Tag Archives: LYS

Around the table at the LYS

So yesterday afternoon I went in to speak with Sirkku, the owner of the LYS who is most local to me. She is a huge supporter of my endeavors. I’ve known her for about 9 years, pre-LYS days even, and she is an amazing person to know.

She and June (the knitting instructor) and I often sit and work at the table in her 1600 sq. ft shop, and discuss the troubles of dealing clients and students. Of course not when they are in the shop mind you, but we all have our war stories.

We swap technique information, and teaching techniques, and problem solve together, it doesn’t matter which craft mind you, because some of this stuff is just universal. Anyway, as we were working on our projects and chatting, the subject of yarn purchases came up.

Funny this, they get as many knitters asking for cheap acrylic yarns in there as they do crocheters. They have as many knitters afraid to try things beyond wash cloths and scarves as they do crocheters. Hmmmm. Really? Of course that doesn’t surprise me at all, if you look on Ravelry, amongst the stellar and beautiful projects in both crafts, the majority are either more utilitarian, or less expertly made. Nothing wrong with that, everyone has to learn some time, but crochet does not have the corner on the ugly market. Just sayin’.

It is so validating to sit with these expert knitters and have them voice the same frustrations I do about my students. Which is mostly that people are afraid to rib out mistakes as if it were a failure. I was watching June, who is a phenomenal knit artist, rip out an entire row of 4 color Fair Isle, in a very fine and fuzzy yarn. Yeah, she’s good. I rip out my mistakes in the shop all the time. Ripping out doesn’t mean you’re bad at what you do, it means you’re good enough to catch mistakes that will really alter the final outcome of your project.

One of my other frustrations is my students expect to crochet as fast as I do. No matter how much I explain I’ve been at this for over 35 years, and that there are many experienced crocheters who don’t crochet as fast as I do. Then there is the person who is so worried about looking foolish that they won’t try a new stitch pattern, or project because they don’t want to make mistakes.

Mistakes are what we learn from the most. No one learned a dang thing from being perfect people. Oddly, June has the same frustrations.

You know what’s the most refreshing thing about chatting at the table in the LYS. We have found that although our techniques work differently, we have a lot in common. June wants to learn to crochet more, and I have agreed to pick up the sticks. She wants it for edging and embellishments, and me? I want to knit to make a plain knit sweater back. That’s it. That’s all I want to be able to do. I can crochet it, but it might be cool to make a plain sweater back just once and then decided which technique I’d rather do. I have no interest in learning knit lace, I can crochet lace in my sleep. I have no desire to learn knit cables, I can crochet those too. We’ll teach each other cause we can, and probably understand how to teach folks even more effectively.

I like that Sirkku and June are honest about their customers instead of pretending they all gravitate to the silk/merino blend and purchase bags at a time. At least they can be honest. It doesn’t matter which fiber art you do, there are those who will spend money and those who won’t. There are the adventurous and then there are those who are not. They invited me to promote the retreat at the local knitting guild. I’m going to, we’ll see if I make it out alive or not (joking)…June and Sirkku will have my back, and are really intrigued to see what we come up with there at the retreat.

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2nd Annual Crochet Awards Tonight!!

The day has come! The Flamies are here! The Flamies are here! I can now unveil the award and what it looks like!! I’m sooooo excited! 

Huge thanks to the talented Darlisa Riggs for her graphic arts contribution!

 

 Tune into the Getting Loopy Podcast with Mary Beth Temple, our beloved Josh McKiernan (who knows what antics he’ll help provide on the show) and myself Laurie Wheeler as we award the crochet public’s favorites for design, patterns, books, hooks, yarn and more! Don’t miss out, and you’ll find out who I’ve awarded the Fearless Leader Award and who won the Flaming Hook of Justice award!!

So don’t forget, TONIGHT at 9-11 Eastern/6-9pm Pacific the 2010 Crochet Awards are LIVE on Getting Loopy!!

Huge thanks to Darlisa Riggs of Crochet Uncut for her most beautiful 3-D design work on the Flamie Award this year! It’s gorgeous!

