I know, I know, it’s my fault. I didn’t wear a hand-knitted piece of clothing when I went into your shop, like one of my sweaters. I always try to do that, but this time, since I was on my way home from college for the holiday, I hadn’t planned to stop in. It was an impulse decision to stop in and I was unprepared. I should have known what would happen. You’d think a girl would finally start to expect it.
You have to understand, though. It’s just so insulting. I know you’re just trying to be helpful/friendly/conversational. But I get it time and time again. This time was particularly bad.
“So have you moved on from scarves yet?”
Why yes, thank you very much, I have indeed moved on from large rectangles. Please, tell every freaking shop worker in the country. I know that I look young, and yes, I’ve only been knitting for a little over 2 years. But I’m continually insulted by you suggesting that I’m a beginner knitter/don’t know anything. My age/youthfulness does not automatically mean that I’m still in beginnerdom.
Everytime that you assume I’m still on scarves (or something similar), I become seriously resentful and less likely to frequent your shop. It’s in your best interest to politely inquire about my skill level before you assume. Because you know what happens when you assume. I’ll give you a hint. It’s a clever play on the spelling of the word ass-u-me.
In this case, I probably went a bit overboard listing my knitting resume, you know -that I’ve knit 3 sweaters, 10 pairs of socks, done fair isle (both flat and in the round), lace (like the swallowtail shawl, above), felting, needle felting, acid dying, pattern writing and even worked for a whole summer IN a yarn store. I hope I didn’t make you feel stupid or silly.
But if I did- you kind of deserve it.
And while it may be easy to say this was an isolated incident, it really wasn’t. In my first trip to a yarn store, I was practically lectured about how chenile worms and that working with “Touch Me” might not be so great for a beginner…but then I told her about how I was going to felt it (a la the incredible Velvet Oblivion pattern from Knitty, see at right) and she shut up. Or the time that I bought some superwash wool and the shop owner tried to tell me that it wouldn’t be good for felting (felting and beginners often go hand in hand) – no freaking duh. Another time, a shop owner pointed me toward the simple acrylic blends and served anther customer. I overheard the shop owner tell that customer that the alpaca she was fondling would “grow.” The customer asked why and when the shop worker couldn’t answer, I proceeded to tell the customer about the fiber structure of Alpaca (versus wool).
One time, I was in a spinning shop and I bought a bag of miscellaneous fibers and colors for needle felting – and the shop owner told me (in a particlarly condescending manner) that was what it was for and it would be bad for spinning. Thanks for telling me what I already know. Really. Thanks for that. OOH – and I’ve also loved the suggestions that I buy the Stitch and Bitch books (all of which I own and moved past).
Please. Please. Please. Please. Give me the benefit of the doubt. Ask me what kind of things I knit before you assume. Do not assume that every young-looking person who walks into your shop is just learning. The same goes for men/boys as well.