Yarn stores in Buenos Aires, Argentina are operated much differently than those in the United States. I recently visited Buenos Aires and shopped at a few of their local yarn stores. Their unofficial yarn district had about 15 yarn shops within a 2 block area, along the 900 block of Scalabrini Ortiz. . The stores were all set up in a similar fashion, with counters around the perimeter of the stores and the yarn stacked from floor to ceiling behind the counter – out of reach from the customers. Each skein of yarn was neatly in its place.
When you enter the shop, you take a number. You will not receive any attention from the store associate’s until your number is called. But once it is your turn, you will receive your associate’s full attention until you are satisfied. They will pull as many skeins as you want and help you choose the best yarn for your project. They will share an immense amount of information with you (but only if you speak spanish!). One thing to keep in mind is that the majority of the yarn is not labeled, which makes it difficult to determine gauge or yardage, it is all based on weight in grams and kilograms.
At first, I wasn’t sure that I liked the idea that I could not touch and feel the yarn on my own. I had to stand behind the counter and just wonder about the yarn. But my mind started to quickly think up what I could create with the yarn based on the color. When it was my turn with the associate, I was more prepared with ideas and actually had a purpose in mind for the yarn (which is uncommon for me!). I ended up digging through a few different skeins before I decided on only five skeins. The yarn was much less expensive than here, but *sigh* I just didn’t have enough room in my suitcase.