My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


LYS Guilt?

Mouse asked:
When you’re doing a project who’s yarn did NOT come from your LYS, do you feel guilty knitting on it in the store? Is there adulterous yarn guilt?

Heh! I was just thinking about that the other day when I was sitting in my LYS, knitting on Rose, which is made from yarn not purchased at my LYS.

However, said LYS does not carry the yarn I’m using for Rose, so I feel no guilt. I don’t think I’d feel guilt anyway, because a frighteningly large portion of my income goes into the LYS coffers.

I do think it’s wrong, however, to go into a LYS and ask for free help with a project being knitted from yarn purchased elsewhere if you never buy anything in said LYS.

What do you all think?

Late to the Party Again

While I’m in “asking your opinion” mode . . .

The other day Snow posed the question on her blog (and I quote):

Do you feel there’s an “in” crowd in your blogging circle, and if so, do you give a crap?

(Aside: Snow, darling, for some reason you disappeared from my bloglines and while I knew something was missing from my life, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it hit me this morning: I hadn’t read Snow’s blog this week! You are back in my bloglines and I’m now happy as a clam!)

I don’t really see an “in” crowd in blogs (but then I’m sorta lost in space a good part of the time). I do see cliques here and there, but that’s to be expected. Particularly cliques formed by people who know each other In Real Life.

This started me thinking about cliques in general. has an interesting page about cliques. As its most basic, a clique is defined as “a small exclusive social groups of friends, sharing common traits or interests.”

On this site, the up sides of cliques are listed as being: a sense of belonging to their members; a source of support; protection from other cliques; boosts to members’ self-esteem by making them feel wanted.

If you really want to stretch the definition, this could apply to the knitblog world, right? We have a sense of belonging and a source of support and boosts to our self-esteem.

And of course there are the down sides as well. But we won’t go into them here because I’m a happy little Pollyanna who wants only to spread sunshine and light.

Seriously though. What we’re talking about here is a big ol’ group of people so naturally everyone isn’t going to be best friends with everyone else. You naturally gravitate towards some people and away from others.

Anyhow . . . I noticed this is a question that’s been floating around in the ether lately and I’m curious what you think, if you haven’t weighed in elsewhere.

Okay, you can tell that I’m just babbling here, right? My knitting is progressing, but there’s not much to photograph that’s exciting.

Except Lucy, of course.


But the Teal Hogget is hoggeting along. No photo — it looks like it did yesterday, only a bit longer.

And the Rose is growing. Hopefully I’ll have a sleeve in full bloom soon.


Is today really only Wednesday? Honest?


  1. What a gorgeous Lucy pic. By definition, if you’re a ‘knitting’ blog, you are into a type of clique. Just like if you live amongst people of a similar language group you are in a ghetto — both situations can have negative connotations but how finely do we want to split frog hair?

  2. I’m still pretty pissed off that it’s only Wednesday. It should have been Thursday by now. Who stuck that extra day in this week? I want names!

    Clique Smique. People worry too much and need to spend more time knitting.

  3. Beautiful Miss Lucy. And Rose isn’t too shabby either. My problem w/ the 2 LYS I have is that neither really carry much in the way of yarn I’d want to buy. One carries Dale, and what’s not to like about that, and I understand the other one (fairly new) is getting some great stuff. So, if I can buy what I want there I certainly will. I’m a supporter of supporting your local businesses. However, that doesn’t extend to buying something I don’t want or like just to buy locally. If you want my business, you’d better have what I want because there’s a great big knitting world out there that does. That said, because of my work and the hours of the LYS, I rarely knit there. I am a member of the guild and go once a month and I don’t worry about if I’m using yarn I bought there because it isn’t for a class. If it was a class, I’d buy the yarn there I suppose. As for the knit blogger thing, I think of it like a large group of people. We all have different personalities and will like certain people and dislike some too. It’s just natural. People need to relax and live and let live.

  4. I’m not IN. Never been IN. Never will be IN. I lead a fairly boring life and I knit slower than grass grows in November. heh Very few people get my sense of humor. Does it bother me? Not usually. So long as my son puts up with me and at least one of my friends is on speaking terms with me, I’m doin ok. hehehe

  5. There are “in” knitting blogs? Nah, I see that happening in various circles–people who comment in each other’s blogs a lot and then the various “award” groups that seem kinda…insular. But that’s ok, I suppose.

