Thursday, 29 May 2014


Of being a business woman. Free booze! Ha! You'll have to forgive me because this is a very bitty and bobby post and I can't say an awful lot because I have a super secret project on the go but it's been nine days (NINE DAYS!) since I last posted and I've got an idea for you... 

World Wide Knit In Public Day (it's a week now but whatevs...) is a-coming and I've been chatting with the lovely Steph from Knit In Notts. We decided that, since I was teaching a lesson on both Sundays that the week was running, she would organise a picnic in the day at the Arboretum (you can find the event by clicking here) and that would kind of morph into a booze up from 4pm at Fade and the Hard To Find Cafe hosted by the shop (and you can find the event for that by clicking here). So far, so much like last year which was bloody marvelous so problem? What problem? 

Buuuuuuuuuut. Last night I was invited, because I'm a businessperson, pillar of the local community and all round good egg, to the opening of the Homemade Cafe on the Pavilion. Now, I know very little about the pavilion. I know that that's where the toilets are at Goose Fair and that they used to do terrible teas there at other times... That's it. But it seems that since the redo in 2013, the council had other ideas and they invited Homemade to open their third cafe there and it is LOVELY! Actually really nice. There has been some trouble with getting a license though I can't actually find the report about that at the mo and I, for one, want to support them. 

Though if you look at these photos I'm not sure they really need it: 

It was mad!!! Like a hundred people maybe??! Blimey! We didn't stay long because you know me, I hate people, but it was a dead friendly atmosphere and the food was delicious and I can see myself out on the terrace in the sunshine with a glass of wine. Look!

Obvs it'll look much better in the sun and it will be sunny on WWKIP day... Just check out the photos on their facebook page. I got the idea that we would do our celebrating there! YES!?

Anyway, they usually shut at around 4.30/5pm on a Sunday so I've e-mailed the owner to see if she might want to open a bit later for us but that will depend on how many people are going to turn up on the day so I need some yes's! If you're on facebook then simply tell us that you're 'going' on the event page and if you're not on facebook then comment here or tweet or e-mail or whatevs so I can get a good look at the numbers for her.

In other news, Let's Knit Mag sent us a new copy of the Best Yarn Shop in the Midlands certificate which got ruined in the great flood.

Isn't that wonderful of them!?!?! I got another little burst of pride when I opened the envelope and saw it again. :):):) Don't forget that you can nominate us for the next round and then maybe we can win again!?!?! And this time not ruin ours in a flood.... Click here to nominate. Pretty please!!!

And then finally, this is why I've not been around so much:

It's my super secret project which I don't believe has been mentioned on the blog before. Started before my holiday, almost finished and a big massive ballache that will turn out to be a beautiful collaboration like a butterfly from a wriggling ugly caterpillar (sorry nature lovers but blurgh to caterpillars. Especially hairy ones). Anyway, this has beads. And a chart. And don't I know it. Haha. More, much more, later.
That's it. I'm off. I need to finish this secret project up to the getting the pattern written and the final version made today. Blocking, prettying up the pattern and photographing the thing come later (when there's hopefully some sun!).

Love Eleanor. xxx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Voting Begins!!! :)

It's that time of year again, when we'd like you to take a moment to nominate us (if you think you want to) for Best Local Yarn Shop in the Midlands.

When we won last year it really was the most amazing feeling for a messy, silly, disorganised person like me and I'd so like that again (it also gives me chance to show off in posh shops as I hop around the country - standing up for all us knitters who don't want to spend £60 on unicorn bum fluff...). Can you remember when me and Verity travelled all the way to London to collect the award and we saw famous knitters and famous places down south? I wanna do it again!!!

You might be able to see from from the photo that you can also vote for us in the best blog, online shop, pattern house, website and Yarn Shop Day experience too - I'd particularly like to win that last one because it was bloody brill!!!! Obviously, partners, spouses, siblings, kids, friends, aunties, next-door neighbours can vote too (if you make them)...

Anyway, I don't want to go on for too long but we really would appreciate the nomination and then it we get shortlisted we'll be asking for actual votes later on too but that'll be in a few months or weeks I guess. And if you feel like you can't vote for us - let me know why??? I'd love to put it right.


Love Eleanor. xxxxx

Monday, 19 May 2014

Exotic Walkin Centres.

Oh yes. Remember when I went to the Isle Of Wight and ended up at the Walkin Centre there? Well last week I visited Weston-Super-Mare and their Walkin Centre and I must admit, it's one of the nicest I've been to. But before I get to that shall I start with actual holiday stuff??

So, of course it was another coach trip and this time I went with Singing Bird and it was lovely all over! We were originally staying in either one of two hotels in Weston itself (cheaper not to know which and that suits us fine) the week before last but every single holiday got cancelled for lack of interest (I've always been on the week of the May bank holiday before now and it's always been a quiet holiday but this one, the week after, wasn't so maybe they're onto something...). We had a few choices for holidays to take and they would pay the difference and we ummed and ahhed a little but settled on Sand Bay the week after. I'm sure at the time we had no idea that Sand Bay was just down the road from Weston (at least I didn't) but definitely neither of us knew it was a Pontins. Haha! So not my thing!!! Or Bird's for that matter. But actually, as Bird is with wheelie-walker it was really pretty cool to have an accessible building altered specifically for old people in mind - made everything just that much smoother and out of all of the professionals/workers we encountered throughout the holiday they were definitely the most accommodating.

