Monday, March 3, 2008

Snobby Yarn

I've recently taught myself how to crochet, and I am so very glad that I did. How did it take me 26 years to discover this wonderful craft? It's portable, easy, and oh so gratifying. Granted, I am still a beginner, but I get such pleasure out of seeing a row of neat stitches that I've just completed. The best part about crochet is the multitude of options that you have when you begin a project. You can use different sized hooks combined with different stitch types to obtain all sorts of looks. Not to mention the yarn options!

So, in order to further overwhelm myself with options, I chose to go to one of the local yarn stores in Memphis. The store is called Yarniverse (cute, huh?). They were having a 29% off sale on February 29, in honor of leap year. I thought, Hey, what a good time to go check out this store! So, with coupon in hand, I excitedly drove out to East Memphis to see what this store was all about.

Goodness gracious! The colors! The textures! And eegad, the prices! It was too much for me to absorb. My lofty goal was to find a nice, textured wool yarn that I was planning on crocheting into a cute shrug (I had found a pattern online and was dying to try it).

My high from finding the shop and discovering all of the beautiful yarns and colors was quickly squashed when I quickly realized that the shop, while cute and full of inspiring things, seemed a bit snobby. The ladies who worked there didn't seem at all friendly, and seemed to be annoyed with anyone who asked a question. I, unfortunately, was probably labeled "a customer to be ignored" as soon as I entered the store because I most definitely had an overwhelmed look on my face and I was grasping onto my pattern for dear life. Don't go near her, they probably whispered to each other, their colorful glasses lanyards (what do you call those things?) swinging as they shook their heads in disgust. She's a newbie.

I finally chose some seemingly overpriced (but somehow within my budget) wool yarn that I thought would work for my pattern. But let me just add here how incredibly helpful the other customers in the store were to me. I had several questions (Worsted weight? Bulky weight? Will this yarn work in place of that one?) and everyone was very eager to help. So, after waiting in line at the cash register and having to painfully interact with the snobby yarn ladies who took my credit card, I left the store feeling good about my purchase, despite having spent more than I imagined on yarn.

Yarniverse did not have the size hook I needed, so I stopped at Michael's on the way home. Eh, big mistake. Why, you ask? I ended up finding a yarn that I liked better than the yarn I had just purchased. And it was about half the price. I hemmed and hawed, not sure if I should buy the yarn at Michael's and return the previous purchase, or just stick with my overpriced wool yarn. I caved and bought the yarn at Michael's, and decided to return the yarn from Yarniverse.

Oh my goodness. Upon re-entering the Yarniverse store, I realized what a mistake this was. Not only was the line at the cash register longer than before, but some of the same ladies who had helped me choose the wool yarn were still in there, browsing the store. Oh no, I thought, they are going to see me return this yarn and wonder why. It took me half an hour to choose it, and now I'm returning it? They are going to think I'm crazy. Bah.

I finally made it to the cash register, and quietly told the cashier that I wanted to return this yarn. I had just bought it, I explained, and I decided to change my mind and return it. You would have thought that I asked her to cut off her left hand. She gasped, and turned to the woman next to her. "Did you hear that? She wants to return the yarn." (I need to add here that they were both wearing knitted cardigans...and that made me want to giggle). The other woman looked at me, and without blinking or using any inflection in her voice, told me flatly, "You can't return sale items. All sales final." It was like those debit card commercials where everything is running along smoothly until some chump tries to pay with cash. The music stopped, everyone quit talking, and the store became silent. She repeated herself, "All sales final." She practically spit the last word at me.

So I left the store with my tail between my legs, and a newfound hatred for the store. Sure, they have wonderful, beautiful, gorgeous yarns, but I can do without the uppity atmosphere. So, I've learned my lesson. I just need to buy my yarn from Etsy from now on.

Oh my, this is a long post. Sorry about that. But to get to my point - there are some awesome yarn sellers and their products on Etsy (just click on these pictures and it should take you straight to their shop). I couldn't feature just one seller. There are too many beautiful yarns done by so many different shops. Again with the options! So, lesson learned...if you don't want to buy expensive yarn from a snobby yarn store, then shop on Etsy! You're guaranteed a great product and wonderful service.

From top to bottom:
http://www.blondechicken.etsy.com/
http://www.hobbledehoy.etsy.com/
http://www.fabulosity.etsy.com/

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