Revenge Yarn, warm and wooly

Dear Local Yarn Store,

You may or may not remember me. My husband came into your store a week before Mother’s Day to buy me a gift. You probably don’t remember him either, but on gift-giving occasions he goes to your fine location and you point him toward all sorts of gifts for knitters. In the past, he’s gotten me a yarn bowl, a yarn buddy, numerous skeins of sock yarn, a pattern book, and a project bag — among others.

We like patronizing local yarn stores. Local yarn stores, so you tell us, may cost a little more than online shops, but the help you get is invaluable. It’s the guidance and the human touch that matter.

When he went into your store the last time (note, “the last time”) he brought with him a pattern and a copy of your sales flyer. I’d highlighted the brand and the type of yarn I wanted, and the pattern specified the yardage required. I was going to make a sweater, so he was making a big purchase.

On Mother’s Day, I discovered you’d sold him the wrong yarn, worsted weight instead of sport weight. So on May 13th, I went back with the yarn and the receipt to exchange it for the right weight yarn.

You refused.

I’ll repeat that: you refused to exchange the yarn you had sold him when it wasn’t the yarn I’d specified on the flyer and not a yarn that would work with the pattern he showed you.

You told me he’d asked for DK weight yarn. I know that’s not true because he didn’t even know that DK was a yarn weight. Moreover, it goes like this:

  • fingering weight / sock weight
  • sport weight
  • DK weight
  • worsted weight

So you sold him a yarn that was two levels heavier than what was specified in the pattern. You then said the yarn you sold him was a “light worsted” and could be used for the sweater, even though a “light worsted” is a) still a worsted and b) still one weight level heavier than the pattern said.

You said you hadn’t seen the pattern. Which I find interesting, because you knew what yardage to sell him.

You told me I’d highlighted the wrong part of the flyer, since the yarn brand name is also the name of a type of yarn. And yet the one you sold him wasn’t that name either.

So let’s get this straight: you are willing to lie to a customer rather than admit you made a mistake; you are willing to drive a wedge between spouses rather than exchange yarn; and finally, you are willing to blame the customer rather than read.

I told you that since the only reason he shopped here was the (supposed) personal touch and the helpfulness of the staff, my husband no longer had any reason to shop with you. You didn’t care. I wished you a good day and walked out the door.

On the way out, I felt nothing but relief. Because now I’ll still make a nice sweater (I’m already browsing patterns that work with the heavier yarn) and I will no longer accidentally patronize the shop of a liar.

My only regret is that when I walked in there, you had a table full of ladies knitting. And I really regret finding out afterward that this was actually your beginner class — the first day of your beginner class, no less — and that they had to witness you treating me like garbage. Do you think in the future they’ll want to buy from you, knowing if they (or you) make a mistake, you’ll blame them rather than exchange their purchase? I didn’t mean to have that conversation, no matter how politely, in front of your other customers. 

Regardless, I no longer care. I’ve scrubbed you from my Ravelry profile. No one who looks up my account will have any clue you exist.

And today I bought yarn from your competition. Twelve skeins of yarn, including a sweater-quantity of a highly-rated, beautiful burgundy yarn that yes, is sport-weight. I call it Revenge Yarn. 

Revenge is a beautiful sweater, best served warm and wooly.

Have a nice day.



  1. Laura Maisano

    I am appalled at how they treated a customer. You were asking for an exchange, not a refund. They weren’t losing much money if any at all. How did that make any business sense, let alone personal integrity? I’m floored.

    1. philangelus

      Don’t ask me. I just don’t want to go there anymore. They can have whatever policies they like, as long as it doesn’t involve me.

  2. Ken Rolph

    How are you going to make sure they read your blog? What about printing out a copy and pasting it on the door or window? Handing out copies to the people in the classes?

    1. Jane

      Hahaha — I’m not going to. I don’t care. Let them destroy themselves. I’d rather say it here than say it to them.

      1. Pat

        I’m with Ken. They need to see this, or something like it.

        Are you sure you dealt with the owner? If it was just a snippy employee, the owner might be appalled.

  3. RunKnitTravel

    I had a bad experience with a LYS and have never returned. My motto is “there are plenty of other LYS that would welcome my money. Goodbye and good riddance”.
    Enjoy your revenge yarn 🙂

  4. Kate Cousino

    Ridiculous! Even if it HAD been your husband’s mistake or your mistake, they ought to have accepted an exchange. People go back to stores for exchanges all the time when they’ve accidentally bought the wrong thing–if the product is unused/unopened and the customer has the receipt it is just ridiculous to refuse to make the exchange. Especially, as you say, for a local store that has to compete with online marketers and ought to be working the customer service angle as much as possible.

    I do think you should write to the store owner, if there’s a chance this was an employee.

  5. Tana Bevan

    “Revenge is a beautiful sweater, best served warm and wooly.” Love it! Touche’

  6. The Person Next to You

    And yarn shops wonder why they are closing left and right. I have yet to find one with good service and friendly staff. A shame, really.

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