View Full Version : Ever had a bad feeling about your LYS?

05-12-2008, 07:23 AM
Hola knitters & crocheters!

It's been a while since I've popped my head into the forum due to school, our office relocating and not having time to knit because of that silly thing called life keeping me insanely busy.

If anyone remembers that WIP I posted of a baby blanket in Schachenmayr Nomottoa Boston Multi color, I had to get the rest of the yarn for it this weekend. I went to my LYS and I just didn't feel welcomed there. I don't know but I felt like there was no interest in helping me out, just pay and leave. I want to send a note to let her know how I felt in her store, but don't want to be a total b***h either.

The woman before me was greeted much more warmly, and was chatted up but with me I felt like I was in the way or something.
Have any of you ever felt that way about a yarn store in your area? I'm now thinking of trying to find yarn shops near my job or doing online shopping instead.

Comments, suggestions? :shrug:

05-12-2008, 07:31 AM
Yes, there is a yarn shop very close to me where I have always felt unwelcome. The owners like to sit in the back and knit and chat with their friends, and I always feel as if I have interrupted a private party. So I stopped shopping there. I now buy online, or at other shops when I'm in the neighborhood. It's a shame, too, because it's so close to my house and they have a large selection of great yarns. But it's not worth the bad feeling I have when I leave.

I hope you can find a shop where you feel valued as a customer!

05-12-2008, 07:39 AM
thats a shame. I don't understand why people open shops if they are going to have a bad attitude toward their customers. The only yarn shop near me is a market stall, their selection isn't wonderful but some times they get some little surprises in and they get some locally spun yarn into which is nice. However every timei go to look i feel like they can't wait to get rid of me or as if they think i am just there to cause trouble.

05-12-2008, 08:22 AM
Ooh, exactly how I've felt and as a newbie a little welcome and warmth and interest would have been nice. The two good shops we have seem more like private clubs. And the prices! Recently I called one of the shops looking for some specific yarns. They didn't have everything I needed so I checked on ebay and found all of it for half they lys price, including shipping! I do want to support local business but combine high prices with unfriendliness and the choice isn't difficult.

05-12-2008, 09:06 AM
I am really lucky that I have a lot of LYS near me. Most of them are wonderful and go out of their way to help you but there is one that I used to go to that I will never walk into again. You fell like you are interrupting a private party everytime you go in. The owners are amazing knitters and they have a fantastic selection of yarn but they seem to only want to help the people that have been coming in for years. I have not been back in a couple of years, but I know from some of the local knitters that things have not changes. I will no longer spend my hard earned money on people that do not value me as a customer. There are way to many options. YOu would think they most LYS would get that, but it still suprises me how rude some of them can be. If I ever treated my customers that way I would not have a job.

05-12-2008, 09:30 AM
Same thing happened to me, which is sad because here in North Texas we don't have many shops to choose from.
There is a particular one here that is very "clique-y". They have a large farm table set up in the middle of the store. I went to take a seat and the woman next to me says, "Sorry, that seat is taken and so are the other ones." What is this, junior high? And that has happened more than once with different ladies. And the women who work there don't seem too much nicer.

So, I don't spend my money there anymore.

05-12-2008, 11:26 AM
YUP - there are 2 yarn shops in town and both of them are very standoffish (is that a word?) and when I asked one of them to order some yarn for me (they stock it, but only has 2 skeins and I needed 4) she said - well, they didn't remember ever seeing me in there before and she tends to reserve those favors for customers she recognizes from taking her classes and spending $$$ there ! Her classes are wonderful and all offered during the day on weekdays when all us poor schmuks that work cannot attend. If I am nearby I now go in just to touch all her yarn and in general be in her way. Never spend ANY money there. My absolute favorite LYS went out of business so I stocked up when she closed and I LOVE my mothers LYS in NY so I stock up while visiting.

05-12-2008, 12:14 PM
Oh my gosh, YES!! I went to a lovely little store and was going to buy yarn to make a doggie sweater. I had purchsed some straight needles and realized I couldn't work them after trying on one row. I wanted to exchange them for a circular set. She said, did you use them? I said, yes, I did one small row and realized they are too long for my arms, I need a circular pair and I'd like to exchange them, (the circulars are way more expensive). She says, well, then they're used, I can't take them back. Sure, I understand that if the packaging is not intact but it was! If I wasn't honest she wouldn't have known the difference. Then the woman asked what I was making. I told her I knit dog sweaters, mine is outside. She just stated flat out, "I don't like dogs". Well, I LOVE dogs, I sell sweaters for them. So, you totally lose! I won't go in there ever again. I didn't buy the circulars from her or the $100 worth of yarn I'd piled up on her counter. I just took my straight needles back and walked out. Loser.

