Peaches and Creme has been an enduring part of my knitting life as long as I can remember. It’s one of the few natural fiber yarns that I could get at some place as big box as Walmart and it came in beautiful, bright colors. One of my many weaknesses is that I crave color. Buying fat little skeins of brightly-dyed cotton was the perfect, low-cost way to get this fix. The Mason-Dixon books gave P&C a big boost when they featured this great American yarn in many of their patterns. Who hasn’t knit at least one ballband dishcloth?
Unfortunately, P&C has become another victim of our broken system here in America. I refuse to become political on my crafting. But I think this situation illustrates the kind of crap that happens when profit becomes the number 1 goal of so many people. Peaches and Creme has been bought out by another company and production in the US is being shut down. Before I jump into this, I’ll start a little earlier.
Wal-Mart used to be a big customer of P&C yarns. My guess is that they were probably their largest account. Then, there was a sudden switch. Wal-Mart announced that they were switching some stores to Sugar and Cream yarn, which is produced by the Canadian company Spinrite. They would examine which product sold better and then stay with that product. I immediately knew something was wrong and I figured that this was more about corporate rhetoric than actually testing what product sold better. For whatever reason, probably price, Wal-Mart decided to switch to Sugar and Cream yarns instead. I was unhappy about this mainly because
1. Peaches and Creme is a superior product. It is made from long-staple American grown cotton, not the short staple odds and ends that S&C uses.
2. It comes in many different colors than S&C
3. Every other craft store in the area already carried S&C if I decided I desperately needed it.
Now it’s official. Peaches and Creme was bought by Spinrite, the Canadian company that produces Sugar and Cream. Technically, I should say Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing, which is the name of the now-defunct company.
Not only is the plant closing, but around 81 workers are out of luck because they have been denied funding from a fund that is supposedly aimed at helping American workers who have been hurt when their company is moved to other countries. Why have they been denied? Because technically, they only get this funding if the original company had moved to Canada. Since Spinrite purchased and moved the company (they are going to use the equipment), these poor unemployeed workers are SOL. Thanks a lot, government.
But here’s where it gets really interesting. None of this might have had to happen at all. Apparently, workers believe that the two men running the company chose to sell out so they could get the cash and run. What a charming move. One of the founder’s relatives who worked at the plant has some interesting things to add about this.
I just have to say that I am very sad. I went to the Peaches and Creme website, which is still functioning, and ordered around 20 balls of the very best, affordable cotton there was. A lot of the colors are out of stock, but there are still some available. Fabric.com also has limited available stock and free shipping once you hit $35. I made sure to get extra of my favorite color, Aqua Mist. It seems as if Spinrite just wanted the label and won’t be using any of the beautiful colorways from Pisgah, because here is the recent brochure some people were sent. In fact, it looks like they just slapped new labels onto the same old S&C colors.
I wanted to write this partly because I know a lot of people will be confused about what really happened. I also wanted to write this to express my own sadness about losing a genuinely American yarn company that produced a great product. The Peaches and Creme group on Ravelry is still a wonderful place to visit, so stop by to post your support and love for the original ballband yarn.
The Peaches & Creme group on Ravelry is sponsoring a Ballband dishcloth competition. It ends on November 15th, and whoever has the most ballband dishcloths, wins! I’m plugging away, turning a box of Peaches & Creme cotton into dishcloth after dishcloth.
I know that I’ve already got more dishcloths than I am going to use, so in the not-so-distant future, I will be wrapping these up with a nice bar of soap and sending them to cherished friends and possibly my grandfather, but he probably uses a dishwasher. However, I am continually mystified by two things in the knitting world.
- People who feel obligated to knit one item for everyone in their immeadiate family. I don’t get it. This may be directly related to the fact that if I just knitted for my siblings and parents, I would have to knit at least 12 items. That’s not including my two nephews, my one niece, my brother-in-law, or my sister’s boyfriend.
- People who insist on knitting for ungrateful, nasty people
The second one puzzles me the most. Impossible to please mother-in-laws are gifted complex, stunning lace shawls. Picky fathers are given handknit socks. And the results are reported by sad knitters everywhere: somehow, the miracle of a handknit gift did not soften the heart of their family Scrooge. The wooly goodness of a scarf did not result in a spontaneous personality change, ending with cranky Aunt Eloise bursting into tears and saying that her nasty, demanding ways were just because she didn’t feel loved enough, but now, due to this handknit miracle, she would be a new person. And leave her enormous fortune entirely to you.
Maybe knitters put too much faith into the power of knitting. Nasty, demanding, irritating people that never liked any of your gifts before? They’re not going to change. No matter how hard you work, no matter how expensive the yarn, it doesn’t matter. They get a charge out of rejecting people. It makes them feel powerful and that’s just that.
Meanwhile, there are wonderful, lovely people that you can knit for to your heart’s content. I must admit, I am a selfish knitter. I rarely knit for other people and any potential giftee is carefully screened. They must meet some strict qualifications.
- Do they routinely prostrate themselves before an image of myself, wrought in gold or ivory?
- Do they admire my handknits and plead for me to knit them something just like it—and they actually remember 2 days later that they want it?
- Do they routinely steal or ‘borrow’ my handknits because they want something nice to wear?
- Are they physically attractive?
Maybe I’m kidding on the last one. Maybe.