Friday, December 30, 2005

don't mess with me

....a small rant for yarn store owners

My mom the knitter and I did our review of projects at hand, and concluded we'd be remiss if we didn't pop into the local yarn shop. Knitters Logic, its right near the eye doctor she's on her way to, if we take the long way home. I'm in the car, pronto.

The shop sells all kinds of wonderful yarn and yet neither of us ever leaves with much of it. Even when its on sale. Even when we enter with a mission. Its like some force overcomes us and we devolve while inside. We are weakened jellyfish upon departure. Being crazy optimists, we keep going back.

This time we figured out what's wrong. The place is a mess. Its visual overload. Our brains can't sort it out. We get fatigued. There's yarn everywhere but no space to look at it in. The cubbies aren't organized logically. You have to ask the three people at the table knitting to get up everytime you want to go by them, or skip half the shop. We feel awful because one of them is, like, nine and a half months pregnant. She probably needs to finish a baby blanket to trigger labor and who wants to stop her? The other one has a big pile of yarn that falls over each pass, increasing our sense of dread. You are forced to tell the owner what you're looking for, which in my case is inarticulate half-thoughts such as"ummmm, I think I want something merino-ish - it could be chunky or worsted- like a Malabrigo but I know you don't sell that but really, its not that I'm set on that, I just want,ummm, nothing too fussy, kind of blue but not navy and not powder...kind of natural, not scratchy..." and then she starts showing you her idea of what she thinks you want. That's when the Flight Instinct kicks in, because now I have to explain to her why I'm rejecting her taste in knitting in her store, as she brings me fluffy mohair-ish skeins in just the shades I don't want.

I left with one skein of Noro Korchoran and some dpns to gift a knitting friend. And a feeling of needing a cup of strong coffee really really badly.

Rant over.

Another hat, this one a special request in baby alpaca chunky, shown here seconds after it was off the needles:DSCF0030
The pattern was a hybrid of several, the ribbing is a knitted in double weight hem for extra ear coverage. The yarn, Misti Alpaca Chunky, is heavenly to knit. Even my icy hands got warm working it. Not for you southern knitters.

I started a hat for myself- I just can't stop hatting . I can never figure out what weight is a thick & thin yarn - do you judge it by its skinny parts or its fluffy fat ones? Or take an average? In this case I made the classic mistake of starting something too late at night and insisting that it was the yarn's fault- not mine- that it was coming out strangely. This morning , I realized I'd taken into consideration the ball band suggestion for size 5 needles , except it was 5european (which should have been 8us). I cast on accordingly,as if it were a lighter weight yarn, thus having one inch of a king kong size hat on the needles. Rip. V2, tonight.

Ennervating yarn store aside, it was a lovely visit to DC and environs, incuding my first time at this place,museum the new Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. There was a Navajo woman demonstrating spinning and carding churro yarn , and natural dyes, but my sons spotted her ahead and literally hustled me by, one on each arm, to another area. My guys, they know me too well, if I started to get into it with her, we'd have to skip the room with the gold, and evil weaponry. I mean really, where are my priorities? Oh yeah, post.


Wool Winder said...

I've been to yarn shops like that and for some reason I feel obligated to buy something because I feel I've intruded and caused confusion, when really it's not me, just the design of the shop.

jessica~ said...

I know just what you are talking about with yarn shops like that. It's too bad, because they are usually great shops but...

I'm not sure where you are located, but two of my favorite stores in MA/boston area are:

= Windsor Button [they have really increased their yarn selection]

= Newbury Yarns [Newbury Street but not Newbury prices. Small but nicely organized]