Well let me start out by saying I found kniting completely by accident and I am hooked. Well I found this really neat yarn store near my house about 6 months ago and all the ladies have been so nice really teaching me a lot. On monday and wednesday they offer this class creative knitting where you go with your project and pay 15.00 and they help you with any problems. I am currently working on a messenger bag that I plan on felting. I showed up on wednesday with my project and my 15.00 and I walked to the counter and said I was here for the creative knit and the lady came out of the class and said oh I am sorry we are full. ( I was the only one in the store part and there was 2 people in the classroom. I very graciously asked oh was I supposed to reserve in advance, she said no but we only allow so many people in the class. I thought oh ok no big deal thats fine so I went over and was browsing the yarn and I heard another lady walk in and ask about the class and the lady behind the counter said oh there is still room go on in.... Who would of thought in this day and age people would still do this kind of thing. Needless to say I put my yarn back walked out of the store. I really didnt think it was going to bother me but it has. i have been fuming over it now for morte than a day. I just can not get over that it happened to me. Well, anyways I will never step foot in that shop again.


TomH's picture

Is this the same store where you found the ladies real nice and taught you a lot? I'm a bit confused.

But this disrimination you feel (felt) has been a topic here before. Many of us have run into similar things. That's one of the reasons I mostly order my yarn via the Internet. I've grown weary of having to warm up the women that usually work in yarn shops before I get (in order to get) good service from them. Though I also have to admit we're a bit spoiled in Philadelphia in that we have two very nice yarn shops owned by men.

I'll be curious to hear the replies of the other guys.

Tallguy's picture

It is true, I think, that all of us have felt this kind of rebuff from the yarn stores. I won't go to them either. However, when it is about the only store anywhere near you, what are you to do?

I would want to find out who owned the store. It may be that the clerk is the only one that didn't want you there, and the owner of the business should know how she is treating customers. If she was one of the owners, then she really should be reported to some human rights authority, if you have one. Maybe write to the paper, contact the local Better Business, write to various knitting lists, and do mention the name of the store so that she does get a lot of bad publicity. Of course, you don't want to start another war, since you may have to go back there one day, but she needs to learn that you have a lot more money in your pocket to spend on yarn than many of the women, and you will use up a lot more yarn than many of her other customers. Make sure they know that you are going to be spending your money elsewhere; flaunt all your work in front of their faces, and make sure everyone knows you DID NOT buy the yarn at her store. It seems that these shops only understand one thing -- money. Hit them where it hurts.

Don't worry about not getting any of the knitting help and encouragement from anyone. You got everything you need right here! Just ask anything at all, and someone here has already done the same thing, and has learned how to get out of the mess. Want advice? We got it. Want praise? We got that too!! Just ask for anything you think you might need.

I am sorry that something so rude happened to you. I think Tallguy had the correct idea--if the person who snubbed you is not the owner of the store, then he or she needs to know what his/her employees are up to.

If you get no response, well then just politely say thanks, you have given her chance to at least apologize and that now your only course is to publish the full name of her/his store on this and any other list.

It is amazing how fast information can get around on the internet.

But no matter what course of action you take, please don't give up on knitting. In my 20 years of knitting, with the exception of a few bad apples, I have had positive feedback from female knitters.


drmel94's picture

I guess I'm fortunate in having never encountered people like that in a yarn shop, but you'd better believe I wouldn't just leave a situation like that be without saying something. If this wasn't the owner, then the owner absolutely needs to know.

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

vettechadam's picture

yes it is the same store where the ladies were very nice. the lady who was teaching the class was the owner. I will not give up on knitting but you can be sure that they will not get my business. Thank God for the internet and Chicago is close so I will just buy elsewhere. I would of made a scene but you know I find that in the end it solves nothing because at that point would I want to be in the class.

SKHolt's picture

It's a sad world we live in. While there is something to be said for walking away and never shopping there again. It might also be interesting to go back and try again. There are times when I've backed down because of homophobic responses and there have been times when I've stood up to it -- with mixed results. If we want to change the world, sometimes we have to be in the very place where change can occur and that may be your LYS. It's not always comfortable and it's not always easy when we make that choice. However, it strikes an interesting cord that they were nice to you and then said "no way" to the class. Then again, sometimes we have to walk away in protest. Only you know what is good for you. I do wish there were men who owned a yarn store here in NC.

Parrot's picture

It is curious as to why you would have been welcomed earlier and now such a drastic change in attitude on part of the person working in the shop. My immediated reaction would be to leave and never buy anything there again. And, I would, at some p oint, contact the owner of the shop and let her know exactly why you will no longer be a customer, and more, will let others know that you will not shop there again, and why.

I am very fortunate to have a LYS that welcomes men in the shop. Much thought goes into the selection of yarn inventory to include fibers that will appeal to men, several popular books with men's patterns, and presents a very welcoming attitude to all men who enter the shop. Even for male non-knitters, such as the husbands of women shoppers, the men are offered coffee, a seat to relax, and a variety of magazines. One day last week, when the shop owner learned that a husband was waiting in the car (was reading a book while his wife shopped), she provided curb service and took him a cup of fresh gourmet coffee. Knowing that her husband was being looked after, the customer stayed much longer in the shop.

I frequently hang out at the LYS and have the opportunity to observe the customers and how they are treated. The shop, in Manteo, NC (Fine Yarns at Kimbeeba) gets many tourist visitors, especially in the summer (located on the Outer Banks of NC). EVERYONE is always welcomed by the owner and the lady that helps out a few days a week. It's great to see that, but I can also sometimes observe the apprehension of some of the guys that come in the shop, not sure if they will be welcomed.

Through the shop, I was also invited to join the Outer Banks Fiber Guild, and have been made to feel more than welcomed. Luke . . one of our very accomplished and talened knitters here at MWK has also joined our guild and enjoys shopping in the LYS. I am often asked by they shop owner, Sybil, when Luke will be coming in for another visit.

I hope that everyone here can find a great LYS in their area. If you are ever on the Outer Banks of NC, make it a point to visit the shop in Manteo.

It has been interesting in the summer when I am at Sybil's shop, sitting at the table knitting a project, and kids come in and watch me . . . like I'm an exhibit or something, and tell their parents (like I can't hear them) . . "Look Mommy, that man is knitting!" LOL


martyknits1's picture

I live in a neighborhood in Seattle where there are 3 different fancy yarn shops I could practically walk to. Yet I drive past all of them ten miles out of my way to visit the one that treats me like a normal human being (Acorn Street Yarn Shop). It is quite a bit smaller, the selection isn't quite as great as the others, but at least one of the salesladies (Kristin) calls me by my name, is excited to see me, asks me what I'm working on, helps me find patterns, yarn etc...and I have found all the staff to treat me in this way and have since the first time I set foot in there. At the other shops I feel like I just walked in and sprouted horns on my head as I get the "may I help you?" with an astonished look like I absolutely have wandered helplessly into a place I don't belong. I spend little time and little money in those places, and that's too bad for them; Tricoter on Madison, Weaving Works in the University District, and So Much Yarn in Belltown.

My advice to the yarn shops: treat male customers like they belong there. If they don't belong there, they'll figure it out on their own. You may just get a customer for life.

I also have to say I feel better about the things I knit with products I have purchased from someone who deserves my business. I think you should post the name of that yarn shop so other men might think twice before they spend any money there.

Bill's picture

I assume Tricoter caters to a very wealth clientle because their wonderful books use very expensive yarns...