Nautical Yarn in Ludington, Michigan

After hiking to the lighthouse, we decided to check out the Nautical Yarn shop in Ludington and walk around downtown a little.  Tom wasn’t a big fan of my third yarn shop visit in a week, but we explained that Sandy needed some yarn.  Plus, Sandy had never been in a local yarn shop.  Her yarn experience has been in Walmart, JoAnns, and Hobby Lobby.  Those yarns have their place, but nothing compares to seeing the variety of yarn available in a real yarn shop.

The unassuming storefront of Nautical Yarn

Nautical Yarn did not disappoint.  The small shop was packed full of so many different kinds of beautiful yarn.  Sandy was a little overwhelmed and wanted to touch everything.  She was looking for some yarn to make a sweater.  Someone had given her some small skeins of hand-painted yarn and she needed a solid color to complement those skeins.  Usually the people who run yarn shops are terrific at helping you find the perfect yarn.  But the young woman who was in the yarn store was not a regular employee.  She usually worked in the bookstore around the corner, so she didn’t know where anything was.

Sandy checking out the selection

Sandy and I browsed for a while, checking out the enormous selection and looking for the perfect yarn.  Along the way I fell in love with a darling little baby dress pattern and yarn.  I was already familiar with the yarn, which makes its own flowers, but loved how it worked up in the pattern.  The woman working the shop didn’t have any idea where to locate the pattern in the shop.  After looking for a while, I told her I would get it on Ravelry.  I did buy a skein of the Baby Blossom yarn so that I can knit up the dress when I get the pattern.

The beginnings of Sandy’s sweater

Sandy found the perfect yarn for her sweater.  It is a soft mauvish pink that looks beautiful with her other skeins.  She bought one skein of that.  She also decided to buy some hand-painted superwash yarn called “Mad Hatter” by Frabjous Fibers.  We both loved the color combinations and she decided to buy two skeins.

When you buy skeins of yarn, they need to be wound into balls or cakes in order to knit without getting knotted.  Sandy didn’t know that most local yarn shops will wind the skeins for you as part of their service.  We asked the woman in the shop if she was able to do that and she answered with an enthusiastic yes.  I think she was glad to find a way to help us.  It soon became clear, however, that she really wasn’t good at winding a cake of yarn.  I watched her pretty carefully because it looked like she was making a mess of the yarn.  The first skein came off okay, but the second soon became a tangled mess.  She spent more than 30 minutes trying to get it to wind.  I finally suggested that she give up on that and use another skein.  She agreed immediately, at which point I suggested that she extend the arms of the swift.  The swift holds the yarn taut so that it can be wound more easily.  Extending the arms made it much easier to wind.

The salesgirl finally finished winding the three skeins of yarn that Sandy wanted to buy.  Tom had come in to find out what was taking so long.  We had picked out the yarn in less than an hour, but it took another hour for the woman to wind the skeins.  She apologized several times and thanked us for our patience.  She gave Sandy the ball of tangled yarn for free, so Sandy got three skeins of the Mad Hatter yarn.

Display of Rowan yarn

We really loved the Nautical Yarn shop and their huge selection of yarn.  I did not ask the salesgirl if she wanted to move to Westerville.  The shop would have been great in Westerville, but this salesgirl really needed to go back to the bookstore.  When Sandy got back to her RV, she rewound all four of the balls of yarn.  Of course she brought her ball winder with her!

In one week in Michigan, I got to visit three great yarn shops.  I would be glad to have any one of them close to where I live.  But, instead, I will just have to get to Michigan more often.