Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And the knitting gods said, "HA!!!!"

Ever have one of those days when you feel like the Great Spirit of Knitting is just messing with your mind, conspiring to make all your grand stitchery plans go horribly awry? Yesterday was one of those days in my knitting world.

It started out all grand and glorious. I saw a sale flyer from Tuesday Morning that advertised Knitting Fever yarns at 50% off. Who can resist that, right? I also needed to purchase the needles for the Evenstar Shawl Mystery Knitalong...oh, and there is this wonderful coffee shop up north of town that I've been receiving tempting emails from for quite a while but just never quite got around to visiting. And I know there is a yarn shop nearby that I've heard is quite wonderful. All the makings for a great knitting adventure, right? Um...for the most part, not so much...

I remembered there was a Tuesday Morning in a strip mall about ten minutes from my house. While driving there, I changed my plans. I decided to postpone the trip "up north" and pick up those needles from my LYS, which is a mile from my house. That way, I could also whip through the grocery, pick up a few items and be home in, oh...probably about an hour. Ha...ha...ha...

When I got to the strip mall, I could not find Tuesday Morning. I even googled it and confirmed there was one in that shopping center...but it was not to be found. Luckily, I remembered the location of the second closest one, about 15 minutes north. I hit the road and found it easily. They had two very small boxes of yarn, and none of it was Knitting Fever, however, it was 50% off.

I bought a few skeins of sock yarn which I think will make pretty spring/summer shawls.

I was impressed with the friendly, helpful staff at this store. It has a real "hometown" feel, not a "suburban strip mall" feel, which was very pleasant. I could tell I'd drop serious bucks on things other than yarn if I spent too much time there, so I hopped in the car with my new stash and headed back south. Oh...there for a moment I considered that I was really only a few miles from that coffee shop and yarn store now and could just zip across Powell Road and be there in...naw...not in the mood to deal with Powell Road traffic. I'll hit my LYS and the grocery and get on home. Knitting awaits!!

This is when things turned seriously funky. The knitting gods are probably still laughing, rolling on the floor of knitting heaven in breathless, silent laughter. I am not laughing. When I pulled into the parking lot of my LYS, I had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting a woman dragging a reluctant toddler across the parking lot and paying no attention to traffic. She walked right out in front of me, never looking right nor left...and as I parked, I watched them go into my LYS. I took a deep breath of understanding...yes...woman on a mission to buy yarn...and how nice to be indoctrinating her little girl into the world of knitting, even if her traffic safety lesson was a little lax. Why, I'll bet that little girl will be a mighty fine knitter someday...if she doesn't get mowed down by traffic first. My understanding was short-lived.

Now...I will say this about my LYS. They have fabulous yarn and great sales. I was always thrilled with this store. They know me and know I've dropped a good chunk of change in their store over the years. They're usually friendly and helpful. I've talked this store up a bazillion times. I even remained a loyal customer after a friend had a terrible employment experience there. Here's the thing: they are almost always out of knitting needles. At first I really didn't notice the empty display pegs too much, after all, they usually had the ones I needed. Then I went in a few days after Christmas, and they had maybe a dozen knitting needles for sale in the whole store. The racks were empty. When I asked about it, they told me it had been a really good Christmas season, and they were out of just about everything. I understood, and I was really happy for them. But I began noticing that they never have much of a selection of needles at any time, despite having a really large display area. It always looks badly in need of restocking.

So, I'm standing at the knitting needle wall and realizing, as usual, it's pretty picked over. I'm wondering if every knitter in town is doing the Evenstar Shawl Mystery Knitalong. I want the Addi Turbo Lace needles, but they only have #3 in the 32" length. That will help me when I get to that point, but not for a while. As I'm pawing through the display looking for more #3's in any size...toddler hell strikes.

