These three words came to mind revolving around a discussion I’ve had in one form or another numerous times relating to local yarn shops: support. network. build.
Support for local businesses that serve their communities by providing new or improved services. In support of each other, the LYS provides a creative outlet to the community, who can offer the stability of a core base in return.
Network with groups / organizations / communities by reaching out with activities, etc. where people can learn and socialize while doing something they enjoy.
Build a following by working together to strengthen the reciprocal commitment between business and community.
If these things sound similar, it’s because I think they complement each other and work together…like the circle of life in the yarn universe.
Mom taught me to both knit and crochet as a kid on Red Heart yarn, probably from Woolworths (a moment of silence, please); I’m sure many of us started out that way. Fast forward several decades…I’m crocheting fairly regularly now, and know considerably more about yarns and such; most of which I’ve learned by researching things like fibers and their attributes, joining organizations, and attending classes / shows / events.
There’s the cost vs value debate. I define cost as how much you pay and value as the worth of how much you get for what you pay. Bear in mind that your LYS doesn’t operate like a chain store; they don’t have corporate backing and the owner(s) do not take an hourly salary for the time they spend in building their business. The person / people who run it love what they do, but business is business just the same. They generally teach and / or make an effort to invite teachers at a cost that they absorb. I have traveled for classes, but always try to make an event where teachers come in from out of town, that way I can use the money I would have spent on travel for classes: value.
When it comes to pricing, there may be a greater variety in price and your LYS, some of which can be based on fiber content, availability, season, etc. While you may be able to find an item less expensive at a chain, part of the value of a LYS comes from the services they provide, such as alternative solutions, project assistance and camaraderie; again: value.
Your LYS peeps are knitters and / or crocheters (and maybe into other disciplines) like you, and want to share their love of fiber with like-minded people. To that end, they strive to develop classes, events, etc. in order to engage creativity.
For more than a decade, I’ve had the opportunity to teach beginner to intermediate crochet at two LYS, as well as privately, and on other occasions. My goal in that regard has always been to inform and educate, starting with a good foundation, covering fibers, stitches, tools, pattern reading, etc. I trust that any of my students will vouch for me on this 🙂
I believe that even for people who already know how to crochet or have crocheted for years, there’s always something to be learned or refined, a new tip or trick for your skill tool box. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Branch out and amaze yourself!
To me, learning is a continuing process. I still take classes too 🙂