When I first started weaving, it was on an inkle loom - a small, lap loom that does tapes/trims. Very basic, very simple. One store in Dallas looked down on me, because it wasn't a "real" loom...but I didn't care (they went out of business shortly thereafter, because they treated other customers the same way. Not a smart way to do business!).
I decided that I wanted to weave the trim for my wedding dress, so we headed out to the "Weaver's Mecca" in McKinney. (They're gone now, and I MISS them. I was their customer for LIFE, because of the way they treated people.) THEY treated me like THE most important customer in the store, every time I went in - and they treated *EVERY* customer like that. They would happily offer advice, tips, they even let us look at loom benches KNOWING that we were going to make our own instead of buying (because.....$20 worth of wood. Benches were - at that time - $150. Um.....no.) - they knew how to treat customers. So...I base ALL my dealings with yarn folk on how THIS store treated people.
Anyway..the store today. We got there shortly after they opened..you have to ring the bell. I get that - the way the shop is set up you have a sort of foyer, then a maze of hallways to get to the shop proper. The lady opened the door, said "Hi. What do you want?" I told her "8/2 cotton for weaving." and got "What?!".. :sigh: I said "8/2 unmercerized cotton for weaving dishtowels." and was told "Oh. That's in the back. Have you been here before?" Yup. YEARS ago.....:sigh:
Anyway, what should have been a quick visit ended up taking over an hour, because a) she couldn't get the yarn I wanted wound off (I *wanted* to buy full cones, but that seems to be discouraged here, because I pulled off a full-ish cone of natural, said "I need all of this!" and got a sort of disapproving look) b) she couldn't figure out how to calculate what I owed and c) she charged me $100 TOO MUCH, and we had to get the owner to cancel that sale and re-ring what I had bought (which...she had miscalculated THAT to begin with. :sigh:)
I know, mistakes happen...but she was all to eager to blame US for them. See, Himself was yammering on about robot sheep that give steel wool...and apparently THAT was to blame for the snafu at the register. :sigh: (AND...they don't handle raw wool, because she can't make enough of a profit on them, and "spinners don't care where it came from, here or Australia". Um.....*I* care, and I know a lot of other spinners that do, too.)
I'll be going back to mail-order...with no guilt. Had they been a little more...chatty?..here, I'd have spent a LOT more - I wanted to get a color gamp kit (a gamp is a sampler; a color gamp has 8+ colors that you warp up in stripes, and weave them off in the same order/size. It lets you see how the colors interact in weaving - you usually do 1 in plain weave, and 1 in twill) for my walls...but they didn't seem interested in encouraging more sales.
I ended up with the cone of natural (but no white - they didn't *have* any, surprisingly enough!), a cone of purple/gray/blue varigated (because she didn't want to wind off the 8 oz I requested - "the cone is ONLY 11 oz!"), 11 oz of blue/green varigated (because she forgot I only wanted *8* oz of the colors...oh, well, I'll use it up.), and 11 oz of green. And a bump of bright roving (for next weekend's demo...yes, I have wool. I probably have "wild" wool...but this was there, and I was there..so...:eh:), some extra bobbins (you can never have too many) and another Bluster Bay shuttle (I LOVE them. LOVE them. They fit my hands, and they slide across the warp so perfectly.....I try to grab one whenever I run across them. Of course, I just found out that BB sells to individuals again...I'm in trouble. :lol:)
They didn't have ANY of the books I was looking for (surprisingly, *I* have more weaving AND spinning books then they do!), nor did they have the specific tool I was looking for (a wooden temple, to help me with my selvedges. I don't NEED a temple, but it would be nice to have.). Still...it wasn't a total wasted trip.
But...I won't be in a rush to go back there. :sigh: Even with shipping, Paradise Fibers, Halcyon Yarns and Webs are all cheaper.....and I don't have to deal with people. :big sigh:
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