I just got an e-mail from Lion Brand yarns, purveyors of marginal quality knock-offs of designer yarns. They’re touting a new line of organic cotton, so I took a look. It looks a lot like our Inca Cotton which has been so wonderful in top down sweaters, umbilical hats, and Mindful Knitting baby blankets. Knits up beautifully, gets softer everytime you wash it, and easy rather affordable – a hand of 325 yards costs $22.50. So, how does Lion do it, make organic yarn and sell it cheaply – after all, Lion Brand yarns are always cheaper, right? Wrong! Yard for yard, Lion Brand organic cotton is 8.52 cents per yard, while the Inca Cotton from Joseph Galler is 6.9 cents per yard. Do the math, and you’ll find that a standard sized ladies sweater will cost $20.80 more in Lion Brand yarn than in the Inca Cotton from Joseph Galler. However, many folks who don’t understand this will see a hank of Inca Cotton with a $22.50 price tag and say to themselves, “Hey, they sell this yarn down at Michaels for $6.99 a skein.” So before you jump in and assume that whatever comes from Michaels is a great deal, do the math yourself and see what the numbers say. And never underestimate the value of the customer service you receive at your local yarn store, whether it’s here at Crazy for Ewe or another small, independent business anywhere in the world.