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Katusha
03-24-2009, 07:56 PM
I will be taking a class at my LYS next month and I was wondering if itís frowned upon to come with your own yarn? We will be knitting a sweater and I feel itís too expensive to spend $7-9 / ball for the yardage involved. I am currently taking a knitting in the round class where we are making a baby hat and as a novice knitter I came unprepared and ended up spending $27 on yarn. It adds up when you factor in the cost of the class as well. I am hoping I wonít get nasty looks from the teacher/owner when I come in with my KP yarn!

Ingrid
03-24-2009, 08:18 PM
Hmm. That's a bit tricky. Some shops make their money on the classes alone and don't care; some give you a free class if you buy the yarn or a discount if you buy the yarn there.

I'd suggest calling to see if it's ok.

dreamsherl
03-24-2009, 09:25 PM
I would check with the yarn shop. The shops that I go to will help you if you are buying their yarn.

laikabear
03-25-2009, 06:04 AM
When I took a sweater class at my LYS, it was $50 which they applied toward the purchase of yarn. I think you could bring your own, but then would just be paying for the class. I thought it would be a better deal to take the $50 credit. I must have been insane because the yarn we were working with was so expensive. I spent about $100 to $150 in addition to the credit. I don't remember the exact amount, I think I blocked it out. :teehee: You are smart to think of that ahead of time.

I would call the store and ask. They should tell you if they care or not. Sometimes if you make a "faux pas" like that you could be given the cold shoulder, yet no one would say anything outright. I have seen that happen (in a store I don't frequent) when someone wanted a shop owner to wind a ball of yarn purchased online. I was so uncomfortable watching the conversation! Anyway, you would not want that to be you during class if you brought yarn and they were miffed about it.

cacunn
03-25-2009, 08:56 AM
Talk to the LYS, even if they want you to buy the yarn there they should understand that every one has different taste and a different budget. They should be able to help you and direct you to suitable yarn that will not require you not to eat for a month.

If they are not helpful and understanding I would try and find another LYS.

imrachel
03-25-2009, 10:12 AM
Here's what I've realized it's important to remember about LYSs. For the most part, they're owned by people who love to knit, maybe have taught knitting prior to opening their shop, and enjoy owning their own small business. Sometimes it's just one owner, sometimes it's a couple of people who went in on it together. They may or may not have some retail or business experience, but often not.

Which is to say that these are usually folks who never spent time in customer service classes required by a large corporation. So some of them are wonderful, some are not. Some will think, "I'm at least getting the money for another body in the class and if they're happy they'll tell their friends" and some will think, "If this chick isn't buying the yarn as well, she can go take a hike." Some will state policies clearly ("I'm sorry, but every use of the swift takes a little off of its life, you can imagine how many people buy yarn on-line these days and ask for this favor, so we don't wind yarn that wasn't purchased here.") and some don't (the awkward conversation laikabear witnessed).

What I would NEVER do, is just walk in with the knitpicks yarn and keep your fingers crossed. I would call her in advance and say that the price of the yarn is fairly steep for your budget, you'd love to take the class, but want to bring your own yarn, what does she think? I might also offer to lie about it to the other class members-- tell her that if she doesn't want you to tell other people where you got it, that you'll take off the labels and say that someone gave it to you and they said they forgot where they got it from.:teehee:

And if she says, sorry, you have to use our yarn, I would very politely and pleasantly say, "I'm so sorry, I won't be able to take any of your wonderful classes here, I'm so disappointed." She make re-think it, then!

ready2knit
03-25-2009, 10:35 AM
I agree with those who stated above that you should ask PRIOR to taking the class if you need to purchase materials there. I worked in a LYS and most are small business owners who are trying to make a living just like everyone else. The amount of help provided in most classes far outweighs the cost being charged to students. So in the end, the profit is made by the purchase of materials.
Check out websites for LYS around the country and you'll see the norm is that materials are to be purchased at the store.
The above being stated, I understand that knitting can be a very expensive hobby. Perhaps you should consider taking classes at your local craft store (Micheals, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby) or through Community Education in your area. You'll most likely be paying much less than at the LYS and you'll have the option to either bring in your own yarn or purchase more moderate priced yarns.

