Monday, November 21, 2005

Caveat emptor?

Caveat emptor?

It's been a little zany around here lately. We're sort of busy at Skein but nothing like last year. People seem to come in batches. Nothing, then total chaos. Then nothing again for a while. Yesterday was slow for the first couple of hours and then it was bagain basement sale all over the place. (Do stores still have bagain basements?)

Among the zanies of this past week was this one customer with major attitude. She came in the door with chips on both shoulders, very large chips. She practically threw her garter stitch scarf on the table and demanded to know why she was getting these thin, narrow places when what she was expecting was nice fat areas for the whole length of the scarf. Her yarn was one of those recycled silks, the ones that are made from left over sari silk. I think this one was Mango Moon.

It looked perfectly normal to me. That yarn is notoriously irregular. That's part of what makes it what it is. I've worked with several different brands of this type of yarn and it's consistently inconsistent.

"Well," she said "I'm a new knitter and you should have told me." Told her? Even if she we had known she was a new knitter, I doubt if either Ann Mary or I would have thought to tell her "Oh, by the way, you're going to get some spots that are narrower than others."

Ann Mary tried to placate the woman but there was no way she was going to accept responsibility for her own lack of experience. I don't know what Ann Mary may have told the woman when she bought the yarn. I try, when I know I'm dealing with a new knitter, to steer people away from tricky yarns or to at least caution them about the potential frustrations. On the other hand, the business exists to sell yarn. If someone wants to buy who are we to stop them?

Anyway, it was an unpleasant scene with no reasonably satisfactory resolution. The woman took her yarn and stomped to the door. "I may be back," she threatened. And she was. She forgot her purse.

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