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Are you intimidated by yarn shops (part I)?

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Yarn shops can be very intimidating for even the most intrepid knitters. A common theme from newer knitters is that they hate going into yarn shops for just that reason.

I visited a yarn shop with my bestest friend Kris this weekend. I had to spend a few minutes understanding their set up – every shop is different, so you do have to figure out the lay of the land every time you enter a new shop.

Luckily, most shops have a similar general layout:

1. The yarn
2. Needles/tools
3. Books/magazines/patterns
4. Lots of samples and swatches already knit up
5. An area for knitters to … knit
6. A sale/clearance section
7. Buttons/other notions
8. Spinning fiber/tools (wheels, drop spindles)
9. Lots of impulse buys at the front counter

The yummy yarns will likely greet you at the main entrance. The knitting area is often combined with books and magazines, with tables and chairs.

What are you intimidated by in yarn shops?  The terminology?  Overwhelming choices?  “Snootiness?”  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll share tips for dealing with your yarn shop issues!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kekumukula October 13, 2010, 5:58 PM

    I'm lucky to go to a super awesome LYS. I'm more used to its layout on one side than its other side since I frequent the merinos in worsted and dk. It would be nice sometimes if there were little signs in other LYSs so I'd know where what was where. Your post gave some good insight into basic set ups of a LYS.

  • Brenda October 13, 2010, 9:02 PM

    I'm glad this was helpful, but I'm more glad that you have a fab LYS! I have two that I love to frequent, one of which is beyond incredible when it comes to service.

    That's such a good idea on the signs! I don't think I've ever seen one in a yarn shop!


  • Alberta January 2, 2015, 3:42 PM

    Hello and Happy New Year,

    It’s fantastic to find a yarn establishment that wants my opinion;)

    I have difficulty distinguishing subtle colors and ask for help coordinating yarns. If the clerk is stuck up, I will explain this, if the clerk still has an attitude, I will walk and not return. I buy (and love) expensive yarns, so generally it’s a $100+ sale.

    All the best, Alicatt

  • Jay February 27, 2016, 4:45 AM

    Hi !I would like to give you an idea what to do with those loose ends.Put them in a basket for the birds oustide,.. the build their nest with those nice warm ends. The bird association in the Netherlands supports it highly!Kind regards,Hedwig from The Netherlands

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