Hope none of this comes off too strong, but having worked in a LYS I have an understanding for skyrocketing rents, minimum yarn orders, and trying to provid quality customer service piled on top of trying to make a living.

Katusha
03-25-2009, 11:11 AM
Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. Although I own a retail store myself (albeit online only), I can't believe I never considered this issue before buying the kp yarn. I was just thinking that the class is completely separate from the retail part of the store. I was just looking for instruction. I am paying $95 for 4 classes, each one 2hrs long.

I am currently taking another class at the same LYS and that one was $45 for 2 classes (each 2hrs) and when I got there for the first class I ended up spending $65 on a pair of Addis, a set of dpns, and 3 skeins of yarn - all for a baby hat. I know that the needles are an investment and will be used again, but I was floored at having to spend $28 on yarn, especially when it's a little baby hat and each color wasn't used that much. I guess I will just have to make a few more hats in the same color scheme to use it all up!

I will ask about their policy when I go for part II of the hat class this weekend. I guess I could always return the kp yarn..

Craw
03-25-2009, 12:05 PM
I'm not surprised that the LYS would require you to purchase their yarn to use in their class but I am surprised that it would cost so much to do an itty bitty baby hat. Seems like they purposely chose a more expensive yarn to boost profits. Can't say that I blame them but hey, times are rough all around and the message they're sending is if you can't afford the expensive yarn then you're too poor to learn how to knit. I was thinking of taking classes at my LYS but now I'll consider Joann's instead. I don't want to get stuck buying supplies I don't want or can't afford, I just wanna learn to knit! :knitting:

Debbie
03-25-2009, 12:25 PM
In the shops I spend my time and money in, if you have to purchase your supplies for the class from them, they tell you in the class description, otherwise, the are just glad you have come to learn and enjoy. The one shop that does not "make" you buy their yarn but treats you awful ... I don't go there... because they aren't very nice to anyone!

If I had an LYS, or any business for that matter ... I would want people to come in no matter what ... and who can leave a LYS without purchasing something... or ... thinking about something so much that they go back and get it :)

Katusha
03-25-2009, 01:27 PM
Well I checked with my instructor at the LYS and she gently told me that the store did expect me to by my yarn there for class projects. However, she was nice enough to suggest that I could make the hood of the Wallaby in a stockinette stitch, rather the garter stitch and that would take a lot less yarn.

So now I have 14 balls of bright pink KP Shine Worsted on the way to me... What else could I make with it?

Jan in CA
03-25-2009, 01:29 PM
At our LYS they do want you to purchase your yarn and supplies there. The money we pay goes to the teacher. As far as I know the yarn store would get nothing if we didn't buy supplies.

Jan in CA
03-25-2009, 01:40 PM
So now I have 14 balls of bright pink KP Shine Worsted on the way to me... What else could I make with it?

Are you on Ravelry? If not you should join. There are tons of patterns there and the list of things people have made with Shine is in the thousands.

Anyhoo..how about a little summer dress? Go by measurements and yarn gauge on these, not size only.
http://www.bruguier.com/triciasblog/2009/01/lace-and-pleats.html
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70238AD.html
http://soknitpickygallery.blogspot.com/2008/06/flora-dress.html
http://moreknits.blogspot.com/2008/03/pink-spring-dress-version-b.html
http://umajoy.blogspot.com/2008/04/soli-pattern.html

DorothyDot
03-25-2009, 01:58 PM
Yes, I've been told I'm not welcome in our single LYS - not even to sit, socialize and knit, let alone take any kind of class - unless I'm using yarn and needles, etc. bought from that store.

So I sit and knit in other public places and send interested people to Joanne's or Michaels for supplies! Long live park benches. Long live doctors' offices. Long live senior centers. Long live libraries. And so on.

