? Absolutely not. Do they have good service, and offer a fairly nice product (occasionally less than fairly nice, but sometimes way way way more than fairly nice - some of their yarns are GREAT) for a completely incredible price? Absolutely.

Their needles are my favorite, by far. I own their Options interchangeables and set of dpn sock needles. Most of their yarns aren't my favorite, but being able to purchase decent wool at a price lower than most crappy acrylics is nothing to complain about! Their higher end yarns are comparable to some of the nicer yarns, and their lower end yarns are an amazing deal, much much better than anything priced anywhere near it.

We should appreciate KnitPicks for what it is. No, they don't have malabrigo-quality yarn. But for less than half the price, I'd say most of their yarns are more than worth what we pay. And their needles are infinitely superior to needles priced literally three and four times as much. KP is what it is, and I think it has its place :)

06-10-2008, 01:11 PM
What Rachel said.

06-10-2008, 02:27 PM
That was really well put! I have to add that the selection of fixed Circs is excellent. I forgot to put in an order...with my last order (and I can't afford to make a 3rd $50 order again within 1.5 months) but now I am trying to find the needle I need at LYS's and it just isn't happening...I can get close...but as they say, no cigar!

I hope one day they come out with Harmony Straights!

PS. I think the friend that pervoked this thread...is a yarn snob...didn't know that about him till recently...but I really think that is what it is!

06-12-2008, 02:12 PM
Walmart of the knitting world? What?!

06-12-2008, 02:22 PM
What Rachel said again! I've had my Options since Christmas 2006 and have used no other needles, except for our charity baby blankets, which come on a needle. I wouldn 't trade my Options for anything. Same goes for their fixed circs, which I have in small sizes for sock yarn.