05-12-2008, 12:25 PM
Unfortunately, neither of the LYS near my house have made me feel welcome. Before I actually started to knit, but was thinking about taking classes I went to a yarn store near the music store my son was taking guitar lessons at and I just loved the way the lady made me feel there. She was so helpful; however, by the time I decided to go back and actually learn to knit the store had gone out of business :sad:

There are a few near my work that I plan to try though.

05-12-2008, 12:46 PM
I'm quite lucky as there are several LYS near me, or at least within a 30 minutes drive. One in particular has a very cold atmosphere. The lady behind the counter actually seemed surprised when I walked in, as if I should've knocked or something. Its too bad because the store is very well laid out, lovely yarns and generally well stocked. But as the shop feels more like a funeral home, minus the smiles and well wishes, I won't be returning there either. When will small businesses learn that happy customers are repeat customers. Not to mention, we are the cheapest form of advertising.

05-12-2008, 02:20 PM
I'm lucky to have 2 nice LYS near me in my smallish upstate NY town. For 1 had felt a bit snubbed the first time but another time felt very welcomed and she was super helpful. The other shop was always very warm but not the best sales people in the world. I wanted to make some mittens and the guy (yes a guy that works in a LYS) acted like the only way to make mittens was to take the class they offered. I didn't have the time or money so I walked out with nothing. If he had found me a simpler pattern I would have bought all the necessary supplies from them. But, other times they've been very helpful as well.

One of my favorite parts of my knitting obsession is these shops. I'm sad for you folks who have been forced to opt for the less personal, less sensory experience of online shopping. Perhaps you could say something to the shop owners or write them a note to let them know how they make you feel.

I wish we could let all LYS owners read this thread!

05-12-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm sorry you didn't feel welcomed there. I'm so lucky to have my LYS. I've been a customer there for years, and they are so kind and helpful. I don't know what I would do without them!

I hope you can find some other yarn shops to try, because it really is a wonderful experience when you find the right one.

05-12-2008, 05:41 PM
I love my LYS's. OKC has a very good selection, between GYC and SWAK, and while some of the staff are more outgoing than others, I've never felt snubbed anywhere. I went to my first knit in last week and while there were plenty of already established relationships there, I didn't feel unwelcome being the newbie. Plus there's another great LYS down the turnpike in Tulsa.

05-12-2008, 05:52 PM
I've had the same experience with 2 of the LYS in my area. One followed me around without speaking to me, she obviously thought I was going to steal something. I finally asked her if she wanted me to leave my purse at the counter and then she left me alone. I haven't been back.

The other one 7 miles north of me was really snobby when I asked her if she had anything that wasn't 100% wool. She snorted and then said "why would you ever want to use anything but wool?" and I said, "well, I'm allergic to wool so I can't use 100% wool and am always looking for blends." She sort of said "Oh and then told me they really only carry wool and natural fibers". I didn't bother to explain that soy, bamboo and silk are not wool and just left.

I now mail order and shop at Michael's who carries SWS and other blends I can work with...

05-12-2008, 07:50 PM
I've had a similar experience at my LYSs as well. The first one I went into had a group of ladies sitting at a table chatting and knitting but absolutely no one even looked up or at me until I was getting ready to leave and then one asked if I needed help - a little too late. The other store had two ladies talking in the back room and one poked her head out again as I was leaving to ask if I needed help - um, no.

Thankfully, we have AC Moore and Michael's out here plus the net is a God-send for yarn too.

Lisa R.
05-12-2008, 08:14 PM
I have to say my experience has been good. My LYS is only about 20-25 minutes away, but frankly, I rarely have time or money to go there.

The first time I went was right after I started knitting, and I took my then-9yod with me (she's the one who got me started knitting). The lady came over to me, introduced herself, got my name, asked about my dd, wanted to know what we were interested in (just browsing, don't know enough yet to be particular). She then explained how the shop was laid out, took us to her book selection, and picked out 3-4 that would be appropriate for my dd, and a couple that I might enjoy, showed where the individual patterns were, and a few other things, and then left us to explore.

We walked all around the shop, and touched pretty much everything (which I wasn't sure was okay. :-D). I finally chose a couple of skeins of a lovely alpaca that I really couldn't afford, but loved anyway. At the checkout, she remembered my name! I also said, "I hope you don't mind, but we just had to touch everything!" and she said, "Of course!! That's what it's all about!"

I've since been in for a class--at registration, she helped me choose yarn and gave me all the options and the pros and cons, etc. She wasn't even put off that I chose the cheapest of what she showed me!