    As for the lys question, that’s a good one! I’m working on Kinsale (yes, my first attempt at a sweater is an Alice Starmore design, I dream big!) and there will come a point where I need some help. However, I bought neither yarn nor book from either of my lys’s. I do spend money there (quite a lot!) but my guilt complex is making me think I might want to either pay for a finishing class or an hour or two of “lesson” time. We’ll see (as I’m only through the first 25% of the back of the danged thing!)

  6. Another fair isle question for you: What do you do about “jogs” in between the rounds of your knitting? I started messing around with fair isle the other day in prep for the olympics and I’m finding this to be a bit of a problem. I was doing a piece in the round using the magic loop and between the switching sides and some color changes it did not come out as smooth as the rest in these places. Do you do the Meg Swanson “jogless jog” technique or just ignore the “stacking of rounds”? (Pictures on my blog if you care to look.)

    As for the cliques, I definitely think they exist. I’ve been thinking about this a bit myself and hope to put up a blog poll about it soon.

  7. It’s kinda like when I tired of living up to “the rules” when I entered quilts in shows. Now I just enjoy my hobby for the satisfaction it gives me… so do I care whether I’m IN or not… hell, no. The comments I leave on a certain blog never get a reply anyway… there’s your answer : )

  8. about the LYS question. Despite having 5 or 6 shops in the area, I pretty much only spend time at two and one of is not very often due to their hours. In the end, it depends on whether or not they carry the yarn, whether or not I purchase a lot there in general, and whether or not it’s knit knight. on Knit knight, I don’t care, but durring reg. hours I try to only use what’s in the shop – even if sometimes, I bought it elsewhere. At least the shop has it on hand if a customer comes in and likes what I’m working on enough to buy the yarn.

    All of the shops near me require that yarn for their classes be purchased at the store, but they give a discount if purchased on the day of class. And yes, it’s not considerate to ask for help when you rarely make a purchase (unless your rare purchases are in the $200-300 range). That being said, my fave shop will help (even if it’s red heart!) b/c it’s good for business in the long run. But there is a limit. If it’s taking a long time, or something just isn’t clicking they will stop and suggest a lesson or private session.

    I have asked at another shop if they would be willing to help me with a project where I didn’t buy the yarn with them, and b/c I did (at that time) buy a lot of other yarn from them, they were willing to make an exception. But that is not the norm for them.

  9. The notion of cliques was barely in my awareness until I read a few posts here and there. But really, more than a thousand knitblogs and there are bound to be disagreements here and there. Life ain’t perfect.

    Agree with ya on the LYS thing.

  10. Ah, the LYS loyalty issue. I have two favorites, and I have three tote bags for my knitting projects from one of the stores, and none from the other. I always try to remember to not take the one store-logo bag into the other store, mainly because I’m silly and worry about it. A case of over-courtesy, I suppose.

    That being said, the LYS I have the logo tote bags from is my favorite, because they’re friendly and the shop owner knows my name. The other store has a larger and wilder range of merchandise, but it’s very popular and often crowded, and for all the years I’ve shopped there (and boodles I’ve spent) I’m another face in the crowd to the (friendly) staff.

    However, I love both stores, and I would be seriously bummed if either one wasn’t there tomorrow.

  11. I’ve noticed what appear to be cliques among knitblogs as well, as in “you’re not cool unless you read so-and-so”, etc. But I think that with any large group of people, you’re going to have some degree of segregation. Some of it is based on skill level, some on snarkiness level/personality, some on particular areas of interest (socks, for example). I read a wide range of blogs and enjoy all of them for what they are, but then I’ve never been cool, nor do I aspire to be… and it gets amusing sometimes to sit back and read. BTW, what made you decide to start a knitblog?
    As far as the LYS issue, I agree with you. There are a number of stores within an hour of me (SW of DC), but only one or two I frequent, and the nearest of which is owned by a dear friend. My two favorite stores stock very different yarns, so it isn’t much of a problem, but I’d feel guilty if there was a lot of overlap, and if I wasn’t such a *generous* patron!

  12. Hi Wendy, ditto on the clique thing. On the other note, I work at a LYS, very little, and you wouldn’t believe the number of folks who want help on a project using yarn purchased at Michael’s or Walmart. Our yarn is “too expensive” but apparently our help is not. My owner prides herself in offering what she calls “product support” 😉 We can help you make what we sell. And in fact we do charge an hourly fee for individual help or classes. Sometimes it only takes a second to straighten someone out with a pattern or a stitch, and we don’t charge. But if it looks like a long session, we tell the customer we’ll have to charge for our time. We probably are less likely to do that if the yarn was purchased from us. You’d be surprised how often a customer says she only needs a little help. Ok, we sit down, and she says that she just needs a quick reminder of how to cast on. Oh, and how does knitting go? Takes all kinds. Thanks again for all you share.

