Monday, April 07, 2008

Sometimes a Knitting Needle Is Just a Knitting Needle

I'm getting the gear ready for this weekend's shoot at Yarnover in Minnesota. (Thank you 1,000 times to The Yarnery of St. Paul for being my host; information is on their Web site.) In sorting everything I ran across the images of knitters–most of them yarn store owners or managers–that were made during the shoot at the Yarn Market News conference.

That reminded me of a sketch I drew while sitting in the back of the room during a marketing presentation. Sitting there and listening to the owners discuss their daily highs and lows gave me a new and visceral empathy for the folks in the business–particularly in the wake of so many Ravelry threads about how yarn shops that don't offer a free lunch buffet and foot massages simply aren't meeting their customers' needs.

I guess it spilled over onto my notebook. I've substituted a printed caption for my illegible pencil scrawl; otherwise this is the rough page as I left it.

Therapy

Hope everybody's having a good week so far. I'm looking forward to meeting some of you this weekend.

Edited to Add: I must be distracted. I forgot to offer thanks to you for all the kind comments about the Tomten Jacket. My advice is that if it looks at all appealing, knit one. Have fun with it...play with the yarns you want to use...experiment. And don't worry if you don't have a kid to knit one for. One will show up. Or you can just make one for yourself; Brooklyntweed did a gorgeous adult variation I can't wait to dig into.

27 comments:

Rabbitch said...

Oh god, the foot massages! How could I forget the foot massages??

Um, how an online store can offer foot massages is, I suppose, the next question ...

Rooie said...

On-line foot massages require a computer add-on, the Foot-So-Fine 500 (patent pending), available at all fine Radio Shacks for $99.99. Plug it in, install the software and you're good to go. Merely add "foot massage" to your on-line shopping cart and insert your feet in the Foot-So-Fine. The shop-keeper will then hit the "Foot Massage" button on his or her own computer, and your feet will receive a gentle, tingling massage. (All flaws in the Foot-So-Fine 200 have been fixed so you no longer need to worry about your toe-nails spontaneously combusting or your leg hair catching fire.)

The Foot-So-Fine can also be used to mix a fine Margarita (you may want to take your feet out first), and pre-warm socks.

(I was really, really hoping to get to PA to see you, Franklin, but I am having an out-of-town guest and I don't think she would want to travel to Kennett Square, damnit. I am weeping. On the other hand, I've been sick since January, so you may be relieved that I'm not showing up in my germy glory.)

Sarah said...

Hee hee! I read your edited-to-add: don't worry if you don't have a child, one will show up. Or you can just make one for yourself... and kind of stopped there. Of course, I did just make a kid for myself (and darned if it doesn't make knitting - or at least stash enhancement in "baby-sized" increments - more fun!).

Kat said...

All those high maintenance shoppers give the rest of us a bad name.

KellyD said...

I must really be out of the loop. I've only been going for yarn and needles and the occasional class.

Seanna Lea said...

Wow. I'll admit that it is nice when a craft store of any ilk can do a little something extra, but a lot of these things affect the bottom line and not in a good way. Running a business is hard whether it is online or brick and mortar.

kmkat said...

Have a wonderful time at The Yarnery! It's a great establishment; I have been going there since the 1970s for my yarn needs; now I guess I need to ask about the foot massages.

Sorry I can't give you another hug while you are here but April 15th looms. Plus I already had my chance in Eau Claire. Enjoy MN!

Kristen said...

I love it how you get to be the shrink for all us chicks who are pissed about the lack of foot massages. ;)

I'm one of those yarn store customers who feels I'm imposing terribly when I have to ask a question. Even when no one else is in the store. Yeah, I'm neurotic.

NeedleDancer said...

I never said foot massage! I didn't. I said HAND massage.
well, okay, I only thought it while contemplating what I'd like to have to offer in the dream shop in my head that I'm going to own one day.
But thanks for posting. I was starting to suffer withdrawal. I was actually planning to swing by just to ask if you could wrench out a wee minute to send a "I'm still alive" note...when I found that you'd already done so... but better.

Kath said...

Oh sheesh - all those threads and posts of people complaining about their LYS! Half the folks feel they are being ignored, the other half feel harassed, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't - it's just ridiculous.

And rooie gets extra points for clever!

zigzagstitch said...

You're really rocking the 1,000 knitters project. Might you have to up it to 10,000?

Alwen said...

Foot massages, pffft! Shouldn't they be custom-knitting us socks in about six seconds, like Opal and the mittens in Pickles?

Or . . . not.

Joanne said...

Love cartoon.

I'm going to print it out and stick it on my computer at work. I just started a job in the Department of Psychiatry last week!

Thanks! :-)

Miss T said...

See you at Yarnover! Looking forward to it.

Barb B. said...

If Ms. V. of YARNi fame is working that day, give her a hello from the frozen North please.
Hows my postcard coming? Did Delores and Harry tear it up in a fight one day???

Jasmin said...

Well, puh-shaw. Our LYS has a chair massage guy- but this IS Silicon Valley.

As an added bonus, there are both Yarn Boys and Yarn Girls, who will wind your yarn as slowly as you'd like, and look like they're enjoying it. It's a real treat for us Yarn Voyeurs.

muoriska said...

Lol , my lys really does not understand me, so thats why I'm grateful to online-stores..

Elizabeth said...

Hmm. The therapist in your drawing looks suspiciously like a self-portrait...

FiberQat said...

Don't forget the white tea and organic scones.

Another use for a Tomten is making one for a teddy bear and donating it to a local charity, such as ones who give teddy bears to kids going through domestic violence or fire.

stash haus said...

Watch for Maureen. When we were in Minneapolis in January (yes, we're nuts - in JANUARY) she picked up her ticket to see the Yarn Harlot this weekend.

Criosa said...

have a safe trip up here - they're predicting snowy rainy goodness for the weekend.

Can't wait to meet you

Barca Viola said...

Gosh, I'd feel remiss if I didn't say that I'm looking forward to meeting you at 4:58. Safe travels, good food, comfy beds to you!

Gerrie in MN

Valkryie Knit This said...

yay! I'll be the crazy pregnant lady at the 12:00 slot. :) So excited!

Leigh Witchel said...

Semi-OT but is anyone heading to the Woolgathering shoot in Kennett Square, PA from NYC, Philadelphia or points in between? I’d love to hitch a ride if it's possible. I'm at leigh [at] leighwitchel.com

MonicaPDX said...

Happy shooting and safe travel. Wonderful sketch - gahh, yeah, those threads! (Although, really; they could at least offer chocolate. What's a few chocolate stains on the yarn?) Rooie is a genius.

Ahh, the adult Tomten...I have looked. I have yearned. I have wondered if I might possibly look like one of those balloon floats wearing it. I spent several winters looking like a very large purple, gray and white-striped caterpillar - or something - when wearing a ruana I wove, so...you know...I have my doubts. Not with the sweater. Just me in it. ;)

Barca Viola said...

Hello, Harry? You know how you helped Franklin pack for the Michigan shoot? Well for this weekend, besides the woolies, please send along Franklin's snow boots. It is, after all, April in MN.

Gerrie in MN

Anonymous said...

Franklin, you and Dolores aren't flying on American, are you? Though if anyone could get a confirmed seat out of American at the moment, it would be Dolores...