Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How do you like your yarn shop?

I recently read a post on the Knit Like a Man blog about shopping for yarn. It got me thinking about how yarn shops are a lot like restaurants. Each shop has its unique menu of yarn, ambiance, service quality, and price. And just like restaurants, yarn shops appeal to different kinds of knitters. In my city there are three locally owned yarn shops with wildly different personalities.

Yarn Shop A has been around for many years. The owner is older and has an established clientele. The shop’s yarn menu has a lot of big name variety with yarns ranging from basic to fancy. To me, the ambiance seems cluttered, disorganized, and gloomy. The owner is always friendly and helpful but in a rushed sort of way. The knitters that hang out there come across as cliquish. I shop there occasionally but it’s not a shop I go to just to browse or to see what’s new.

Yarn Shop B is relatively new and is owned by a young woman starting out in the business world. Her yarn menu is a bit limited and is focused on natural fiber yarns and fairly traded goods. The shop is in a sunny and bright store front next to a used book store. The clientele is typically young and tattooed. The shop owner is sweet and knowledgeable but like Shop A, it doesn’t draw me back.

Yarn Shop C has been in business for a couple of years and I just recently discovered it. The shop is a bit small but the yarn menu is surprisingly well rounded. The ambiance is bright, artistic, casual and welcoming. The owner has many items on display that demonstrate ways to use the yarns she carries. She is very helpful and will spend time discussing a project or yarn selection. I think I like this shop best because the owner makes me feel welcome and I like the yarn she sells.

Which brings us back to the restaurant analogy. I frequent restaurants that serve food I like at a reasonable price in a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.

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