  13. Hi Wendy

    Love your Hogget and Rose….that sounds like a title for a song!! Hogget and Rose were lovers…I only have 1 LYS with-in 200 klm, so there’s no problem here with yarn guilt ( I’m in Tasmania, Australia )….as for cliques I think you get them every where, I know I left a quilt group for that reason,if they don’t want my friendship, thats their lose…

  14. I totally agree on the LYS thing. I think it’s one thing to knit using yarn not purchased there — after all, that’s a companionship thing and you might end up needing something (or in my case, you’ve already spent a fortune there), but I would NEVER consider walking in for help with a project that wasn’t at least in part purchased there (the least, of course, being the pattern).

    And the cliques … there are hundreds of knitting blogs, and we all have our favorites to read and comment on. Some have huge followings and hundreds of comments daily, others only have one or two … the whole idea of competition and stress completely (in my honest opinion) completely offsets the relaxation and sense of calm knitting brings. After all, the web has given us a fabulous forum to share our craft from the comfort of our own homes, and we are able to share with folks worldwide. Are there cliques? Who cares! I agree with Wendy — we really should not be sweating over this (but all should feel free to pop in on me anytime, LOL).

  15. What a great picture of Lucy! Of course she always looks good!

    About yarn stores: I have yarn bought at at least 3 LYS’s, from online vendors, and from fabric stores. (Gee, I wonder if I have an addiction problem!) Anyway, yeah, I would feel kind of uncomfortable bringing a project using yarn bought at one store to work on at an event (such as a knitalong) in another store. I don’t think I’d ever bring in anything to an LYS for help unless I’d bought the yarn there.

    About cliques: I’m so new at blogging, I really haven’t formed any opinions on that yet….

  16. I would feel really guilty about going into my LYS asking for help or working on a project that I didn’t get any of the materials for there. Unless of course, like you mentioned, said LYS didn’t carry the materials I needed (and I still probably wouldn’t ask for any help). Even then though, I would only work on something there if I visited frequently.

    As far as cliques are concerned, I think its just human nature to get a comfortable group and stay within it. Though, it is great to go outside your comfort zone. And with the net, as has already been said, there are sooooo many knitting blogs. I believe its all a matter of who finds what blog, really. As long as people don’t get nasty then I don’t see a problem with just concentrating on a few. I also agree with WendyI…why sweat it? Knitting /knitting blogs are supposed to be about relaxing and expression!

  17. I work in a LYS. We enjoy anyone coming in to knit with us no matter where they bought their yarn. If they want help on a project that they didn’t buy from us the cost depends on the help needed. If the store isn’t busy and we can do it in a few minutes there’s no charge but if it’s teaching a technique or fixing a big problem/mistake we charge $15 per hour. We want happy customers but there’s a limit to free service.

  18. I also work in my LYS… my guilt often stems from bringing in items I’m working on that are made from stuff I didn’t buy in the store! Thankfully I’m a recent enough hire that I can say it was in stash from before I moved, or I can cite my meager student’s budget… but I still feel a bit odd.

    I’m fairly new to knitblogging, but seems to me as if cliques like that should be the least of anybody’s worries — and if they’re a major issue, well, maybe somebody’s got some other, deeper personal problems they need to deal with.

  19. What a beautiful pic of Lucy! This will definitely go into my favorite pics list.

    Cliques are normal in life. Shouldn’t be a major concern with anyone.

    Somedays (or weeks) I hardly have time to check the few blogs I frequent.

    I won’t feel right asking help from a LYS I seldom buy from. If it ever happens. Currently, the Internet has provided me with more than I can digest.

  20. I also work at my LYS, and am often the one who helps with problems in knitting. The policy is similar to that presented with others earlier today, and I often feel I’ve made a friend for the store when I solve a problem on someone else’s yarn. What irks me is when folks lie about where they bought the yarn, try to return yarn bought somewhere else or partly-used balls of yarn. Those are always the folks who make a stink when we have to refuse them. mostly, tho, folks are great, and it is fun to see them learn new techniques and gain confidence.

