Friday, February 22, 2008

A knitterly confession

Greetings from vertigo hell. I feel like crap, with a capital C and that rhymes with V and that stands for... well, you know. Between the weather and my crazy, crazy vertigo, I am in a thoroughly pissy mood. Although to be fair, it might be worse to have vicious vertigo if the weather were beautiful and I actually wanted to go outside. I'm planted on my living room couch, and I don't plan to leave until Sunday. Ok, that's an exaggeration. At some point, I must go to bed, and I will probably eat something and go to the bathroom at some point. Also, there will probably be puking. But aside from eating, peeing, puking, and sleeping, I plan to sit here for a few days, barring some unexpected improvement in the vertigo situation. I really hope there's something decent on T.V.

Ok, so it should be clear that I'm in a bad mood, and perhaps that explains why I'm feeling a little ranty. But today I would like to post about how much I dislike going to LYSs. I realize that this is basically blasphemy among the modern, trendy knitter set. For our sort, the Local Yarn Store is supposed to be like a shrine. We go there to bask in the warm, knitterly glow, fondle the beautiful yarn, and converse with fellow trendy knitters. This is not how I feel. I find LYSs totally unpleasant. I wish Jo-Ann's sold the kind of yarn I like, because I massively prefer the big box craft store experience.

First of all, I find LYSs physically unpleasant. This, too, is blasphemy. We're supposed to prefer cozy little nooks to huge, florescently-lit big box monstrosities. This is a sign not just of being a serious knitter, but also of being a good lefty and an urban sophisticate. But I don't. I like big, spacious aisles which don't make me think I'm going to bump into anything. For political reasons, I prefer to shop in places that are accessible to people who use wheelchairs or walkers. I find it easier to find stuff in big box stores than in overcrowded little shops.

Second of all, I don't enjoy my interactions with LYS employees and customers. This is, I'm sure, a function of my being a little bit crazy. The truth of the matter is that I'm kind of anti-social. I don't really want to have a lot of personal interaction with random people, except when I do, which is rare. And dealing with LYS employees always feels like an actual social interaction, rather than just a regular commercial transaction. They want to know about my knitting, which is really not especially interesting knitting. They seem interested in my yarn selection, which is also not very interesting. And frankly, they seem visibly unimpressed by my yarn selection. I'm a broke grad student, and I pretty much knit with Cascade 220 and various yarns from KnitPicks. That means that when I go to an LYS, it's usually to buy Cascade 220, which I realize is extremely boring, unimpressive yarn. But it's boring, unimpressive yarn that is affordable on a student budget, and avoiding credit card debt is more important to me than impressing LYS employees with my awesome taste in yarn.

I enjoy going to big box craft stores. I enjoy the wide aisles, but mostly I enjoy the anonymity. Nobody at Jo-Ann's looks at me funny if I only buy a few notions. In fact, nobody seems to notice me much at all. I went to Jo-Ann's today to get some stuff to seam my Central Park Hoodie. (Thanks for driving, M! ) I got some very exciting yarn needles, some knitters safety pins, and some stitch holders. I spent a grand total of about $5. Nobody seemed at all fazed by the fact I spent so little. Nobody tried to convince me that I really needed extremely fancy yarn needles, safety pins, or stitch holders. It was lovely. I believe in shopping locally, supporting independent stores, and all that, but truth be told, if Jo-Ann's carried Cascade 220, I'd probably never go to LYSs at all.

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