Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's something to be said for customer service

So, as much as I love online shopping, in person shopping is so much better.
Pretty much ever since I got my wheel at the thrift store I've been planning my next wheel. I've searched online, looked at pictures, and checked ravelry to find out what other people love about their wheels. I had it narrowed down to a Kromski Sonata. It's a full size wheel that's portable, has double treadle, and it comes in a gorgeous walnut finish. But the wheel is $540. I found it on ebay for $590, which includes not one, but two extra flyers that would make the wheel make more different kinds of yarn than I would know what to do with. I've finally decided that I will get no new wheel. Yes, the tax return money would mean I can afford it, but no... I still don't have a job.... it's just not the right time.
So I decided that what I really want is a new flyer for my current wheel until a new wheel is a more realistic option. I searched online and narrowed it down to an Ashford sliding hook flyer that would fit my wheel. I made my appointment at Detta's Spindle (a small, in house shop that's by appointment only) and asked if she had it available. So I went in yesterday, she got the flyer, and let me put it on the wheel and try it out just to see if it's really what I want. She also gave my wheel a professional once-over. She put a new brake band on, prettied up the spring thingy, gave me a new drive band, greased it up so it goes smooth. Oh... and she also helped me figure out that my wheel is probably from the early 70's. My wheel is older than me!

And then I saw it.... the Kromski Sonata. She had it, and I wanted it. She let me try it out. I was hoping that I wouldn't like it as much as I imagined I would. And while I was trying it out, Detta put a stain on the flyer for me so I wouldn't have to when I got home. Well, it turns out that I love the Kromski Sonata even more than I had imagined. And the walnut finish in person... there was drooling involved.

I told Detta that I was interested in getting a lazy kate for plying... and she suggested that if I'm thinking about getting a new wheel (which I am.... eventually) that maybe I should wait to get the Kromski lazy kate.... and instead she showed me how to make my own lazy kate for zero dollars!

Oh... and Detta also had in her shop some fiber that is 50% yak and 50% merino wool.... I rubbed my face in it. Then I bought some. I'm planning to spin this into a thin yarn so I can make a cowl... or something that will be near my face... so I can rub my face in it... all the time. But, I should get back to my point... which is that in person shopping can be so much better than online. Here's my new sliding hook flyer after Detta stained it. And some yarn I made.
And back to the moral of the story. As nice as it is to sometimes be able to save a few dollars by buying online, there really isn't a way to get the personal customer service over the internets. And since I'm the kind of person that even if I really have my heart set on buying a certain item in a store, if I don't get decent customer service I will change my mind and walk out, I really like the idea of supporting small local businesses.

Well, I very likely will continue to buy books on amazon and shoes on But for other things I think local business is the way to go.

On another note.... I got home from knitting group last night and there was an icicle hanging from the porch. It was hanging really low and I thought I should kick it.... and then I slipped and fell... and my wrist hurts.
I should stop doing such silly things.

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