Thursday, 6 May 2010

Review: Web of Wool yarn shop

OK, so this isn't totally Coventry based, since the shop in question is based in Leamington, but Leamington Spa is easily reached from Coventry so I feel it falls within my remit. Besides which I have already blogged about a Leamington based shop when I reviewed The Cotton Nappy Company, so there's precedent.

Anyway, I popped into Web of Wool last week just on a whim. Bad idea. One should never combine the words 'popped' 'whim' and 'yarn shop', not unless one is prepared to spend money... Which is what happened!

The shop is lovely and Olde Worlde in style - wonky wooden floorboards, gorgeous wooden cubular shelves, a deep set bay window with a white painted windowsill and little paned windows. A gamut of different yarns filled the shelves - rich, deep colours, soft pastels, earthy tones, vibrant rainbow shades - and the textures were just as varied, soft, fuzzy, silky, nubbly. You'd think this was fairly standard for a yarn shop, but I tell you it is not so - I know of more than one yarn shop (and I'm naming no names here) that seem to be stuck about forty years in the past - jumbled shelves, ancient yellowing patterns, even more ancient shop staff (who are mightily unhelpful come to that), nasty acrylic yarns and a strange musty smell that seems to permeate everything.

Web of Wool is more... tasteful, modern, appealing, appetising even, with well ordered products and a young, helpful person behind the counter (who I suspect may even be the shopowner). Be warned - they have traps for the unwary by the counter just like at the supermarket, only it's cute little buttons and other notions rather than sweeties.

There are some downsides though. Firstly the opening hours seem a little erratic. This is the third time I've gone past the shop, but the first time it's ever been open - in actual fact I posted to my Facebook status that I'd found it open and promptly had a number of replies from my Knit Wit compatriots declaiming me as a liar and fraudster for suggesting such a thing! Secondly - the shop was bizarrely chilly. Maybe it was just a ploy to entice shoppers to purchase more snuggly yarns, even when the weather was warm, but it did make things a bit uncomfortable since I was without a cardigan that day (this was during that bizarrely warm spell we had the weekend *before* the bank holiday weekend).

Thirdly, and I'm not sure if this should be included in a review of a shop, but let's face it, without a web presence these days you may as well not bother, their website is, well, shocking. I suspect it may be under reconstruction, though nothing to that effect has been written on the site, but all the links are broken and there's just one, very simple front page with an address on it where there used to be a whole host of links and jumbled information. I'll hold off on any further critique until I've ascertained whether it is, in fact, being reworked or not, but even as it is, it doesn't really do them any favours since it's more of a place holding operation than anything else.

I came out with a heavy weight sock yarn in lovely grey-blue self-striping tones and a set of little ceramic cat buttons to sew on the navy blue bamboo baby cardigan I just finished (photos some time next year when I get some free time!). The woman behind the counter was friendly, unobtrusive, helpful and not pushy at all. I think the shop is *almost* there, but is lacking a little something - a bit more light, a bit more warmth, maybe some quiet music playing. A few halogen spots would make a big difference, as would a radiator of some kind. Even so, I would definiteky consider going back - always providing they're open that is!


  1. Yeah, the old biddies are annoying, but they have YARN, so I ignore them! :) Nobody gets between me and YARN! :D Glad to hear you've been in - it's a lovely shop!

  2. There internet service is atrocious. I paid for 4 x 150g dk sock yarnin July, haven't received it yet. After sending 3 emails, leaving messages on their answer machine, and actually posting a letter and getting no response, I don't think I'll be getting my wool but will keep trying to get my money back.

  3. I,too, have been conned by buying online from Web of Wool, sending money but not received my yarn, nor any reply to my emails & 'phone calls.
    It is outrageous that the management haven't the decency to reply & also they are still taking customers' money.

  4. I'm another one who has placed an order on web of wool website and paid my money, but after 4 months have not received anything. Have chased numerous times (email, phone, recorded delivery and ordinary post) but have not heard anything from them. Will not be using them again.

  5. I am another fooled person. Ordered and payed on their website and have not recieved anything. I have e-mail and called (voice mail full) and when trying to access the website it turns out it is taken down. I am from Sweden so I don't know how these things work over there, but can you report/sue/do something?


  6. welcome to the club. i placed an order in october. still no word. i amgoing to call the office of fair trading. its only an £11 order and not worth pursuing in court but just want folks to be aware.

  7. Put me in that group. I, too, ordered online. My order was only 17 pounds (sorry - could not find the symbol!) and not worth pursuing in any court, either. Anna Tillman is also an author, and I have *heard* through forums that she has been traveling promoting her books.I am highly disappointed, as anyone would be when robbed. I live in the US, and still feel hesitant about ordering products from the UK. In time I will get past that hesitation. I received a message this morning that there is a case against her from the office of fair trading. Good luck to everyone who has outstanding orders!