Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lion Brand Yarn company vs Knitting Warehouse

As I blogged about recently here and here; I've been on a bit of a knitting binge lately and lovin' it!

As we have no LYS (local yarn store) in our oh so small city; I usually order yarn online when I need some.

I've ordered from the  Lion Brand Yarn company several times in the past few years and planned to do so this time. The yarns I required were all Lion Brand. Well, I did place the items I wanted in a shopping cart at the Lion Brand site. But when it came time to check-out, I was shocked to see what my order ended up costing!

I then went over to Goggle and did a search for Jiffy Yarn. I found a link to the  Knitting Warehouse site  and was pleasantly surprised by their much lower prices and yes, they did ship to Canada too. Several yarn sites based in the U.S. do not offer this service.

Please see the two comparison orders at the end of this review.

Wowsa, that's some difference in total price!

And even more surprising was the fact that this was Lion Brand yarn I was ordering! Is it not usually the case that the company that makes a particular product is also the company that can sell it at the best possible price? I always thought so but not this time.

Lion Brand Yarn also annoyed me (big time) by not allowing me to request/receive one of their catalogues with my order, due to the fact that I live in Canada!

Come on...I'm placing a sizable order with a company and they can't even throw in one of their catalogues? No extra postage required. Just a good way to tick-off this potential customer.
And a customer who went elsewhere and probably won't order from them again.

Knitting Warehouse provided a order notification immediately after placing my order, via email. They also let me know when the order shipped, which was prompt too.
They also provide excellent prices on many other brand name yarns, tools, books. A very good selection of free patterns too.

The only complaint I did have with Knitting Warehouse was the fact that the tracking number link they supplied for my order, did not work when I clicked it. I then emailed their customer service department and they replied saying the link hadn't worked for them either (words to that effect) and that I should phone DHL to follow up on my order.

I thought they should have been the ones to "follow-up" not me. After that, I did visit the DHL site and finally found the correct page for DHL Global Mail to track my order; which arrived a few days after that.

I won't be ordering from the Lion Brand Yarn again, any time soon. I still like browsing their selection of free patterns but I was NOT impressed by this recent experience with their company.

I WILL be ordering from Knitting Warehouse again and probably many times in the future.

It really does pay to do your homework when it comes to buying online and at retail stores too. And don't assume that a company brand  name item is being offered by that company, at the best possible price. As was the case with this order, it isn't always the reality.

My actual order with Knitting Warehouse:
Items:QtyEach PriceLine Total
Retail Subtotal41.78
(Via DHL)Shipping9.75

Additional info. re: Knitting Warehouse order: I was not charged any additional charges for duty. The cutter is a bit different but I liked it better than the one from Lion Brand.

The same items IF I had ordered from Lion Brand Yarn:

Items:QtyEach PriceLine Total
Retail Subtotal62.39
(Via DHL)Shipping28.58
Duty and Tax11.23 

Overall rating for Lion Brand Yarn: Unsatisfactory. 1 out of 5.
Overall rating for Knitting Warehouse: Very Good. 4 out of 5.


  1. Wow, that is a huge difference. I have looked at the warehouse before, when I was doing weaving. Thanks for reminding me of it, again.

  2. That's a big difference in price. And I agree, if it's their brand, they should be able to supply it at a very competitive price. It certainly does pay to shop around and be informed.

  3. Hi SandyL, I totally agree. I wasn't aware they had weaving supplies at KW, I'll have to check that out. Another craft I always wanted to try.

    Hi Joe, It really does. I am surprised that KW is offering these LB yarns at a MUCH lower price than the company that makes them. That doesn't add up...

    Happy Shopping, G :<)

  4. Wow! That's a BIG difference! woo woo woo!

  5. I too have ordered yarn and some crochet hooks from Knitting Warehouse, and am totally in love with their store!! Not only every single yarn I ordered was significantly cheaper than in their respective manufacturer's online store (I bought some Red Heart, Patons and Debbie Stoller yarns), their shipping costs to Montreal, Canada were also the best I could find online (~10$ for a big box of yarn).

