Since I’m still fairly new to the knitting community I thought I’d ask you all for your opinions on a recent experience I had a my LYS. I have been in this shop several times, always buying yarn and sometimes asking for help. The staff and owner have always been wonderful, friendly, and exceptionally helpful. I took two classes there this week and the classes were as good as I had hoped, I learned a lot and had fun.
BUT, at the beginning of the first class one of the other students had not brought the right sized needle so I offered to loan her one as I had my KP set with me (my new Harmony - I haven’t even used it yet!). Of course, that elicited comments from all the knitters about the needles, and one of the other students had never seen the Options/Harmony set and was very interested. I started talking about it and the teacher quickly hushed me and with hand signals and head shakes made it clear we should not be talking about them. I know the teacher meant well and was trying to prevent an awkward situation, but of course this made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Shortly after this the owner left for the evening and the teacher explained that the owner didn’t like it when customers talked about a product in her shop that she could not sell.
In addition to this, I am lucky enough to be in an area where I have several LYS easily available to me. Although I like the overall atmosphere of this shop best - the set up is roomy and cozy, the yarn wonderful, the staff so helpful and the location for me is great - this is the only shop where, if I am looking for something specific, they either say “no, we don’t carry it” or try to sell me a substitution. The other shops in the area always suggest I try “this shop” or “that shop” if they don’t carry something specific I’ve asked for, and one of them actually called around for me on one occasion to see if her competitors had what I was looking for on hand.
I do understand that she is in business to sell product, but I have just been left with a little bit of a bad taste and wonder if she won’t play on my fiber naivety a little bit in talking me into alternatives or overselling me a bit. I can understand perhaps not joining in on a conversation about a product she can’t sell, but to promote an atmosphere that dampens knitters’ general conversation and enthusiasm over a tool seems a little “small”. I am just torn if I am being unfair to the store owner to feel this way and if her “from my shop or don’t bring it up” attitude is more reasonable than I see it. Sorry for the long post, but I really am interested in all your opinions!