And I do mean events. A commitment of at least three hours was required for participation, no matter how well-researched and compact your shopping list was. Also required -- at least for a truly happy result -- a highly developed sense of patience. And a knitting project. Preferably on circulars, as personal space was at a premium. And blood spilling onto your undyed cashmere is never a good thing.
I rather enjoyed the whole-song-and-dance these sales entailed, to be honest. I didn't mind showing up an hour or two before opening to secure a premium spot at the head of the queue -- pretty much everyone there was friendly, chatty and -- most gratifyingly -- understood why you would stand outside in the cold rain of a Vancouver January for two hours waiting to buy yarn.
I also didn't have too much of a problem with the jostling once inside the shop; only in extreme cases was there any tension between shoppers. Besides, I have a rather sharp set of elbows honed through months of backpacking through India; and I'm not afraid to use them.
I will admit that the waiting in line to pay did get a tad tedious; but really, it wasn't so bad: there were plenty of people to chat with about knitting, not to mention the opportunity to add to your shopping basket. And hey, how bad can life be when you're about to save up to 70% on beautiful yarn, and shop staff are giving you delicious mini cupcakes?
All that said...yesterday's experience was oh so much nicer. For this year, the ladies at 3BF were joined by a temporary staff member.
That, piggies, is a bouncer. At the door to a yarn shop. How freaking cool is that? (I'm afraid I did not catch this godsend's name...I believe he is the husband of the lovely Jamie, aka sparklefaerie.)
Yep, when the doors opened at 11 am, only 20 shoppers were allowed in. Piggy was among them, as were a few of my peeps:
megknitficent, chrissythegreat, our new friend, 3BF sale-virgin Christina, and MsTing at the front of the line.
And everyone else.
It made such a difference...space to actually move about freely, and a very short wait to pay. And as a shopper left, a new one was let in.
Room to move!
I was out the door by 11:25! And...wait for it...I pretty much stuck to my plan, which was to pick up the yarn for my partner in the Ravelry Blue Sky Alpacas Swap; and to not buy anything else that wasn't at least 50% off.
Here's the haul (minus the swap yarn, of course!):
Five skeins of Sublime Soya Cotton
One skein of black Malabrigo Sock
One skein Misti Alpaca Lace
One skein Indigo Moon Bombyx Silk
All at 50% off. Oh, and I also picked up a copy of More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, at 70% off.
I paid in cash, piggies. And spent less than I even dreamed of, much less expected.
Which was handy, since as soon as we left @3BF, we headed to the grand opening of Baaad Anna's. Where Piggy's plan fell apart, just a wee bit.
But that's a story for another day.