Almost a year ago, I took a lesson on weaving. I really enjoyed it, but the Cricket loom that I used was just too small for it to be practical for much beyond 10″ strips of fabric. So I decided to wait to buy a loom until I could get a larger one.

Recently, my friend Taya got really involved in spinning. She spends so much time on it that she doesn’t have time to weave as much as she once did. So she kindly offered to let me use her loom for a while.

I’ve had the loom for over a week, but I have to admit to a bad case of warpaphobia. It’s daunting for me to learn something new, and I was really worried that I would end up with a huge yarn mess. Combine that with a desire to get my house cleaned, and I was in no hurry to get started on weaving.

Taya won’t be gone forever, though. I figured I’d better get started. I decided to start with some place mats made from kitchen cotton. I have a small pile of it, and I don’t enjoy knitting with it enough to ever make it a priority.

The first thing I found out is that weaving takes up a boatload of yarn. I knew that already, but I overestimated the amount of yarn that I had. I watched the video for “Using the Warping Board on the Kromski Harp” on YouTube and went to work. It didn’t take long to discover that I only had enough yarn for about a 3 inch wide strip.


This morning, I went in search of more yarn. Joann’s didn’t have the Summer Splash colorway for Sugar & Cream that I needed. They didn’t, so I bought a couple complimentary colors to fill out the difference.

07/02/2011 Warp

Now I’m ready to dress the loom. I’m really low on the red-orange and gold colors, but I found some of the Summer Splash by calling Michaels stores in the area.

Which brings me to my customer service rant of the day.

When I asked the clerk at Joann’s if they had the Sugar & Cream in Summer Splash, she looked annoyed and then told me that she would need the product SKU in order to check if it was available at other Joann’s stores. When I suggested checking the Joann’s web site via the Internet, she looked at me as if she had never heard of the Internet.

When I went to check out at Joann’s, the clerk asked me if I had found everything I needed, I said, “No, as a matter of fact, I didn’t.” He laughed. Yes… LAUGHED! Then said, “Oh, sorry. Maybe next time.”

Why did he bother asking?

Then I went to Hobby Lobby in search of more Summer Splash. They didn’t have it. They also didn’t seem to have any customer service people anywhere near the yarn section.

So I went home and let my fingers do the walking. I dialed the first Michaels (near the Parks mall) and was transferred to the yarn department. I asked the clerk if they had the yarn in the desired colorway. The guy sounded bored out of his mind but said he would check. I was put on hold for several minutes. When he returned, he again sounded bored and said, “No, we don’t have it.” and hung up.

Then I tried the Michaels in Mansfield. Again, I was transferred to the yarn department. This time, the clerk sound cheerful. She grabbed a piece of paper, and I could hear her writing down the name of the yarn and the colorway that I wanted. She put me on hold and returned a minute later with the news that yes, they had six of them. She then offered to hold them for me. I asked the yardage, and she offered to go find it for me. Again, she put me on hold briefly and found the yardage. When I told her how many I wanted, she said that she would take them up to the front desk for me.

I was amazed! This girl did the job right! I’ve rarely gone to that Michaels. I wasn’t even sure they had a yarn department. I only checked there because the site for the yarn manufacturer listed them as carrying the yarn. From now on that will be first place that I look for craft supplies!

When I went to pick up the yarn, I told the cashier, who immediately found the bag with the yarn, that I loved the customer service in the store, she was pleased and said that she would share it with the manager. She said that they rarely hear when they do things right.

Is that the reason why so many places do it wrong?

3 thoughts on “Weaving

  1. Lynn

    So that makes two of us who had good customer service experiences yesterday. Even though I did not come home with what I want (a penguin lunch box like the one you got for LittleGrump). In case you miss my post on FB, if you are going to be in that store before Tuesday night, would you mind picking up one for me, and I’ll pay you back? But please don’t make a special trip.

  2. Michael White

    Grace, if you ever need cotton yarn or silk check out my web page. We may not always have all the colors in stock. But we give great customer service and some of the lowest prices online.


    Remember every warp is a learning experience.

  3. Harriett

    I love the Mansfield Michael’s. Their customer service a few years ago was horrible! But I think they’ve gotten new management the last year or so and the whole store has improved so much. I never shop at the JoAnns in the Highlands anymore. Too many terrible experiences with their rude employees.

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