18 July 2016

Back Soon ...


The shop has gone very quiet.  I think most people are off on their holibobs.  It seems a good time to close for a while and perhaps creep away for my own little break.  I shall reopen on Friday 5th August 2016.

I wish you days full of sunshine and smiles my dear friends and send you Hawaiian Tropic-scented cuddles.

xxx

13 July 2016

Up And Up


I woke up this morning with a lightness in my heart that I haven't felt for months.  It's now 7pm and it's still there.


I actually have more control over all this than I realised, don't I?

I'm smiling because I'm ready.  I'm ready to make it happen.

xxx




Credits

Yarn : Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend dk in 'Forget Me Not' (a dream of a yarn to work with; each stitch looks like a teeny tiny pearl).  I stock it in my shop ... just saying. ;-)

Pattern : My purl-phobic version of The Sunlight Shawl For Sad People by Softsweater Knits


Tea : Tetley.

Immense Feeling Of Gratitude : You.

26 June 2016

Honestly


Because, let's face it, if I was anything other than honest, I wouldn't be me, would I?

I love the pretty things in life just as much as you.  I am naturally a self-confident, glass-half-full kind of girl.  I see beauty in the little things.  I am inspired by creativity.  I love fiercely and life is a joy.

This isn't very easy to write, believe me.  Particularly because my blog is such a public arena.  Perhaps I'm doing this for myself.  Perhaps I'm hoping that if it helps just one of you, even the tiniest bit, then it's worth it.  I don't know.

You may have noticed that I've been AWOL for a while.  Depression got me.  Good and proper.  My defences were down and it crept in.  It sunk its claws deeper and deeper and wouldn't let go.

Without realising it, I went from struggling to self-destruction.

If you've not suffered from depression, it's quite hard to explain.  It's almost as if your own mind switches allegiance, sharpens its weapons, and starts attacking you from the inside.  And it happens very quickly.  Before long, you feel that there is no light, no optimism, no hope, no way out; just all-consuming helplessness and despair.  You are frightened and so very, very alone.  Someone can write a long list of all the good things in your life and you can read it and agree with it but you simply can't feel it.  You can see, in crystal clear definition, the effect you are having on those closest to you but, rather than inspiring you to fight, it makes you begin to believe that they would be better off without you.

However ... and this is SO important ... they wouldn't.  There is ALWAYS another way out.  I know because I've been here before.

The very first step is acknowledging the place you're in and seeking external help.  It's the toughest step but the biggest.  Medication is my help.  Luckily (and I use that word loosely!) for me, I've been on a low-level antidepressant since my last depression seven years ago, so an increased dosage has started working sooner than it normally would.  The medication doesn't solve any problems but it gives you a bloody good first foothold on to the climb to getting back into control.

The next few steps are tentative.  You've lost your confidence and are still fragile.  Slowly you start to feel your way back into the world again.

That, my friends, is where I am now.  Cautiously making my return.  I'm sure it won't take long but for now I'm treading carefully.  I know from experience that when I am back, I'll be stronger than before. "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" isn't just a cliche, it's true.  Experiencing the bad makes you appreciate just how precious the good is and your desire and drive for it only increases.

So, my dear friends, please bear with me a tiny bit longer?  I am so grateful for the kind and caring messages I've received.  Please know that, whilst I may not have responded, I genuinely appreciate every single one.

xxx

8 May 2016

Open














Hello my lovely friends.  I do hope this long overdue post finds you happy and well?

Well, I only bloody did it!  I only opened my very own little yarn shop!  It's been exactly one week now and, truth be known, it still feels a bit surreal.  I can't really remember the details of the first few days; they were a bit of a whirl.

I will warn you, I'm struggling to articulate myself at the moment.  I suppose my mind has been so frantically busy for three solid months, it's taking a little time for it to slow down enough to allow me to enjoy calm, structured thoughts.  I've had a lot to deal with in my personal life recently on top of starting my own business, not to mention moving house, so please forgive me if this post is a little sketchy.

Anyway, the sun streams in through the front window for most of the day which is a complete joy but it makes taking photographs of the entire shop quite difficult - it's quite a long space and the pictures make the back area look deceptively dark - but I am really keen to give you a flavour of what it looks like.  I think my next post will concentrate a little more on the actual yarns and products I've chosen to sell.

