Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Summer Knitting

Ooops! That month NEARLY got away from me.

I've been thinking about the upcoming summer months. I wonder sometimes if it's an addiction on my part, to not be part of the crafting crowd that puts off knitting in that time of year. What really concerns me is Local Yarn Stores (LYS) failing in Summer...

I realize I've been knitting for a long time, but there are things I would try to do in certain seasons. Afghans are awesome in winter! In fact, I've spent more winters plugging through an afghan while couch-bound with pneumonia or some other winter illness than I care to count. In Summer, I try to focus on smaller things like socks and hats. I understand that people are busier but don't you still find that when you are stuck waiting for a while EVEN IN SUMMER you wish you had your knitting?

I may not have enough of a background in operating a retail store, so I don't want to offend someone. I am very concerned about shops that fail in Summer, because that seems to be when a failing shop gives up. There's a lot of concern in the industry about shops failing because the shops blame the availability to purchase materials cheaper online, and the time of year doesn't figure into that problem.

As a customer or a supporter of LYS (that's where I want to focus this post) how can I make a difference for my favorite shops?
  • Are you on the Newsletter List? Do you follow them in Ravelry or Facebook? or whatever internet hangout you and that shop are in?
  • Do you share those with your other knitting (or other fiber crafty) friends?
  • Do you stop by the shop on a regular basis? or attend one of the weekly gatherings like Knit Night or Sit and Spin?
  • Do you ask if there's anything you can do to help and be OF SUPPORT?
I can understand shopping online for a large quantity of yarn, let's say a sweater's worth. A lot of shops only have shelf space for a skein or two of certain colors, NOT EVERYTHING every yarn company offers.  Have you asked if the shop can order for you a large quantity? Sometimes they can offer you a discount (don't expect wholesale, they need to make a profit, too!) because some yarn companies will discount a certain amount for so many skeins. This may help your shop get their foot in the door with some companies that wouldn't necessarily listen to your LYS, so don't hesitate to ask!

Being broke and living paycheck-to-paycheck can make you feel like you can't purchase something every time you stop in to your shop, and maybe your LYS owner knows you well enough after a certain time to be understanding about this. However, she may need help with creating shop samples and that would give you a great opportunity to knit with something you've not tried before!

It's always a good thing to just say to your LYS owner that you like the shop for (whatever) reason, and give them an opportunity to show they appreciate you, too!

While you're there this week, check her sales baskets for some sock yarn so that you have something to do this summer! ~ Happy Knitting!

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