Buried in Yarn

Over the past few days, I have received a fair amount of yarn in the mail. And that is a good thing. Just so no one gets confused, not all of the yarn is for me. Most of it is for swaps. So it doesn’t really count. Of course, I am still waiting on my order from Blue Moon…. Again, not all of it is mine. At least 3 skeins of it belong to Kitty Kitty. The wonderful ladies at Blue Moon are still dying some of the colors that I ordered. Of course, it is not like I don’t have other sock yarns to knit with right now. Ordering sock yarn for swaps is a great way to temporarily add to your stash but than you get to send it on to another good home.

Lexy, you can look at these yarns but you will not know which ones are going in the box to you until you get it.

What are the yarns in the photo? A little of this and a little of that. Okay, the bunny is from Ruby Sapphire Yarns which I just received today. There is also some Cider Moon in there. There is some Apple Laine and Crash into Ewe as well. The colors are all nice and spring like. And some are rather bright.

And yes, I have been ordering a fair bit from etsy lately. I recently got into an argument with some one at one of my LYS. Her argument was that I was going to put the shop out of business because I tend to buy most of my sock yarns on-line. The owner of the shop understands that I like hand dyed sock yarns and she also acknowledges that a large portion of her customer base is unwilling to spend the little bit extra for hand dyed sock yarns. She also orders hand dyed sock yarns for herself from the internet. I do support both of my local yarn shops by purchasing a fair amount from them. The person who started the argument has since been told to stay out of the store for awhile. She has apparently caused some other problems with other customers. But have you ever had some one say something like that to you in a brick and mortar yarn store? I am curious.


Filed under Misc, Socks

12 responses to “Buried in Yarn

  1. My LYS owner loves it when we bring in stuff we’ve gotten from on-line. She says it give her ideas on what we like so she can try to cater to us as much as she is able. She likes to sniff and feel different yarns as much as we do too.

    Pretty flower.

  2. Emy

    As someone who has worked in a LYS in the recent past, it’s definitely something I’ve thought about a lot. I think it’s one thing when people turn to the Internet to buy things that are available in their LYS because they can save a few dollars. Yes, they’ll often be available for less online because the online store doesn’t have to spend as much money on shop space, or for employees. But at the same time, you have to consider what you get at the LYS…you get to feel the yarn, actually see the colors, inspiration either from the shop itself or from other customers, sometimes technical help. It’s really frustrating when someone brings in yarn that they bought elsewhere and asks for help on a project, or brags about how much they saved. *sigh* I’d like to just give it all away, but it costs money to run a business, not to mention I’m trying to make a buck or two myself. So.

    However, it’s different when it’s unique yarns, hand-painted or something. Those aren’t things that the LYS could stock, and often when you’re working retail, it’s difficult to find time to see all the cool stuff that you can’t stock in the shop.

  3. I think that it’s your money and you should be able to spend it the way you want to. There’s nothing wrong with both LYS and online shopping in my opinion.

  4. I think what bugs me the most is when you have LYS owners complain about their customers online shopping, but yet they don’t keep basic knitting essentials (like, oh, say, *needles!!*) in stock. Every time I go to a LYS and they don’t have the very basic necessities – needles, crochet hooks, stitch markers, etc – all it does is make me shop elsewhere, be it online or at another brick and mortar. Obviously a LYS can’t have every single type of yarn available, but just from my own experience, it seems like some LYS owners purposely stock cheaper yarns with the excuse, “Oh, my customers won’t pay the extra money for my luxury yarns.” Which I think is kind of a crap excuse – there’s no reason why you can have at least a small selection of higher-end yarns (and I’m not even talking about hand-dyed, I just mean good quality yarn that feels nice) and see how they go over.

    But I think the internet is great for knitters, and that the smart LYS owners are at least keeping up with what is going on online. I mean, if I’m knitting a pattern from the latest Knitty and I go into a LYS and one of the employees knows all about Knitty and is excited about that, I’m a heck of a lot more likely to buy my yarn for that project there. As opposed to the LYS where all the owner does is complain about new (read: young) knitters and spinners who are “wasting their time and yarn” on knitting projects that are funky and fun. Just because someone happens to own a YS doesn’t mean they are the Pope of All Knitting, where they can decree what is a worthy project to kit and which knitters are actually “Knitters” and not just trend hoppers.

    Whew! Guess I have a lot of angst about this issue! Shorter version: LYS owners need to keep up on what is going on online if they want to grow their customer base to include new knitters who are likely to be knitting and spending a lot of knitting money for years to come.

    Sorry for the long rant. I’m on a lot of drugs right now (back pain issues). 🙂

  5. I think, as a shop owner I would just be interested to learn about the yarns my customer buy somewhere else. Sometimes, you could even work out a wholesale contract and thus help a smaller business to flourish.
    I agree, that it is a shame to misuse your local shop to actually touch the yarns, check the colours and so on only for buying the same yarn online for a few pennies less. At the same time, I have to admit, that I have used just this opportunity once for Noro yarns because they are sold here for twice as much as elsewhere in the world. I feel bad about it though and think, I wouldn’t do it with any other yarn.