From the offset, I knew I wanted to create a space that was light, pretty and colourful.  It had to be a space that made me happy.  That way, I knew it would have a jolly good chance of making anyone who stepped over the threshold happy too.  You will notice quite a few personal touches if you look closely.  I have my favourite Sascalia and Katie Daisy prints framed and up on the walls and, dotted around, there are a few of my precious bits and bobs.  I've been lucky enough to receive some wonderful good luck cards and they sit along the top of one of the display units so that I can see them.

I've had to be quite clever with storage.  I have a little kitchen and a loo but no stock room.  Strategically-placed boxes and cupboards conceal my surplus!

I have a large table at the rear of the shop which extends to twice the size where I hope to hold classes and get-togethers.  For now, it's a lovely area where I can sit and work and friends and customers can take a perch and have a natter.

There's still quite a lot of tweaking to be done.  For example, since these photographs, I've changed the positioning of quite a few things.  The display on the table near the door is now quite different and I'm expecting the arrival of even more stock on Tuesday.

You've all been so incredibly kind and supportive and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I will return next week when I am hopefully far less poleaxed!  It struck me only yesterday that one of the most blessed opportunities that my little yarn shop will offer now it's up and running is routine.  That and the chance to sit, take a breath and let it all sink in.  Perhaps then there will be room for a little pride to creep in?

xxx

25 March 2016

Best Laid Plans


I fell over on Wednesday.  Splat!  Just like that.  It was my own silly fault; I was running with Bertie on the lead.  He zigzagged in front of me and down I went.  My right knee has swollen up like a purple tennis ball and my left hand is covered in scrapes and cuts.  It's a bit of a shock when you fall over as a grown-up.  It's not supposed to happen.  Luckily, (though not for him), my seventeen year old son was with me.  He picked me up, gave me a big hug and helped me hobble home while I blubbered like a child.

It came at the end of a very difficult week so it was quite nice to be able to have a self-indulgent sob while my lovely boy fussed over me.

My little shop has taken a bit of a back seat this week.  Several things out of my control have frustratingly stalled proceedings - the wood on the outside of the shop is rotten in places and is having to be removed and filled before it is painted, I'm still waiting for the sign, an electrical issue needs to be addressed, etc.  I'm a little disappointed because I really hoped to be open by Easter but I remind myself that it's not even been two months since I received the keys and so much has been achieved already.  You've all been so kind and your vicarious excitement and support have boosted my confidence no end.  Thank you.

To make things ever so slightly more complicated, we will be moving house in the next couple of weeks.  I know, right?!  I don't do things by halves my friends!  We had planned for it to happen in the summer but the right property has become available and circumstances have dictated that it should be sooner rather than later.

I have been reluctant to set an actual opening date for my shop before now lest I should end up having to change it and let people down but I have now decided to cite Friday 29th April 2016.  If perchance I am ready before then, I will quietly and without pomp and ceremony, open my door to the public.

Forgive me for sounding a little flat, will you?  It's not my usual way at all but I wanted to pop by and say "hello".  I'm battered and bruised and a little overwhelmed at the moment but will re-emerge like a butterfly of positivity very soon, mark my words.

Have a truly wonderful Easter break my lovely friends.

Back soon.

xxx


14 March 2016

This And That And Shop Chat













I've been testing out my "hellos".  There's a slightly high-pitched one that is bordering on desperate, there's one that's a bit sing-songy and makes my children curl up with embarrassment, there's one that makes me sound like an 8 year old and there's my slightly husky one that is, frankly, a touch creepy.  Oh dear.  I'll keep practising.  The last thing I want to do when you come and visit my little shop is to frighten you off!

I've had the 'armed robber' discussion with D.  He asked me what I'd do in the event of a hold-up.  I assured him I have a pot full of very pointy knitting needles ready and waiting.  I don't think that was the right answer.  He looked more than a little bit horrified.  Pfft, he really has no concept of just how precious yarn is.

My card payment machine was installed last week.  It terrifies me.  It's now sitting rather smugly on my counter with its silly green lights and air of self-importance.  May I apologise in advance for getting a bit of a hand-stutter and charging you £1,000,000 for a ball of Rowan Handknit Cotton?

My world continues to be full of yarn and shop-related things my friends.  I haven't even noticed if there is blossom on the trees yet.  Is there?

Quite often, in the middle of the night, a thought or idea pops up from nowhere and jolts me wide awake.  Last night's was a mirror.  I need a mirror.  Before you think I'm going slightly bonkers, just think - how lovely would it be, when considering yarn for a scarf or shawl, to be able to hold it up to your face and see how the colour suits?  The night before it was the idea to take my stockpile of Simply Crochet magazines to the shop for browsing purposes.  I really must subscribe to a knitting magazine too.  Do you have a favourite?

