The past few weeks have been pretty unprecedented ’round here. Eighty-hour weeks, mostly-single-parenthood and more pressure on every front than I’ve ever had to face. With that period (thankfully) over, I’ve realized all the more how much I miss my local yarn shop (LYS, to muggles).
My LYS was a mere ten minutes from the office. On a slow or quiet day – back when there were slow or quiet days – I could run over there and just get away from work for a while … experience adult conversation … see new yarns … see projects others were working on … come up with ideas for new classes … visit the dreaded clearance area … and kick around ideas with the smartest yarn businesswoman I know. (We’ll call her P.)
See, P. and I have history of the best kind. She was there the long-ago day I visited a LYS for the first time, saying I was going to knit a sweater. P. never once discouraged my enthusiasm while still steering me in the right direction. She taught me things large and small about knitting. P. has a way with people that is simply unparalleled. She reads the situation and the person and knows the right response. Her patience is extravagant. Her sense of humor is wonderful. Her knowledge of her customers and what they are looking for is right on the mark. P. first offered me the opportunity to teach. I was beyond flattered that she had that amount of confidence in me.
Having P. and my LYS gave me a “release valve,” if you will. I could sit ’round the big table with other knitters, or off on my own, depending on my preference. P. and I would pore over the latest patterns, peek at others’ beautiful work on ravelry and visit with some other fabulous knitters like TLCKnits and ChronicEnnui. I was a good customer, as my bank statements will attest. I could pop in for something quick or stay for a long lunch.
I invariably work through lunch now, out of necessity as well as the gaping hole that was left when the owner closed the shop to consolidate. P. is working at another property now. It’s greatly inconvenient for me to go there. I miss my shop pals terribly, and I miss P. terribly. I miss the face-to-face contact with other talented knitters and the tactile pleasure of touching knitted objects in admiration.
It’s taken me many months to be able to write this, and I do so now with my eyes brimming.
If you have a LYS, you are lucky. Don’t you forget it.