Usually I do all my yarn shopping online, in Austin, and local. I tend to prefer my local shop because I know the owner really well and all the ladies that work there are awesome. Yesterday I ventured beyond my comfort zone and visited a yarn shop in San Antonio. Between the shop here in town and the one in Austin I am very used to a certain level of friendliness. Even when I have my kids in tow, both shops are very accommodating especially The Old Oaks Ranch. The shop is located on a ranch and the kids can run around outside and visit the angora rabbit and alpacas and if they want to look and touch something, one of the ladies will talk to them and explain what they’re looking at or touching. I just didn’t feel that same friendliness when I visited the Yarn Barn in San Antonio. In fact one of the ladies that worked there admonished my son for touching a spinning wheel. He’s nine and very respectful, he was not playing with it, he took a finger and touched it. Not only that but I got the distinct impression that children were not welcome, we were followed around and watched like a hawk, or rather my kids were and as soon as my husband took them out of the shop they went back to their knitting. I could understand if my kids were tearing around the place, being loud, touching everything in sight, or even young, but mine were doing none of that and are at the age where they know how to behave in public. I just didn’t appreciate it and walked away without buying anything. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’d much rather give my business to a place that is friendly and welcoming. It’s unfortunate, it’s a really nice shop and I am in no way trying to discourage people from shopping there, just don’t bring your kids.
I am the most indecisive shopper. I can’t ever just walk into a yarn store and buy willy nilly. I have to have a clear and concise plan. I usually shop with a list- Pattern, possible yarn substitutions, gauge and needle size. Almost always when I know what I want to knit and what yarn I want to buy I will walk away with a purchase. If I stop in a shop just for the heck of it I never buy anything. I just can’t fathom buying yarn just to have it, I need to have something to make, which is probably why my yarn stash isn’t so much of a stash but just a few drawers of yarn that is being used for various projects, or leftover yarn from finished projects. I envy those who have huge yarn stashes and wish I had one. Maybe I need to start buying just for the heck of having.
Oh and I dropped my digital camera and now it refuses to work. Bugger.