I've thoroughly enjoyed selecting my stock.  I will be selling yarn by Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Patons, Rooster, Manos Del Uruguay, Jupiter Moon Farm, Coop Knits, Fyberspates, Regia, Mondial.  I'm also particularly thrilled to be selling hand-dyed yarns by the lovely Shadow of Felt Fusion.  Those you see pictured are some of her dk delights.  And the glorious pink?  Well, that's a colourway she has dyed exclusively for meeeeeee!  I've called it I Wanna Be Adored after one of my favourite songs.  I cannot wait to see how it knits and crochets.

I have opted for Knit Pro needles and accessories and I've finally managed to acquire a range of my beloved Tulip Etimo Rose crochet hooks.  They were the very first item I wrote on my 'Things I'd Like To Sell' list and they've been by far the most tricksy to source.

I also received delivery of a delicious array of crochet hook and knitting needle rolls, craft bags and sewing pouches this week, made by my magic-fingered friend, Rachael, of SewRayMe.

I must just tell you about something I treated myself to this week too.  I bought a project bag from Betsy Makes' Etsy shop.  Oh, it's just gorgeous.  So beautifully made.  It has the cleverest integrated knitting needle holder inside.  Sam also included a pretty felt flower brooch in the parcel because she's the sweetest girl.  And ... she's only gone and uploaded her very first podcast episode!  Do go and watch if you haven't already.  She's so natural in front of the camera and her knitting/crochet makes are sublime.

Do you ever invent scenarios in your head?  I do it frequently.  My latest one makes me laugh out loud.  I imagine you opening the door to my little shop, stepping over the threshold and casting your eyes around only to be met with completely empty shelves.  You'll then notice me sitting cross-legged on the floor, perhaps rocking a little, surrounded by a huuuuuge tangle of yarn.  I'll have a wild look in my eyes and will be manically crocheting the longest and most colourful scarf you've ever seen in your life ...

xxx

28 February 2016

Yarn Shop In Progress









Slowly, slowly my little shop is starting to look how I imagined it might.

It's been such hard work and I haven't been this tired for ages but, hand on heart, I've enjoyed every single minute.  Well, almost.  There has been the odd grotty bit.  That floor has been in a pain in the posterior.  I've had to chisel ancient blobs of paint and some very suspicious-looking crusty patches off it.  I'm not allowed to replace it so I've steamed and cleaned it within an inch of its life.  I get a little pernickity when it comes to spillage that I suspect might be other people's DNA.

It was a bit of a day of firsts yesterday.  I placed my first pack of yarn on a shelf and I did my very first wee in the tiny little toilet which is right at the back of the shop, just beyond the kitchen.  Both moments were equally emotional but in different ways!  Only one of them involved lots of bleach!  ;-)

I was quite desperate to start putting packs of yarn onto shelves, just to see.  I've found it quite impossible to tell how much I've actually got without physically seeing it in situ.  I haven't put them in any sort of order yet.  I'm saving that bit.

Oh but there's still so much to do.  In the back half of the shop I'm having a table and chairs.  It will be more of a social area where I hope to host workshops and knit and natter sessions.  Other than being painted, I haven't really started on that area yet.  I want to wallpaper one of the walls and make it really pretty.

The outside of the shop hasn't been touched yet either.  The paint is ready.  The sign is being created.  I rather fancy the idea of leaving it all until the very last moment.  It gives me a bit of an air of mystery.  One of my very kind neighbours took delivery of a parcel for me and told me that she'd decided I was about to open a milkshake shop!


Do forgive me if I'm a bit 'all over the place'.  My mornings start at 6am and I seem to run out of steam by 7pm each day.

I wanted to pop by, say 'hello' and show you a few photos of the work in progress.  Oh, and above is my new logo and address for those of you who have asked.  I'm about 15 minutes from Junction 21 of the M1 if ever you're passing.  Or, if you hail from further afield, plonk a pin right into the middle of a map of England and I'm not far from there!  I'm aiming to open by Easter but it may just be very shortly after.  I want everything to be just-so, you see.

You've been so kind.  I've read every comment and good wish you've taken the time to send.  Thank you.  Really.  Thank you.

I'll be back soon with news of what I'm actually going to be stocking.  Some old favourites and some new loves.  Plus, I've been tugging at the sleeves of some of my most favourite and talented bloggy/Instagram/Facebook friends ...

xxx

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