My people

At a time when the muggle-trocity of this world seems so senselessly rampant, it’s reassuring to know that at least we have each other – my people will listen to me, I know this much for sure. Maybe they won’t be able to do anything about my problem other than sympathize (or disagree), but they will listen.

When I suggested to Skacel that they should consider manufacturing a circular needle geared towards lace knitters, I honestly did not expect more than an acknowledgment of my plea. Something along the lines of, “we understand, and we’ll consider it” was all I could ask for. Never in a million years did I imagine that a little post on my little blog (plus threads I started on several knitting forums) could propel the launch of a whole new line of needles!

But I’m not the only one to “blame” for this episode. You… you, my people, listened and took action right along with me. More than one thousand of you e-mailed Karin Skacel Haack expressing your shared desire for something geared towards lace knitters. You! Not me! You!

And for this, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. What a contrast to Yarn Harlot’s list of ‘idiotic muggle behavior’! Do you think that if every knitter planning to attend a Harlot signing at a bookstore called ahead of time, the muggles would set up more than 14 chairs? I think so! I know so! When Ms. YH came to Boston in April 2006, and Porter Square Books had every potential attendee call and make a reservation, the signing was promptly moved from the petite (but wonderful) bookstore to a huge hall across the street.

We have the power. We have the numbers. We can propel the launch of a new needle line, f’chrisakes! We can fill a 750 person auditorium ten times over!!! We can rule the world!

Okay, maybe I’m taking this a bit far :).


The reviews of the new Addi ‘Lace’ circs are starting to pour in (read what Cat Bordhi, Clara Parkes, and May Yan have to say), and I personally cannot wait to give them a try! As you know, I hesitate to embrace the KnitPicks needles wholeheartedly, so I’m more interested in comparing the new Addis to my current faves for lace knitting, Inox Express (if they only came in sizes smaller than 2.75 mm… sigh!).

I’ll certainly let you know what I think once I get my filthy paws on them :). For now, I will write another letter.

(Karin Skacel Haack,, Vice President, Skacel Collection, Inc., (425) 291-9600… just in case you’re in a writing mood as well :)).

February 23, 2007

Subject: new Addi ‘Lace’ line of circular needles

Dear Ms. Skacel Haack,

My name is Kathy XXXXX, and I’m a passionate knitter in Cambridge, MA, USA. I contacted you in July 2006 upon learning that your company was entertaining the notion of manufacturing circular needles like the Addi Turbos, but with pointier tips, specifically with lace knitting in mind. To give my suggestion a small boost, I posted my letter to you on my blog,, and urged other knitters to contact you, too, if they were so inclined.

I was shocked to hear that you received over 1000 letters supporting the idea of Lace Addi Turbos! This fact speaks volumes about the power of the knitting community. Furthermore, if your products weren’t impressive enough before, I have gained a whole new level of respect for the Skacel Collection and its willingness to listen, try out new ideas, and launch a demanded product in such a short amount of time. I thank you for stellar customer interaction even more than for the new needle line. I am certain other knitters share my gratitude.

Last, I want to thank you for maintaining the regular Addi Turbo line without changes, since it continues to be the needle of choice for many knitters, including me.

So far, the reviews of Lace Addi Turbo needles are more than positive, and I personally cannot wait to give them a try on my next lace project! I await their appearance at my local yarn shops with great anticipation.

Until then, sincerely yours,




59 thoughts on “My people

  1. miss ewe

    I heard about the new needles a few weeks ago and thought to myself: HEY! That’s Grumperina’s doing! At least, you incited us to rally. Well done!

  2. Marisa

    I have lots of Inox Express circs in smaller than 2.75mm… I cannot be sure since I don’t have them in front of me but I believe I have them in 2.0mm and 2.25mm as well. They’re my needles of choice 🙂

  3. Lee

    If I weren’t at work, I would be shouting out in pure joy! Pointy tip, slightly sticky *and* a perfect join? Be still my heart!

  4. Tonia

    Wow behold the power of knitters. It is amazing what a few knitters and a company that is willing to listen to them can do.

    I can’t wait for them to come to my LYS.

    Thank you for standing up and getting the ball rolling.

  5. Jody

    My LYS owner special ordered me a couple of the new needles. I can’t wait for them to come in (somethime next week I hope.) I’m super excited about them. If not for you it would have never occured to me to ask for something better. I’m awed by the power of the knit community and totally amazed that Sakcel actually listened! I can’t wait for my new needles. I’ll let you know how it works out.

