Sunday, November 13, 2011


Anticipation! I am feeling it! What is on the other side of that door? Or in my case, what will I be picking up tomorrow?

Last Saturday I participated in something called The Baaad Girls Shop Hop. I've done quilt shop hops before, and one scrapbooking store hop, but never one for a yarn store. In shop hops, you purchase a "passport" either at your favorite participating shop or the one which will be your first stop. The passport is a sheet of paper or booklet that gets initialed, stamped or punched at each store and turned in at the final store for prize drawings.
In last weekend's case, there were 5 shops participating and the passport fee was $10. The passport entitles you to discounts at each store for that day, gives you a goody bag from each shop, and the money generated from passport sales goes to charity. Most shops also offer refreshments, often home baked items and beverages.

For a few blogger friends who knit and are somewhat local to the area, I will mention shop names and my impressions. Don't read anything into more photos at one store than another. Lighting, shopping congestion or the fact that I didn't ask permission to take photos might be the reason for fewer photos.
I began the hop at the store furthest from me, Sweet Pea's in St Clair, Michigan. They are located in the shopping plaza on M-29 ( North Riverside Avenue), at the south end of the plaza. You must enter the plaza to find their entrance.
This was part of their refreshment offering with drinks on a nearby table.
Beyond this window is the St Clair River. This area is a nice place to sit and contemplate a pattern or have a husband watch the river (and often freighters) go by while you shop. 
 A closer view from the window.
Their goody bag included The Country Register, a Debbie Bliss magazine, a guide to things to see and do in the Blue Water area, a lovely skein of fun yarn (Crystal Palace Monaco) and a package of Sweet Pea seeds.
My review: I loved this store! It was bright and cheerful and so were the employees. It isn't so close that Bill has to worry that I will go there weekly as I do my local shop, but I will definitely return.
My next stop was in Armada at a Knitters Hideaway. It is off Armada Ridge on 33 Mile Road, set back quite a bit and if traffic had been heavy, I would have missed the small sign at the end of the drive.
The store is upstairs in this garage. The area is small, but chock full of yarn, patterns and notions. The two women working were very friendly.
Their goody bag had a pattern, some candy, an emory board and oddly....a pen from a funeral home or cemetery that I guess was local to the area.

My review: The store was nice, but in all honesty, it is so far from my usual travels, I doubt I will return.
Next stop, Labor of Love Yarn and Fiber in Romeo.

Their goody bag included size 3 Bryspun circular knitting needles and patterns for a mug cozy, a seed stitch bobble scarf and a flapper hat. No photos accompany the directions and since no one greeted me or asked if they could help in any way, I have no idea if these items were displayed somewhere or not.

My review: The downside to cramped quarters in an old Victorian home mean that a table full of knitters (class or a regular knitting group session) made it difficult for new shoppers to walk around or even see what was available. The turn off here was that no one paid any attention to potential new shoppers.
Stop number four was Trio Crafty Lady on Hall Road in Macomb.

Their goody bag was the store's newsletter and a pattern book featuring ella rae yarns.

My review: The store had lovely displays. The staff is not friendly. This is not my first experience with aloof attitudes in this shop. There was a beaded scarf on a display that caught my interest. I found the pattern near the check out and asked if the yarn was anywhere near the displayed scarf. The employee walked me to the display and said it could be made from this, that or the other yarn. I asked if this meant that they were out of the yarn in the sample. Oh no, they had it, but it was locked in the display case at the check out. I didn't really want to see it, did I?    Of course not, you idiot. (thought but not spoken). I kept my $36 (cost of said yarn) and left with previous impressions in tact.
Last stop was City Knits, now in Harrison Township on Crocker near 16 Mile. They have a location in downtown Detroit, but that store wasn't part of this hop. This location is a recent move from downtown Mount Clemens where parking was sometimes difficult and nearly all metered parking. The store is in a strip mall and most easily found by looking for the restaurant's sign.
This is only a fraction of the yarn in the store nearest the windows.
Items from a trunk show were displayed on the walls
More trunk show samples behind the refreshments. They are still constructing shelves and bins to hold even more yarn and notions which is why the ladder is in site.
Samples of crochet for one of their classes.
Their goody bag had Spin*Off magazine, a pattern for a ski band, a bottle of water and a skein of Ironstone yarn, color is called Herb Garden.
My review: Like Sweet Pea's, everything in City Knits was good. I asked about knitted gloves that were placed on top of Vogue Knitting Fall 2011 magazine. The gloves are on page 98 of that issue and in my opinion, the photo doesn't do them justice. They are gorgeous and were designed by the shop owner, Karen Hendrick-Hands. The employee took me to the yarn (Misti Alpaca) that was used to make these gloves and wished me luck choosing one color over the many others that were drool-worthy. I will definitely re-visit this store for two reasons: First,  I ordered a pattern that was out of stock due to popularity during the shop hop and second, I got an email notification that I won something from the shop hop drawing which took place yesterday!

Too bad I have to wait until tomorrow to find out what it is! Photobucket
Before anyone thinks I was harsh in commenting on two of the stores that didn't greet shop hoppers, this isn't about ego. The purpose of a shop hop is to draw new people into the store. The first three stores were brand new to me and I will definitely return to Sweet Pea's, so they succeeded. The fourth store wouldn't have warranted a stop from me except for getting my "passport" stamped. The snooty attitude over yarn cost them a sale not only that day, but any future days.


Sewconsult said...

Of course, I won't be able to go to any of the shops for more reasons than distance (I don't knit). I don't understand why retail shops don't have more common sense when it comes to greeting customers, especially new ones. I know that my disposition (cheery most of the time) made a big difference in my building my home-based business.
Hope your prize is a biggie!

SkippyMom said...

I would definitely be crossing 3 & 4 off of my list too. What the heck is it about a yarn shop/knitting/crocheting that gives those women the right to be snooty. I cannot stand to walk into a custom type Mom & Pop shop [i.e. NOT Wal Mart] and 1. Be ignore or 2. Condesended to. They only stay in business if customers repeat.

I really like the other three tho' - I wish I knew how to knit. It sure would make the time pass. I can't sew from my bed. heehee [Okay, don't tempt me. I might.]

Can't wait to see pics of what you won. :) Congrats.

Rudee said...

It's hard to believe a place agreed to be a Shop Hop destination and made no effort to greet visitors. Bad business. I've only been to one of the two you criticized, but I'd agree with you that the ambiance inside the Crafty Lady leaves something to be desired. I didn't do the west side shop hop this year. Maybe next. I was kind of all spent out from the Ann Arbor Fiber Festival.

Congrats on winning! Can't wait to hear what you won.