I'm a firm believer in Depression-style knitting: you do not have to spend a bundle to create wonderful, useful and durable items for all you love. Bobby pins work better than cable needles, IMHO!

Hope this helps,
Dot

Jan in CA
03-25-2009, 02:21 PM
Yes, I've been told I'm not welcome in our single LYS - not even to sit, socialize and knit, let alone take any kind of class - unless I'm using yarn and needles, etc. bought from that store.


Yikes. That's a bit much and would turn me off, too. Any yarn store would prefer you buy yarn there after all it is a business, but that's ridiculous. When I first started going to my LYS I didn't use their yarn, but it wasn't long before I fell under the spell of all that yarn and now I do buy yarn there for many projects. That should be the goal of a good yarn store.. draw you in with camaraderie and helpfulness and then they have you forever and you WANT to buy from them!

Katusha
03-25-2009, 02:24 PM
Are you on Ravelry? If not you should join. There are tons of patterns there and the list of things people have made with Shine is in the thousands.

Anyhoo..how about a little summer dress? Go by measurements and yarn gauge on these, not size only.
http://www.bruguier.com/triciasblog/2009/01/lace-and-pleats.html
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70238AD.html
http://soknitpickygallery.blogspot.com/2008/06/flora-dress.html
http://moreknits.blogspot.com/2008/03/pink-spring-dress-version-b.html
http://umajoy.blogspot.com/2008/04/soli-pattern.html

Thanks so much for the idea! A summer dress for my 2 yr old would be perfect!

I am on Ravelry, under the same name.

Songbirdy
03-25-2009, 02:30 PM
I'm lucky to live in a city where there are at least 4 places to buy yarn, two would be considered LYS.

The one... she is militant... you use her yarn, her needles, and you pay to go there to knit.

The other, she is so relaxed. You can use whatever, you can come to her knit nights... and you don't pay... they make cakes for your birthday, etc...


Guess where people go!


And... 9 times out of 10 I see people shopping there too... :)

Katusha
03-25-2009, 02:33 PM
Jan -

I LOVE these 2 dresses.

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70238AD.html
http://soknitpickygallery.blogspot.c...ora-dress.html (http://soknitpickygallery.blogspot.com/2008/06/flora-dress.html)

Thank you!

Jan in CA
03-25-2009, 02:44 PM
You're welcome! :yay:

knitspin2001
03-26-2009, 07:28 PM
I agree with those who stated above that you should ask PRIOR to taking the class if you need to purchase materials there. I worked in a LYS and most are small business owners who are trying to make a living just like everyone else. The amount of help provided in most classes far outweighs the cost being charged to students. So in the end, the profit is made by the purchase of materials.

Hope none of this comes off too strong, but having worked in a LYS I have an understanding for skyrocketing rents, minimum yarn orders, and trying to provid quality customer service piled on top of trying to make a living.


I work part-time and teach in a LYS and ready2knit has hit the nail on the head so accurately. I just wanted to add a few points.

1) Remember that the cost of the class is paying for the knowledge/expertise of the skill you are seeking from the person teaching. In other words, the fee is for the instructor not necessarily the store. Keep in mind that the instructor at some time had to master the skills they are teaching you which takes time and their time is therefore worth money. Also, the instructor likely had to put gas in the vehicle to get to the class to teach you or had to hire a babysitter or any other multitude of possible expenses which you do not necessarily see.

2) The store may or may not benefit financially from the actual class fees depending on the teacher/owner agreement. If the store does get financial benefit, keep in mind that it costs the store owner to provide hydro so you can see what you are learning as well as heat at this time of the year (both of which if the store is not normally open during class time can be additional costs to the owner). So, any profit to the store is often made through the sale of supplies for the class. Generally, stores will offer students discounts on supplies.

LYS owners generally love to knit and want to share this love with others. As ready2knt so eloquently said, LYS are only trying to earn a living just like everyone else.

Marilyn

knitspin2001
03-26-2009, 07:38 PM
Yes, I've been told I'm not welcome in our single LYS - not even to sit, socialize and knit, let alone take any kind of class - unless I'm using yarn and needles, etc. bought from that store.