  21. I believe in supporting your LYS, but mine often does not carry what I want. I might knit with something bought elsewhere in a gathering there (in fact, I do), but I would be embarassed to ask for help from the staff with yarn bought elsewhere. However, it’s probably good public relations for the LYS staff to be willing to help a newbie even if the yarn wasn’t purchased there, as long as it’s not extremely time intensive. I can’t see a shop demanding that yarn for a class be purchased there if you’re paying for the class. As for cliques – they may be out there or they may be the imagination of those of us who are jealous of all the comments you and Stephanie get! ; ) I think most of us blog for the sense of community and when we get comments we feel more a part of that community. But I also think we gravitate to those who share our tastes, personalities and maybe even level of experience. I’m not sure if that constitues cliques or just different tastes.

  22. I’ll bring an ongoing project to knit at a store where I haven’t brought the yarn–because yes, that’s a companionship thing. But if I haven’t bought anything in a while, it can be a little weird. But no, I would not ask for help on a project I hadn’t bought there–not unless I was, at the same time, buying MORE yarn, as in, more than I was asking for help with. (Hi. I’m buying enough yarn for a large man’s sweater, but I have this little problem with this sock pattern–any chance you can help me?) But even that would be stretching it!

  23. Interesting discussions. I’m with you on the LYS support thing. My closest LYS isn’t necessarily my favourite anymore because they don’t carry some of what I now want to play with. But the owners are wonderful, and I’ve gone in more than once to ask (beg desperately) for help with a project in progress. I have yet to do so with yarn not bought from them, but I will always buy something on a day they’ve helped me like that.

    As for the clique thing – I don’t blog, just comment, so my perspective may be different. I definitely gravitate to those I feel some affinity with because of my approach to knitting or life circumstances. I was introduced to someone at work yesterday who’s a vastly more experienced knitter than I, and with different interests in what she choses to knit. We discussed blogs we read, and while there are many we both enjoy, the order we’d place them in is different. Not better or worse, just different. What I love about the online community is having found great people to connect with. Some blogs have thousands of subscribers, one of them has only 2. I have my reasons for reading and commenting, they have theirs for responding or not. S’all good.

  24. I used to have constant guilt about buying online instead of at LYS. Then I started dyeing and spinning and I realized how much mark up was going into the yarn at the LYS. I understand they have to do this, so I don’t have a problem with it. But this also helped me not feel so guilty. I never ask the LYS for help on a project if I didn’t get the yarn there….but if I had a retail store, I would offer to help everyone whether they bought the yarn from me or not, because customer service is everything in retail. And that is what would make me come more to one LYS over another. I’d also be more likely to buy retail vs online for less if I knew that help was always available. Lisa

  25. The clique discussion is fascinating. I hadn’t thought about it until I read your post. I am definately not IN, and do wonder how bloggers attract readers. I also notice that some blogs I have visited I feel as though I don’t understand any of it because it’s for their crowd. Yes, that’s OK. It’s not OK when people are not nice. But blessedly that’s not often that I’ve seen.

    I felt very IN when you linked to my blog – big spike in traffic. And I feel very IN competing in the Olympics. But I’m new to the blogging world – and happy to have found all these amazing knitter-teachers like you. My LYSs leave much to be desired. I have worked retail, and in a friend’s YS, and these folks could really use a few SERVICE and COURTESY lessons, but I have very high standards, having worked in the service industry for forever.

  26. i’m the girl that gets along with everyone, but i will say this – certain word choices in certain groups lead me to a conclusion that people might think themselves superior to others…

    now, do they? i doubt it. but i think maybe word choices were…ill-conceived.

    i figure, i’m nice, don’t knit much, or terribly well, but try to be entertaining and, well…me.

    if people read me, then yay. if not, then its their loss. 🙂

  27. I buy yarn, addi’s and books from all three of the LYS in my area and have never felt guilty asking questions of any of the owners or helpers because they know that I buy something from them every time I come in. I feel that if one supports their business, they feel that you are a friend helping them and they in turn will help you.

    I am a new knitter that has just discovered knitting blogs and only read two blogs regularly. My favorite is Wendy Knits mainly because Wendy has such wonderful knitting advice and pictures explaining patterns and techniques that help me in what I am currently knitting. It is wonderful to be able to do a search on the blog and find so much info on a certain subject. Wendy has made so many patterns and keeps the flow going. Also, Wendy seems like a real person to me, friendly with her blog, caring of her readers and only an email away if I would really need her help on something. What else would a blog reader really need? Wendy Knits is the purfect blog to click into. I hope Lucy appreciates the quality woman that she is living with.

