Please note that this post is pieced together from a couple of“Private Messages” I sent to a gal from Ravelry, with some original content thrown in for back-story and stuff.
My wait for my elusive needles is finally at an end (or, at least, it was). Last week I got an e-mail from the lady (and you know I don’t throw that word around lightly*), who owns DyakCraft, saying my last order (placed November 1st-ish), was shipping; a few days later, I got the shipping notification from Stamps.com.
Now, you’re probably wondering, why I’d ordered a 3rd time and I’ll tell you flat out: I just wanted to finish the set i started last year. I went in with eyes wide open and armed with 2.5 bad experiences (the .5 being CawfeeMate's experience with ordering my set of interchangable circulars) under my belt. I knew that, though the sign on the door said 10-12 weeks, that it may as well have said “they’re ready when they’re ready”; While waiting, I thought little of them until I got an e-mail from DyakCraft in January which alluded to shipping “soonish”; again, I didn’t think much about, but joined the Ravelry Fan group to get a pulse on other people’s orders.
After silently stalking for other people who also might have ordered around November, about three weeks ago, I stumbled across a thread in the group's message boards about Commiseration and Venting. This seemed like the thread for me. I read through and saw that there were quite alot of people in the same boat as me: ordered needles, paid for needles but still hadn’t gotten them (x months later). What was odd, though was that most of the people who complained were responded to by people who were also waiting, but with significantly little (if any) stress over it. I call them (the super patient people who wait) “zen waiters”.
The zen waiters would frequently try and mollify “the complainers” by telling them that the needles were worth the wait and to just relax; they'll arrive when they're ready. Vehement outbursts by complainers were met with dismissal and frequent assertions that there were more important things in life to worry about than knitting needles; various real-life tragedies were put forth to put it all in perspective. Complainers often vilified the company’s owners like black mustachioed silent movie villains ,and zen waiters defended them with religious fervor. There were clear battle lines drawn between zen waiters and complainers, like in a 70’s karate movie. It should come as no surprise which side I was on, but I seemed to be well spoken enough not to piss off too many of the zen waiters; color me tactful.
I’ll admit it, though: I’m totally amazed by the zen waiters. I'm amazed in the same way I’m amazed by people who are double jointed, can ride a unicycle or tie cherry stems with their tongues; it’s a skill/talent I just don’t have. I get that there are more serious things in life than knitting needles (cancer, stillborn babies, car accidents, and other horror stories that people mention in the Commiseration thread) and that waiting builds character for some, but I’ve got quite enough character and (thankfully) have very little misery in my life to add that kind of perspective.
maybe it’s because the 3 purchases I made from them didn’t have the “pay when they ship” loophole (that’s now available), or maybe it’s because I’m just terribly impatient and want what I paid for, in a timely fashion. it doesn’t help that I grew up in a microwave popcorn, instant pudding and e-mail culture, in NEW YORK where we tend to speak faster than most of the country thinks. While I understand that hand crafted items take time and can’t be wished into existence, the wait time for these needles is ridiculous. actually, that’s not entirely true: the wait time, given their boom in popularity and the paradoxical stagnancy in the size of the company, is understandable; the failure to accurately communicate that wait time or manage the expectations of clients is what’s ridiculous.
Coincidentally, over the three weeks I read and contributed to the thread, the debate got so heated as to require a group name change and re-vamp of almost all the message board topics, to accommodate the zen waiters, the complainers and those who were somewhere in the middle.
Anyway, my needles finally arrived and I felt there was no need to stick around, so the day they were delivered, I departed with promises to post pics of my finished set, for a few of those still waiting, whom i hadn't alienated. Unfortunately, my wait was not at an end. It turns out that when I placed the order, it was for a size I already owned and I was still a size short. Yes, the fuck up was mine. I posted the pics and explained my goof to those in the Commiseration thread and, as luck would have it, I got a couple of private messages about trading my duped set for the ones I was missing.
While considering the offers, I decided to bite the bullet and called DyakCraft, explained my screw up and asked about an exchange; as it turns out, they’re sending me the size I need and (more amazingly) I got the shipping notice this morning. let me say that I’m quite surprised and gladdened by their response; I’m equally surprised that they had what I wanted in stock to send. The owners knew (of) me, and were incredibly nice and ironically easy to deal with; which is exactly the kind of customer service I expect, but had yet to receive from them. Which is a shame, because I wouldn’t put in a new order, nor tell anyone else to, for all the snow in Alaska. I’d tell anyone who asks to try Knit Picks or Knitter’s Pride 1st and, if they’re not happy (which i really can't imagine), to order a set of the Darn Pretties and hunker down for a year.
Are they great needles? absolutely. are they the best I’ve used in the 3 years I’ve been knitting? for sure. are they the only thing out there? absolutely not. I’ve never tried Knit Picks, Knitter’s Pride nor any of the other laminated birch needles on the market, but, if my Darn Prettys break or burst into flames (because of some curse the owners put on them because I’ve not been kind in my opinions) I’ll try them out. lord knows that i won't have to wait more than a week to get them.
*one of my mom's famous quotes is "every lady is a woman, but not every woman is a lady".