    My tracking number did not work either but that does not bother me the least, because the package arrived in a very timely manner and nicely packaged in a box.

    Could not be more happy with this online store and am already slowly putting together my next order :))

    ~addicted to yarn

  6. i don't knit and i don't live in USA but if i did i'd be thrilled

  7. Hi Rumpy, Yes, a big difference. I won't be shopping Lion Brand anymore.

    Hi Mel, I'm glad you like Knitting Warehouse too. And I can soooo relate to your "addicted to yarn" I am too. ;<)

    Hi Lorraine, This company is in the US but they ship to Canada (I'm in BC) and at a very reasonable price too. You really should give knitting a try. It's so relaxing and so rewarding too.

    Happy Crafting, G :<)

  8. I placed an order at Knitting wherehouse Jan 3,2016 and it is Now January 15. I still have not received my order. I hope I get it soon. I have been tracking it. I had the same problems with the tracking number as you did. Prices are Great. If you do order, dont be in a rush to get your order within two weeks, unless you plan on paying the much higher price, if so, Then order from another online company. I ordered from Michaels and Loveknitting and Etsy, All my yarn came within 3-7 days. I for one am not sure if I will order again from them.

  9. I agree with Maria, lately the orders from Knitting Warehouse are super slow! I do love the prices, but my December 29 order only came on January 14 (ordering from California). I liked KW more back when I ordered from Canada (at the time of my previous post in 2012), because their warehouse is actually much closer to Canadian east coast than the US west coast states.
    Lately I've been ordering mainly from yarnsupply.com.

    1. Hi Mel and Maria, Thanks to both of you for your comments. I continue to order from Knitting Warehouse and yes, sometimes the orders do take a bit more time to get here but I'm OK with that, considering their excellent overall prices and selection. And they do ship to Canada which is another big plus. A lot of the online yarn sites don't.

      Happy Knitting, G

  10. I just placed my very first order with Knitting Warehouse, the prices were right and the shipping was reasonable. I can't wait to receive my yarn. - V~Lee

  11. I ordered from Knitting Warehouse on the 01/22 /16 just before 5:57pm which is when I previously posted here. I placed my order after reading the opinions posted here and I am glad I did. I chose the 7-10 day shipment by USPS and the company mailed out my order on 01/27/16 and I received it on 02/02/16. Over all I am happy with the service and price. Two of the skeins I ordered were in the hope they would match some yarn I had run out of while crocheting a sweater. The new skeins matched close enough to get by, so I am very happy with that. I’m glad I was able to read others’ opinions before placing my order as I had never heard of this company before. - V~Lee

  12. Hi All! I've been ordering from KW for several years and have always been satisfied. I don't like paying for shipping but it has to be done. So on 9-8-16 O ordered 9 skeins of yarn from KW. I don't really care for their new website but I suppose I'll get used to it. Anyway, I placed my order and kept waiting for my order confirmation. I gave it plenty of time to be emailed due to the Labor Day holiday. By Tuesday, still no confirmation so I emailed their customer service. They gave me a "holiday excuse" and then my emailed confirmation arrived within the next couple hrs. I did receive my emailed shipping notice and I used their tracking # which worked fine. My order arrived today and I didn't receive all 9 skeins of yarn. I got 7. So I double checked the packing list/invoice to see if anything had been back ordered, etc. Nothing. No reason my other 2 skeins of yarn shouldn't be here. I don't want to have to wait another long length of time for this yarn. I have an order to complete myself. I don't know if all this is just a fluke or what but I'm disappointed. When I called their customer service I sat on hold forever just to be told I'd have to leave a message. Not good business if you ask me.

  13. I wish I'd seen this before I ordered from Lion Brand. Also have sent several messages to their customer service about the order and have received no replies at all. Will not order from them again.


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