This is an experience I feel I need to share, as a textile artist and someone who processes things with words and thought.
I recently visited Swatches with my sister and was a little disappointed to find that its some bougie boutique-y yarn studio in some bougie boutique-y area of town where I saw the most white people I’ve ever seen since moving to Fresno.
It was a burning 90-something degrees outside and it took an hour and thirty minutes by two buses to get out there.
An older presumably white woman named Fran runs the store and she seemed pretty nice up until the point I mentioned that I crochet. She is obviously a knitter, and commented however jokingly that they loved crocheters at Swatches because we use twice the yarn to make anything. Implying that she expected me to spend lots of money in her establishment. Which I don’t really have.
No me gusta.
I had come in for some Shibui sock yarn, just out of curiosity of what a “usual sock” should look like. All my socks so far are weight 3 and weight 4 yarn, thick as slippers.
I felt bad for asking my sister if she wanted to come after the first three minutes. Most of the yarn, it seemed, was $20 and up. The place wasn’t well air-conditioned well so I was overwarm (maybe I just didn’t have a chance to recover from the heat outside so it seemed hotter inside?). Since I’d come all that way, I felt I should look at everything, so I did. She has really nice, really expensive selection there. Reminded me why poor people can’t afford nice things.
They do classes, $50 a class–ouch. I signed up for e-mails and updates but I don’t think I’ll be going back. After a while, and a purchase, me and my sister left.
With the white people came the racism embedded in white culture. We stopped at the Dutch Brothers kiosk outside of the store for something cool to drink as soon as we were done moving from one patch of shade to another in the dry, burning heat. The white guy at the register ignored us while chatting and serving the drive through as Becky and Heather tanned and drank their iced macchiatos in the shade at one of the two tables by the kiosk. At least someone got their drinks. And more white rudeness occurred at the Baskin Robins we stopped at after walking away from the Dutch Brothers bullshit kiosk.