Dot

Now that is really too bad. While I can see this being for classes, knitting/socializing is a different thing for me. We are not charging for our Knit Night at LYS it is for fun only (not business) and anyone is welcome to bring anything from anywhere. Heck, that's where I've seen some really great and different stuff from all over the place (real easy market research in my humble opinion!!).

Marilyn

DorothyDot
03-27-2009, 09:25 AM
You are absolutely right, Marilyn. And like Jan in CA said, she brought her own work to her LYS and was welcomed. Over time, just seeing the nice yarns and supplies sold in the shop got her buying from the LYS. It was a great way to get free promotion for the products.

This is a sadness to me. The owner is otherwise very nice and helpful. You'd think she would welcome any and all knitters/crocheters to come and - if only by association - show the rest of the world how wonderful knitting is.

Dot

imrachel
03-27-2009, 11:02 AM
To speak very bluntly-- not only is it too bad, it's also idiotic. It isn't just who comes into the shop. It's the other people they talk to about the shop.

The class thing is going to vary from store to store because some are taught by the owner and then some aren't getting anything from hiring an outside teacher and DO depend on purchases. However, in the social/free/whatever each shop calls those open, just come by and knit times-- to say that someone isn't welcome if they don't use the shop's yarn and needles is crazy. I have a friend who has an art class business and she is very free with advice and anyone can call her for information about not only her classes, but art in general. She constantly gets calls from people who say they heard about how friendly and helpful she is and want to sign up for her classes-- which are always full.

At my LYS, not only are you welcome to bring anything to the social knitting times, but the owner provides coffee and free advice for anyone there. And I discovered from experience that if you don't sign up early, there will be no room in her classes, they are always packed. I always overhear customers coming in to buy, who say, "so and so told me about you and said you'd help me find the right shade of orange for this sweater" and walk out with enough yarn for 3 sweaters, hundreds of dollars.

It's a shame about this particular LYS owner, Dot-- there was an LYS in the next town over and she had that attitude and went out of business in less than a year.

Simply_Renee
03-27-2009, 11:44 AM
Well here's my 2 cents...

I can understand a yarn shop being a business, and I know some people do take advantage in general of businesses. I can understand wanting to only have yarn purchased in a shop in classes.

What I can't understand:

Needles being purchased there- seriously? I have an Options set already. Why would I spend more money to buy tools I had before I ever knew there was a yarn store there? Yarn you're going to buy again and again- needles- not so much unless they break. I am also quicker working with what I am used to.

Not being direct and posting the policy- something simple like "We're proud of our yarn and we ask that you purchase all project yarn for this class in our store" or even better "Materials included in the fee" (and not offering an option for students to buy the materials somewhere else- anyone wanting that option would have to ask. Substituting other store yarn could also be figured up on a case by case basis. The teacher & the store already have an agreement- splitting up that fee into the teacher's portion for their time and the shop portion for the utilities, space and supplies seems reasonable.) That way Katusha would not have ordered a ton of yarn without realizing what the policy was!

Instead- what seems to happen is you need to somehow figure out the "rules" of the club on your own. If you do bring your own yarn without realizing what you are supposed to do (I would think paying $95 would more than have me covered there) then you're either talked about behind everyone's back in a hush hush way or called out & embarrassed about it. If people had clear communication on what was expected, fair enough- but that's rarely the case with a lot of things, isn't it?

end rant!:whistle:

Katusha
03-27-2009, 11:58 AM
Well here's my 2 cents...

Not being direct and posting the policy- something simple like "We're proud of our yarn and we ask that you purchase all project yarn for this class in our store" or even better "Materials included in the fee" (and not offering an option for students to buy the materials- anyone wanting that option would have to ask. Substituting other store yarn could also be figured up on a case by case basis. The teacher & the store already have an agreement- splitting up that fee into the teacher's portion for their time and the shop portion for the utilities, space and supplies seems reasonable.) That way Katusha would not have ordered a ton of yarn without realizing what the policy was!

