Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yuppies and Sock Classes Don't Mix

I'm so sorry, dear readers. There are no pictures today. The Yarn Fairy didn't bring anything other than a gorgeous club offering from Anni, which I can't show for obvious reasons. It's late and I just got home, so I don't feel like digging in the stash to get some yarny goodness for pictures. Instead, I'll tell you about the lovely experience I just had in Snobsville.

I spent the latter part of my childhood and my teenage years (not to mention a lot of my young adulthood) in a suburb of San Francisco, which at the time consisted of orchards and ranches. I used to ride my horse down Main Street and tie her up outside whatever store I was going into. I'd put my purchases in my saddle bags (and I don't mean the ones on my thighs), ride to the drive-up dairy, wait in line with the cars, and buy us each an ice cream. Then we'd ride to the Rose Garden, where I'd dismount and share my goodies with her. It was a bucolic town, very small and lovely. When I married for the first time, I moved ten miles away to another small town which was even more cowboy-oriented. I loved it.

After moving away when I got divorced, I returned several years later to find a neon-laden, coffee house filled, tequila bar town overrun with expensive houses. Lexus and Mercedes and Porsche were the new names in town. Every yuppie from all over the Bay Area had converged on my quiet little town and taken it over. Gone were the horses on Main Street. Gone were the funky little stores. Gone were the orchards. Progress had completely obliterated what I had known and loved for so many years. There were strip malls and shopping centers everywhere with big box stores and fast-food restaurants everywhere you looked. On Main Street, there were now trendy restaurants and people with fast cars, designer clothes, and no common sense strolling down the sidewalk. I was appalled. What had happened? Silicon Valley had happened, and these were cash-rich programmers who were no longer nerds, but wealthy people who liked to flash their cash. Shit.

The yarn store I've been teaching at is in my old home town. The owner and I never really saw eye to eye. She's a newcomer (anybody who hasn't been there for 20 years is a newcomer in my book). She saw my ring and informed me that she had a three carat diamond in her wedding ring (even though her old man had dumped her), and that she was going to get it reset so that her current squeeze didn't have to shell out the cash to buy her another one (cheap bastard). She also told me that this dude lived with her, but she couldn't get married until her alimony ran out or it would be terminated. Then she proceeded to tell me that she was turning her shop into a boutique that catered to the trendy, a place where you could buy indie yarns and sit and drink lattes and knit and be an asshole. I just listened to her and thought, well, I can do this. So I began teaching.

The first thing I noticed was that these women didn't take their learning seriously. They were much more interested in discussing the latest kitchen remodels and their industrial stoves which never got used because they might get dirty and their spas and pools and slate walkways and and and... it was all I could do to get them to cast on. They couldn't even do that. I lost half of each class I taught because it was too hard. They didn't understand it. They didn't care to put in the effort it took to listen to me. So I accepted it, even though it didn't do much for my self-confidence as a teacher, and taught those who did want to learn. Some of my students weren't yuppies and were just normal people with a love for knitting. I figured that spreading the gospel was a good thing no matter to whom, so I kept at it.

Then I noticed a subtle change in the owner's attitude. She didn't really want to schedule a new class. Then it was that the next month was full. Then it was that I was going on vacation and she wanted to wait until November. Okey dokey. I'm easy. Usually. Until tonight, when it all came crashing down.

I taught tonight's class (an extra free class) to my five remaining girls. A couple of them had made serious mistakes which I helped them fix. I thought that my humiliation at this past weekend's class disaster would make me more compassionate, more patient. It did, with my students. I ripped out, I picked up stitches, I walked them through melding gussets with heel flap stitches, I got them to the point where they could begin their heels and finish their socks. They were ecstatic. I was happy. I had done my job, even though it took five class sessions to do it. I should had known something was up when the owner stuffed us into the front room where all the books and uncomfortable wooden chairs are. She had another class or something going on in the main part of the store with the comfortable couches. No biggie. Then the class was over and I went up to the desk to say goodbye and also to say that I would see her in November.

Then she informed me that her class schedule was full for November and December. Then she told me that she was holding a HUGE sock class using DPN's because my class was too hard. After all, I lost half my classes each time, so something must be wrong. A "young girl" (what the hell am I, an old bitch?) who had "lots of experience knitting socks with DPN's" was going to teach it (I got that information after I asked her why she didn't ask me). I told her she was usurping my students, which is when I found out that she was also teaching the Magic Loop method. Her DPN class was using large needles and yarn (which apparently was going to enable her yuppie cult to knit socks successfully). I was pissed. Majorly pissed. I ranted to poor Hubster about it almost all the way home.

To put the icing on the proverbial cake, when I got home I received a mass e-mail stating that she was starting a yarn/sock club where you would get fun stuff and Tofutsies (wow... what a neat yarn), and that you would go every week to learn how to do your socks and finish! YEAH! (those were her words and inflection) That was it. I'm going to write her a nasty note and burn the bridge. I now regret getting some indies into her shop, and I pray that Susie at Perchance to Knit doesn't send her any samples like I encouraged her to do. I think I need to call Susie and warn her. I don't think the indies are selling well there now anyway. I guess the yuppies are also cheap and don't want to spend the money for quality yarn. They'd rather get some crap and knit on large needles to make fetus-shaped monstrosities. The hell with them. I'll attend my group locally with normal people who don't think that life ends if they don't drive the most expensive car in the neighborhood and have to have a latte while they chat about how much they hate their husbands, but they stay because they can screw the pool boy while hubby is at work and still get the old man's money.

Die, yuppie scum. Die.


KnitMoka said...

you said it. they suck.

Anonymous said...

So Sorry you had a bad day, if I lived in the USA I would welcome your experience,I had to teach myself sock knitting, I have no one to turn to when my socks go bad. Its there loss in my opinion. Sheryl

Yarnbeans said...

I agree! They suck! Sometimes yarn store owners just have no clue!

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

You guys are the best. Thanks so much for understanding what I was saying. I've written a nasty letter to the owner of the shop; I'm sure she'll be blowing a gasket right about now. :)

SwissKnits! said...

I have read this over a few times and still cannot believe this!!
So sorry people have to be jerks...

Megann said...

I sooo understand the yuppie shit. Living here in the OC is sometimes beyond disgusting. I have nothing to do with LYS here. I am so sorry about your class. Screw them.. they are totally losing out. Enjoy writing your nasty-gram and burn that bridge!

Anni said...

Sounds like this yarnstore owner has no idea how to run her business. Yuppies may enjoy knitting for now, but if they're doig it as a fashion thing, will they stick around if knitting is not so much in fashion again. I doubt it. She'll come begging back to you soon.

I love the picture you painted of where you grew up. I used to ride horses and worked as a horse riding instructor when I first moved to England. It sounded so idyllic.

I'm teachign a sock knitting class this month, hope i don't have same experience as you. It's only one day though and the yarn shop owner is a lovely lady and although the shop is an hour away it's my favorite LYS.