A funny thing has happened at my LYS. This store is only a few blocks from me, and it is a longstanding member of the Fiber Establishment. Venturing there used to be a rather forbidding experience. The women who worked there – and there were only a couple, including the owner – were rather humorless. It was intimidating for someone who didn’t know anything about yarn and only very slightly more about what to do with it to wander the store. Help was rarely offered. If sought, it was rather grudgingly given.
And it wasn’t just me. After Ravelry took off, a group of local knitters formed on the site, and an entire discussion thread was devoted to “The [crabby LYS] Question.” Pretty soon someone who worked at the store surfaced in the discussion.
Something like a miracle followed from there. Instead of getting defensive and even more officious and crankier, they took the criticism to heart. Suddenly, there are a bevy of very friendly women working in the LYS. Some of them are young and hip, some just hip, some just want to be helpful, but the improvement and the difference in atmosphere are dramatic. The hip workers are active on Ravelry and plugged in to the on-line knitting community. I mentioned “Fetching” to one of them and she knew exactly what I was talking about and led me to the yarn.
I walked into the store the other day and was amazed to find it positively teeming. The atmosphere was friendly and vibrant, everyone was excited to talk about knitting, there was a colorwork class going on, and I was thrilled that this transformation had taken place given my earlier disappointment at having this renowned store within walking distance turn out to be such a scary place to visit. Now, it’s a place where I would just go to hang out and knit, or see what’s new.
I’m very excited about this. I find that, other than on the blog and in e-mail with people who also blog about knitting, I don’t have that many people to Talk Knitting with. And I discovered rather quickly that part of the gestalt of knitting is Talking Knitting – talking about what we’re knitting, what we want to knit, what challenges we’re having, what yarn we have in the stash, who posted some cool new FO in Ravelry or on their blog, the new IK or Knitty, etc. etc.
What about ya’ll? Have you been at this long enough that you no longer feel the need to Talk Knitting, or to fantasize about yarn and sweaters in conversation with fellow knitters? Is this a Newer Knitter phenomenon? Where do you get your Knitting Talk on?
Please advise, and happy Tuesday, all!