When it rains it pours… (Or crochet feast or famine)

So, I went to my local yarn story today to pick up the very wool which will become my warm socks that I so desperately need. The owner Sirrku is a knitter par excellence, and a brilliant crocheter besides, sher’s IS one of the most CROCHET friendly yarn stores, and I am blessed to have her just a hop skip and jump from my house. She recently moved her premises into a lovely new space with gorgeous hardwood floors, and PLENTY of room to display her yummy wares.

You can get good old fashioned kitchen cotton in a fabo range of colors, good workhorse acrylics and wools, and then delightfully fine and fuzzilicious baby alpaca, scrumptious Merino, and to DYE for silk/mohair lace weight yarns. I love her store. And she carries both crochet hooks and knitting needles in equal measure. I love her shop. It’s called PinchKnitter’s and is in Stanwood, WA. What? I am recommending a store with a knitcentric name? Yeah I am, because it’s named after Sirrku (the owner) she has been “pinch knitting” for folks for years before she opened the shop, and I like the play on words…And she’s the only game in our small town AND makes no bones about welcoming you regardless of your craft of choice!

So, what does this have to do with when it rains it pours? Well, we have talked around my teaching classes there for about a year or so, with nothing much happening about it. Mostly due to my schedule being wackadoodle and her changing shopfront’s twice (each time to bigger and better!…I’m so proud of her!)…So starting next February I will be teaching several beginning classes, and one lace class (which I think an advanced beginner would have a easy enough time for it.)!

“Laurie ” She says to me, “I am getting oodles of requests for crochet classes, so write your blurbs and email me! We’ll shoot for February!”

So if you want to learn how to make Irish Crocheted Roses, or want to expand your personal stitch dictionary I’ll be teaching a basics  “Make decorative washcloths” expanding stitch vocabulary class through out the Fridays in February, I’ll just do the one Crocheted Roses classes, which can be done in lace thread or in large yarn (doesn’t matter, shapes all work the same 🙂 ) and we’ll see how it goes !

If you go in before that time, look for the CLF postcards on her counter! Ooodles of fun they are!

So more crocheting is feasting on my table. OH and I’m almost done with that hammock, one more 400 yd skein of yarn and we should be big enough to hold most of the collection. At this rate I think my niece might fit into it as well! LOL

Yay!

Time for a Rant: Demanding some maturity!

One of the great pleasures I have is receiving your notes and emails. I love hearing your stories, and even answering questions from time to time. Yet, once in a while I get a note from one of you that makes me either sad or angry for you!

I got one such letter from a CLF member the other day, first thanking me for putting links to some CLF member designer’s pages where their patterns can be found, and then informing me as to why she was having trouble getting patterns in her area. Her most local yarn store, is run by an immature, thoughtless person (my words not hers)!

One day this CLF member went into the store, was going to purchase some very nice silk, and there was a class happening IN THE MAIN ROOM of the store! Yup that’s right, I know many LYS owners who do that so that they can help clients that walk in when they are short on staff or have a small store. The CLF member in question asked for help and was ignored, she continued browsing and looked up from time to time to see if she could catch someone’s attention…Well, heck and darn, one of the people taking the class (a pointy sticker, bless her heart and a nice one) pointed out that a customer needed help. And here’s the truth…and it’s just galls me to no end…

The yarn store owner said in a LOUD whisper, “Oh she’s just a crocheter, I’m not going to help HER.”

So, our dear CLF member walked out, not making a purchase and will not return. Good for you CLF member! Don’t forget to check the Crochet Friendly Yarn Store List for stores that DO want your money.

In this economy where people are giving people the line of “it’s tough times” and “I can’t afford to advertise” and “I can’t afford this or that…” then maybe business owners would remember that customer service is their FRONT LINE on making money. Most silk skeins I’ve seen in yarn stores aren’t cheap, that could have been a good sale…But no, someone had to be immature and decide that high school clique was in fashion this season and had to lose a sale…

MY GOD PEOPLE IT”S YARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s all it is! Yarn…Yarn doesn’t care what you do with it, as long as you use it…

Crocheters, listen to me…Don’t spend your money in places like this, come over to the CLF Message Board and look at our long list of stores who DO want our money.

And for you immature folk out there who want to have dividing lines and don’t think our money is good enough for your store? Have fun trying to stay in business. Because my friends, had some of my pointy stick buddies been there, they would have walked out hearing a comment like that.

Stop the Croch-Ate…