Talking to local knitters Knitting Shops in the UK started to wane and disappear in the 1980s. While I have lived in the UK I developed some understanding of why this has happened and I can summarise the cause as shop owners not developing a new clients or developing a broader base of clients; a lack of variety and public attitude towards making things.
|Zaffy snuggling up to |
my hand spun merino
Unfortunately all yarn is called wool in majority of the regional dialects and that does not mean it is actually from the back of a sheep. There are shop assistants who describe some yarn as "acrylic wool" and the facetious Australian that I am giggles every time at this oxymoron. I am not saying acrylic or man made fibres are wrong but I just can not help myself with the complete misnomer of calling acrylic a woollen product. The carton of the plastic sheep dances through my carton image mind.
|Mrs Slocombe from|
"Are you being served?"
My local yarn store mainly caters for a certain type of knitter which can be stereotyped as Mrs Slocombe's and I just don't happen to be in this group of her customers. The LYS owner acknowledges that knitters who have similar tastes to mine actually exist and provides one rack of items which interest me things like sock wool.
There are others in the local region who dont even let you touch their products until you have paid from it. If I go to a real life LYS I want the touch so I can work out how scratchie it is on my skin. This is an important factor for the majority of the family and directly correlates to my spending. I am just not into hessian clothes and therefore wont spend if I do not know what the yarn texture is like. Fortunately for me I have some great online yarns stores who know my likes and dislikes, and provide great service.