Thursday, November 03, 2005

The eagle knits alone.

Today Isaac met me for lunch at a great little pizza place that is in the same shopping center as a yarn store. This strategic lunch choice wasn't only for their yummy white pizza but an excuse to get Isaac into the yarn store. You see a few weeks ago he asked me to make him a winter hat. He had very specific ideas about the ribbing, the colors even the size of the stripes/fair isle. He is a really detail oriented guy- and I love that about him. He is so much so detail oriented that it didn't suffice to say his colors would be dark blue, bright blue, yellow & orange. Nope he had to go pick them out himself which is actually really, really cool!

So we head into the yarn store. Now, keep in mind this is not my usual yarn store, as a matter of fact I have never been to this particular yarn store before but Isaac has. This is the store where he purchased my beloved Denise set. He had already warned me that this store was a little more "everyman" (his words not mine) than my usual yarn store (which he dubbed as more of a "boutique" store).

With the "everyman" description looming in my head I wasn't really sure what to expect. Upon opening the door it becomes very clear to me that in Isaac's mind the "everyman" of the knitting world is a novelty yarn loving, poncho knitting kind of folk. The store is empty sans the two ladies at the counter (both knitting with some sort of "trellis" yarn which I am later informed is for a red hat society function). They both offer help if we need & and let us wander around without provocation. The rest of the stock is pretty standard. A few nice wools, a couple of hand painted yarns and simply way too much novelty & acrylic for my taste.

After a good 20 minutes Isaac has made his selections (the afore mentioned colors in lamb's pride worsted). We head to the counter to pay and as the lady starts ringing me up she mentions the Atlanta knitting guild.

She goes into a huge monologue about how wonderful it is to ditch your husband (this immediately strikes me in the wrong way) and how I will make life long friends and how they all go on a 3 day weekend trip to the N.C. mountains and do nothing but knit and have girl talk 24 hours a day. I think at this point my eyes glaze over & I stop hearing what she is saying.

Isaac mentions something about picking up a little black to go into the hat and runs off to get it. I am abandoned, left alone to defend myself against this very kind but calculating lady who is doing everything she can to get me to join her knitting guild.

Finally after what seems like an eternity Isaac returns, we pay & I take the knitting guild pamphlet and tell her that I will read it over and think about it. As we walk to the car I ask him if it is just me or if she was really overly pushy about the "knitting guild". He just laughs & says "The eagle knits alone". Apparently this situation reminded him of the saying on one of his dad's Harley Davidson shirts- "The eagle flies alone" and he though it was fitting.

I'm not anti-knitting guild. I adore my local stitch n'bitch group and I wish I had more time to knit with them. I'm all for life long friends and I love camping in N.C. Maybe I was overstimulated by all the novelty yarns or strong smell of coffee in the store or her "overzealousness" but it really left me reeling.

I suppose as far as that yarn store & the "life long friends" I would make in the knitting guild goes, Isaac was right. The eagle knits alone.

That post's title totally cracked me up! That place sounds like Invasion of the Knit-Snatchers--avoid the guild--they probably make up all of what's on that You Knit What! blog! It's good to be wanted, I guess! ;)
In defense of this knitting shop:
Haven't you ever found something soooo wonderful that you just couldn't stop going on and on and on about it?
Maybe the knitting guild is such a thing for this employee. She certainly tried to find one reason among many for you to join the guild - whether that be for love of knitting, travel, companionship or new friends, etc. etc..
(Her comment about ditching your husband could be translated as ditching ANY non-knitter - so you can spend more time with knitters.)

And you say this is the same yarn store that Isaac got your Denise set from? The employees are definitely there to help anyone who walks through the door. (But at least they left you alone to wander around the store.) Which could be the reason why there are so many novelty yarns - a lot of people do knit with it - and the store does seem to try to cater to everyone.
You are absolutely right Janey this store does cater to everyone. They were very professional & did leave us unmolested as we made our selections.

While I do see your point about her eagerness to gush about the knitting guild but still for my personal preference it was too much pressure. More pressure than if they had followed us around the store recommending the most expensive yarns.

Essentially it felt as if I was trapped & pressured listening to a sales pitch but it wasn't about yarn or needles it was about lifelong friends.

I don't disagree that the majority of people knitting nowadays do use novelty yarn. I have even used it once but it just isn't my taste! I would much rather see tons of natural fibres. That -again- is just my opinion & I don't feel that it's wrong. It is just evident to me that as nice as they were to help Isaac & let us shop in peace I still prefer my regular yarn store.

I'm sorry if my post struck a sour note with you and I see your points but it still made me very uncomfortable.

Oh & Erin, that statement did totally inspire the post! Where does Isaac come up with these things?
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