  28. I’ve never given this much though until recently, when I saw it appearing on a few blogs. Of course, there are going to be cliques. Why would anyone expect otherwise? But this feeling of being in/out is a bit weird. Are people actually defining themselves by who left them comments, linked to them or invited them into a special exchange? Do people actually mind? It takes time to forge relationships with people and far easier to maintain ‘face’ ones than ’email’ ones. This bear more thought (and maybe I’ll comment a bit more after I’ve had my coffee).

    As for asking for help in shop on projects where you bought the yarn from somewhere else. Personally, I think that it’s poor taste to do so. It just seems wrong to me to do this unless there is an established relationship… i.e. you’re a regular customer. I find it amazing that people would ask for help during the busiest hours and expect shop people to drop everything to help them rewrite a pattern so that the charts are in text. I think that it is unrealistic to feel guilty about buying yarns from sources other than your lys and no one should expect that.

  29. Wendy, King of All Remotes and Lucy–the clique!

  30. I asked my LYS owner (1 woman shop) about this a couple of months back… Emily opined that she doesn’t mind helping out during the day if she’s not busy and that if the person required a great amount of support she would remind her about Tuesday Knitting Night and Thursday Sock Knitting Night and suggest the customer attend one or the other of these on a fairly regular basis to get the tutelage she needs. She said that she keeps the “Knitting Doctor, $12/hour” sign by the cash register for people who don’t get the hint about informal tutoring moments during Knitting Nights. She’s only had to charge for tutelage (outside of a regularly held class) a couple of times …

  31. I don’t have a problem with being charged for help if I didn’t buy the yarn at my LYS. What I do have a problem with is stores that charge for help when you DID buy the pattern and yarn there.

  32. Stephanie says:

    There’s cliques in blogs? I’m totally new to blogs – this is the only one I read regularly (my only previous blog experience was a coworker who photographs and discusses what he makes for dinner each night. Kind of scared me away from the whole concept.) I’ve spent most of my online time the last two years in newsgroups/message boards for expecting moms/new moms, and yes, cliques form quickly among hormone-ridden, sleep-deprived women. I’ve seen it destroy a couple of board communities. I think it’s a shame people get worked up about who reads/comments/links to their blog. There’s hundreds! Who could possibly keep up?

    With regards to knitting in my LYS, I would love to join the circle of women knitting at the table in the back, but the hours are not good for me, and I’m pretty shy. I mostly knit at home in the evening while my DH watches TV. I would feel a little guilty bringing in yarn I bought elsewhere, but I would try to write it off as “I shop at the store near work, and I knit at the store near my house”. And of course not ask for help unless I had shopped there.

    Interesting to hear other peoples’ thoughts!

  33. I have a couple of answer to your questions Wendy. First off, I am totally guilty of buying certain yarns my LYS doesn’t carry so I can bring them in and ASK the owner to consider adding the line. It’s worked too! I must also say that my LYS has a knit in on the first Sunday of the month which is attended by one of the shop’s teachers and she is there to provide free help and just simple companionship. People bring all sorts of things to these knit ins and there is no stigma about yarn not bought there… In fact the owner loves to see what other people are knitting and with what.

    That being said, I have never asked for help with a project whose yarn I did not buy at the store. I HAVE asked about patterns I bought there to see about erratas etc… But I will say that I don’t think that happens much at my LYS as they have a sign that clearly states help with projects bought there is free, outside projects there is an hourly fee… I’m not sure what the fee is though…

    On the other issue, I have weighed in on this a few times, but I’ll reiterate it here. I blog for me. For good or ill, I do what I do and am who I am. I am enjoying the journey and am not too concerned with “in” or “out”. And I like it that way… 🙂

  34. First and most important, superb picture of Lucy! She is sooooo photogenic.

    Re LYS – The closest we have is a good 1/2 hour away and none of the three carry a lot of good, non-foo-foo yarns. I do try to buy some yarns from them, but get most of my yarns at shows such as Stitches Midwest, local festivals, etc. or if we are traveling and I have a chance to visit a large yarn store and then I buy lots at a time.

