I'm not a big knitter-crocheter, but my sister Kathleen is a total maven. Last year for Christmas, she crocheted great big funky scarves for me, my sister Trish, and the family's little girls: my nieces Molly and Caroline. Inspired by Kath - and her assurances that this was a simple and quick pattern - I went on a small crocheting tear and zipped up a few scarves of my own. One of my giftees is allergic to wool, so I've been on the lookout for a funky, bulky yarn in cotton, silk, or acrylic.
No dice with a couple of the local shops I called. (One of them told me, "We only carry wool" in a tone of voice that would have been more appropriate if I'd asked her whether they had wool made out of human hair that had been lopped off the heads of unsuspecting women.)
Google to the rescue, of course.
My search led me to an outfit called Y2Knit.net, where I found a lovely acrylic yarn (if acrylic can ever be said to be truly 'lovely') and placed my order. That was on Sunday, and the yarn arrived today. It will make a beautiful scarf.
When I went to break the shipping box down for recycle, I found a small plastic bag rattling around inside that contained a tiny thank you note - and two pieces of wrapped hard candy. A little thing, but what a delighter. I may not have many occasions to order yarn online again, but I would definitely make my way to Y2Knit.
Maybe there's something about online yarn companies in general that makes them nice and thoughtful. Because there's a definite "first runner up" in this story.
In my wander around looking for yarn, I found a company called Halycon, in Bath Maine. I e-mailed them, asking them to recommend a non-wool yarn, and Susan Upham got back to me the next day. (I'd made my request on Monday.)
A couple of pieces of candy. A quick and cordial response. Two companies that I'll think very fondly of, even if I never order a skein of yarn again.
Why not an occasional delighter for a high-tech customer, too? Sometimes it's the small personal connections that make the difference, and the little things that mean a lot.