Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Purple is not blue... or, the complete awesomeness that is my new LYS

I'm still alive, and none the worse for wear, fortunately. I had been meaning to post since ages, but between non-turkey day and another bout of illness and just general laziness, I never got around to it... chasing after a toddler who is desperate to pull down christmas lights is rather tiring ;-)

I wanted to post on Saturday, and I was going to have just one nice thing to talk about, but it's turned into four Nice Things, and they all involve knitting.

This past Saturday, we bundled N. into his stroller, complete with rain tent, and took off for downtown to avoid going nuts in the house. We'd just come off a few days of toddler fever (although no coughing, yay!) and wanted to a change of scenery, so off we went to our fave Greek diner for some pastichio and the best Greek salad outside of my home province.

(a side note: My kid likes grown up food. Given the choice between fries and pastichio, he picked the pasta, ignored the fries, and asked for seconds. He's also been known to eat my zucchini and steal all the goat cheese and balsamic glaze from his daddy's plate when we make those things at home.)

So. Yes. Saturday. After eating, we decided to run into the new LYS, because of Nice Thing #1 - one of my friends is pregnant again, which necessitates a new blanket. Her other kids all have quilts or knitted blankets from me, and her at-the-moment-youngest is my Goddaughter, who will receive her secret prezzie as soon as I finish the blanket for her sibling ;-)


I'd been planning on doing the Frances nursing shawl from Vintage Baby Knits, but needed a sub for the Socks that Rock, because I'm not spending $140 on something to get spit up on and be hand washed... plus it's a lot of tiny little stitches to get done on a deadline. So, we went into the store with N. in tow, and he toddled around, wanting to play with the spinning wheel, but being generally good while I started looking for inspiration. I had on my Clapotis, and was pleasantly accosted by a woman who turned out to be one of the partners, L. :-). Then, one of the other partners, J.1 (who I'd met the first time I went in), came over and introduced us, as she'd remembered my name from my previous visit... It was so welcoming and friendly, and Hubby was amazed and quite entertained by it all. We chatted and the store was very busy, but none of us felt rushed or neglected. It was really nice to chat with multiple knitters at once, and have them understand me, whether it was about yarn or techniques or patterns or whatever. And people were coming in and out to just hang around and sit and knit. Very cool. So, that visit on Saturday became Nice Thing #2.

As we were thinking about heading out, after smooshing lots of yarn but finding none that was suitable for the Frances shawl, I saw a piece by the third business partner, a log cabin blanket, draped in the corner. It was baby-sized, but not rainbow-pastel, and was fun and colorful but sophisticated at the same time. Hubby came over to me as I was holding it and said, "That. You have to do that. Seriously." He's not a decision maker, nor is he super pushy with his opinions, so I knew he must've really liked it.

I thought about it over the weekend, and come Monday morning (my supposed day off), the laundry was done, and while I had to work a half day to deal with some cultures and DNA extractions, I had time to myself in the morning. Off I went, back to the store, and met the third partner, J.2, in person and spent some serious time picking out colors for this new baby blanket. After figuring it all out, I swatched while she wound one of the colors for me on their swift, and I managed to get three or four of the initial blocks done before leaving to meet up with Hubby for lunch. It was such a treat to sit and knit and chat a little with two of the owners (L. also came in while I was there). So, Monday morning was Nice Thing #3.

Today, though, I ran into a snag. My color scheme involves one variegated yarn, and six others that highlight its colors. The problem is, one of my choices was the wrong shade. Too much plum, not enough navy. So, I decided to email the store to see what my options were - I know that yarn comes in a better shade, but they didn't have any when I was there and I thought the plum would be good enough (and, yes, I should know better; purple will not become blue no matter how many times I stare at it or how much I cross my eyes).

Huzzah, we come to Nice Thing #4. L. is putting an order in and has included my color request!

I'm desperately hoping to get into a routine of heading down to do some knitting with them on Saturday afternoons when N. naps, or perhaps on my theoretical days off, assuming I can get a handle on the laundry and cleaning.

Bottom line - they've been open for a month, but these ladies know what they're doing. I hate to play favourites (particularly with knitting stores, since we're all such a community), and I know there's room for everyone, but I also believe in getting my money's worth, and I believe customer service is a lost art. While I do love some of the staff at the old place, I (like most people) have limited funds and limited time, and I have to make the most of both.

So, thank you, Knit, for being the little store that could. I can't say enough good things about you! :-)


Bezzie said...

I'm with you...there are two LYSs in my town (ok neighboring town) and I prefer one waaaay over the other. Last time I went in there one of the employees convinced me to plop Moochie on the floor so she could play trucks with him. Hee hee!

Ellie said...

I know, right? There's a store that's about 20 mins drive away (boo!), and they're pretty good too; they have a corner set up complete with trucks, blocks, and a little play castle for the kids :-)