  6. loribird

    It will likely be months before I get to try them, but I’m excited nonetheless. I am constantly surprised at how many knitters there are out there, and how well-heard we can be. (Perhaps we should start a political movement or some such…)

  7. Adam

    Wow, that’s awesome that Skacel responded like that! It’s awesome when a company responds to the needs of its customers like that. 🙂

    I can’t wait to try them out!

  8. Lizbon

    I’m not even a lace knitter myself, but I think this is beyond wonderful. Funny that it should be so unusual for a company to listen to its customers like this (after all, we’re just asking them to make something so we can give them money for it), but it is. Skacel just got some major brownie points from me (and I am already a fan of Addi Turbos).

  9. xtina

    a heartfelt thanks for helping to get these needles in my grubby little hands. when i found out about them, i really had a freakout of joy because i, too, love the addi’s but sometimes a girl needs a sharper tip, ya know?!

  10. Patience

    WRT the Harlot coming to Cambridge, as of a few days ago Lucy at Mind’s Eye was going to get together with PSB and see if they could get on a spot on the Harlot’s book tour again. It’s a serious question if we would all fit in the Masonic Temple again, or do they need to find a bigger space.

  11. CatBookMom

    Hurray! I was one of those letter-writers, thanks to you, and I completely agree that you deserve the credit AND a pre-release needle, since so many blog-readers know of your terrific product reviews!

    BTW, the Addi Naturas (at least), also have the size info printed on the cords; it’s just damned difficult to read. The combination of the black on red of the new needles is going to be easier to see.

    Knitters Rock!!

  12. DebbieKnitter

    Well, I don’t consider myself one of “your people”, while I do read your blog faithfully, I really enjoy your knitting and sewing, I don’t post hardly at all. I figure you don’t have time to read them all and respond to people you don’t know LOL. I DO agree with MJ, I think you should get a free trial for not only it being your idea but you posting so much about it. I also wanted to tell you how cool I thought it was that you had your Grandmother’s socks in Interweave Knits. I LOVE the magazine and I was so excited for you, even though I don’t know you. Have a great day..Oh, what did you ever do about the zipper that melted?

  13. Jennifer

    While I would like to think that Skacel listened to your suggestion, and to the many letters from other knitters, I am such a sceptic. Do you suppose Skacel felt the pressure from KnitPicks Options sales? Business competition and the almighty dollar seem to be the primary motivators behind this type of decision. However, I’m sure that the pleas of knitters must have made some kind of impact.

  14. Teresa C

    This was a squee moment for me if there ever was one! I went right to my local yarn store the other day, and while they didn’t have them in stock, nor would they for some weeks, I have reserved mine in every size they come in. Can.Not.Wait!

  15. elise

    congratulations! that really is an accomplishment for knitters everywhere. maybe as an entity, we could get a yarn company to start mass producing inexpensive (but pretty) sock yarns like they do over in Europe…

    knitting seems to be an ‘underground’ scene. didn’t know i knew a single knitter til i started knitting myself and talking to people about it. now, i realize there are thousands of knitting blogs, hundreds of yarn & knitting stores (online or otherwise), online support forums, conventions, you name it.

    my ‘muggle’ friends might think i’m a bit nuts, but i do my best to educate the people around me. usually those on the receiving end of a FO are quite supportive. 🙂

    hooray for knitters!

  16. Susan

    Behold the power of the knitters! Perhaps the next letter should be address to Inox, regarding the size range of their needles?

  17. Krista M

    That is really fantastic! I love to see consumerism work for the people. When I was nine my mother bought me Frosted Flakes because I wanted the mini frisbee inside. Imagine my disappointment when I did not get a frisbee! Mom sat me down with pencil and paper and I made out a letter to the company. A few weeks later I got a package containing not one, but FOUR mini frisbees in all different colors, and Mom got some coupons! Never be afraid to write a letter.

  18. Karen B.

    I ordered a couple of them as soon as I saw Clara Parkes’ review. I should have them early next week (fingers crossed)!

    See what you started? Freaky (in a good way) to think that a single voice sparked hundreds of others to affect change at an organization that was willing to hear what their core consumer had to say.

    Like Krista M., I too know the power of words. You don’t ask, you’ll never know.

  19. Loretta

    Thanks to you, I wrote Skacel a few days ago to request Addi Turbos in 2.25mm sizes for circular socknitters. I don’t like the joins on the Inox 2.25mm circs. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a prompt and gracious note back from Ms. Haack saying she appreciated my taking the time to comment. Maybe you can get the troops to take up my cause for the 2.25MM circ!

