Yesterday I took a new knitter to Hill Country Weavers for the first time. We went in the back door, and wandered around the children’s section, with the pastels and washable stuff. She picked up a ball of pink Plush, squeezed it, and asked if this would be easy to knit with. I showed her my favorite straight bamboo needles, like ones I started with. She was having a good time, but I could tell that she wasn’t impressed. Then we walked through the door into the main rooms. She stopped just beyond the Silk Garden to take it all in. To see the Habu and the Noro and the Be Sweet. The silks and alpacas and the stuff hanging from the rafters. I wouldn’t say her mouth was open, but I could see that she wanted to touch everything. Like that scene in The Miracle Worker when Helen Keller finally gets it. We went around the rooms slowly. She asked a lot of questions about the yarn. She noticed that the silks had more brilliant colors than the wools, and saw the difference between Noro’s long color repeats and variegated yarns. She held each hank of yarn against her neck to feel the texture. Then she wondered why merinos were softer than other wools and that alpacas were even softer. She asked why the qiviut came in such small balls.
I’d forgotten that a yarn shop is often a place to discover new things. So take a new knitter to the best yarn shop you know, and stand back, watch and get inspired.