    Re getting help at a yarn shop, locally it is difficult to get help, but we have our own group which meets weekly at the library and is totally free,(our own clique) and we are all helpful to anyone who needs help. We share lots of techniques and ideas and it works well. The one LYS does have a group we could knit with, but they charge $5 per meeting!

  35. Sure, some blogs/bloggers are more popular reads than others, and some bloggers seem to have especially close ties to certain other bloggers, but I really don’t see the majority as trying to be exclusionary.

  36. Good questions!
    As a reader, not blogger, I will say yes I think there are distinct cliques in knitting blogland. Doesn’t bother me though as I don’t have to read ’em if I don’t like ’em.

    I recently started working at one of only two LYS in our town, partly to help with a knitting night where knitters can come in, and for a small fee get coffee, snacks, and all the help they can ask for. We don’t charge if it was a class project, and don’t care if the yarn/pattern were bought elsewhere. We give quick help anytime, if we’re not too busy. I’ve never asked where any yarn came from, and I certainly buy yarn elsewhere. Maybe I feel a little guilty, but not if it’s something the shop won’t carry or order.

    Sort of related, last Sun I think we spent an hour helping a knitter pick two balls of yarn for a hat! But, by being helpful/patient/just plain nice to her (very unlike the other LYS in town), I bet she will come back to buy more yarn when she’s ready to tackle a bigger project. So, personally, I figure if taking a little time to teach someone will help them get or stay interested in their knitting, or encourage them to move on to a more challenging project, even with yarn bought elsewhere, it is ultimately good for the knitter and good for the shop.

  37. We have people come into the shop where I work all the time with yarn they obviously didn’t buy there (We DO.NOT sell Red Heart) and want help. Unfortunately, we get stuck helping them because the owner’s thought is that if they get help from us they will come back and buy our yarn.

    I have yet to see some of these people buy our yarn after I have helped them. Thankfully, with one woman, I don’t have to help her because I don’t know how to crochet. There’s mercy.

  38. That is a wonderful portrait of Lucy, suitable for framing! There are so many ways to interpret her expression. She looks so soft, I justt want to pat her.
    Knitters are a clique, aren’t we? Which is then broken down into the knitblog sub group, and it continues down smaller and smaller from there. At some point, it’s just you and Lucy. (Or Lulu Kitty and me.) But, eh, as long as we are having fun and no one is getting hurt, what’s the diff?

  39. Blogland has become SO large! It is impossible to read everyone or join everything. Because of that we do gravitate towards blogs, friends, same interests, etc. You can not be all things to all people no matter how you try.

  40. On the LYS front– I agree that I turn a significant amount of my paycheck over to the LYS, and on the occasions that I use “contraband yarn” I choose to believe that I am forgiven. (And truth be told, based upon the amount that even the owner and store employees drop at MD Sheep and Wool, I gotta believe that they do not have tunnel vision when it comes to yarn.) As far as cliques, I’ve been out of Junior High for a lot of years, but I do know that I have a REALLY limited amount of time to spend blogging and reading blogs, and I naturally go to a rather limited number of sites– mostly people I hang out with at the shop, and a couple of others I’ve developed a cyber-rapport with. (yes-dangling participle– I know…)

  41. Re: LYS. I have issues. #1.Knitting mag X says LYS carries Yarn Y. I go there. They don’t carry it. Intensive investigation on my part has resulted in the finding that they only carry the most expensive yarn in each brand. #2.Do you get to knit socially for free at your LYS? It costs $20 at mine, for a couple of hours in an evening. No teaching-that’s a different charge. No benefits or perks or edibles. I just don’t get it. #3.Now they even have a $65/yr club they want you to join. If I join, will they ever have enough yarn in the same color for a project? Can you feel my pain?

  42. I don’t get to spend much time at one LYS, and they don’t have any place for people to sit and knit anyway if I did. But at the LYS I frequent weekly, since it’s 1 block from work, I try my hardest to only knit there iwth yarn I purchased there. For one basic reason, she’s a new store (only open a year) and I figure when people see me knitting and ask what I’m doing, I can show them the yarn and how nice it works up, etc. and it will be an encouragement for them to buy yarn from her. She doesn’t mind if I knit with other yarn there, but I feel an obligation to knit with yarn I’ve purchased there as much as possible.

    Right now I have a shawl at th eoffice for lunch knitting that was with yarn purcased from her, so it works out perfectly.

