UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

February 15, 2010

Arguing with the wind.

Filed under: discussion — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:32 am

I am nearly finished with the first legwarmer. I started the cuff ribbing last night.

The second elephant is 80% done, I have started on the neck. There looks to be a yarn shortage, so I have been spindling up more. But it is probably a few hours from being done then.


There was an interesting-bad post on the local knitters Rav group. Someone actually came right out and said people should not forget their LYSs during Stitches. There are a number of problems I have with this. I have my reasons for not shopping at nearby yarn stores. (If I want to shop for yarn in person, I travel.) But the main problem I have is that no yarn stores are open during Stitches. If the store staff is not vending, they are attending.

The first year I was at Stitches, I was at the Purlescence booth and they said they only had a skeleton staff and most of their stock was at the show. So I have never shopped there. Why bother if my only time that far south is when they might as well be closed? That was the Malabrigo year when no one had multi-ply yarn. It was a good experience for me because I finally understood that yarn was not popular because it was a superior product but because it is hyped and because popularity breeds popularity.

I hate the popular store here. Some of it is because I was treated badly when I went the first time. However the main problem I have with them is how one of their staff poisoned a newbie knitter in front of me by saying that Clover needles from the LYS were different from the ones at craft stores (they are not. Though there are definitely better choices at the LYS, the Clover ones are the same.) The newbie knitter was told to only knit from patterns so the garment would fit and there would not be any mistakes in the instructions.  (No pattern I have ever knitted from has ever fit without adjustments, so that seems beyond foolish. And it has been my experience that there are no instructions without errors. Paying for a pattern means nothing in terms of quality. There are (supposedly) paid patterns which have been carefully reviewed, vetted, tested, corrected; but one finds those rarities by word of mouth and they still never fit anyone normal size.) Between those two ideas they poisoned the newbie knitter with, I decided they were not a store I wanted to patronize.  Add in the broken glass covering the side streets’ parking and the heavy traffic, then it starts to seem even more distasteful to go there.

I drove out to the suburbs and visited a LYS that is heavily hyped (by the owner and staff) to find that they told me superwash makes no difference in the felting of socks. (!!!!) The majority of the floor was covered in boxes, to the point of being a fire  hazard. They did not have, and had not heard of, the Jared Flood book which had been out for 2 months at the time. And they still did not have a sweater’s worth of yarn in a single colorway.

I have been considering going all the way out to the Alpaca Direct store, but I do not think those are the people the nasty poster on Ravelry meant.

There are times when I am ashamed to be a knitter. If I admit to it in public, people are going to think I am like the Ravelry poster, like the LYSs’ staff; people are going to think I am intolerant and foolish both.

I am still planning to go to Stitches on Friday if I go at all. But regardless, I will not be spending any money at the LYS the nasty woman patronizes.



  1. hmm, I finally made it to Purlescence a few months ago (arrived at a friend’s house twenty minutes early due to no traffic!!). It’s a great little shop, IMO. It can be hard to keep a shop open if only a couple of people work there regularly; would you want them to hire underinformed temporary help while they staff a booth at Stitches? Not to go at all? Or is this a general complaint without a logical solution? :)

    Comment by skg — February 16, 2010 @ 9:59 am

    • It is not a complaint about their Stitches staffing. Or not exactly. I think of Sunnyvale as being about as far from Oakland as most people think North Dakota is from Indiana. So it is a big deal for me to go that far and I do not see the point in going to their shop during Stitches if all their stuff is at the show.

      It was, however, a complaint about the person who said we should shop at our LYSs instead of going to Stitches. I guess, if one wanted, one could try to shop for yarn at a local store during the show, but one would probably be better off waiting until the following week or month because a lot of the experienced staff is going to be at the event.

      There are a lot of things at Stitches that are not available in stores anywhere, let alone in stores near me. I do not think it is useful for someone to imply that attending Stitches and buying things there will kill all the local yarn stores. It really is not like Stitches has better values. LYS competition is online stores in the middle of nowhere offering free shipping and a much larger in-stock selection.

      Comment by UndyedYarnpire — February 16, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

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