And the BEST thing?! IT HAD A BLOODY POOL!!! After booking Weston, just for the sea, which as my Dad kept reminding me isn't really a sea or is only a sea some of the time because it's actually an estuary, is also known as Weston-Super-Mud and is not really cut out for swimming...

Yeeeeeeeeah. Swimming? Not so much. 

But swimming  is what all of my holidays are about! So I was MEGA please to find it had a pool and I was expecting a tiny little thing but actually it was a good size pool - maybe 25 metres? So not massive but good enough. On the first day we got to our chalets at around 4.30 and the pool closed at 5 so I rushed around and managed 20 lengths before dinner. So refreshing. Lovely!

Then we had a wander out to the beach which was probably 150 maybe 200 metres away. Just up a little path and you could hear the seeeeeeeeeeea from your beds. Ahhh.

Look at that. 

The beach was a bit out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-y iykwim?? A bit nature-y? It's around four maybe five miles along the coast from Weston. Not so much hanging around, having a cup of tea, taking a dip, reading a book, eating an ice cream which is really my kind of beach but nice all the same.

But Bird collected lots of driftwood and seaweed for art and inspiration and the wheelie-walker (that you can just about see in the background) stretched it's legs on the beach for the first time.

On the Tuesday we decided to join the rest of the coach trip on a day trip to Bath which everybody seems to get really excited about and genuinely didn't grab me in the way that Weston or Bournemouth or other slightly battered looking places do. We visited a yarn shop that was tucked away in the corner and was nice with a really good range of yarns (and I bought a lot) but I can't wax lyrical about them in all honesty so I'm not going to do my usual review-y thing (the lady, who wasn't the owner I must add, asked what sort of things I stocked in my shop and when I told her she was like 'oooooh yes, well, we have serious jumper knitters here so it's going to be different' or some such. Hmmm. I'd like to show her my serious jumper knitters. But it's not a competition ey, I know how brill you lot are). They did, however, tell us about the Kaffe Fassett exhibition that was currently at the American Musem just a bit out of town and we were both excited about that so after a lot of faffing about in the yarn shop we jumped in a taxi and were off!

It was lovely! But small. I thought. You lot know I don't go in much for art so maybe this is the normal size of an exhibition? For me, if you pay nigh on £10 to get into something it should be a full day's worth of stuff, no? But shut up moaning, look at this:

Amazing yes?! I have sooooo many photos of the yarn bombing but it was actually everywhere! Everywhere you could see there were knitted bits and crocheted bits and these pom poms and the 'lanterns' are big plant pots covered in Kaffe printed cotton. Ahhhhh. Easily the most impressive yarn bombing I've ever seen.

This was right outside the separate section of the museum that the Kaffe bit was in and it just about sums up the exhibition - mad! The entrance walls were b.r.i.g.h.t. pink and around the selection there were separate 'rooms' painted in different colours and displaying works grouped by colours that matched. Really well thought out. You were allowed to take photos, without flash, but most of mine turned out blurry which is just as well really because the details don't matter (in fact a fair bit of the knitting was a touch on the messy side if you ask me...) it's the colours and shades that do. The man has an actual gift - imagine how less rich the craft world would be without his input, amazing. 

My favourite bit I think. 

This was a jumper that reminded me of the Chinese Basket Pullover I made my Dad once. I really must dig that out and photograph it for the blog. It deffo deserves one of its own. 

Apart from all of that there were these amazing, inspiring quotes from the man himself all over the walls. Most of them came out too fuzzy to share here but I'm going to remember them for when I need a kick up the bum. 

Of course, this last one is bollocks. You just have to ask the Contemporary (paid for with our tax money, ahem), you see, they're 'art' and we're just 'craft'. I do find it funny when people try and combine the two as if we crafters need to be thought of as artists before we, or anybody else for that matter, can truly appreciate what we do. I mean, well done for Kaffe for being an artist and a crafter and combining the two and managing to get it into an art gallery. But you can bet your bottom dollar that a woman, a mother, knitting bits and bobs for her kids whilst working, picking up the kids from school, walking the dog, watering the garden, organising a birthday party and perhaps fitting in a bit of a social life won't be appearing at the American Museum in Bath any time soon - so let's not kid ourselves that it's craft that's made the big time here. It's actually craft that's made acceptable by the fact that it's made by a man who's really, actually, an artist. Blurgh. Rant over. Holiday chats resuming now...

 When we got back from Bath we had to dry off a bit from the showers that we got caught in and then we had to have dinner. We got laughed at (nicely) every evening for being the weirdos that knitted. Since another company has taken over the place the food has become self-service which suits me and Bird really very well being the oddballs we are with food (one veggie and one slightly ocd eater that can't deal with tomatoes touching eggs) but did not suit the oldies who were used to table service. We reckon it's because they got there bang on six and queued up right away despite the fact that food was replenished until seven and the queues disappeared after about 6.30. Problem? What problem? We just knitted and chattered or read the paper.

