Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A little gratuitous trumpet blowing...

Okay, so those people in the UK who've read the ebook - hang on, I haven't mentioned it for maybe a couple of weeks, so I'll remind you it's called So You'd Like to open a Wool Shop..., just in case you find yourself needing to know - anyway, as I was saying, those people in the UK who've read it have been dashed shy about posting a review, good, bad or indifferent.

But two very nice people in the USA have left comments on, one of which is headed 'Very witty humor'. Very witty! How about that? This same kindly potential wool shop owner calls it a 'very entertaining read with useful information' and the other lovely reviewer describes it as 'informative and entertaining'. Currently rated a satisfying 4.5 stars out of a possible 5.

You can uncover your ears now. Own trumpet blowing over.

Wear your Christmas Jumper with pride!

Lovely festive idea for a fundraiser from Save the Children who'd like people to pay £1 to wear their Christmas jumpers on Friday 13th December. And I know what you're haven't got time to make a Christmas jumper! Well, this:
was my most recent attempt at a Christmas jumper so I think it's best if I avoid the idea of knitting another in a rush. But, luckily for both you and me, Debbie Bliss has come up with a mini-Christmas-jumper pattern which you can make up in a jolly Christmassy jiffy and pin to your clothes on the day. It's a bit of a cop-out but one I'm happy to embrace. Who shrinks from a judicious cop out now and then? Only people who end up as over-stressed perfectionists...

Have a look here for more details.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

There, there, soon it'll all be over...

Who would believe moving a wool shop - any shop? - could take so long? Every stage has seen delays and mistakes and things that needed adjusting, plus the landlord's somewhere down south and the agent's representing him not us and the contractor seems like the only person who actually has the motivation to start work on the job, but he can't until we've signed the final papers and given him some cash to buy wood...

Anyway, in a couple of months' time at most we'll be in our new home, which will be renovated and painted and lovely. Furthermore, Christmas will be over, but people will still be knitting. At least half of the passengers alighting from the buses which stop at the top end of town will call into the new building to see what it's all about. The website will feature all manner of additional lovely items and everything will be hunkydory. Oh yes, it will.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Where's all the wool?

Yesterday was our annual trip to Meadowhall. I'm not a shopping mall type of a girl, but just once a year Maddie and I head off on the train, share a nice lunch (mushroom burrito - very delicious) and then we steal a march on the Christmas shopping frenzy. All went well. There were a lot of people - many more than I'm comfortable with, (which is about three at once) - we didn't get all we needed and they managed to continue playing the piped music all the way through the two minutes silence (for crying out loud!), but generally it was fine. Enjoyable even.

But here's the thing. Amongst all those shops, there isn't to my knowledge one selling even a smidgeon of wool. We didn't go into House of Fraser so maybe I'm making incorrect assumptions here, but there certainly isn't anything approaching an actual wool shop. Or even, I think, a general craft shop. What's that all about? Is the market just too fragmented for any single shop to be able to survive in a big shopping centre?

Well, of course, normally it wouldn't bother me. I'd sooner do the bulk of my shopping in craft fairs and little, local shops but yesterday, among the strappy, sparkly dresses, the leopard-print jim-jams and the over-sized pvc shopping bags, it would've been restorative and wonderful to be able to spend just a couple of minutes stroking something soft and full of potential.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A moving experience

Wool shop life continues with a run of good and bad, which is probably how it's meant to be.

The card machine works again, against all the odds it seems, and the providers have offered a rent-free month in recompense. Small yippee for that, as it's clearly the least they could do.

We have lots of new stock - new colours in established lines and some stuff that's completely new. Lots of it being added super quickly to the website. And plenty more to come. Still get that child-in-a-sweet-shop feeling every time a new box arrives.

And the Christmas lights switch on will be in the Piece Hall this year. Yay!!

The move into new premises is under less helpful stars and we've now been told it'll be after Christmas before the building's ready. Oh, and the landlord's not going to paint the walls. So we'll have at most a few days for painting, carpet-fitting and moving out before our Piece Hall deadline in mid-Jan. Not a lot of leeway there, n'est-ce pas? Let's hope they don't find any endangered bats or anything in residence, or we'll be well and truly scuppered. Oh, and despite our hopes, there'll be no central heating in the new place. The boiler's too old and unfit for any heavy work so it'll be electric heaters only again, altho' it'll surely be warmer without an door leading straight in from outside and letting in occasional snow flurries...

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Of course! Mercury's retrograde...

That's why we're having all these delays with the start of work on the new premises. But Mercury's back in the old routine from 10th Nov, so why we've been given a vague completion date of 'the week after Christmas' is beyond me. Does that leave much time for carpet fitting and stocking up before we have to finally close our Piece Hall doors mid-January? No, it doesn't.

And what if stuff doesn't work? If there's six inches of snow on the ground? If we have flu'? If all the moving guys are booked up?

Yikes. Not that I'm stressing or anything.

Our new home, from some loosely-defined point in the middle of winter:

Saturday, 2 November 2013

I do love a bargain.

And free stuff's even better. So does anyone know why it's taken me so long to realise I can search on Amazon for free, and/or very cheap, Kindle-edition knitting patterns and other knittery books? I don't have an e-reader of any sort (I'm sure the day will come, but they'll need to make them smell of good old-fashioned book first...) but I download the stuff I want to my laptop and Bob's your uncle - there they are, just ready for a lull in the woolly day.

I know, I know: Amazon!! But what can I say? They have lots of knitting stuff. I'm torn. And I'd have a kind of ethical dilemma about only taking free stuff, because it's not Amazon who'd be losing out; it's the people who put stuff on there for free to boost their other sales. So I try and play nice: I get something for free; I try and buy something the next time.

Still, something free - especially something wool-related - is very lovely indeed.