It’s the Yarn Talking

I swear I just went to look. Well, perhaps to touch and fantasize a bit, too. It’s been about six months since my last trip, and the holiday season is coming, eventually. So I really need to go. In fact, it’s more an obligation than… Oh, who am I kidding?

I love yarn shops, but fibers have a way of seducing me to bring them home. To avoid temptation, I only occasionally treat myself to an hour or two wrapped in the sensory indulgence of my favorite local knit shop, Neighborhood Knits. I haven’t been there since it changed hands earlier this year, and I’m delighted to see the store maintain its cozy look and intimate feel. New yarns grace the shelves, layed out in a way that I find intuitive (grouped by fiber and weight). Sandy, the new owner, is welcoming and helpful without being at all invasive. For me, yarn shopping is personal. I need some time to see and touch before I can ponder the options aloud.

I came in to look at yarn choices for prairie boots, a pattern I’ve mulled over for a few months. As the weather cools and the idea of boot-like slippers doesn’t make me sweat profusely, I’m ready to consider yarn for the project. After a cruise around the store, I not only find the yarn (Lamb’s Pride Bulky, by Brown Sheep) but a pair of the boots knit up in a tweedy brown, my first choice of colors for the project. Before I commit to a color, I take a gamble at finding a pattern I’d considered last visit. It’s still there, but picking four colors for it proves a bit more challenging. I tend towards shades of the same color, barely a step beyond my usual monochromatic or monochromatic-with-a-stripe-of-something-else choices.

Enter Sandy. She starts pulling skeins out of the artfully sorted bins, lining them up on the floor, narrating her thought process. At first, I’m only an observer, still overwhelmed by the options in color and texture even within the worsted wool section. Tentatively, I pull one of her selections out and add my own. Hmm. That’s not too bad. She continues to demonstrate combinations, and soon, a dozen or more skeins are on the floor and couch, we’ve arranged in sets designed to complement each other.
Eventually, with much encouragement, I find a combination I like and make my purchase. I thank Sandy both for her help and patience with my indecision and head home new pattern and yarn in tow. I’m happy with my choice and with the comfort of a long project ahead of me and delighted a favorite local business is in such caring and competent hand. Oh, and the boots? I’ll save that purchase for my next visit.

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