Check it out, I'm (for now) a hot new knitting topic on Craftster. My dialogue-spurring post:
It will be a cold day in hell before I pay to knit in your shop.
So I moved recently, and I just checked out my new LYS, and I have to say I'm disappointed. The shop employees were perfectly nice and the selection was fine, if small. But when I asked if they knew of any local knitting groups, I was told that they have a group that meets twice a week, in the shop, and it's $5 per person.
I understand that a business has a perfect right to charge anything they please for the use of their premises, and they did mention that help is available during those times, but... but... Maybe I'm just spoiled, coming from an LYS that gave help anytime for free and allowed my Stitch n Bitch (which met in a coffee shop, which only charged us for our food and let us sit there as long as we liked) to post fliers, and the employee who came to our SNB to give out business cards. It's perfectly legal and acceptable business, yes, but it's not exactly the open-arms customer service response you'd expect from a brick-and-mortar shop in the dot-com age. I think I'll be sticking to knitpicks and ebay and looking elsewhere for my IRL knit community (because as awesome as craftster and the blogiverse are, I still want one).