Some Clarity Regarding Crochet Friendly…A Rant

Harumph…That is what I have to say first and foremost, I am grumpy on this subject of what makes a store crochet friendly…

I think I’ve, no WE have been a little too nice about the whole thing. So, before I give a scathing report about a yarn store I visited today, I am going to offer us some real hard facts…

1) Crochet Friendly is something that stores EARN. They earn it from us, not the CLF, but the Crochet Community at large. I started the CLF, because I was deeply annoyed with how I have been treated in yarn stores, on internet forums, and at expos all because my chosen method of expression is crochet. How have I been treated? Like an unwanted pest, like a strange pimple on a pig’s snout, unwelcome, unwanted, and well…the goo that gets stuck in your tennis shoe treads…Am I any of that? Hell no. Neither are you, any of you.

Part of being liberated is being able to say “HEY! I’m worth so much more than this!”

So, we know that our IDEAL store doesn’t truly exist…Even the Hallowed Halls of Lacis do not hold us in the highest of esteem, but they are about as close as it gets to really crochet friendly. I’ve heard tell of a few stores around the country, nay! The world that truly cater to our needs.

Those get our greatest admiration, and when I frickin‘ find one, I will kiss it’s tiled floor in reverence.

2) Crochet Friendly is criteria based:

a) Customer Service. If they snub us, ignore us, or anyone else for that matter well, that kind of knocks off the “friendly” side of the title right off the bat, now doesn’t it? I’ll take a friendly store with few crochet supplies over a well supplied house of Snobage.

b) Yarn: A good supply of yarn that goes beyond the ever present self patterning sock yarn, and worsted weight. Prices from way affordable to pricey…or just DECENT yarn…it doesn’t have to be a huge buffet, just nice and usable for our average use.

c) THREADS of all kinds, gosh wouldn’t that be a treat. I hear tell of a store in Florida that has a lot of crochet threads, and I know Lacis does…wouldn’t it be lovely to have SOME crochet thread to find for the thready folk?

c) HOOKS…more than three sizes in the far corner PULEEZ…I mean gosh all those stupid needles and you give us this? How can I buy anything when I don’t need five hundred “f” hooks…for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary, is having a decent Tunisian Hook supply asking for the moon?

d) Crochet Classes. Having any at all is a nice plus, but when you have them, listing them at the back of the book? Why? I mean “C” is pretty high up in the alphabet. Basketry and Beading come before it, if we are writing a list correctly…the “K word” most certainly does not. Must we sit at the back of the bus? (Yes, Yes we must so we can spit, spit wads of felted crochet at the stuck up snobs who have got my dander up.)

Extra credit can happen for lots of reasons…mostly cause they have heard of us…

So, now why is my dander up. Because I pretty much wasted an hour of my life, my friend’s life, a treasured visit with my dearest friend and Raw Food Gourmand Chef, Gabrielle Chavez. I could have been cruising through really cool produce markets, eating yummies, and enjoying a trip at a spa today, but NO I chose to show her a “crochet friendly store” called the “Yarn Garden” in Portland, Oregon.

I had heard it was crochet friendly, an acquaintance even teaches classes there…but alas, no love for crochet that I could truly find. It was barely tolerated.

So, I decided instead of ranting too long about the ills I uncovered at the store, and my friend a non-fiber artist even commented, “Wow, I can see why you started your group!”

Here is some constructive Criticism of the yarn store:

I would certify you crochet friendly WHEN:

1) More hooks. The supply was pitiful, and I could only find three sizes of clover in any shape…
More Tunisian in different, especially larger sizes would be nice. Hey check out Stitch Diva if you wanna see what I mean. (Now there’s someone who’s got it goin‘ on!)

2) The yarns were good, I’ll give you that.

3) Patterns clearly marked for crochet

4) More thread

5) One or two samples in crochet would be nice. I mean ZERO? When you have one of the greatest crocheters of all time teaching at your store you don’t have ONE COOL CROCHET PROJECT UP? Sigh…and shaking head.

I really felt like it was assumed that you knit, that crochet was a side deal, and frankly I wasn’t super impressed with the service. It was adequate, but not what I call friendly. ESPECIALLY for Portland’s standards. Now, maybe the gal was tired, maybe she’d had a rough day…but considering I watched her help a knitter with alacrity, I figure those excuses just don’t fly.

It’s too bad: I had a budget of $150.00 and I only spent $37.00 …Sheesh…I think that rated what a One Hook rating?

Come on guys, do us proud WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOU! Really! The yarn was the best part, but even then I only chose one yummy silk skein…I thought about buying more, but the vibes put me off.


5 responses to “Some Clarity Regarding Crochet Friendly…A Rant

  1. *claps*

    I totally agree. And yes, this store in Florida that you speak of is the one that I’m currently making a crocheted sample for. She not only is currently crochet friendly, she wants my help in becoming MORE crochet friendly. She’s ordering books and any supplies I think she needs as she can. She is pushing my crochet classes. AND she wants to take a class herself now that she “sees all the cool stuff coming out in crochet”. 🙂

  2. *claps*

    I also agree with you. Why is it when you even mention hooking or crocheting that the instant reply seems to be … tried knitting?

    Yarn stores are a rare enough occasion but crochet friendly seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird!

    C’mon people … it’s hard enough finding chic, current, fun, unique and friendly patterns in magazines and books. Can’t they give just a little?

    God bless the CLF and the other rare decent crochet sites out there.

    Raise a hook!

  3. As the owner of Yarn Garden, I am aghast at your assessment of our willingness to treat crocheters badly. I learned to crochet before I learned to knit. We cater to our customers. I heard a report on your visit from my staff and it was certainly different than your rant. It was reported to me that you were asked twice if you needed assistance to two negative responses.

    If we have enough customers ask for thread, we will carry good, quality thread. But we haven’t had the requests. We carry hooks…always have and a variety from several vendors in most sizes (except steel). We carry crochet books and magazines and always have. We have offered crochet classes since 1999.

    If you want to know why people might be shrinking away from crocheters, it’s attitudes and public rants like yours. You certainly don’t make me want to embrace any of your ideas. It takes a lot of energy to withstand such negative attacks.

  4. Crochet Liberation Front

    I was not asked for help once. Not once and I have a witness. And the crochet hook selection was poor…

    Like I said, I offered constructive criticism, really and truly, I went in excited to see the store, I went out of my way to visit…I was sadly disappointed. My friend was a witness, and said, “Wow, I see why you started your group.”

    I think we have different ideas of what being crochet friendly means…really. Like I said, I loved the yarn really, but I wasn’t impressed with how the vibes felt…sorry just my take…

    My rant happened out of disappointment, I was so looking forward to a crochet friendly store.

  5. Good for you. I find the fact that Interweave hands out those “Crochet Friendly” stickers simply for ordering the Interweave Crochet Mag once to be kind of insulting. I think it takes more than that to be crochet friendly.

    As far as your rant goes, frankly I’ve seen much angrier bitchy rants that truly called out the store. And most of those have been from knitters. Yours barley qualifies as a rant. You were very diplomatic and if the owner wants to get her panties in a bunch and get overly defensive instead of constructive and take what you said and work on it with her employees, well it’s her store.

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