Saturday, February 26, 2011

What's so important about a LYS????

Recently a man asked me why did I have a yarn shop when there were so many places on the internet to buy yarn? My response required no thinking. I have The Yarn Cottage because I needed it. First and foremost, I have a difficult time buying yarn from the internet. I can't feel it, touch it, feel it's touch in my hand and it's really hard to get a true color from a computer monitor. Enough said? I don't think that even scratches the surface about why a Local Yarn Shop is important to "yarnies". We need the sense of community that our shops offer. We share knitting news and progress on projects. We help each other with problems both yarn oriented and life oriented. In a yarn shop you will meet people that you would have absolutely nothing in common with except a love of yarn. And guess what, that person could become your next best friend. We have been known to grieve with each other when bad things happen and to laugh extensively when life gives us funnies. Red, yellow, black or white. Doctor, lawyer, indian chief or chief cook and bottle-washer. We are all one in a yarn shop. Everything else is left out on the side walk as we share our common interest of all things string.

Something else important about Local Yarn Shops are that you can't really get classes off the internet. Yes, you can learn on YouTube but for every quest there are 50 different ways to do something on a 3 minute video. And that person doesn't guide your hands through a difficult move when you are first learning to knit. They don't wait for you to get the "aha" moment before going on. They don't give a high five when you get it. We do. We laugh with you when you make mistakes that no one has seen before. And then we help you fix it. We teach classes not for the money but because of the love of the knitting. We are here to continue with something time honored. Knitting and crochet are skills. They are learned skills and should be appreciated. There is not a thing in the world wrong with someone knitting scarves all their lives, but if you want to do more, we are here to teach you.

PLEASE don't get me wrong, I am not against the many websites that sell the same thing that I have here. They have their place in our lives. The question was, "why did you open a yarn shop?" Again, I opened it because I needed it. I opened it during a recession but the time was right for me. I had a huge fear of failure and the ever pressing question of 'will they come?' The answer from my daughter was this. "So what if it fails, you'll go home with more yarn." Kinda glib but true. The second anniversay of The Yarn Cottage is coming up and I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. I can't believe how many new friends I have, I am amazed at how many beginners have become such fabulous knitters. And I am saddened by some of the losses we have share amongst us. But without this shop I wouldn't have experienced any of this. And This is why I think LYS (local yarn shops) are important..

We knit, we share, we laugh and we become friends in our local yarn shop and you can't do that with a computer.


  1. What a lovely post!

    I am sending it on to my LYSO...she must be your kindred spirit :-)

  2. Well said! And o so true...I have just hit my one year anniversary and have been thinking much the same thoughts. I am looking forward to another year of wonderful friendships and experiences. Thank you Renee for showing this to me. You are why I will continue with the shop.

  3. So, so true and beautifully written. I agree about the touch, feel, pet the yarn. Can't do that online. I love my LYS and it's beautiful owner. Thanks to Luna and Renee for passing this along.