I'll go on record right now and admit I do not have children. I love children, but I chose not to have any of my own. It's a long story, having a lot do with spending a lot of my own childhood taking care of ill older relatives. But I love children and don't ever expect them to be quiet, perfect little angels. In fact, I usually enjoy kids the most when they're not being perfect little angels. However, I did NOT love the cute little girl who was suddenly running through the small shop screaming that she wanted to leave while her mother ignored her, chatted with the yarn store employee and looked at yarn. I especially did not love her when she got in between me and the knitting needle display, still screaming, and started taking the needles off the pegs. And I really did not love her mother for paying absolutely NO attention to any of this. Oh, and then someone's cell phone began ringing loudly in probably the most obnoxious ringtone I've ever heard in my life...and no one bothered to answer, so it rang...and rang...and rang...

By this time, I had developed a raging, on-the-verge-of-migraine headache. I was not thinking clearly by any means. I started grabbing #3 circulars and of this brand in a of that brand in a 16"...the Addi in 32"...another brand in 24" get the picture. I'll also point out here that I stood at that knitting needle display for probably close to 20 minutes, trying to figure out what to do, and the yarn shop employee walked by me half a dozen times and never once asked if I needed help.

Finally, irritated, frustrated, feeling more than a little sick, I brought my handful of mismatched needles to the checkout counter and, believe it or not, I'm still trying to be cheerful and pleasant. I make a little joke about how this yarn shop must be the #1 shop in the entire state for knitting needle sales...and Ms. Yarn Shop Employee launches into a vent about what a problem this is and how embarrassing it is that they are always short on their stock of knitting needles. My head is pounding louder now, and it has been over four hours since I had breakfast, so my blood sugar is beginning to plummet. I'm dizzy and thinking even less clearly. Then Ms. YSE starts talking about how using all these different brands of needles will probably throw my gauge off and cause all kinds of problems with my project...and all this time, she's ringing up my (not cheap!) purchases, I'm handing her my credit card, the sale is finalized. And then a thought worked it's way through...can I return these...and she tells me they don't take returns on knitting needles. I'm standing right there in front of her. She can see that I didn't take them home, knit seventeen shawls with them and then try to return them. She won't take them back.

I'll tell you the rest of the adventure tomorrow, possibly "on location". Suffice to say, since I'm writing this from my living room, I didn't commit any felonies (or even misdemeanors). And, just so you know my day wasn't a total knitting bust, after I got home, grabbed a handful of ibuprofen, walked Wilbur and took a long nap, I finished the Camel Spray (erk...) Hat,

started the matching scarf,

and put the really cool and groovy tassles on the Edgar Scarf. I'm not usually a tassle kind of gal, but I adore the Edgar Scarf with tassles!!! I even wore it to choir rehearsal last night. I'll get a better picture this weekend - when it is actually supposed to be SUNNY! YAY!!!

Oh, and the approximately 7.83 yards of Cento that remain will join a small glob of leftover worsted yarn that was too pretty to part with in my pin weaving "2010 wall hanging project" basket.

Today, I hope to get the yarn wound for the Evenstar Shawl - maybe even start knitting. I do hope the knitting gods are appeased after yesterday's smackdown. I'd hate to have to sacrifice a chicken before I could start knitting again...oh, wait...knitting gods...maybe I could just burn a skein or two of cheap worsted and click all these #3 needles together a few times...


  1. Well, your LYS needs a little training on how to keep good cutomers. I have the same problem with mine and I've been there on a regular basis for years. So, whenever I can, I order from who has great customer service, free shipping over $50 and no sales tax.

    Love the hat and your yarn purchases.

  2. Wow! The yarn from Tuesday Morning is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I can't believe they had something that nice.

    I just called my TM --- sold out! Bugger!

  3. It's so strange- I worked in an LYS that didn't have needles too! It was so frustrating to have to tell people that they had to drive 30 miles to get something we should just have in stock! I was reading just now thinking, "Is she in Maine? Do we live in the same area?"

    Also, I'm with you on the kids thing. There's nothing worse than a poorly behaved child, with an even worse acting parent.