The relationship between a good yarn store and its customers has been likened to the relationship between a bartender and his customers. Yarn stores are a place where we discuss dreams and possibilities. We listen, we advise where we can, we open people to new possibilities, and we act as mother confessors for things like 'I knit my ssk's as a knit 2 together through the back loop and do you think that is OK?' We try to make our customers walk away happier than when they came in. We want them to knit happy and wear happy too. It is a goal that gives back.
We have had a lot of customers bring in cookies for the staff. And chocolates. Did I mention chocolates? We have had customers bring in chocolates so fine that even the most ardent chocolate hater (do these people exist or is this an urban myth?) would have been compelled to try the truffles. We received trays of home made cookies so divine that a whole new definition for chocolate chip cookie is required, and a whole new genre of adjectives is needed to discuss shortbread.
And then there were things so lovely I cried. I did.
Working in the yarn store is very special to me. It came to me when I was at the darkest period in my life. I had lost my sense of the worth of my abilities, lost confidence in my skills. I stopped imaging that life could be different. I stopped believing. There were no dreams of a better way to be. There was no hope. I was very very close to just giving up. I don't fully understand what happened to me, but the bottom line is that, in every way that mattered, in every facet of life, I lost me.
Knitting helped me find me. Working at the yarn store has helped me, find me and customers have helped me, find me.
When I try to help people find a yarn, a craft, a piece of string, what I hope I am helping them find is some of what I find in knitting, and in yarn. I hope that they find creativity, simplicity, a tie to the old, a passion for the new, and sometimes, just one tiny place in the world mistakes can be taken apart and made right. I hope that they experience for just a wee moment a tiny bit of the joy I find there. I hope I help people find comfort, consolation and joy as result of picking up one or two sticks and some string.
My reward is when people walk out of the store happy. When they feel a sense of the adventure they can find in knitting, my every wish is met and I go home feeling very very good. My satisfaction is a customers satisfaction.
I did not expect my joy in sharing knitting and socks to give back to me the way that it has.I have two customers who are exploring socks. I think exploring socks is one of the most interesting things and I guess my enthusiasm for it touched them. They made me this absolutely stunning needle case in return for my efforts.
I'm all moved in now, my needles have a new home. All of them fit. One side is for circulars. The needles tuck neatly away in little pockets, that are deep enough, none of them will ever go missing, There is room for plenty of tall straights including the wee bit taller River John needles I enjoy. There is room for my entire collection of double pointed needles, plus some little wee ribbon bits that will work to hold stitch holders and stitch markers and whatever notions won't fit into the little pouch.
It is beautiful and I will treasure it for the rest of my days.
At Christmas, there are no more giving people than knitters, and I am honoured, proud and utterly bowled over to be counted among them.
Thank you and many blessings to all the knitters, customers and yarn store owners who have helped me find my way.
These very special needle cases are going to be featured at River City Yarns for the next while. If you want a needle case that does it all, give the store a call.