There appears to be a rather amusing discussion of Lion Brand yarns going on in the comments, so I'll just bring it out in the open, heeheehee.
I'll be interested to see how much the new handpaint from them costs, and if it's wool. If it is, I may just break my own rule (of course) and buy me some. Ranting all the while, of course.
The other yarn company I love to hate is Plymouth, mostly because I can carry a grudge from here to the third millenium. Back in 1999, I knit a silk throw (the blue one I show the cat laying on, occasionally). I remember the year because it was after my accident and my hand was finally working and I was going to do knitting for physical therapy and decided to splurge. So I bought $120 worth of silk yarn (this is a lot at my house) that was said in the catalogue to be bombyx silk. It turned out to be tussah. (For a discussion on why this is so irritating, hit the Knitty article here.) So I wound up with a scratchy throw that the cat sleeps on.
To add insult to injury, as I knit I picked out literally a handful of twigs, straw, stray fibers (like, RED stray fibers) and assorted other crud. Now, I understand straw in wool. Sheep live in straw, it follows that there's gonna be some in their wool and all the processing in the world can miss some of it. But how in the FUCK do you get straw and twigs in silk?? Even tussah silk? Long story short, when I realized how nasty the yarn was, I saved all the crud, and mailed it back to Plymouth in a plastic bag with a scathing note detailing cost vs. quality.
Never heard so much as a peep back from them. No apology, no explanation, no nothing.
Y'all might have noticed that shitty customer service pisses me off. (Not MISTAKES - Halcyon screwed up with that knitting needle deal, but they made it right and were nice about it. That's cool. Acting like you're doing me a favor to take my money? Forget it.) Part of the reason for that is because I've worked customer service quite a lot myself and don't bother to complain unless I've got a legitimate problem, so to have it ignored spins me right up. But anyway.
So I try to avoid Plymouth products. The one thing I do buy, however, is Encore worsted. It's - I think - half superwash wool and half acrylic, and all things considered, not bad. Excellent price for the yardage, and a whole lot of colors. I use it to knit baby gifts, because I haven't got the heart to give a new mother a gift that needs to be hand washed. (Yes, I came to this realization BEFORE I had my own kid. Sometimes the brain does work.) But I still swear every time I order anything with the Plymouth name on it.
On the other hand, I LOVE Reynolds (I've used various types of lopi and their Saucy sport repeatedly), the Elann house brands (lots of colors, and never gotten a single knot yet), Schachenmyer, and Brown Sheep.