  6. It is really funny that you brought this up. M and I were actually talking to the Manager of our local Best Buy and he brought up this very problem. His pitch to people was that wouldn’t you prefer that your son or daughter work in a retail store as there first job than a warehouse. So you should buy from your local retailer to support your children’s future job. Yes, we may be more expensive and get things slower, but we provide the service, employment, and expertise you are looking for. M& I always try to support our local stores, but frankly with the delay in getting some items it is really getting a lot harder to wait when it may take several weeks. I guess we all want instant gratification.

    So this problem exist I think in any retail situation. The key for LYS is that they have to learn to be able to compete in areas that make them more valuable to attract customers. And I am getting the feeling that most of them are not keeping up to date.

    I think Lufah, brought up some valuable points. The things that I wouldn’t even think about buying online my LYS really has stopped stocking. I went in two weeks ago to three separate LYS looking for Size 1 DPN’s. The stores didn’t stock them, because “No one knits on size 1, why do you need them?”

    I went to every store I could think of that would carry them and not a store had them. I ended up giving the person my favorite pair and ordered a replacement online. This just taught me that next time I should save my gas money and order online.

    I love LYS, and I hope they all stay in business, but some of them need to get a clue with the times. They have a place, but so do online solutions.

  7. So let me understand this – you were in said LYS at the time she started this argument with you? And I presume you weren’t there just passing the time of day, but were shopping and maybe even buying something?

    In other words, you were, when she complained to you, already engaging in the activity she claimed you would not do if you kept buying stuff online.


  8. I’ve seen this argument around a bit online recently. There are 2 yarn stores in Dublin. One has bad service and although it’s bigI don’t think much of the selection. The service really gets me though, and I won’t go back.
    The other is a bit of a trek to get to, but the owners are super-friendly, knit themselves, have a small selection but it’s all good, and have a great online shop, so I’ll shop from them as my first choice.
    Otherwise I buy online, and I don’t have any qualms about that – there’s nothing to stop existing yarn stores having a web presence, and the online stores (especially in respect to Etsy) are mainly run by small independent people too.

    That person was really rude – it’s nice that the shop owner has asked her to stay out of the store for a while.

  9. I haven’t had any problems at a LYS, but I don’t spend a whole lot of time in them. It’s my budget, and their lack of parking spaces.

    The one that I do go to the most often is where I got my Jitterbug. My favorite online vendor doesn’t carry it, or Addi Turbo needles, so that’s another thing to buy locally.

  10. I’ve never had that problem… of course I usually don’t talk about where I purchase other yarn when I’m at one of my LYS. The one I go to most often (that has the S&B I attend) is the only one I’ve ever mentioned online purchasing to. As long as you aren’t talking about yarn you can get at their store, they’re okay with it. They realize that they can’t carry *everything* and so people will spread their business around.

    Hmmm… what will be mine? I hope that little sheepy makes it in my box! he’s too adorable.

  11. Well, if you’d be in my situation, you’d order online too. I have 1 LYS, but the only thing they sell is Lana Grossa and then mostly the ‘frou-frou’ yarn. No basic wool yarns available… (or even basic cotton or acrylics). So I order online. I order mostly from shops in Germany or through ebay. I do get handpainted stuff from the US too. If my LYS had the things I want I would go there, but I can not buy stuff they do not sell.
    This has been a pet peeve for a long time with me. I used to cross stitch. The only shop selling the embroidery threads had only 36 colors available out of the 480-something that exist. The lady would yell at me for buying them elsewhere (i.e. Belgium, ebay, US). I told her that if she had them I would buy them from her, but she had no right expecting from me the same narrowmindedness as was hers (yes, in our last fight I used that word). Or the record store who would be pissed off because I bought my contemporary country music CDs in the US. Again, if the shop would have had them I would have bought them (the shop didn’t even know who Garth Brooks was or Alan Jackson…). How can they expect me to only buy what they sell??? I’m going to step away now, because this could become a ginormous rant hehehe.

  12. How rude of that person! As if your shopping habits could possibly put an entire store out of business. They would only go out of business if *everyone* shopped elsewhere. And if they’re not getting any shoppers, then the store is doing something wrong (i.e. employing the wrong people). If they can’t figure it out, then it’s their fault and not yours.

    I shop at places that stock what I need – brick & mortar or online. More often than not, I’m forced to order online because the yarn that I want simply isn’t distributed in Canada. And I’m not saving that much money either. Shipping is a killer, everything’s in US dollars and the currency exchange is not in my favour, it takes longer for things to arrive, plus there’s import duties/taxes.