  43. Cliques, eh? Geez, I’m so not IN either! Hey, I think that makes me cool then!

    Eeeeee! So exciting – Wendy, I just preordered your book on the Internet here in Toronto! $17.95 Canadian at the Needle Arts Bookstore.

  44. The size of the knit blogging community almost guarantees cliques. The time when I could go around the ring in an afternoon are long gone. That said, I hate to hear snarkiness and resentment about other bloggers. As has often been said JUST DON’T READ THEM. Junior high is over, and for some of the snarkiest – long over.

  45. My lys’s here in town charge for help regardless of whether or not you bought the yarn and/or pattern there. They even charge just for a sit and knit (no help no nothin’) night. Frankly I don’t buy much either way from any of them because by and large the proprietresses and staff are rude and snobby – no matter if I’m spending $10 or $100. They usually only get my business when I NEED something now and can’t wait for an online purchase to arrive. I try to support local businesses as much as possible because I feel it is important to the community but I WILL NOT support a business just because it’s local if they are rude or just don’t have anything I want.

  46. Hi Wendy,

    Great discussion regarding LYS question. As a shop owner-very good to know the minds of knitters. My policy-which I fear is in the minority of many shops-is the that if you purchase yarn from my shop-there is no knitting without a net. In other words-if you get stuck-come by or call. I feel if you treat others with respect-they in turn do the same. I am not insulted if someone asks a question about a project from which they have purchased materials elsewhere. My #1 concern is that people feel comfortable and welcome and not afraid to ask a question. I am glad they walked in the door and if Red Heart is their thing-I look at it as an opportunity to show them other options. I do charge $10 per hour to teach a new technique or a new skill. And I recommend an appointment if store is busy. I have 1 person working for me and for that $10 you get my full attention (because I make sure the store is taken care of.) I also have a Knit Night Once a week-mostly a social occasion-but I often am asked many questions-again it’s ok. I find that very few take advantage of this and know if they have a concern that is complicated, they schedule an appointment. My advise to any would be shop owners:LOVE PEOPLE AND SHOW IT! I have many customers who are now my friends-it is meeting all kinds of people that I enjoy most!. -Kathy

  47. I recently visited a new LYS and I asked if they had a regular knit night. The owner made it very clear I wouldn’t be welcome with a project made with yarn not bought there. Her first statement to me was “Well, what are you working on?” I was taken aback because 1) what the hell difference does it make? 2)aren’t you supposed to be drawing customers in? 3)why do you immediately assume I’d do such a thing! Needless to say, I probably won’t go there too much unless I’m desperate! I appreciate the comments of other LYS staff that say they try to help even if they charge a nominal fee.

    The clique discussion is interesting…as a new knitter/blogger I feel like I am still trying to get anyone’s attention, let alone the “popular” blogs!

  48. LYS carries little but would always be happy to order for me.

    I *love* Lucy.

    Rose is indeed a lovely. May I attempt to copy her *before* you publish a pattern? In a child’s size for DD’s use only? Mine would not be a perfect copy…..

  49. I have not asked for help at my LYS, but if I did ask for help with yarn purchased elsewhere, I would not feel the slightest bit guilty. 99.9% of the time I am going to buy something from the store. If I were refused, I wouldn’t shop at that store again. It’s that simple. I have already “written off” a very popular LYS in my area because they were too busy chatting to even offer customer assistance. What happened to customer service?

  50. Many of you mention being charged for “knit nights” at your LYS. I think it is because these events need to be staffed and are usually held after regular “money-generating” business hours. The shop needs to pay someone to be there and is not receiving revenue during that time.

    Knitting shops are a business and are being squeezed by internet sales and Wal*Mart/Michael’s. It’s great to help knitters with their Red Heart questions, but not if a paying customer is kept waiting.

  51. I’m continuosly amazed at your work

  52. If I felt yarn guilt every time I knit w/ yarn not bought in my LYS, I’d never knit in my LYS…or I’d never be allowed to knit with stash yarn bought before I moved here, and carefully aged…

    I think it is in VERY POOR taste to ask for help on a project made from yarn bought elsewhere unless you’re prepared to pay for the help. If you’re a regular shopper, and spend a lot of money at the LYS, and you’re working on well aged stash yarn, it might be okay.