  20. insaknitty

    I just went to stitches west today and saw a big skacel display! I was curious as to why they had gold colored needles all of a sudden… I got closer for a look and realized that they were “for lace knitting”. then it dawned on me that it was real! they really listened and they did it! in hindsight, I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t buy any to try out. I really wish I had now! oh well… 😛

  21. Kimberly

    Just delurking to tell you I saw the KP Options in action, and I was not pleased AT ALL. The person who was using them also expressed disappointment. Why? Because the glue holding the cables inside their compartment which joins to the needle was thinning out and thus allowing the cables to slide out of the joint. I am so excited in trying the needles you inspired Skacel to create. Thank you!


  22. Debi

    Well done knitters! Now could we band together to get a true US#1 ie: 2.25mm vs. Addi’s 2.5mm ?

    BTW Inox does not make 2.25mm Express any longer but I got mine from Schoolhouse Press about 6 months ago. You can check is she still has the available.

  23. Andrea Atkinson

    Addi’s are my favourite needle by a long way. Unfortunately the company is so bad to deal with that most of the shops I know about in England are either not bothering to stock the needles or seriously thinking about not bothering to send in anymore orders.

    A few weeks ago I was trying to get a 3.25 addi and it took me all day searching on the web and making phone calls to find somewhere that had them and the shopowner where I did find them said I was in luck because she wasn’t going to be selling Addi’s after her current stock is finished.


  24. carlotta

    I was at Stitches West yesterday, there were only 2 vendors that were selling the new Addis. The 6’s were sold out at both by noontime. I bought 4’s and 5’s.

  25. carlotta

    I was at Stitches West yesterday, there were only 2 vendors that were selling the new Addis. The 6’s were sold out at both by noontime. I bought 4’s and 5’s.

  26. Angelia

    No. I think we CAN rule the world. 🙂

    I was helping at my daughter’s school the other day & was looking at a world map. I saw Odessa on the map & thought of you (and my most favorite hat pattern).

    The only Odessa I’ve knit (so far) is now on its way to Russia (I gave it to a friend of my Mom, who lives in Russia most of the year, teaching English). She liked the story of the hat & the name.

  27. Beth

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for mentioning that you are going to get your needles from your local yarn shop.

    I have a small spinning and weaving store with an emphasis on lace knitting and will be carrying these needles along with the Naturas. While I love the internet I am frustrated by online shops who can, many times, undercut my prices due to volume. I NEED the customers who come into the shop to see and touch the stuff in person otherwise I won’t make it. Thank you again!

  28. Michelle

    Wow! I am humbled and speechless…. okay humbled but NEVER speechless 🙂

    We knitters are a fortunate multitude to say the least… could you share y the hesitation towards the knitpicks?

    and thanks to you Grumperina! your blog is not only inspiration and informative, but quite entertaining… either you r really good/ or I need a more exciting life… 🙂

    have a T’riffic weekend!

  29. Teresa

    Maybe we can convince them to give away free yarn? 🙂 That’s great though, I have many ideas now blooming in my head about what I can do with those.

  30. Amy

    As one who wrote a letter to Skacel, I was so thrilled when I heard about these last month. Have yet to see them yet, though- can’t wait!

  31. Cirilia

    Hi! I am writing from Santa Clara, I just finished a grueling (but fun) 4 days working Stitches West, at the Webs booth. I have to tell you–I waited to buy my 47″ size 1 Addi lace needles (to Magic Loop socks on the long plane rides back to Massachusetts) and they were sold out at every booth! I couldn’t help but think of you and your campaign. They were so well recieved! Even more warm fuzzies came when I went to the Skacel booth to moan about the derth of needles and they handed some over for me to borrow till “whenever”. They are a first rate company through and through.

  32. Lee Ann

    I’m telling my LYS owner she’s got to get these in…I know you’re a dedicated dpn-er, but dude. Magic loop will never be the same. I’m beyond excited…I might actually finish a pair of socks. Or knit 5 together and not swear while doing it. Much.

    Go, knitters!

  33. Suzanne

    This is not a comment on this post, but a heart-felt thank you, nonetheless. I came across your instructions for cabling without a cable needle while in the process of frantically trying to finish an aran knit sweater for my (rather large) brother before he left my house in sunny San Diego to return to winter in Kentucky. OHMYGOD! Why has no one ever pointed this out to me before? It’s twice–nay–three times faster than using a cable needle, AND completely eliminated the puncture wounds I typically suffer from allowing the cable needle to slip between the sofa cushions between cable rows. I only wish I had known about it two months ago, when I cast on the cursed thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  34. knitherapy

    This is so awesome, Kathy!!! Can’t wait for ’em to hit the shops! It is so good for the soul when personal (your) activism makes global change!

  35. Anna

    Got ’em at the LYS yesterday, size 1, 47″. So happy! Thanks, Grumperina! (I’d totally vote for you.)

Comments are closed.