So I'm gonna make these socks, right? Right.
Wrong-yarn wrong-needles test? Check.
Run-through of the basic elements of the chart? Check.
Right yarn? Just arrived yesterday. Beautiful hand-dyed.
(As usual, poor quality of photos tells you how beautiful the yarn really is.)
Right needles? Still not in my possession.
Here's where my local yarn store (LYS) comes in.
The story I am about to tell you is from my perspective. Others who were there will tell you a different story, because that's how life is. And that's cool. Everybody's gonna have a different telling, but rest assured, my version will have the most flair.
Also, let it be known that I don't like to call people out. I really don't. But sometimes things are just too egregious to ignore.
Let me start by saying that my LYS is a complex place, made up of complex characters. It is very conveniently located around the corner from my house, so it's got that going for it. However, more often than not, my LYS has That Vibe rocking on full blast. Maybe it's because famous people shop there, maybe it's something else, but those ladies have somehow perfected the art of down-the-nose-vision. As I've said before about this, you're trying to sell yarn, no? You're not weeding the hacks out of the neurosurgery rotation. One day that gravitas is gonna kill a person.
OK. That's too strong. Sometimes they are perfectly cordial to me. Let's just dive in to what happened.
A few days ago, I decided I should just run into the store to buy the needles I needed for these fancy socks so that when the yarn arrived, I'd be ready. So, in the middle of the day I zipped over there. I was in a perfectly good mood, cheerful and friendly. Really. I would tell you if I'd been crabby. I promise you, I was at peace with the world.
There were three women in the store. One works there (the one who literally pushed me over once), one was a Regular who had come to knit for the afternoon. And the third was the Owner, who was sitting in a little knitting area across from the Regular. The latter two were knitting.
Me (to Owner, cheerfully): Hi! I need some needles.
Me: Just some double-pointed 1.5 US needles.
Owner (cocks her head to one side and squints a little. I get a little whiff of The Vibe): 1.5 US?
Owner: What are you making?
Owner and Regular together: OH!
Regular (knitting, not looking up): I've never understood why people make socks. You never see them!
Owner (to the Regular): Oh, there are people who love to make socks. Sockers.
She says "sockers" like someone might say "cancer" or "racists".
My inside voice: I'm standing right here.
My outside voice: I'm making some socks for a friend who asked me to make them for her. It's not that I really l-o-v-e to make socks.
Owner (to me): I've never heard of 1.5 US needles.
Owner: There are 0. And 1. And 2. But no 1.5 US.
Me: Huh. That's what the pattern calls for.
Owner: Well, just because the pattern says it doesn't mean it's right.
At this point, I'm starting to get the sense that this isn't going well.
Employee: Let me show you what we have.
She disappears into the back.
The rest is a bit of a blur, a flurry of very awkward moments.
At one point the Owner tries to engage me with: You've been knitting this summer!
Me: A little, but I've actually been sewing quite a bit.
Owner: Me, too. But it's always with my knitting. What have you been sewing?
Me: I made the Purl Rabbit recently. From The Purl Bee?
Owner: Oh, yeah. She has a nice site. Do you shop from her store online? (very serious) Don't tell me you've bought yarn from her.
Me: I haven't. Cross my heart. I've bought fabric.
The Owner and Regular then get into a conversation about the "Yarn Shopper" and how savvy "they've" gotten, how they'll just look for the best deal online and buy their yarn there instead of in a store.
My inside voice: Again, I am standing right here. In. Your. Store.
The topic returns to needles, and the Employee is now trying to give me some Lantern Moon Ebony needles.
Me: Oh, I've had a bad experience with those. They split.
Owner: You don't know that.
Me: Yeah. I had some that just split and ate my cashmere.
Owner: But these might not.
Me: I've heard from other people that they've had the same experience with that needle. So, I'd rather go with metal. Do you have any metal needles?
Owner: What kind of metal needles would you use?
Me: I haven't used them, but I hear Knit Picks makes good ones.
Owner (fully sponsored by The Vibe): Knit Picks makes needles?
Me: Yeah. They're what the Yarn Harlot uses.
Regular: The Yarn Harlot?
Owner (to the Regular): She's this wildly popular online knitter. I'm telling you, you have to cater to these people, because there are a lot of them.
My inside voice: I. AM. RIGHT. FUCKING. HERE!
Owner (and I swear to God she said this to me with the Vibe-iest Vibe that ever Vibed): For someone who doesn't really make socks, how come you're so picky about your needles?
I tried to make the best of it. I really did. I even bought some needles I didn't really need. The cherry on the sundae? This final exchange as I was leaving:
Owner: You should bring your socks in and come knit with us sometime.
Me (with a smile and a playful tone): I don't know if I will. They are socks.
Owner (not playful. at all.): Oh. Now you've got an attitude!
This was absolutely the craziest display of crazy-making I've seen in a yarn store yet. If they'd been super busy or I'd been acting like a jerk, it would be more understandable. It wouldn't be the best way to treat a customer, but I'd understand. But this? All I can figure is that someone with knowledge they've acquired online has somehow become public enemy number one at this store.
I understand that brick-and-mortar stores are having it rough. I do. I want to support local business as much as humanly possible. But this store is not just having it rough because of The Online. It's saying something when there's a yarn store right around the corner from me, and I'm not in it every day of the week.
But here's a question: In the spirit of wanting a peaceful planet, should I take her up on her invitation and go knit with them? Try to better understand the situation?