Yarn art gatekeepers

I recently saw a reddit thread about knitting gatekeepers that got me thinking. Although fiber arts are usually a very positive, supportive community i have seen a lot of gatekeeping, myself, that can be offputting to people just starting out.

What are some yarn/fiber art gatekeeping experiences you have seen/know of?

I crochet, i do not know how to knit. I have crocheted for approximately 25 years. I love to support small local businesses. Years ago i went into a small local yarn shop in the town i lived in at the time, and the clerk asked me what i was knitting as i perused the yarns. I told her “oh, i don’t know how to knit, i crochet” and she promptly told me “oh, well this yarn isn’t for crocheting, it’s for knitting…”

Um…? It’s yarn? There are many gauges of hooks? I was very confused. She did everything short of kicking me out of the store to dissuade me from buying yarn for…heaven forbid… crocheting. I have never since wanted to support small yarn shops because every time i have tried again, in any town or state, the clerk gives me a LOOK. Big box store yarn for my crochet projects, thanks.


I’m sorry that that happened to you, but I’m glad you found a community that won’t treat you that way. Unlike most platforms, ribblr is a very positive and supportive community where we try to keep it safe and fun for everyone. I know you probably needed to vent a little, but I’m not sure that this topic will foster the positive culture we try to maintain here.


I’m sorry you had to go through that, in any community it isn’t hard to find gatekeepers it’s easier said than done to say to ignore it, so instead i think it’s important to find good communities (like Ribblr) to find more positivity and I hope you get to experience more positive interactions both here and elsewhere :blush:


Sorry this happened to you! Definitely not cool and not sure why they would do it.

Please don’t be discouraged, remember it’s about them and not about you.

Ribblr has a clear mission of making crafting accessible. We all start somewhere and we shouldn’t be embarrassed or feel bad about our work. After all it’s a form of art so it’s completely subjective :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Crafting doesn’t belong to a specific group or a single person, and it constantly evolves!
I think it speaks volume about someone whether they choose to help and assist or try to diminish someone else.

Hope to see more of your work here - be it Crochet, Knitting or any other craft!


If this topic is deemed inappropriate or negative for the community then please delete it. I only want to foster conversation, not trouble. Thank you.


The only reasons I could think of is most of them are S twist and not Z twist, and maybe some texture would work better for knitting, but I hate it when store clerks are so gatekeepy about it. Don’t them want customers to buy yarn? I mean, direct us to what works best, but don’t let your bias against crochet cloud your judgement!

Months ago a store employee kept asking me what I’m gonna do with it and kept redirecting me to more mainstream yarns when I was seeking indie dyed yarns for my stash… I was asking her for black and she kept saying but we have nothing in black if you want solid black you should go to (regular store of choice) or get this brand instead. I’m like “look, I want indie dyed specifically because I’m after the unevenly dyed look.” She kept fighting me and saying no this other stuff will be easier to work with. Oh, turns out she did have black after all, she just didn’t think the fancy dyed stuff was for me :woman_shrugging:

But the store I went to after that was delightful, very helpful and even respected my chosen name and pronouns and I felt the place was generally more relaxed anyway. They had stuff both for crochet and knitting and the people there didn’t expect me to follow arbitrary rules to be “allowed” to gaze upon their yarn.


This happened to me, but thankfully a veteran knitter who was knitting nearby scoffed and told them they clearly didn’t understand fiber arts. She’s one of the few people I know in real life who helped me find yarn store boutiques that were move accepting and stopped attending circles at the other.it sucks that there are a few bad apples but I promise a majority are wonderful!



One of the stores I went to was so delightful, for sure, when I have money again I’ll have to go back and get more stuff! They had an amazing, wonderful customer service, and even an automatic system for updates etc.


Aww this sucks. I’m so sorry that’s been your experience. When I’ve visited small yarn stores(we don’t actually have any in my town) they’ve either been super helpful or basically ignored me and left me to browse at my own rate.
I’m blessed that my experience of gatekeeping in the crochet landscape has been minimal :green_heart:


Oh heck, share your experiences, even the negative ones so that the fiber art community can heal those wounds by your confession and us gathering around you. :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:


Although I agree with this, the irony is most box stores also primarily carry S twist yarn :woman_facepalming:t3::rofl:… In fact the only one I know of that is Z twist is literally called ZZ Twist and is discontinued :woman_shrugging:t3::rofl:


Yeah, most yarns are S twist :sweat_smile: but I was just thinking of reasons why one might not recommend a yarn for crochet. I work with very inconvenient yarns sometimes. Not because I’m stubborn, but because the result looks nice loll


I knew that’s what you meant (and tried to convey that, but apparently was not successful in that​:woman_shrugging:t3:)… I just wanted to point out the irony if that was the yarn shop’s reason


I see :sweat_smile: sorry it’s the autism. Sometimes I don’t understand things.

I wish there were more z twist yarns tho. Sick of everything unravelling.


Is that WHY it unravels!?? I didn’t know that. Well, why don’t they make it so it won’t unravel?

Now, that would be an interesting conversation. I tried the ZZ twist by Lion Brand, I didn’t like the texture, it was like rope. I think they should have used a different fiber.


Yes it is :slight_smile: S twist yarns are made for the motion that comes with knitting, but when you crochet, the motion makes the yarn turn the opposite way… so it unravels!


Excuse Me What GIF by Nickelodeon


So I was told by a supervisor that my explaining makes people feel like I think they are stupid… (Really I overexplain because I don’t think I’m saying it right and feel like I’m being stupid​:woman_facepalming:t3::woman_shrugging:t3:) anyway that stuck with me, so I now tend to underexplain or use fewer words and end up confusing people… Another conundrum I often have :woman_facepalming:t3::woman_shrugging:t3:

And yes, more z twists would be nice!


Interesting, I’d never tried it… Wonder if that’s why it’s discontinued


I wouldn’t but it again even at a garage sale.