A new yarn shop opened up in the area, so I was excited to check it out! Baa Baa Sheep is located right in the center of Ghent, a really nice area of Norfolk, VA. I think it’s the perfect area for a yarn store (lots of well-off clientele and other artsy shops are restaurants to attract them), so I hope she does well. I always think that you can learn a lot about a yarn store from the type of service you get, so I’ll start with that. Even though she was helping someone else when I walked in, the owner still greeted me. After she finished with the other woman, she asked me if I needed any help. Once I said no she stepped back and let me meander around the store, which was very nice. I’m not sure if it is because I’m young, but I’ve had people follow me around yarn shops before, trying to “advise” me on things that I already know. Once I was ready to check out she helped me immediately and wound my yarn (once I asked, though). She was very chatty and I felt like a valued customer- not an invader! Yeah!
As for the decor of the shop, that was interesting. It’s a smaller shop, and she has all of the yarn on the walls with tables and sofas in the center of the room. I saw a couple of people come in and sit down with their knitting to a ask for help. The owner helped them, but wasn’t shy about abandoning them for a customer who needed help (they weren’t there for a paid lesson or anything, I don’t think). The only strange thing was that the samples were mostly on top of the yarn shelves, which was probably too high for someone as short as me to really see. Personally, I didn’t really care as I don’t spend a whole lot of time looking at samples, but it might make it harder for other people to see them.
Finally, there was the yarn. For the size of the space, she had a pretty sizable selection, although she had limited color options. Most yarns only had about 4 options, which was a little disappointing as I was considering a buying a sweater quantity of a couple of things, only to not like any of the colors she had. I’ve seen other stores buy a lot more colors, sometimes keeping larger quantities in the back. I was surprised about which yarns she had, too. She ordered from a pretty large range of companies, from a few indies to big ones like Cascade. It was odd, though, that she only had one or two from each company. For instance, she had Cascade 220 (worsted weight 100% wool) and Plymouth Galway Chunky (chunky 100% wool), but not Cascade 128 or Galway Worsted. There was nothing wrong with the selection, it was just odd. In the end, I kept inside of my budget, only buying 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted (pictured above). I think it will make a great sample for a design I’m contemplating- we’ll see!
In the end, I highly suggest you stop by Baa Baa Sheep if you’re in the area. It hasn’t dethroned my favorite LYS’s, but it has a different selection and great service!