Local Yarn Store

Remember that blog entry of Twinkie Chan’s I have been sharing my thoughts on? I know, it’s hard to forget, I won’t shut up about it. I have one more thing that I want to add as a recent observation.

As I have mentioned, I am moving at the end of the week. I decided to do an internet search and see if the area we are moving to has a local yarn store. It does. YAY! I also found out that I have lived in this area for about 8 years or so now and never realized that I had a local yarn store about 10 minutes away. I thought the closest one was about 40. Surprise!

I wanted to see the place before we moved. It’s owned by a very nice lady who opened it as a labour of love in her retirement. I actually went looking for yarn for two projects…I made the mistake of packing up all my yarn and have nothing to work on between packing boxes and doing the other things that need done prior to moving.

One of those is a really awesome shark hat. Rumor is it can be completed in a day. The other is a summer sweater that calls for 8 skeins of yarn. I didn’t buy yarn while I was there. I did end up buying a book written for crocheters on knitting and a set of wooden knitting needles. A good friend of mine, fearing for my safety, asked what I thought I was doing with knitting needles. There is a good chance this is going to end badly, so if anyone hears an unbelievable story on the news about a freak knitting accident, that would be me.

I was telling the lady who owns the store about how I am a danger to myself and everyone around when armed with knitting needles. Her response:

She is convinced she can teach me to knit in under an hour. I don’t think she knows what she would be getting herself into. I might end up taking her up on this at some point, just to see if she really is as good as she says.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about, well, not completely.

From Twinkie Chan’s blog:

When I first started to get more into crocheting in 2005, I would hear things like, “Knitters are snobby toward crocheters,” or that local yarn shops cater to knitters more than crocheters (i.e. not carrying as many crochet hooks or crochet books). What at first seems like elitism or snobbery becomes more interesting when you talk to a store-owner about it. “In general, crocheting a scarf takes up more yarn than knitting a scarf, and the yarn-expense turns off crocheters from spending money on more high-end yarn.”

My observation after walking into the local yarn store was that crocheters were not even expected to walk in the door. There was nothing related to crochet for sale. No books, no hooks, no nothing. There was a lot of yarn in a lot of fibers and colours, but there were not more than 3 skeins of each. I wanted the pretty high end yarn for my sweater, but needing 8 skeins it wasn’t going to happen. I ended up having to go to Joann’s for Lilly’s Sugar ‘n Cream yarn. It’s probably my favourite to work with (luckily it’s easy to find) along with Lion Brand 24/7, which would need to be ordered. Nowhere carries it.

It may only appear to yarn store owners that the expense of yarn turns crocheters off. Honestly, there is always someone, no matter what their craft, that is going to be turned off by price. However, if local yarn stores are only going to carry enough of one yarn for a single knitting project, crocheters are never going to find the amount of yarn that they need for larger projects in yarn stores. I was looking to spend between $60 and $80 when I went into the local yarn store but she didn’t have 8 skeins of anything in any one colour.

I don’t know if I would chalk this up to snobbery. To some extent I might chalk it up to yarn store owners not knowing what crocheters want or need because they don’t crochet as much as they knit. I don’t have the answer but I am disappointed. I don’t want to be stuck using the same two cotton yarns forever or having to pick acrylic yarns that aren’t scratchy and I like the feel of, even while feeling guilty my projects will never biodegrade.

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