It's so sad that business owners have so little understanding of customer service and what it means to the growth (or lack thereof!) of their businesses!

I hope all can find a nice shop one day!

05-12-2008, 08:58 PM
I am guessing that those rude shop owners will not be able to stay in business if they treat customers like they are not welcome. I am fortunate to have two LYS that ae friendly, helpful, and encouraging. they will wind your yarn, help if you are stuck, and have classes and knitting nights. They will order one skein if you need it. No problem if they can get it.

05-12-2008, 09:32 PM
I travel all the time and the best part is going to the nearest LYS to check it out. I have met some wonderful people who either just work there or are the owners or are there as customers. I have also been to my share of places where the sales people are just plain rude, snobby and make you feel like are the scum of the earth if you decide you can't afford the $75.00 Tilly Thomas yarn (per skein!) and opt for something less expensive.
I too, have left yarn on a table or back on the shelf if I get the feeling the people couldn't care less to ask me if I need help or just say hello.
Little do they know that I am also looking to buy a place..maybe it will be their store when it has to go on the market because they can't keep their customers coming back, LOL!:roflhard:

05-12-2008, 09:57 PM
Speaking of LYS's in North Texas, I think I know the LYS of which you speak. You should check out the one in Farmersville. It is called Fiber Circle, and they have a very nice stock of materials plus the most welcoming friendly staff. I could have stayed all day, but my buddies are quilters and were itching to get to the quilt store in Celeste, which was the actual point of our day trip. Farmersville is in a teeny tiny town in Collin County in North Texas, but they have 3 or 4 antique stores worth exploring if you do make the trip. And the yarn is worth it. Check it out!

05-12-2008, 10:08 PM
I know exactly how you feel. I have two LYS in my area, The first one I love, they are always so helpful, if they don't have the yarn they will order for you or tell you of another LYS you might try. No fear of losing their patrons. The second one is even closer to my house. But when I went in, everyone was sitting in a circle talking, I was looking at the yarn and found what I wanted. I had to stand there at least 3 minutes before someone asked if I wanted anything. When I told them I wanted to buy some skins of yarn a lady stood up and took the sale but she could not wait to get back to her circle. Later I found out she was the owner, and the other people were her friends. I felt so uneasy. I will never go there again, and she had nice yarn.

05-12-2008, 10:29 PM
Man, I just don't understand how so many of those LYSs stay in business! Fortunately I have 2 so close to me I could walk to them, and, (at least the few times I've been to each) they were super nice and helpful. I just wish I had the $$$ to buy from them more often!

05-12-2008, 10:39 PM
Geez, that's kind of rude -_- I mean, it's kind of their job to sell you yarn, right? And then just to bluntly ignore you like that, sheesh. I hope you don't feel too bad. It's not your fault that they're being little witches about it. I mean, all knitters are one big family right? I've never actually been to an LYS, so I may not be a relyable resource, but I don't think most LYS's are like that. Maybe you just had bad luck :hug:

05-14-2008, 05:56 PM
I thought it was me - the store here in town is that way. I will never ever walk in that store again. My husband was with me and he got the same feeling. They sit there with their friends and won't help. The owner gave me and my husband a dirty look and walked into the back room, and I immediately walked out the front door. I will take my business elsewhere. She didn't have the time of day for me or my business. She was the only one there to help me. It was a definite snub - my husband and I are trying to figure out why?? Oh, well, I'll go somewhere else. Thanks for posting this problem.

05-14-2008, 06:11 PM
Hey there, Marshame!

My cousin is a knitter and the children's librarian in Wylie. I think she told me about that store.
If you ever have the chance, come up to downtown Celina and check out Delightful Hands. The owner is so great and welcoming. We have a group that meets every Thursday morning at ten. Lots of fun!
She also has LOTS of scrapbooking stuff.

05-14-2008, 06:38 PM
I haven't felt that at either of my LYS but I DO feel that way at my Local Quilt shop. That's why I rarely shop there. Every time I went in the sales lady was very cool to me. I once went in with my mom and sister and I never said a word about it to them. I was treated the same. We were barely out the door and my sister said "what unfriendly ladies they are". So I know its just not me.

05-14-2008, 11:13 PM
I think LYSs are totally hit and miss. You can find ones that are so friendly and excited to help anyone who comes in the door and then other ones are snooty and are really just there for their specific friends. For me I always feel out of place in them and need to be really welcomed to want to stay. Honestly, I enjoy knitting but have a hard time spending the $ on really nice yarn. I am all for supporting small business but not when it is putting me in debt ykwim?

05-15-2008, 04:15 PM
who is so rude and cold to certain customers that if she had been the only one working there the first day I walked in, I never would have been back. Now I just ignore her when she's there.

