My first visit to a LYS!

Ellacre's picture

I went to a LYS that I had no idea was around the corner yesterday, and again today with some friends. Pretty much just as I expected...an explosion of sundry (and overpriced) yarns. They had a great selection of needles, too, so I bought some Lantern Moon size 7s.

The thing is, the yarn really is too expensive...I can (and have) ordered the same brands online for much less. I'd love to be a LYS supporter, and my friends and I do plan on taking classes there/attending social knitting nights, but I can't justify overpaying for yarn (presumably the main reason for patronizing the shop)... Has anyone else found this to be the case with their LYSs?

Comments

MMario's picture

LYS's are a vital resource

LYS's are a vital resource and need support to maintain them. Yes, prices will be higher then online - but sometimes it is worth paying that extra to know they will still be there when you do need them.

Stephen450's picture

A trip to a LYS is not just

A trip to a LYS is not just a shopping trip, it's an adventure! The yarns are more expensive, but they are also of high quality and suitable for heirloom pieces. At my LYS, Piper's Quilts & Comforts, (www.pipersgirls.com), the store owner always has additional information about the yarn-- where it's made, how it's made, how it's dyed, etc. She's also usually knitted something with it and has some extra insight about how to work with the yarn to get the best results.

As stated before, this store has almost a cult following. I may not be able to purchase yarn on every visit, but just stopping in renews my excitement about knitting and gives me some great ideas for future projects. Please, support local businesses instead of the nameless, faceless, giant McMart type of stores.

agperovsek's picture

Tim , try funky

Tim , try funky fibers in Hudson, when your on the east side. It's a little out of my way too, but the owner is a really great resource, and orders very unique threads. It is pricey as you say, but as a new knitter too, getting her experience and help, face to face is tremendous.

regards
Tony

PeterMark's picture

When I buy yarn at my LYS, I

When I buy yarn at my LYS, I figure it's not only out of the "yarn" budget, but out of the "entertainment" budget as well. (I had to explain this to my father-in-law of all people.)

Think how much it costs to go to the movies. Buy the tickets, buy the snacks, and you're out x amount of dollars. Two hours later, you've spent your time and money and have nothing to show for it. Spend the same amount of money at the LYS and it takes me a lot more than 2 hours to knit up a project with that much $ in yarn.

As a bonus, you've bought the yarn and you get "additional advice" thrown in for free. I often stop in to my LYS for some help with this or that problem I've run into and they've always been happy to help.

My 2-cents. (My online 2-cents is worth LYS 5-cents : - )

Peter

PeterMark's picture

When I buy yarn at my LYS, I

When I buy yarn at my LYS, I figure it's not only out of the "yarn" budget, but out of the "entertainment" budget as well. (I had to explain this to my father-in-law of all people.)

Think how much it costs to go to the movies. Buy the tickets, buy the snacks, and you're out x amount of dollars. Two hours later, you've spent your time and money and have nothing to show for it. Spend the same amount of money at the LYS and it takes me a lot more than 2 hours to knit up a project with that much $ in yarn.

As a bonus, you've bought the yarn and you get "additional advice" thrown in for free. I often stop in to my LYS for some help with this or that problem I've run into and they've always been happy to help.

My 2-cents. (My online 2-cents is worth LYS 5-cents : - )

Peter

Parrot's picture

Yet another example . . .

Yet another example . . .

Today, in my favored LYS, a couple came in and looked around the shop. When the shop owner, Sybil, asked about helping them, the lady customer asked if any of the knitted or handwoven items were for sale. Sybil explained that all the items are samples and not for sale. Most of the sweaters, hats, shawls, socks, scarves, etc., are either knitted or handwoven by Sybil and another staff member. The lady was disappointed, saying that she was attending a wedding this afternoon (to be held in a reception hall across the street from the yarn shop). We got hit with a cold front last night. The lady was not prepared for the cold weather, and was going to wear a thin strapped dress to the wedding (it's has been quite warm here on the coast the last few weeks). Sybil could not sell any of the samples, but instead offered to loan the lady the shawl of her choice to wear to the wedding / reception. The lady, from out of state, couldn't believe the offer, but decided to accept it. Sybil helped her select a shawl that would be a perfect compliment to her dress. The shawl could be returned later today after the reception, or tomorrow before the lady leaves town to return home. The lady was extremely appreciative of the LYS owner's hospitality . . she had never been in the shop before, and certainly didn't know Sybil. She said she would be telling everyone at the wedding about how friend and helpful Sybil was. This is very typical of how Sybil treats her customers. She has regular customers that visit the shop about once a month . . . that makes a day trip from Raleigh (about 3 hrs away), Virginia (more than 90 mins away), and many points in between. Being in a tourist destination area (Outer Banks, NC . . Manteo, to be exact), customers visit from all over the US and Canada. Many of them continue to call her for help, ideas, problem solving, and thankfully, order yarn! When there is such a LYS gem here, why go anywhere else or order online. Sybil routinely gives discounts to NC residents (not just "locals"), return customers, and guild members (any guild in the US or Canada, or the world, for that matter).

Don't always judge a LYS by price only. Under the right circumstances, you might find you are getting quality yarns for better prices than you will find online.

Doug

purlyman's picture

I totally second Doug's

I totally second Doug's comments. A DIY store around the corner (has crafts and sewing supplies) opened up recently and although it also used to have clothing, the clothing has moved around the street into another space and now it's almost just an LYS, which is great. The owner will suggest I try other stores if and when she doesn't carry something, but for example, right now I'm waiting for her to get in more Lamb's Pride so I can finish a project even though I know I can get it elsewhere and perhaps for a tiny bit less, but I try to shop in the neighborhood when I can and I would LOVE to establish the type of relationship Doug has with his LYS - I think it will happen. If her store is successful, then other stores around her will continue to be successful and the neighborhood will continue to thrive as well. We're all in it together I say. That's not to say that sometimes I do stop by Michael's and pick up some of their Paton's 100% Merino wool, which I love to use.

Parrot's picture

I am a very strong proponent

I am a very strong proponent of supporting my LYS of choice. I do select a particular shop, however, in contrast to another LYS, that provides excellent customer service and support, including serious help with techniques, patterns, problem solving, etc. And, since I have developed a fine relationship with the owner, it is not uncommon for her to make sure I get some very special deals on yarns and supplies . . often 40-60% off retail, and many balls of yarn that sold for up to $11 / ball, for only $1 on special clearance sales. Better yet, are the many gifts I have received, some valued at more than $50 each. In return, I buy a good amount of yarn from the shop, misc supplies, have made numerous referrals to her, and help her in other ways when I can, such as moving stock around the store, installing shelving, etc. It's like anything else . .. if you are a good and valued customer, you will get a lot in return, when it's the right people who own and run the shop. Just today, I received a couple special gifts from the owner, and saved 40% on a yarn purchase. I get so much more than just saving a few dollars by ordering via the internet.

I used to own a retail specialty business. It was most irritating when people would come to me wanting my professional opinion, guidance, and suggestions, or repairs, but would go to a chain, saying, "I can buy it cheaper there". Well, while you are buying it "cheaper" get them to help you. I heard the same thing every day . . . "but they don't know what they are doing or what they are talking about". While it may seem that you pay more for a product, just think about everything you are getting . . the service, the advice, the quality, the selection, convenience, etc. A pet peave of mine is when someone uses a local shop to get the advice, check out the merchandise, etc, and when when the shop owner thinks they have a sale . . . after much effort have been provided to make the sale, the customer goes elsewhere thinking they will save a few bucks.

In a nutshell . . support your local businesses and shopowners when at all possible!!!

Doug
(Parrot)