I want everyone to know that Bryspun circulars may soon be back in my best good graces. I called the company (located in Eugene, OR, right down the road from Portland) and explained the breakage problem, and the wonderful woman I spoke to apologized profusely, explained the problem (a heat-sensitive bonding agent on the first generation that, in prototype form, appeared not to be an issue), and is sending me a replacement set. I am still a bit leery about casting a complex lace project on any of the other sets that I have, because I am not sure what "generation" the needles are. (The problem is not a universal one; it seems to happen once in a while and not all the time, and only with the first of the circulars to hit the stores). In true knitting company form, Bryspun is very amenable to helping a knitting sista out, and even suggested I go to a store that sells the needles and exchange mine for a newer model.
Which brings me to the reason I have such a big smile on my face right now:
Do we have the best hobby ever, or what?
You order something from a small crafty company, and receive a handwritten note of thanks, sometimes a small something extra; you call a company up to complain about their product, and before all of the words are even out of your mouth, apologies are flying and offers to make it right are crossing the block. When so much of the world we live in has become big-boxified and impersonal, when the customer service number you dial is much more likely to cross an ocean than it is to ring down the street from you, being a part of a community like this really brings you home, you know?