Six months ago, as I begin to think about my Fall Collection, I wondered what would be the theme for the collection? An idea had been brewing ever since I visited the beer making store, Great Fermentations, with my husband. I was struck with just how similar the beer making store was to Knit Stop, the yarn store where I used to work. They didn't look at all the same, but the behavior of the customers was almost exactly the same.
There were the first time brewers, that needed help with the beer making process. They needed some basic equipment, intruction books and the ingrediants. Often these people started off with kits, both for the ingrediants and for the equipment. There were classes available every weekend for those who liked to learn in a class room setting. The classes seem to be very popular.
Those who have already learned the process go to the store for ideas and inspiration. They love to talk to the other customer about what they are making, as well as what equipment the are using. Are they bottleing or kegging, and yes, kegging is certainly much less work. Are you using whole grains or an extract (substitute hand dyed or commercially died here)? They look at the ingrediants and recipies and try and decide whether to try a certain IPA or Stout. We look at yarn and patterns and decide whether to make a cardigan or a shawl.
The similarities between the beer making store and the yarn store struck me from our first visit to the store. I am sure there are other hobbies or passtimes where people exhibit this same behavior. There is a kinship between people that otherwise would never meet, just because of their love for their craft. They can easily chat and share their passion with the other patrons because of this one thing that they have in common.
As we make our purchases and walk out the the car, I almost always hear my husband say, "now I am all set, I have everything I need." Ha! Sounds just like us knitters after we purchase an interchangable needle set. We are just so sure we now have all the needles that we will ever need, but we soon find out that we really do need another size 6 or a shorter cable or something else! In brewing there is always new equipment, bigger containers, different shaped containers, a bigger pump, more tubing. You may have everything that you need, but there will always be something else that will enhance the process, and you will eventually buy it! Some of the stuff that you bought today may work well for you today, but as you continue to brew, you will decide that you like something else better. That is just part of the evolution of craft, whether beer or knitting.