LYS Etiquette

I just discovered that I have a LYS near my dentist’s office. I plan on stopping at this LYS after my appointment with the dentist this week, but I have a question.
Is it ok or polite to sit and knit in a LYS without buying anything or using their yarn? I have no yarn budget right now so I won’t be able to buy anything, but if there’s a nice place to knit I’d like to work on my current WIP. Would that be rude? I just don’t want to offend anyone, and I have extrememely limited experience with LYS. (After 2+ years knitting, finally went to my first LYS yesterday. Sad, I know.):aww:

I’m not sure of the correct answer but my gut instinct would be that they are in business to make money. Perhaps you should visit the place, get to know the people there, and see how it goes.

I don’t think I would just walk in for the first time, not buy anything, and just sit down to start knitting. But that’s just my opinion.

comfortable you would be. I’m pretty sure that the one I go to wouldn’t mind because she would probably assume that you will buy at some point and that you might talk about the store/word of mouth…

Why don’t you call and speak to the owner? I would ask if they have a Stitch & Bitch or coffee night and take it from there-you might feel more comfortable that way. I know at the SnB I went to last, most everyone brought their own stuff. Some bought, some didn’t, and no one seemed to care.

Good luck! I know I love to go sit at mine and knit. Yes, I do drop $ in there, but sometimes I just knit.


I don’t think you would offend anyone and since they are in business to make money it’s in their best interests to make you feel welcome because you might buy something.

I can’t afford many of the yarns in my LYS, but by making me feel welcome I have bought some yarns there. Most LYS do have less expensive yarns as well like Encore. I try to buy a few things occasionally and it makes me feel more comfortable sitting at the social knitting nights.

IMO… If you are using quality yarn like what the LYS would be selling they are not going to say to much. Also, if you tell them you just found out about there store and that you would like to come in and work on some of your projects and check out their store. They would be more then happy to have you snk (sit n knit) helps make the store look busy for other customers.

The experience with mine is that a couple of times a week, she has open knitting, in other words, no charge, it isn’t a class, just an unofficial stitch ‘n’ bitch session. To think that every single person would buy something every single time would be nuts!-- but I would guess that every single person has purchased something from her at some point or another, and most of us take classes occasionally. But some don’t, and as boo1 said, no one seems to care. As the others have said, it makes the store look busy and popular and you’ll probably talk about the store to other people, and maybe even occasionally spend some money there. And you’re not costing the shop a single dime by sitting there, knitting! So the owner would be crazy to give you a hard time, and I would go and just knit and introduce yourself and enjoy! If it eases your conscience, then maybe stop at a bakery first and bring some cookies-- believe me, no one is going to resent you being there for that:) .

Thanks so much for your help!

[B]Silegose[/B] - Unfortunately I’m not using “quality yarn”, just Bernat Softee Chunky. As long as the ball band is off who will know, right? :thumbsup:

After hearing your replies, I think I will go and check it out and maybe snk. It’s not like I would never buy something from there, just not right now. LYS fascinate me, I love the ambience of all that yarn. And I will definately ask if they have knitting nights.
Thanks again for your help.:cheering:

Do check it out! I stopped in a LYS also after a dentist appt to ask a question and they were so lovely and welcoming! The store owner answered my question and invited me to sit and knit and go get lunch and come back! Loved that!

I have wanted so badly to go back for their knit in sessions but I don’t have lots of time right now. I am planning on going back to buy some needles. Their yarn selection looked a bit pricey for me for now, especially since I am still learning.

The next “mommy’s day out” I will head there.


You should go. Great way to meet some other knitters, and who knows, they may have some less pricey yarn you’ll want to use at a later date.

I would go to check it out but wouldn’t go indefinately without buying something. I am sure the owner doesn’t expect you to make a purchase every time but I do think it would be inappropriate to knit there long term without becoming a customer.

IMHO if they have chairs in the LYS, they won’t care if you sit and knit a bit! But, why not ask them if they mind? They should welcome your presence, and they would then look forward to your business in the future!

One thing I try NOT to do while sitting in my LYS: I don’t discuss with other knitters about places to get yarn cheaper than the shop! :eyes:
The shop clerks can hear everything…and I’m sure they would cringe if they heard me telling their customers about other places to buy yarn! :teehee: THAT would be poor etiquette! :teehee:

i would ask , my LYS is on an alpaca farm, she raises them for fiber ,and sells it there, pluslots of other animal/ vegetable based yarns
she isnt a snob about the yarns, other than to say she sees a lot of poodles come in and they turn thier noses up at her prices ( which are pretty reasonable , imho) and she sends them off to the mart of wal for “cheap” she has a TINY store, with no room for SNB, so in her case you could come visit, but… thats about all she has room for

Most yarn shops are super-friendly and helpful, but not all. I agree with the suggestion to talk to the owner or manager of the shop. My LYS is awesome. It is not just a shop but a knitting community. I get so much encouragement and support from them!

If that shop is smart, they will want you to stay and knit - and be surrounded by the beautiful, tempting yarn. Because first you look at the yarn, then you touch the yarn, then you ‘pet’ the yarn, then you buy the yarn!

McKnitty - You are so right about the look-touch-pet-buy cycle! Petting yarn gets me into trouble.
I will be going to the shop next week and I can’t wait!

If you go … you will buy … eventually …

At my LYS near me, they mention on their website that customers are welcome to sit and knit, but only if they purchase something or use a yarn purchased there before. There’s only one couch, so they probably want to give the priority to customers, which is understandable. I think it’s better to ask the owner!