I spent a lovely day yesterday with my adult niece from Alabama. She wore a sweater that she had made from the current issue of Vogue Knitting, in the palest shade of pink. We visited two yarn stores where both her sweater and her southern accent (we're in Michigan) drew much attention.
In the first store, we were greeted by a woman with a very heavy accent that was definitely foreign to the US. Nothing wrong with that...but she went on and on about my niece's accent! It was all I could do not to laugh, wondering if she did not hear herself and how different she sounds from most Michiganders. Additionally, one comment such as "What a charming accent. Where are you from?" is pleasant, but telling all your coworkers to listen to the out-of-towner puts a potentially unwelcome spotlight on someone.
Odder still about the visit to this store was the woman's way of asking us if we had noticed various garments around the store. Rather than ask if we had seen the brown wrap with silk lace edging, she asked me if I had seen the $1000 wrap. My niece was asked if she had seen the $800 sweater. The last item she insisted I had to see was a $4000 afghan!
The yarn that I was hoping to find must have been too ordinary for them as they had never heard of it. Their suggested substitution would have cost me approximately $90 which was more than I wanted to spend for the project.
The second store is my down-to-earth favorite. The ladies oohed and aahed over my niece's sweater and asked appropriate questions regarding difficulty and yarn choice. They asked where she was from and that was the end of the accent issue. My niece bought yarn there for a work in a progress, and I found the exact yarn named in the shawl I plan to make, the total cost being $30 and change! I need to finish my son's sweater and get going on this for a wedding we'll be attending in August.