Hunting for YARN

We went to Palm Springs yesterday to go to my partner's niece's suprise birthday party - of course, we were about 10 minutes early and we're very lucky - the parking space we ended up in was right behind a yarn store (The Yarn Co.) - in palm desert I believe. I had no idea that it was there (neither of us did) until we pulled up - I am sure everyone knows how anxious I was to get through lunch to go back to see what they had to offer! it's a compact store with floor to ceiling yarn offered - nice ladies that look at me funny when I look through the store - (am I the only one who feels like guys are treated differently in yarn shops?) - I ended up buying some incredibly cool hand dyed yarn and intend on (someday) making something with it - maybe a baby sweater - who knows..

THEN we went to another store (Harriet's) later that afternoon - apparantly, the niece has been knitting too (horray!) and they take her to this tiny shop - it's really in an accessories store which is kind of strange - but it is beautifully organized all the yarn is by color and it's bright - nice and open! :) - I bought some other random yarns there and got the same kind of treatment at this shop - this time I was with a girl also, and while I'm piling yarn in my arms, the storekeeper approached my lady friend and asked her how long she had been knitting! I found it pretty funny - and as I was explaining that I did the knitting and was searching for random yarn for my collections (I buy then put the yarns together when I find a project that I want to do) she didn't seem to believe me - it was a very strange experience!

Anyway, I did have fun and was so happy to find these tiny shops - it's fun to me to go to yarn shops in different areas - bringing back yarn as souveniers of the trips - instead of seashells!




Kerry's picture

Kyle, seems as though your reception in yarn shops is not unusual, I've had it myself and spoken to guys who have been similarly treated. I'm sure one woman thought I was there to rob the shop until I explained I really was a knitter.

Eikon's picture

I often think that I am the only man that comes into "Bonniee's Spinning wheel " here in Saint Cloud, Mn and got a similar little old lady look when I went into the knitting shop in Grand Marais this weekend. I've started teaching other men to knit in own and keep referring them to Bonnie's so perhaps she'll get used to men in her store eventually.


victor's picture

Kyle, It happens here in Australia too. As there aren't as many yarn stores here as you guys have in the US it can be very off putting indeed. My first experience (buying yarn!!) about 30 years ago almost put me off knitting as the woman was quite off handed but I was persistent and it paid off, but the store is no longer operating!!!However, I work in a DIY store so I often get back at the women who come in for hammers and other tools and advice etc with those same condescending looks!!

grandcarriage's picture

Kyle You've hit on my Pet Peeve, and I must admit I carry a chip on my shoulder because of it. It gets better though: I do repair work on sweaters, afghans etc. So when someone calls one of the stores here looking for someone to fix moth-holes, or tailor a garment, or put in a zipper...Me,a big, beefy guy calls them back. They often do double takes. and THEN, going into yarn stores. They better not belittle me. "Are you learning to knit?" "Is your wife or girlfriend going to knit you a scarf?" I want to turn to them and say, "I am a gay man who has been knitting for over 30 years, with a BFA degree in Fiber-arts. How long have YOU been knitting?" GRRRRRR. To some extent, I have said all the above at yarn stores. (Ask a STOOPID question.) My favorite one had to be "Did someone knit that sweater for you?" I'm in a yarn store, buying yarn, wearing a handknit sweater.... It's usually not the older women who ask the dumb ones: It's women near my age or younger.

grandcarriage's picture

You're hitting on my pet...hehehe. Let me know if he says yes, that frisky little slut. Amazing how the titles can do inadvertant puns...

YarnGuy716's picture

That is the bane of existence to male knitters. When I am with my knitting circle that meets at a local Barnes and Noble, I usually get the comment, "oh the ladies are teaching you how to knit?" My fellow knitters are quick to inform these individuals that I've knit for 20 years.

I haven't had the reactions when I go into yarn shops. So I've been pretty lucky there.

Bill's picture

I've had the same experience in fabric shops...the women assume I know nothing about fabric...
...but I've been dealing with fabric and fibre shops for so many years...most of the staff know me by now...'s the customers that are the most rude...


TomH's picture

Sorry - posted my comment to Men Knit St. Cloud comment by mistake. So I won't rehash it here.

MMario's picture

I don't get that reaction in yarn shops - but that may be because of the greed in my eyes, the lust in my looks and and drool coming out of my mouth other words - I have all the symptoms of a hopeless fiber addict -

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

When I go into a yarn shop alone, and especially if I ask for something specifically, I'm usually well treated and the sales people will ask whether I knit or crochet, how long I've been doing it, etc. However, if there is a woman with me they invariably approach her first and even suggest that I might enjoy their "husband's corner" where they have coffee and automotive magazines for me to look at while my companion shops.

drmel94's picture

I don't know if I've just picked well or look unthreatening or what, but I can't say that I've ever had a problem in yarn stores. I think a store that did treat me badly would probably lose a sale. There are, after all, plenty of other places to drop cash on fiber.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

MMario's picture

"I think a store that did treat me badly would probably lose a sale. There are, after all, plenty of other places to drop cash on fiber."

I'll second that! and no "probably" about it!


MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Aaronknits's picture

I'm seen so frequently in the LYS's, particularly in Saratoga, that they don't give me any flak. If it's a store I haven't been to before, I immediately get offered help, but usually not in a condescending way.