Monday, August 31, 2009

Customers Are Strange

So here’s the funny knitting story…

A few weeks ago, I went up to the Black Sheep on a Saturday morning. Tracy and Joyce were both away and it was only Renee and me in the shop for a while. Eventually, a few customers came in and Renee was helping them as I sat at the table and knit.

In comes another customer. Let’s call her Customer B. “I’m making a scarf for my husband. He says he’ll wear it if it’s good enough. I want self-striping yarn.”

“Oh,” says Renee, “how about Noro?” And she shows the woman where the Noro is and goes back to the customer she was helping and Customer B walks over to the Noro shelves – which are right beside the table where I am sitting. “Oh,” she says, “that’s too rough.” “Well,” I said, “it softens up a lot after you wash it. Especially if you add a little hair conditioner in the water.” “How do you wash it?” asks Customer B. “Just fill a sink with lukewarm water and some Soak or something…” I start. “What’s Soak?” she asks, and before I could answer says, “Never mind…that’s too complicated. What other self-striping yarn do you have?”

So I got up from the table and started walking around the room with her. Pointed out some other striping yarn. Found out this scarf was to go with her husband’s black dress coat, so I suggested some yummy gray alpaca, though it wasn’t stripey. Customer B insisted that the pattern had to be very easy, but when I suggested seed stitch or a checkerboard stitch she snapped, “Well, I can do something more complicated than that!” (So sue me…I think a simple seed stitch scarf is very handsome.)

About this time another woman came into the shop to help Renee out. (I think her name is Karen.) Karen got sucked into this woman’s search for the perfect yarn and she also suggested Noro. “Too scratchy,” says Customer B. “Oh,” says Karen, “but when you wash it, it softens up a lot.” ”That sounds too complicated,” says Customer B. “Oh no,” says Karen, “you can do it in the washing machine. Fill the washing machine part way, put in some Eucalan and the scarf and agitate it with your hands a little bit. Then let it soak. After half an hour, put your washer through the spin cycle then take the scarf out…it’ll just be dampish…and lay it out on a towel.” And Customer B is listening to her and saying, “Oh, that’s easy!”

I’m sorry? That’s easier than filling a sink with lukewarm water? It’s certainly less energy efficient and probably uses more water. But hey, if you can use a modern appliance it must be easier, right?!

Customer B became absorbed in choosing the perfect Noro color combination and Karen got side-tracked by a customer. Customer B begins asking my advice (“Is this too girly? Would this go better with black than this one?”) and finally says, “Can you see if there is anything else in back?”

“I’m sorry,” I say, “I don’t actually work here. I just love helping people choose yarn.”

Well, you’d a-thought I’d said, “I’m sorry. I’m a leper!” Customer B wanted nothing more to do with me.

It wasn’t upsetting. But it was odd. Anyway, I hope her husband deems her scarf good enough to wear.

1 comment:

Oh, Brother said...

Just imagine being married to her . . .