I have some money left over from my student loan, and decided to stock up on some more tools. So I tracked down the Yarn Barn, which had moved from its original place.
I think their new store (in a converted house in Tobin Hill) is larger than the previous one located in Olmos Park, but it’s not much better. I tend to avoid LYSes because they’re expensive and snotty.
The first time I actually found them, I went in with my oldest daughter after picking her up from school. I had checked out a knitting book from the library because it had in it a dress I wanted to make Esther. Of course, I have almost no knitting supplies, because that craft generally annoys me, but the one thing about me is I can’t stand not being able to do something. So I wanted to make this dress to prove to myself that I could, and I needed knitting needles, and while Michael’s has a ton of ’em, they are totally random in their stock. So off to the LYS, and I’m not going to buy knitting needles without buying crochet hooks as well.
The Yarn Barn is staffed by several elderly women and one young gay man. I walked in and one of the little old ladies accosted me immediately–I think this is their theory of good customer service. She was standing between me and the Addi turbos, of course, and when she asked what I needed, I said “Just the knitting needles behind you. And oh, where do you keep your crochet hooks?”
“Oh, they’re all the way in the back.”
At the old store, they were towards the front. This time I had to go down the hallway, hang a left, and squeeze into a small alcove.
Did you know Addi also makes crochet hooks? ‘Tis true. I bought an H hook then. They’re not as fast as Addi Turbos are rumored to be (I actually own some Turbo circular needles, I just haven’t ever used them. They’re pretty, though.), but still nice. An interesting handle, which seems to be sort of vented. Not uncomfortable, but not something I’d use on a regular basis. For me to be willing to spend $5 on a crochet hook, it has to be a serious improvement over the $1.25 or so I spend for the aluminum Boye hooks. (There’s a reason Boye is ubiquitous.)
Anyway, I picked up an H hook and the circs I needed & got out of there. Easy peasy.
My mother & I went back two days later. My mother is not what you’d call a friendly person. Or even one with any sense of social graces whatsoever. So when the woman approached us to ask if we needed any help, while I just said “I’m on my way to the crochet hooks, thank you,” my mother lit into her about thinking we were there to steal something. That, of course, was clearly not the case. Just hovering little old ladies, and of course she killed any chance we had of getting any assistance from one of the employees (not that I blame them!).
What bugged me, though, was that when I said I was after their crochet supplies the woman sniffed out an “Oh” and sort of stepped back (this before my mother started in with her idiocy). As soon as I said the C-word, I was no longer important.
And this is why, in general, I loathe knitting. I hate knitting like I hate dogs. It’s not so much the thing itself that irks me, it’s the attitude of the people surrounding it. I no more want to have to bushwhack my way to the Addi hooks than I want to deal yet again with the neighbor’s dog crapping in my yard. Knitting is fine on its own, and dogs are fine on their own, but when you consider either knitters or dog people, it goes downhill.
Which is not to say that all knitters or all dog people are horrible. But there does tend to be a certain sort of cluelessness amongst only-knitters, a faint sort of confusion as to why anyone would crochet when they can knit. A belief that certain things simply cannot be crocheted (yes, Virginia, you can crochet socks). A dismissal of the craft as either too confusing or hopelessly mired in the fashion meltdown that was the 1970s. Even the most benign among them seem to be filled with misunderstandings (like dog people with their “cats are standoffish and mean” routine).
One day, if I can ever secure funding and/or figure out how the hell to do it, I shall open a crochet-centric yarn store. Oh, we’ll have knitting needles. They won’t even be hidden in a corner. But there will be hooks right as you come in the door. And a coffee shop (I don’t know why coffee shops & yarn stores don’t go together more often). And there will be a bunch of hippies sitting around with a boob hanging out, breastfeeding their 10-year-olds. While crocheting. With acrylic. So there.