Little birdie

A little birdie named Sheila (hi, Sheila!) told me that Karin Skacel Haack, Vice President of the Skacel Collection, makers and distributors of the Addi Turbo, is entertaining the notion of making Addis with sharper tips!

Oh boy, I’m hyperventilating!

Specifically, it appears that before the company goes through with any further investigation into Addis with sharper tips, they need to have an idea as to whether this is a worthwhile investment.

Of course it is! But at this very moment Skacel has only one letter on file, Sheila’s, stating an interest in sharper-pointed Addis. They don’t know that there are hundreds, thousands more of us!

Let’s write ‘em! What do you say?

Do you see the maniacal glow in my eyes through your monitor?!? Mwahaha!

For reference, Karin Skacel Haack’s letter is posted below (with Sheila’s permission, but not Ms. Skacel Haack’s – I’m hoping it’s okay), as well as the letter I personally wrote the company this morning. You have my permission to copy and paste my letter, if you so choose. Or to send it off with whatever personalized adjustments (like, you know, subbing your name instead of mine, hehe). Whatever you need to feel compelled and motivated to write them!

Contact info: Karin Skacel Haack, karin@skacelknitting.com, Vice President, Skacel Collection, Inc., (425) 291-9600.

Spread the word!


Hello Sheila,

Thank you for your email regarding the lace needles. I did speak with you briefly at the Seattle Knitting Guild meeting last Wednesday and followed up on your request for sharper tips for lace knitting. It is possible to have a needle manufactured with a sharper tip, however, the message we have received from our customers in general, is that they like the way the addi turbo tips currently are. Offering a needle with a sharper tip would entail manufacturing a vast sum of needles and we are not yet convinced there is a market for. Your request is our first on file, however, lace knitting is making a strong come back and it could be that we get more requests in the future. If that is the case, we will reconsider offering a sharper tipped needle. As our end consumer, your opinion is important to us. If you have knitting buddies who are interested in the same thing – please have them drop us a line as well. Out of curiosity, if we were to produce such a needle, what sizes would recommend we offer?

Once more, thank you for your input!

Karin Skacel Haack


July 27, 2006

Subject: Addi Turbos with pointier tips

Dear Ms. Skacel Haack,

My name is Kathy XXXXX, and I’m a passionate knitter in Cambridge, MA, USA. I have used the Addi Turbo as well as other needles distributed by Skacel for several years, often with fantastic results! I find the Addi Turbo circulars speed up my knitting due to their superior sleek finish, light weight, and unrivaled connection between needle and cord. For me, it is the needle of choice for many applications, and I thank you for this product.

I understand that the Skacel Collection is entertaining the notion of manufacturing circular needles like the Addi Turbos, but with pointier tips, specifically with lace knitting in mind. If I may be so bold, I believe that this is a great idea, and that the knitting community would welcome such a needle with open arms (and wallets).

The tips on the Addi Turbos as they’re made today are simply too blunt for many applications. Lace knitting often requires precise maneuvering of very thin yarn, and the Addis have a hard time finding the space between stitch and needle. Sharper Addi tips would tremendously improve knitting lace for me.

I also find Addis in larger sizes (US 7 and up) to be too blunt for some projects. Here other factors come into play, specifically yarn choice. Most recently, I unsuccessfully tried to use an Addi Turbo, US 7, to knit a somewhat stiff cotton/silk blend. I had to switch to a needle with pointier tips after just a few stitches.

If Skacel were to offer Addis with pointier tips, primarily I would love to see circulars in sizes US 000-4, 20″-60″. For non-lace projects, I think pointier Addis in sizes US 7-10, 16″-40″ would satisfy the majority of my needs. Others use larger needles for lace, or perhaps find Addis in different sizes to be an issue – I will let them speak for themselves.

I know that Skacel needs to have a sense of the market before launching a whole new needle line. Not to worry – I will urge all my knitting friends who’ve dreamed of Addis with pointier tips to write to you. I hope you will see that the demand is high, and invest time into researching this option further.

Thank you again for manufacturing a superior needle, for listening to the needs and desires of knitters, and for your willingness to evolve as needle demands change. I appreciate your consideration. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions, or to request any additional information.

Sincerely yours,

Kathy XXXXX

grumperina@gmail.com

617-XXX-XXXX

78 thoughts on “Little birdie

  1. Ellen

    Well, this *is* good news (potentially).

    I’ll speak up.

    And by the way, you’ve written a very good letter. Always good to emphasize what the company already does so well before asking for a correction to what they don’t do so well. Nicely put.

