So scary!

I just got back from Borealis Yarns, the independently owned yarn store I was talking about yesterday. It’s very close and conveniently located and I can’t believe I never saw it in all the years I’ve lived (and worked) in the neighborhood.

Not surprisingly, I almost chickened out as I approached the store. I almost kept driving. I just knew that the store was going to be all bright and pretty inside with friendly yarn loving staff just waiting to greet me with cheery hellos…how terrifying! Social anxiety is such a jerk!

Instead of driving past and regretting it, I pulled over, squared my shoulders and walked boldly into the shop. I even looked for the store employees so I would be ready with a “hello” when they spotted me. I was relieved when not one of the three women even noticed me walk into the store. They left me alone while I shopped for yarn and they were friendly when I was ready to check out. I couldn’t believe how well it was going!

Then a woman next to the counter asked me if I wanted her to wind my yarn into balls. OMG…start the freak out!

I got all flustered and asked if they really needed to be wound into balls. All three women turned to me with looks of horror on their faces and said “yes!” Then I mumbled something about being able to do it myself. That must have been a weird answer because the first woman asked if I wanted her to do just a couple so I could get started right away. I got even more flustered and said that I had to get back to work. Then one woman asked me what I was planning to make and another woman complimented my sweater and the third complimented my yarn color choices. I think I answered the way a normal person would but I can’t be sure. All I could think about was getting back to my car.

People with social anxiety will understand how this shopping trip was a complete success! I made it into the store, I bought some beautiful yarn and I probably didn’t actually make a fool out of myself. I know that it’ll be easier to shop there next time which is exciting because the women were all my age and really nice…not “annoying” nice, just “excited about yarn” nice. And I’m also excited about yarn…so they can’t be that scary, right?

I’m going up north this weekend to visit my parents so I won’t have much time to work on my ripple blanket. But, it looks like I have nine skeins of yarn to wind into balls so I’ll still be busy. How annoying.


  1. Well done you! Suffering from social anxiety pretty much all my life, I can totally empathise:-(
    I wanted to ask you if you wanted a ball winder? So next time you can say, "no thanks, I've got a ball winder at home:-)" exit stage right!! I have got more than one courtesy of inheriting a knitting machine - or two - so would it be of use to you?
    Don't think I can get it there before the weekend though:-))
    Loving your blog and your gorgeous quilts and looking forward to seeing your ripple blanket:-)

  2. Good job! BTW your "new" living room looks lovely!

  3. Oh my goodness, Elaine! That's such a generous offer! It took me about three hours to wind four balls last night so I'd definitely take you up on your offer. Now that I've found such a nice store, I plan to make some quality yarn purchases in the near future.

    So, if you'd like to send it to me, I'd most happily accept it! Of course, I see that you're in the UK which is very far away...

    I'll email you with my address and if you decide to send it to me, that would be amazing. If not, that's ok too. :)

    Ugh, isn't social anxiety the worst? It's nice to know people who can empathize...a lot of my friends just don't know what the heck I'm talking about.

    I've just spent a minute checking out your blog and I can't wait to read more when I get back in town. I'm just heading out the door now. :)

  4. Hi Crystal, it's not a problem at all, glad I can help! Look for the ball winder in the post very soon:-)

    A lot of my friends and family find it hard to imagine social difficulties like eating out, going to the cinema, get-togethers, etc, basically all the things they take for granted and enjoy. It's hard for them to put themselves in another's shoes, I suppose.

    You are very brave to face these fears head on and not avoid them - it's easier said than done and all cudos to you. I've still got a list of things to work on:-))Slow but surely!

    Look forward to seeing your shiny new yarn all wound into balls!

  5. You HAVE to wind yarn into balls?! I've never done this before. Does that mean that I've made all gazillion of my scarves wrong!? Does that mean that I really don't know how to knit?! This is very disturbing to me. :) I'm a straight outta the skeen kinda girl. I don't know about this ball thing. Wouldn't that just make you're yarn roll all over the place?

    I went into a craft store when I was first learning how to knit because I had a question and the internet wasn't helping me find the answer. It took a lot for me do actually do this but I was desperate!!! I wandered around the yarn section until I saw what appeared to be a very sweet, nice, grandmotherly type that looked like she knew what she was doing. I asked my question and she yelled at me. :( So now when I go to craft stores I keep my mouth shut, refuse all help and get in and out as quickly as possible.

  6. crystal,

    i feel you. i've been going to this one quilt shop for over a year and i still get all freaked out and kind of sweaty when i pull into the parking lot.

    i just have this embarrassed feeling all the time!

    luckily, i've been able to grow out of most of my anxieties.

    ps- the way you write about these things is hilarious. i think you are funny.

  7. Arlene! Wouldn't that just make you're yarn roll all over the place? That's exactly what I said in the store. Hilarious!

    Apparently, yarn comes in skeins where you just pull from the middle and it comes out all nice but some yarns come in sort of a twist like this:

    When you undo the twist to get to the ends, it's just one big loop that gets tangled up when you try to use it without winding it into a ball right away. I've always used the former but the yarn I bought last week was the latter. I had no idea yarn even came like that! That's what I get for going to a real yarn store. They're scary!

    But, as it turns out, they're not really that scary. I'm sorry to hear yours turned out to be a terrible adventure, though. Shame on that yarn store lady! I think you should give it another go. It has to be better than the last time.

  8. Jennifer, I know the "embarrassed all the time" feeling all too well. At the same time, I know there's nothing to feel embarrassed about which makes everything even worse.

    Things may get a little easier for me every day but I'm definitely not ready to go into a quilt shop. You're very brave! :) Maybe someday...

  9. Unrelated - but I came across this just now (I'm noodling around on my lunch) and thought you might like it for your blog:

    (scroll down a bit.) They also have character specific ones. :)


Post a Comment