    When I was an LYS employee (oh how I miss those days), I generally told folks who brought in yarn from elsewhere and wanted help that they could sign up for one-on-one lessons/help at $X.00 per hour. If they paid, I’d give them undivided attention for that period of time (and thus would not be distracted by helping others etc). Of course I had some folks who came in and paid for that service even though they’d bought the yarn and pattern therebecause they loved the undivided attention…

    I have actually once asked for help from a fellow knitter (note, not employee) on something I was knitting in non-LYS yarn (but it was a yarn they didn’t sell, and one they didn’t have anything comparable to available when I bought it). I was having a lace crisis, and as trying to avoid frogging back yet another dozen rows of 300 stitches.

    So, there’s way more than you asked for…
    and still only worth $0.02 in 1973 dollars….

  53. Fantastic picture of Lucy! She has the loveliest eyes….

    I do feel a bit of the “adulterous yarn guilt,” though I haven’t quite settled into the perfect LYS. I have three in the area (they’re all 20+ minute drives from my apartment) and each of them has drawbacks. I’d love to find a place where I’m really comfortable, but it is not to be. I keep joking that I should just open my own, and I’d love to, but I have neither the capital nor the business acumen to really pull it off.

  54. I wouldn’t be comfortable either asking for help if I hadn’t bought anything at the LYS, but if I was a LYS I wouldn’t mind helping anyone if I had the time – good knitting karma can come back in the form of a new customer.

    Of course there are clicques! But it doesn’t matter, and it often makes the blog reading more fun.

    But as a failed blogger – but a very successful lurker – I wonder do bloggers mind non bloggers lurking?

  55. “In knitbloggers”? I suppose that by definition means there are “out knitbloggers”. Who knew? I thought that just being knitters made us all very cool.

    Seriously, there are cliques in some sense of the word. There are so many of us now that you can’t possibly read and comment on all the blogs, so ultimately you narrow them down to a handful that “speak” to you personally in some way. I don’t believe it’s intended as exclusionary as much as the simple fact of there only being a certain number of hours a day to play on the computer.

  56. I realized this cliquishness after reading other’s blogs. I noticed the separation and as long as it doesn’t get catty and bashing, its fine. As is life there is a separation of race and classes, why would it be any different in yarn, needles, and knitting?

    As far as knitting with yarn not purchased at that yarn store – they should get over it and remember the words: customer service. Just because the person is not buying today (or, like me, would buy something after I received assistance) they may buy at another time. And, don’t forget they are doing some marketing for that LYS with chitchat of where they go and how nice the people seem to be.

    When I learned to knit I showed up with something cheap and not bought from her shop, however, she embraced me and showed me the path of knitting. Over time I referred others along with buying from there. If she had shunned me for not having yarn from her shop we would not have developed this relationship. Oh, the woes of capitalism…

  57. Funny thing about cliques, as an adult I met somene from HS 20 yrs ago. One of her first moments of reminiscing she told me how much she envied me because I was so popular. What the hell is she talking about. So at times I do feel like there are these cyber-cliques, more apparant on the lists than on blogging. If it continues in too personal a vein, I just drop out. mopre from boredom than social pressure. But I am also pretty oblivious to social things it seems (as the previous story notes). And what the heck, oftne without the body language of face to face contact one can easily create a persona on line.
    Lucy lovely as usual.

  58. that is one of the nicest pics of Lucy I have seen on your blog – she looks very pretty.

  59. Wow, I am perplexed by both these questions. I’m way too busy, or naive, or cluesless, or something, to notice cliquiness in the blogs I read. I don’t have a lot of blog-reading time, so I necessarily stick mostly to a few whose writing I like/issues I relate to/some other random sense of connection. I comment sometimes and not others, according to whether I have anything to say, and no one reads or comments on my blog.

    As for the LYS stuff, I have a toddler, and it’s nigh impossible to go to an actual store to browse for anything, so I buy a lot of stuff online. I do patronize the two stores we have around here, quick stops like needles or other tools. I am never leisurely enough to ask a question in that situation, though. I wish I could go to knit nights! The knitting get-together that I’m aware of in the one LYS that has it is free, and I always wish I could go. It never occurred to me to worry about whether I’m bringing in yarn I bought there.

    I think I’ve revealed myself as ignorant of both blogging and yarn store ettiquette. Gulp!

  60. Fortunately the LYS was very kind about answering my lace knitting question, even though the yarn was purchased elsewhere. I did buy a pattern I could have purchased online and the smaller sized needles she recommended for the project I asked about. She was so friendly and complimentary about the project I was just beginning that I will make a further effort to get there, even though it is not on my normal beaten path.