  2. Iris

    Oh my gosh! First comment! Never happened before!

    I love the idea of writing to Skacel, and I WILL do that.

    There is also another thing – on Skacel’s website, there is a place to review products. The link for circular Addi’s is

    http://skacelknitting.com/products/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_7_60&products_id=91

    (remember – if this breaks – all on one line, no spaces)

    Click around on their site. This may be a new feature on their website, since I haven’t seen a single review there anywhere I’ve looked.

  3. Maria Riley

    Thanks for the news and the great letter. I used your letter, with some minor personal adjustments, and sent it off. I love Addi Turbos and knit almost exclusively with them. I am looking forward to the sharper points.

  4. Linda

    I sent off my email to her this morning. I also told her that its not just lace knitters – I am a cable knitter as well and pointier tips make cable knitting go so much faster.

  5. Danielle

    Grumperina, you’ve convinced me. Of course, I have no say in what Skacel decides to do, but if I did, I’d be out designing a sharper Addi immediately!!

  6. Bertha

    This is excellent news! I haven’t ventured into lace yet, but I like to knit socks on Addis using Magic Loop, and sometimes I have trouble with the blunt tips, especially when I make a mistake and have to tink back, or rip out a few rows and pick up all those teeny loops again! It would be so much easier with a nice, pointy tip! I’ll be emailing her shortly with my request as well, thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  7. Jen

    Yay! I sent my letter in. I may have sounded a little incoherent because I didn’t realize until I reread that they are considering another line, but I’m sure my point will be hard to miss. Thanks!

  8. Kittie

    Email has been sent. I’m so utterly excited at the prospect.

    I absolutely adore Addi’s and find myself extremely excited about the prospect of finer tips from the manufacturers of such a wonderful product. My needles rarely go greater than size 5 and never over size 9. I generally stay in the 0000 to size 3 range. The stuff I work with is generally so fine that I’ve literally driven three to four hours just to find a pair of needles that will work.

    This could be delightful.

  9. Jeff

    It’s funny- sometimes you learn to accept products the way they are and you forget that companies would actually be willing to listen if you gave them feedback. If only we all had such drive to make change- great job. I’ve actually started with some lace patterns and was definitely having some problems. Also socks would be so much easier. Thanks for posting this!

    By the way- I’m a Boston knitter- nice to meet you.

  10. Judy

    Email sent! Thanks for the template; I’ll bet Ms. Skacel-Haack gets overrun with emails. She will find out the Power of the Knitters…

  11. KarenB

    “…And they carried her through Hahvard Yahd, hoisted triumphantly upon their shoulders, for she had led them to Needle Nirvana!”

    Thanks, G.

  12. Lori

    I’ve sent off my letter, too! Thanks for the template and I made sure to give you full credit for the letter body and the fact that she’s gonna have a full e-mail inbox today! hee hee!

  13. Sibylle

    Just to get the point, you say the Addis are made in the US? My Addis all have written on it, that they are amde in Germany. Are there two kind of Addi needels?

    Sibylle

  14. Carrie

    Just so long as they don’t do away with my blunt tips! I love them and find them much easier to use with some types of yarn, so I would be sad to see the blunties go away!

  15. Kelly

    Thanks for the info on this. Sent my email about an hour ago. Pointier tips would be great for sock knitters too!

  16. Emma in Seattle

    I was at the Seattle Knitting Guild meeting where this came up. About a third of the guild present raised their hands for pointier tips to use with lace and cabling when the subject came up. I need to get my email written.

  17. nikki

    I typed my letter up! Woooo! Pointier addis, just imagine the possiblilites… I am so excited. (I can’t help thinking about how my dozens of blunt Addis will be gathering dust, LOL.)

  18. Julia

    Do you understand the pointier-tipped version to be in addition to the current needles or are they thinking of replacing the blunt tips altogether? Although I am happy to support the pointy tips for lace, for my other projects I prefer the needles the way they are – I use my thumbs when knitting and would get pretty beat up with pointy addis!

  19. Angeluna

    Thanks for leading the charge. I sent off a letter, bringing up the sock and cable issues. I also suggested she take the time to do an internet search on all the comments comparing them with the new Knit Picks needles. As a businesswoman, that alone should send her running to the design team. We become complacent with what is available, grumping to ourselves, and forget that feedback is useful to the manufacturers.