Everyone else there is great, though.

05-15-2008, 04:26 PM
This is a good thread. My LYS has two groups of women that go there, I will call group A the Chin Up Click and group B the down to earth real people (noticed I didn't label them a click).
I went to this shop solo, so I had to work my way into the groups, the owner has always been nice and she explained to me that most of these ladies have been coming to her shop and knit night for over 15 yrs, so you just have to come and join in and you will become a part of the group. So, I have been trying, Group B are wonderful and they always make me feel like I could knit a circle around the globe (which I can't) but it is like the feeling I get mostly from this forum. Good. Then Group A ladies are stand offish, you have to beg to be invited into their conversations.
I have never been a click person so Group B has my vote, and I will keep trying to be a regular. But sometimes people treat you unfairly. Most knitters are nice and want to share and help (just like quilters) but there are always a few bad ones in every bunch.
I would mention to the shop owner that you thought she could have been more helpful, PR is a big thing in business, all it takes is one unhappy customer to ruin you business if you are in a smalll area. If you don't feel warm and fuzzy about a yarn shop your won;t feel like spending you money there.

05-15-2008, 09:31 PM
I have had employment and car issues since I started knitting so I haven't visited my LYS's yet but the issues are fixed and I'm itchin' to go! The closest one has a knit-in thing on Wednesdays and I'm planning to hit that next week. I need to get out and socialize.

05-16-2008, 12:47 PM
There is this little shop near my work that is called a "knitting cafe". Sounds nice right? They advertise that you can come and knit and have a coffee with friends. But i wouldn't stay in there for ONE MINUTE longer than I have to because of the snobby attitude. i thought when I first started going to this place they were being snobby because they thought I didn't know what I was doing (which still isn't right) but when I started trying to chat with them about more interesting and advanced things all they seemed interested in was showing me up and making me feel stupid. Never a smile or a exclamation on how nice it is to talk to someone with the same interests as yours or a different perspective. All negativity. I've found most LYS i've walked into have a similar attitude so maybe it's me?:??
I even brought my friend who was intested in learning to that shop to buy her first needles and yarn. I proudly announced her as my student and the lady proceded to follow us around and make little comments like"oh if your a beginner just stay away from this section" and "I don't think as a beginner you would catch on quickly using these". My student looked afraid and discouraged. She ended up buying exactly what I suggested and she did wonderfully with them! She's brilliant!
Sorry, I sort of ranted about that but I totally know what you are saying:aww: :flirt: Thank goodness we have a great community here!

05-16-2008, 02:08 PM
I have the opposite problem, which, I have to admit, isn't really a problem. The LYS that is near me is almost too friendly where I end up just chatting with the owner instead of looking at the yarn. :blush: Then DH comes to get me and I haven't looked at anything! :doh:

It's too bad that so many of you have such rude experiences. :noway: Especially with a small business it is important to make your customers feel welcome, even if you are having a bad day. :eyebrow2:

05-17-2008, 11:08 AM
The LYS in my hometown is cute and has an excellent selection, and the people who work there are friendly enough when you are actually making a purchase, but I don't feel any more welcomed there than when I shop at a Big Box store so I only shop the clearance rack there unless I have something specific I want that I know they have and the other store doesn't. Its just that they have their groups, and that's who the employees are inclined to spend all their time with. I learned to knit from my grandma and don't have money to take their courses (really wanted to do a spinning course but just couldn't afford it), so I'm not IN.

Fortunately, there is a LYS in the town where I go to college and it is AMAZING. The people there - employees, fellow customers, whoever - are all very friendly. Its a tiny little place with two rooms, both of which have a big table for knitting or laying out yarn if you're planning a project, and the owner is always very pleasant and goes out of her way to help you find whatever you need (not just me, I've been browsing while she helped other people, too). When I made my sweater and didn't buy enough Lush because it was discontinued and on clearance at the other store, I took the partial sweater and remaining yarn in and asked if they happened to carry that yarn. They don't even have that brand, but she tracked some down for me at another LYS! It brings tears of joy to my face to this day, thinking about getting the yarn to finish that sweater and how nice it was for her to get it for me.

05-17-2008, 02:01 PM
I wouldn't waste my time or money in a LYS with a poor attitude. I am somewhat particular about customer service standards in retail stores and spend my money accordingly.

05-17-2008, 05:36 PM
It's too easy to buy online and you can get free shipping. They have to be able to compete with that and the only way to is to offer good service. I have a pretty big stash and most of it is from Knitpicks, JoAnn's online, or other websites. I want to go to my LYS for the company and feel like I should spend money there but I have to get something more than I am getting online.