Franklin Habit, the blogger responsible for The Panopticon and for the 2009 Guys With Yarn calendar, has created a Tumblr for yarnshaming. You know what yarn he'll shame: that yarn that looked nice in the store, but that let you down by immediately pilling horribly, or shrinking, or making you break out in a rash, or collecting every human and pet hair within a block, or being full of splices, or turning out to be a bad dye lot, or having hand-dyed colours that looked so beautiful in the skein but knitted up like some horrible seventies afghan, or that you never bought at all but have because someone gave it to you and the person keeps asking what you're going to do with it.
I remember two yarns in particular I'd like to shame. There was a pale ice green chenille yarn that looked luscious and soft on the ball but that turned out to be basically thread covered in fuzz. I could easily break it with just my hands. I couldn't do any ravelling out of stitches at all without it showing (the fuzz would get wadded up leaving bare segments of thread), and since it broke so easily the things I made with it were soon full of runs. The store where I bought it only stocked it for a short time since no one who tried it would work with it twice. As one of the sales women told me coyly, "The customers who bought it come back in to the store using certain words to describe it." I can't remember the brand name but it doesn't matter as I don't think it's even in production any more.
The other yarn I hated working with was Mary Maxim's Mellowspun. I bought some several years ago to make a sweater for a friend's little boy. I’d never used it before, and was initially impressed with the beautiful shades it came in and how lovely it felt to work with. And it's bargain priced. But damn, did it ever collect HAIR. My hair, my cat Trlby’s hair, my neighbour’s dog hair from three doors down the street. I'd never seen anything like it. I was constantly ripping hairs out of it as I worked on it. I washed it when I was done and still had to pick out more hair after it came out of the dryer. Never again. And I think I'm going to go through my stash soon and weed out any yarn that I really don't like. Life is too short and knitting time too limited to waste on bad yarn.
If you've got any bad yarn stories, feel free to share them in the comments!