I hate yarn stores.
I mean, I don't "hate" them, I just....*sigh*....I.....well.....I sort of do hate them.
I don't hate people who have yarn stores--what's not to like about a person who sells yarn? Honestly, I think I'm a little nuts not to like yarn stores but hear me out--there are a couple of things that yarn stores tend to do that you don't see in every retail establishment and those things are huge consumer turn-offs. I'd dislike any place that lapses into bad habits, no matter what they were selling.
Number one is....you have to put prices on things. Yes, I know, I know...you're a small and friendly shop and gosh, if people want to know how much something costs, they can ask you because you're a nice person and have no problem talking about yarn because you love it so much and you love helping people and you can't imagine why such a little thing would ever be a problem.
It's a problem.
While I am certain that you are a lovely and helpful person, the truth is, I walk into your shop with a dollar amount in mind--that dollar amount is virtually always under $50, and sometimes it's under $30. I'm not in the position to come in and clean you out of all of the chunky alpaca you have on the shelves, not that I don't want to.....trust me, I want to. If I see something beautiful and perfect and I want it and I know that I will need three of them and I don't see a price tag so I ask, and you tell me that they are $21.95 each and I was hoping for something more in the $10-$12 range, I'm going to be disappointed. Do you take some delight in disappointing me?
I say, if you're going to have a "If you have to ask, you can't afford it" yarn shop, please post a sign on the door so I can skip you entirely and go back to the internet to buy stuff.
Number two, and, I know that this is highly subjective, but I'm just going to say it: I can't tell, walking into a yarn store, if the people who work there assume that I don't know what I'm doing or if they are afraid that I know more than they do. I tend to assume it's the former, and I realize that might be a personal problem.
I'm a person who goes with their gut on most things. I don't invest heavily in the outcome because I enjoy the journey. This is especially true in my knitting. Sure, maybe I thought I would make an X in a specific way, but as I designed it and solved the various problems that occurred along the way, my X turned into a Z. So what? I'm OK with that. I still made a really spectacular Z, but more importantly, I learned HOW to make a Z, all by myself. That experience is immensely satisfying to me. It's more satisfying for me to make something that is uniquely mine than it is to be able to exactly follow a pattern. So when I say that I'm going to make a thing, and that I'll need around 600 yards of "something chunky, I'll know it when I see and touch it", you don't have to ask how many stitches per inch or what kind of needles I'll be using, then cluck when I say that don't really know and I'm not worried about it.
I know you're trying to help. I get that.
I also know that I have dozens of pairs of needles—full sets in every style—and if the 15's don't work on the swatch, I'll try something else. I know that I am ridiculously stubborn, too. As such, I'll just keep working with that yarn until it turns into something cool.
So relax, would ya? I got this. I'm old…been doing this forever.
The other, really important thing that I know is that it is my money that I'm spending, and while advice is welcome, judgment can go f*ck itself. Ultimately, it's none of your business what I do with that 400 yards of OH-MY-GOD-THAT-STUFF-IS-SO-SOFT-I-IMUST-HAVE-IT! If I'm going to go home screw up my design and project because of my poor planning and/or thought process, what's it to you?
There. I feel better. I've wanted to say those things for a while now, I just happened to have been in a few yarn shops over the weekend and was reminded of why I "hate" yarn shops, so there you go. If you are a yarn shop owner, please know that I say these things with love. I want very much to love your store, I'm just too much of a starving artist to shop at a place that seems to be geared toward bored, rich hobbyists. Clearly, that type of shopper is much better for your bottom line than I am, so I don't blame you one bit--it just isn't me. Damnit.