  20. KarenK

    Sent my letter off just now, too — and yes, I echo the desire for a size 00 turbo…

  21. Hifidi

    Woooooooo, hoooooooo, Kathy! Thank you so much for posting this today. I have been thinking about pointier tips for quite some time because of all the lace work I do. I have sent a note off as well. I hope it comes to fruition.

  22. Peggy Norris

    OK, I wrote Karin, freely borrowing and editing your letter. I added praise for their cables which don’t spring up in annoying coils in front of my knitting as some of the others do. Thanks, Scientist Knitter, for your precision and perseverance.

  23. Purly Whites

    Awesome! When I was at the CL workshop, a woman who I think is the design director for skacel was in the class with me. Catherine had a specific type of needle she’d been trying to find, one that was a regular knitting needle on one end of the circular cord and a crochet hook on the other end. The design director talked to her coworkers at Skacel in Seattle and was told that to do a new “form” for a needle, the minimum order was 10,000. So my guess would be that if Skacel thought they could sell 10,000 of these needles, they would do it.

    I’ll go send a letter!

  24. sarkasmo

    Thanks for posting this. I sent an email of my own, and I spread the word, too. Sharper Addis might not be on everyone’s Christmas wishlist, but they’re on mine, and that’s all that matters.

    Well, and you too. :)

  25. Deborah C.

    Dear Grumperina,

    Thanks for posting that letter! I have also added my voice, asking for sharper points on both the Addi Turbos and the Naturas – I prefer bamboo to metal. I hope Skacel listens to us!

  26. Erika

    Heh, I feel a little sorry for Ms. Skacel-Haack, but judging by her reply, she did seem to take it well.

    Yay knitters, we sent the nicest corporate mailbomb in the entire history of the internet!

  27. no-blog-rachel

    Done! Thanks for the alert, for writing such a great letter and for allowing us to use it.

  28. Kate

    Wow, I’m impressed that a company welcomes feedback from their customers. I’m kinda wondering if this poor woman knew what she was getting in to making the offer to get “your knitting friends” to write her. Does she know you have thousands of knitting friends? I feel her e-mail inbox groaning right now.

  29. Kate

    I just sent a quick e-mail to Ms. Skacel Haack. Thank you for alerting us to her willingness to consider changing the Addi Turbo line. I’ll post a link to this post on my blog ASAP. I was working on a pair of socks with a lace motif last night and groaning over the fact that if I only had pointier needles the yarn wouldn’t be misbehaving so badly…

  30. Jenni

    Thanks for the heads-up. I wrote a letter yesterday and have received a very nice reply. The company will be looking into pointier tips but Ms. Skacel Haack was very clear to point out that they will not replace their current line of needles. Any new needles will be in addition to, not instead of, their current needles.

  31. kelpkim

    i’m sending one too! that was a big thing for me–the addi turbos were like 2 blunt sticks to use! it was impossible to pick up the yarn with them!

    but now that i realize the benefits of metal needles–especially for “sticky” yarn and for smaller projects (since wood needles at size 1 are like toothpicks!) i’m going to send in a letter!

    thanks again.

  32. Kely

    Ha ha ha! Way to go Kathy and Sheila! I just got the email back from Karin at Skacel. She was inundated with pleas for sharper needles! I’m so glad. Thank you again!.

  33. Betty

    Done.

    And I received a reply from Karin! Apparently, the email barrage was overwhelming. LOL!

    All I did was write her about my current experience with the Turbos and my lace knitting. And that I was a devoted Turbo user and would buy pointier needles if they ever decide to make them.

  34. Rose

    Hee hee! I conducted that Seattle Knitters Guild meeting!! When the subject of sharper Addis was brought up, there were alot of heads looking up from their knitting and nodding simultaneously in agreement. I brought up the idea of making a US00 circular…. I don’t think that is possible, as I don’t know too many crazy people like me who uses one regularly. (I like to go blind while I knit. Ha ha!)

    Karin and her parents (founders of Skacel) are wonderful and care about the opinions of their customers.

    My letter has been sent! Thanks for the idea Kathy!

  35. Kristina

    I sent my letter to them as well. Thanks, Kathy, for letting us know that she wanted some feedback.

  36. minnie

    i got a reply from karin today! apparently we flooded her with emails, lol! and she mentioned you! woot! the power of the internet rides again. she’s considering the pointier needles! yeehaw!

  37. Wendy

    You must have been reading my mind. I was sorting through my needles looking for something suitable for a lace project and discarding one then the other and thought ‘why don’t Addi do something pointier?’ and then clicked on your site. I also have helped fill Ms Skacel Haack’s inbox. Well written letter.

