It's been awhile since my last post. Bob and I drove from Boulder to Wyoming and we hung out here for a few days....
We had a very nice vacation. Wyoming was quiet and relaxing and I did a lot of knitting while Bob did a lot of fly fishing. The motherland was considerably noisier, but also more festive. I have 5 nieces and nephews, the oldest of whom is 6, and my aunt and uncle who lives across the lake have 7 grandchildren, all of whom made their way to our side of the lake for a big party. While at "the lake" I only knit a little bit while Uncle Bob fished with the oldest of my nephews and ran around outside behaving like a kid himself.
Today we drove down to the Twin Cities and Bob got on a plane back to Big Texas. I'm going to drive the car back to San Antonio later this week. Since I was already almost all of the way to St. Paul when I dropped Bob off at the airport this afternoon, I decided to hit a couple of yarn stores on the other side of the river. First I went to The Yarnery, and my experience there, much like the last time I was in there was quite pleasant. I bought one gift item and then moved on to another St. Paul yarn store, not far from The Yarnery and my experience at this store started out okay, and then rapidly deteriorated. Everything would have been fine if I'd only said "No, thank you"' when they asked me if I'd like my yarn wound into a ball. If I'd just taken my skein and the book I bought and left, I'd probably be saying that I loved this yarn store. Everything went downhill when I said "That would be great," instead of "No, thank you."
How long does it take you to wind a 420 yard skein of sock yarn into a little yarn cake using a ball winder and swift? How long does it typically take a yarn store employee (someone who should be quite adept at winding yarn) to complete this task? I'd say on average, it takes no more than 5 minutes for the average human to wind up a skein of yarn. Even a very pesky, tangly skein can almost always be wound up in 15 minutes or less. It took two women at this second yarn store more than 45 minutes to wind my yarn. After about 20 or 25 minutes, I told them that I wanted to leave and could I please just take another identical skein and be on my way. They rudely told me no. I was told that the yarn they were trying to wind could no longer be sold and that if I had to leave, they could either send it to me, or I could come back later. I explained that I live in Texas and that I was in town on vacation and that I was sort of hoping to knit with the yarn right away. I'd already been patiently waiting for much longer than a person typically waits and at this point, the yarn I'd just paid for was a big tangly mess all over the floor.
After watching the yarn store women struggle for another minute or so, I begrudgingly said that I would go next door and get a cup of coffee while they tried to sort out the mess. At this point, I was more than a little bit miffed that they didn't just give me a new skein. To make matters worse, they weren't even apologetic about the situation and one of the women suggested that if I didn't have time to wait, I shouldn't have asked them to wind the yarn. I wanted to tell her that if it was going to take more than 20 minutes to wind one skein, they shouldn't offer to do it, but I kept my snarky comment to myself. The ruder of the two women told me that they'd have it finished in 7 or 8 minutes, so I got my coffee and called a native knitting friend to bitch about the situation. When I told her that I was in St. Paul, she was able to name the store in question right away, as she too has had bad experiences there. About 45-50 minutes after purchasing the yarn, I was finally able to leave with it. I know it was this long because the time on my receipt is 16:58 and I wasn't in my car and on my way a minute before a ten to 6:00. Unbelievable. The yarn is now a sad, slightly fuzzy mess of a ball, and the inept winder told me that it would be best if I worked from the outside. Who knits a center pull ball from the outside? Isn't the whole point of using a ball winder to end up with a nice center pull yarn cake? I think I'll rewind it by hand, and I bet it will take me less than 45 minutes.
My question now is do I ever go back to this place? They had an awesome selection of yarn, in particular sock yarn, which as many of you know is my favorite, but I'm not sure I can do business with a store that has such horrendous customer service. I Googled the name of the store when I got home and everyone else seems to love it. In fact, the reason I went out of my way to go there in the first place was because I'd read so many rave reviews on other people's blogs and I was really looking forward to visiting this particular store. Oh well, it was just one skein. I've definitely learned that no matter what, I will never again agree to have my yarn wound at that store.