Instead- what seems to happen is you need to somehow figure out the "rules" of the club on your own. If you do bring your own yarn without realizing what you are supposed to do (I would think paying $95 would more than have me covered there) then you're either talked about behind everyone's back in a hush hush way or called out & embarrassed about it. If people had clear communication on what was expected, fair enough- but that's rarely the case with a lot of things, isn't it?

end rant!:whistle:

I agree with Renee - I don't know why these rules are so unclear. Or rather, why they are implied and not obviously stated. I would have hated to start off an a bad foot with a LYS that I do hope to come back to (and eventually shop more at).

However, I do think that it would be nice if the store offered a 10% discount to materials purchased for the class. I run an online store and frequently offer coupons to my customers. I have found that this only increases the volume of my sales and in the end my overall revenue is more than if I had not offered a small incentive. People like to feel like they're getting a good deal.

As Jan suggested, I will probably end up using the KP yarn for another project and if not, I know I can return it. I'm sure I will find a very nice yarn at the LYS - I just hope it won't break the bank!

knitspin2001
03-29-2009, 12:34 PM
I don't know why these rules are so unclear. Or rather, why they are implied and not obviously stated.

However, I do think that it would be nice if the store offered a 10% discount to materials purchased for the class.

I totally agree. At the store I teach/work part-time at, on the top of our class schedule in red print we have what we call "the fine print" clearly stating this and the 10% discount students get as well as the cancellation policy.

Marilyn

GinnyG
03-30-2009, 07:57 AM
I agree that the policy should be clearly stated up front. If it isn't, I would do what I wanted to.

When I started taking classes at my LYS it was not very clear what was expected and I wasn't sure what to do. But when you paid for the class you were given a coupon for 15% off one purchse. I figured that was a way of encouraging you to buy your yarn there.

Since then I have taken many classes at that shop and it appears that some buy their yarn there, some don't. I have, on occasion, used outside yarn.

HOWEVER, the shop has benefitted from a new customer (me) who shops their regularly whether buying class supplies or not. So now I don't sweat about it. If I sign up for a class and already have the perfect yarn, I use it. Because I know that during the weeks I am there I WILL spend money on something, perhaps even more than I would have just buying yarn for the project.

I don't believe that a sensible yarn shop would be so short sighted as to think that the class experience ends their relationship with a client. A class brings you into the store, gets you comfortable and hopefully starts a long term relationship with you.

Just last week I started a Fair Isle class at my LYS. I discovered there were only 3 of us signed up for this 5 session class and when I mentioned to the instructor that I felt bad that she only had 3 students and that it wouldn't be worth her while she told me she gets paid the same whether she has 3 or 6. So in my LYS it appears the instructor is an employee paid an hourly wage.

imrachel
03-30-2009, 08:47 AM
Well put simplyrenee!:yay:

raederle
03-31-2009, 12:46 PM
I agree that the policy should've been stated up front. But, since you are committed, I would find out the gauge of the project and ask what your options are for yarns. A good yarn shop owner should be able to offer several suggestions that are for sale, not just the yarn used by the designer of the pattern, unless there re specific design considerations for using only what the pattern calls for.

As for what to do with the KP yarn, I just read a great interview on Lifehacker with Mythbusters' Adam Savage. (http://lifehacker.com/5190354/mythbusters-adam-savage-talks-tech-obsessions-and-science?skyline=true&s=i) He talks about how he always makes things twice --- once to learn it, and the second time to incorporate those lessons into a finished project. Kinda like a "rough draft" vs. a "final draft." So you should consider the first time through the pattern as a chance to make mistakes and get messy, and then use all $95 worth of accumulated knowledge to make the sweater again in the KP yarn.

I'm taking this to heart with my next big project with expensive yarn. I'll buy a cheap yarn in similar gauge, and run through the pattern making mistakes with abandon. If I take good notes on what I do (and especially what I do wrong) the second time through I shouldn't have to stress expensive yarn by frogging quite so much.