I am just like you, a regular knitter! I have a job that I do Monday through Friday, I’m a kitchen and bath designer. I have a family and a house, a pet and I drive a Jeep. I’ve been knitting for 28, and I by no means know everything. Knitting is a complex craft…they say “it’s easy, there’s just 2 stitches knit/purl. However, there are directions that need to be deciphered, techniques that need to be honed and gauge that has to be understood.
So let’s get to the meat of it: we all travel, go on yarn crawls, attend events and pick up yarn everywhere. Isn’t that the whole point of my website? You can find a yarn shop on your travels, and know what’s going on around the country event wise. So what do you do if you picked up cool yarn at a Stitch N Pitch event from a shop in Seattle, but you live in Silverdale (I moved), and you just happen to need some help?
Now, I do belong to a knitting group, but I’ve been so busy moving that I haven’t attended in some weeks. The yarn shops are open 7 days a week. I was knitting a pair of socks on two circular needles. Now I can certainly cast on, knit the cuff, the leg, the heel flat, and turn the heel. But when it comes to picking up the gusset stitches, I start scratching my head. I even read the directions to my husband, because he’s pretty good. But I was confused. Do I hop a ferry and hightail it over to Seattle and ask for help? After all, that is where I bought the yarn. Or do I go into my local yarn shop and ask them for help even though they didn’t get the sale and they know it?
I decided to go into Amanda’s Art Yarns & Fiber; she’s 10 minutes from my house and I’ve known her for years. I’m thinking in my head that I’ll buy a skein of yarn from her and it will all be ok. SO, she was there and happy to see me and more than happy to help. The store was busy with intermittent customers while I was there. We read through the directions and looked at my work. Amanda explained what needed to happen regardless of how the words were written on paper. I was still a hair bewildered so we got started. While we sorted it all out and got the stitches all arranged on these needles and counted for accuracy, I asked her how she felt as a store owner about this very subject and I spoke from my side of the situation.
Amanda charges a small fee of $5 for 15 minutes of help and specifies this upfront to the customer. In my case, I purchased stitch markers and two skeins of yarn and she was happy and so was I. I really think that this needs to be addressed. As most honest and considerate customers know and understand this, there are plenty of customers really, that don’t. They come in requiring help and expect to get it for free and don’t buy anything and go on their way. Shop owners do know their customers and know what they sell in store. There are actually customers out there who will lie to the shop owner or employee and still want and expect help.
Always remember, these shops are open for our convenience, and the owner and staff have the expertise and knowledge to help us through. Remember your local yarn shop, and appreciate them. Yes, shop when you are at an event or on vacation, but also support your local store. Maybe you don’t need any more yarn, but you might need a new book or knitting bag, maybe you need some stitch markers or maybe you will pay the fee the store asks gladly for their help and their time. They are not just helping you with your project, they are teaching you something you didn’t know….even if that something, is understanding a written pattern. Thank you Amanda for helping me with my sock, I appreciate your knowledge, patience and help.
The luscious yarn that Amanda is holding, and also matches her shirt, is on the left Color Dance Yarns Moonwalk in color way Solar Flare, and on the right Schulana Kid Seta in color #7. It’s hard to pick out in the photo but the one on the left has sparkles in it and Amanda dyed that herself and Color Dance Yarns is her own in house line of yarn.
I hope that your summer is going really well, and that you have had a memorable season with still some fun left to be had. I have really enjoyed seeing some of those beach photos with knitting in toe — makes me smile.
Until next time,