  38. Tania

    I wrote Skacel and got the following reply:

    Wow! I don’t know where to start. I checked my email this morning expecting a few notes, but it took five minutes to download everything that was in my box. I only had to read a few emails before I realized that an email I had sent in response to a customer request had been posted somewhere on the internet. I guess I am somewhat responsible for the posting, for I did write in my response letter, “If you have any knitting buddies who are interested in the same thing – please have them drop us a line as well.” Little did I know that the letter would be forwarded on to Kathy, author of the knitting blog Grumperina, and she would publish it in her blog. As it turns out, it is a good thing she did. We at Skacel now know there is an interest in pointed needles for lace knitting.

    I would like to clarify that Skacel has no intentions of discontinuing the addi Turbo line as it currently is. For the many of you who love the addis just the way they are, you will continue to be able to get them. Now that we are aware that there is a desire and need for quality, pointed, circular, lace knitting needles, we will see what we can do to fill that need.

    Thank you for all your requests. They were very eloquently written, many praising our addi’s and our company. Many of you thanked me for my time to read your letter. I in return would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know what your needs are. Please feel free to write us at any time with questions, comments or requests. Unfortunately we are not mind readers, thus we not only appreciate, but also need your input.

    With no pun intended, you as a group have gotten your “point” across and we will keep you updated on any actions we may take.

    Once more, thank you, and keep up the great additude!

    Karin

    Karin Skacel Haack

    Vice President

    Skacel Collection, Inc.

    (425) 291-9600

    karin@skacelknitting.com

    http://www.skacelknitting.com

  39. Marcy

    If you want Addis with sharper tips, get KnitPicks Options Interchangeables. I don’t know if they are as slick as Addis (I only have one circular from Addi that I bought to do magic loop with and haven’t used it very much), but they are nickel-plated, as I believe Addis are, and the tips are sharp. I have had to modify my knitting style, as I tend to push on the needle with my index finger…ouch!

  40. Marcy

    Ignore my last comment. I just read a couple posts back and saw that you don’t like the Knitpicks needles. I like them pretty well. I have been using Denise interchangeables for about 99% of my knitting. But I started buying yarn from Barlett Yarns and it doesn’t glide across the Denise needles very well. I’m a slow knitter as it is, I can’t afford to slow down any more. So, I wanted to try a new needle that would slicker for the Barlett yarn (I won’t give up the yarn b/c it is so nice…it softens up immensely after washing…and it is so inexpensive. I LOVE wool and natural fibers, but I am NOT a yarn snob). I did have an Addi that I bought for magic loop, and it seemed to work well with the Barlett yarn, BUT I didn’t want to spend the money buying all the different sizes and lengths, so I went with the Knitpicks, so I could get a variety without a large outlay in cash.

  41. Lelah

    I sent a letter! I still have the callous on my finger from when I made lace socks with Addi Turbos. It was SO hard. I have arthritis in my loooong E.T.-like fingers, so I can’t use DPNs, and using the magic loop lessens the cramp on my fingers because there is more to hold. Addis are perfect for socks, except when making pretty lace ones. And I am such the lace person. Boo to Blunty Turbos!

  42. Jessica

    I too sent off an e-mail. Boy-oh-boy, I would really be excited to have pointier sticks (okay, circs) to play with! I love my Addi’s except for those bulbous blunt ends. Knitting, especially lace knitting, would be technically so much easier.

  43. Carmen

    ME TOO! I’m going to write Mrs. Skakel-Haak and also request an interchangeable line of needles. I like my Wright Boye KnitMates Interchangeables, but I would love to buy a line of interchangeables that are light, smooth finish with a smooth join.

  44. Mary

    I sent a brief note to Karin, as well. Now that I’m less afraid of losing my stitches off the end of the needles, I can probably move from the bamboo to the addi, once they arrive at a pointier tip. Now they will know who to contact to test knit the new point design!

  45. Lindsey

    I just sent off a letter of my own. Thanks so much for the info! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that pointier Addis will become available in the not-so-distant future.

  46. Stephania

    If you can convince me that I can still get sharper tipped Addi’s through airport security, then I’ll write them a letter. I’ve had no trouble getting my 12″ Addis through Denver International Airport, Colorado Springs Airport, Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, Keflavik, Iceland Airport and Heathrow Airport. They definitely saw them, they just didn’t have an issue with them.

    I’ll probably write the letter anyway – with the caveat that I want them to make BOTH types.

    Thanks for the initiative!

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