I always prefer to buy locally if I can, so I've been seeking the Creatures of the Reef shawl pattern at all the shops around here. Since moving to this area, I had yet to go to the fairly new shop that is just a couple blocks down the street from me. I'm a creature of habit and when I get comfortable with a shop, I tend to stick with it. Its now quite a haul to get to my old shop, so I thought I'd give the new shop, Close Knit, a try. Now, normally I would abstain from talking shit on any person or business within the knitting community, but I've had two bad experiences in that shop now. The first time I went in just to check out what she carried for needles and patterns. I picked out an intermediate sock pattern and took it up to the counter. The woman acted as if I were an absolute beginning knitter and a fucking moron to boot. "Oh", she said, "I think you probably don't want this pattern. Have you ever even knit socks before?"
Listen bitch, whether I have or haven't knit socks before, whether I'm a beginner knitter still shopping the bulky aisle or a seasoned pro working delicate lace, don't talk to me in that tone of voice and don't question my choice of purchases without any prior knowledge of who I am or my knitting ability. Even after I'd explained that I'm quite comfortable with socks and all the skills needed to knit this particular pair, she proceeded to explain sock knitting to me in a tone usually reserved for 5 year olds. I bought the pattern and left swearing that I would never go back.
Silly me, while looking for the shawl pattern I decided to give it another go. As I walked in the front door she practically lept from her stool and blocked my entrance into the store. "I don't allow dogs." she snooted while looking down her nose at Jack, standing quietly beside me. "Oh" I replied, trying to smile and be friendly against her snobbish demeanor, "He's a service dog." (you'd think she might have figured this on her own, dressed as he was in a 'service dog' vest) She looked again at Jack and asked if there was somthing she could help me with. This was not her being friendly, but more of a 'I'm not moving from my position to let you in the shop and I'd prefer to just get this over with right now before you bring that thing into my store' type of question. I asked her about the particular pattern I was looking for and she told me that she didn't carry it. I asked her if she knew of any shops that might and she told me she didn't. "Try the Naked Sheep.", she said while turning on her heel and walking away dismissively. Fine, I thought, I will. I will go to the Naked Sheep, where they have always been friendly and kind, and I will never return to your store.
As it turns out, I didn't go to the Naked Sheep, instead I took the drive out to Carlton, OR and Woodland Wool Works. I rarely make a trek out there, but I'm always gratified when I do. WWW has been around for a long time and is a well established place that supplies for knitters, spinners and weavers. They have a mail order catalog that I recommend you get a copy of. Anyways, out to WWW, where they not only have the shawl pattern, but 14 copies of the pattern. I resisted the temptation to buy some Addi-Turbo lace needles until I had gone all the way through my circulars to make sure I didn't already what I needed. I left with just the pattern and a copy of the new catalog. Luckily for me it was a fine fall day, with plenty of sunshine, the smell of crisp air and brightly colored leaves stirring along the country road there so the drive was just a part of the adventure. Sometimes its nice to get out of the city.
This morning I've been cursing a bit. I went through my needles and I don't have either of the circulars that I need. Shoulda bought those Addi-Turbo Laces.... Maybe I'll venture over to The Naked Sheep. I will not, however, be going back to Close Knit.