There's a yarn store that's walking distance from my apartment. It's one of the lures that the Philosopher used when trying to get me to move to or at least visit this neighborhood with him. And I'll admit, it was a tempting one. The reality of store hours plus home distance to work have rather inhibited any much yarn store enjoyment.
I'd tried visiting the shop once before and was disappointed in the selection and really irritated by the staff person (owner? unsure) who tried to save me from my yarn purchase. While I can still pass for a graduate student, the assumption that I didn't know the first thing about knitting was exceptionally grating.
Yesterday, with some spare time on my hands, I ventured in again. Had I been too hasty? Was I not giving it enough of a chance?
I was, unfortunately, disappointed again. The taste of the owner is not mine. As such, the yarn available is not much of what I expect to have in my stash. I asked the woman working (I hope she wasn't the owner) if there were any metal DPNs in the store, a deficiency I'd noted on my first trip. I own a few sets of wooden DPNs and particularly the rosewood ones from Sibling the Elder are lovely, but by and large I fall back on metal needles.
The woman working told me that metal needles were just too slippery and just too hard for most people to use. Huh. Okay that's a style preference and the popularity of Signature Needles would argue otherwise but it's her choice. Strike 1.
When I asked about summer yarns--what new cottons or such were coming in, she was blank. New yarns? Summer yarns? They had some stuff that had been new the previous year, maybe that? Strike 2.
Venturing over to what sock yarn I could find, it was mostly highly variegated. I pulled out one of the more glaring examples and saw it was Kaffe Fasset. Of course, I commented, this much crazy bright with stripes. The woman instantly agreed and then remarked that no one knit plain socks, that was just too boring.
Except, I replied,when you have sock recipients who like things like solid color socks. I'll be the first to admit that I do like changing it up between the more neutral tones but not all of us can wear neon on a regular basis. Strike 3.
We chatted politely as I meandered back towards the door. I commented on needing to knit baby blankets and preference for machine washable cotton, she suggested a highly variegated wool yarn of which there wasn't enough in one colorway. I also asked about number of plies in a certain popular superwash yarn and she made it sound like I'd said something highly inappropriate.
So, having given it a second shot, I can confirm that the store is a disappointment for me. Fortunately, Chicago has a number of other yarn stores and there are a wealth of store owners willing to ship to me.
Have I mentioned looking forward to YarnCon next weekend?