By Sunday Holm
In a perfect world, the relationship between a yarn store’s staff and the knitters who shop there is always warm and fuzzy. But any yarn lover who’s dealt with a way-too-demanding customer or been dissed by stressed-out sales clerk knows that real life works out a little differently. I’ve been a knitter for more than twenty years and a worked and taught in a shop for ten of them. I loved my job, but had days when my customers drove me completely crazy. On the flip side, while most of the stores offered a great retail experience, there were a few where the service was less than stellar. My experiences (both good and bad) on both sides of the register have taught me that with a little understanding, good communication and a lot of honesty, the interactions between store and shopper needn’t become a tangle. In an effort to soothe feelings and tempers here’s my list of ten potentially combustible situations and how to diffuse them.
Swatch it! Fall 2010
By Clara Parkes
Hats offer an ideal excuse to play with yarn. Unless you have a job that entails rubbing your head vigorously against rough surfaces all day, you don’t really need to worry about durability. You can choose a yarn based on prettiness alone and know that almost anything will work.
Ask the Problem Ladies, Fall 2010
By Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
Another batch of good questions and good solutions from the Problem Ladies!
Woven Together: Connecting Fibers along the Silk Road
by Mindy Weisberger
You may not be lucky enough to have a stash overflowing with cashmere and qiviut but even so, you’re probably enjoying more luxury items than you might think. Did you sip a cup of tea this morning? Do you dress in silk or linen? Have you seasoned a recent meal with salt, pepper, or nutmeg? It’s easy to take these items for granted – they’re affordable and readily available, usually as close as your local mall or neighborhood supermarket. But that wasn’t always the case. For thousands of years, these and other similar items were luxury goods, associated with exotic and faraway locations. Where they were available at all they appeared in select markets in limited quantities, and then only after journeying many months across China, Persia, and India. You might find this world hard to imagine; luckily there’s an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City that brings it to life. Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World will lead you on a virtual road trip where you’ll encounter the goods that were traded, the vast network of roads they traveled, and the significance of the cultural exchanges that happened on these thoroughfares over time.
Swatch it Spring/Summer 2010
By Clara Parkes
Scarves and shawls play many roles. They can warm, they can drape from the shoulders, or they can adorn like jewelry—and sometimes, though not always, they can do all three. With this in mind, I chose Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark’s Lena to swatch for this issue. Made from relatively open, lace-inspired stitches, Lena can be worn as a large draping loop over the shoulders, or it can be wrapped once, twice, or even three times around your neck. Depending on how you wrap it and the yarn you use, you’ll get dramatically different results.