How to have me wanting to run out of a yarn shop (true story)

I’m a knitter. I love yarn. Therefore I should love shopping at yarn shops right ?

I don’t know if it’s something really specific to Paris, but we have some yarn shops here that really depress me.

I hesitate to open the door (if possible, heavy and opaque), inside the atmosphere is as cold as a Porcupine Tree show (basically, people staring at you like you’re sh°t anyway), messages everywhere remembering you to not touch the yarn (or they are probably going to take you somewhere scary and knit you to death), poor lightning, and of course, unfriendly salespersons. Who knit in the shop. So if you dare asking questions, they sight, put done the project (usually something posh and expensive), barely answer and just cash the money. No idea which colors could match, no idea what yarn to use for babies. And of course no pattern catalog to match the yarn, you have to enter the shop with your pattern, or at least already have in mind exactly what it is you want.

Just makes me want to run away. Away from yarn. Can’t believe it. Me, a girl who sometimes gets out of bed at night to pick up yarn in her stash and squiiiish it with a crazy smile. If you’re a knitter, a crocheter, any yarn addict, you probably know the feeling.

I love yarn, but I don’t like people who make me feel uncomfortable. I’m not shy (hey, remember I even sung a knitting song ?), I’m very polite (I used to sell make-up, so yes I know how customers can behave), I’m not messy nor loud. I’m the perfect customer, please be nice with me, do your job, make me want to buy all that epic yarn instead of feeling like this is a fuzzy, wooly, itchy version of hell.

Any terrible yarn shopping experience to cheer me up?



  1. We have a local shop which is run by a very pushy owner. She likes to boast and brag her connections. Until they day she was trying to brag about her connection to someone in our city, which just happened to be MY uncle. I can’t stand snobbery. We have 3 other shops within an hour of my city, so I just go to their shops.

  2. I haven’t had any really bad experiences with the yarn stores in Minnesota. But every few years or so, I’m in Boston, and a yarn shop there is very uneven in how friendly they are. One year, I called to find out their hours, and a woman snarled at me, “We’re not open yet!” (Well, ma’am, why did you answer the phone, then?) Another year, I chose my yarn and waited to check out, while the staff chatted amongst themselves and seemed to deliberately not notice me. Finally, the friend who was with me said in a loud voice, “You’re holding yarn. Don’t they *want* to sell it to you?” That same friend went back on her own to buy something and was told, “The staff is busy with other people right now. You might want to leave and come back later.” I was telling these stories to people in Minnesota, without naming the yarn store, and one woman said, “Is that [name of that store]? Oh, they’re horrible!” So they’re getting a nationwide reputation for being rude!

    And yet, on still yet another trip, one of the staff remembered me from my visit two years previously and was very friendly to me (“Oh, you’re that woman who comes in from Minnesota! You’re visiting friends here, right?”). So sometimes they’re nice.

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