 That evening I was determined to make the most of it so I went out for a wander. I put my big boots on and set my alarm for an hour to see how far I could get in that time and still get back before 10 or so. I tell you, I got far. Look:

No words. 

 There was loads of WW2 stuff. I've no idea what this was but I also found a bunker type thing:

 I didn't dare go in because it looked fairly well used by the local drop-out community but I peered in as much as I could.

I mainly walked up the beach until I hit quicksand (it wasn't really quicksand but again I'm a scaredy-cat) and then I turned around, found the road and followed that up. Where I found this:

And a National Trust sign and you all know how much I love the National Trust so naturally I headed up there not knowing where it led to or how many bloody steps there were... At the end there was this hill:

Which I climbed, and it was bloody hard and steep work I'll tell you and it led to this view:

Which looks like a fairy might live there and then my alarm went. So I had a five minute sit down, rang Boyf who I couldn't hear (a portent of things to come) and then I headed back home.  

 I was dead pleased with myself and almost had the feeling that other people say they get when they've done exercise - something like exhilaration and endorphin rush but it wasn't enough to stop me feeling like I was dying by the end. As I was walking back I took this photo:

The arrow shows where I *think* I walked to. It wasn't that clear but I think I recognise the landscape. I also checked the mileage when I got back to the chalet and we made a conservative guesstimate that it was around four miles which is as far as I ever walk really and it was up hill and it was after a full days doing stuff AND Boyf wasn't pointing a (metaphorical) gun to my head. Didn't I do well?

So, the next day, I woke up and there was ...stuff... coming out of my left ear. The previous day it felt like it had been popping far too much whilst going over the hills to Bath and then, with this, I knew something was up. My first instinct is to go to the Walkin Centre but Bird suggested the pharmacist which was a great idea. Only they couldn't really help me because I wasn't in pain as such and they aren't allowed to look in so they told me to go to the Walkin Centre... I really didn't want to. Two holidays ending in Walkin Centre visits on the trot isn't a great record. But I did. I caught a taxi and, surprisingly, I was straight in! I knew I wasn't that ill because I was able to crochet whilst waiting but I also knew that I shouldn't swim with an ear infection so I had to do something. When I got in to see the nurse practitioner, he was dead nice and told me I sounded dead northern (haha proud!), then he looked in my ear, looked a bit puzzled and said 'hmmm interesting'. I asked if I was dying and he laughed and said no but I did had a perforation in my ear drum that didn't seem to be that recent (as in, I hadn't popped it when I felt like it was popping on the journey the day before or, indeed, in the swimming pool). He told me it would probably heal on it's own but that I ought to see my doctor when I got home because with it not being that recent and not being healed then there might be a problem. And then he showed my ear to a few medical students because it was a text book example. *Proud*.

He also told me I shouldn't swim.

 Ignored. It's my bloody holiday ain't it!? What I actually did was bought some waterproof earplugs and swam with my head above water like an oldie (I'd been doing dead well with my butterfly up until then, it's been years since I've been in a pool empty enough to do that!!!). I blame myself if it gets infected (and it might possibly be because I can't hear a thing... really useful for Boyf's drunken snoring on Friday night...).

Anyway, once I got back into town I went on the pier and had a l.a.r.g.e. glass of wine and some crochet:

 And I think that that was also the day that we sneaked some booze back to the chalet in Bird's (the tee-totaller) wheelie-walker:

 Haha. Wool cart. Booze Cart. Clothes line:

We should totally all get one. 

I was knacked, as was Bird who'd enjoyed a day of pottering about around the park and cheesy chips, so we settled in for a relaxed night of knitting, crochet and documentaries. Bird doesn't have a tv so it was all a novelty including the bloody adverts. :)

 The next day I enjoyed some line dancing in the morning:

The oldies didn't though... They each taught three dances but it was all a little bit disastrous which was good for me because I'm not much good at proper dancing and it's been about two decades since I last line danced (though I won awards for it haha), but the oldies who do it all the time took such an issue to one of the steps in one of the dances that they essentially bullied him out of the room in tears and the woman had to take over. There was a blind-ish man who was near the front with me and we were just shaking our heads in disbelief. If they want to do other steps, surely they can just do other steps? Ahhhhhhh, some people don't understand what a holiday's about do they? Bum. I did enjoy it though, even if the poor bloke didn't. 

 Later in the day Bird had an appointment to meet a friend for tea and we agreed that I'd go off swimming in a 'marine lake' that we'd seen and meet back up after that for the bus home and dinner. This is the marine lake:

As far as I can see it's a bit like the Tunnels in Ilfracombe - as in, it's a man made pool filled with sea water that's perhaps a bit safer than the real sea. I knew I needed to swim in the sea but I didn't fancy quicksand so this was my only option. See the last building before you get to the sea just to the left of the middle of the picture? Around about there, there's a walk way that divides the sea from the lake and I managed to swim all the way to that and back (like an old lady and with my ear plug in, don't worry). The water was gorgeously cool but the walk to get to the swim was horrid - it's not sand under foot, it's slick and slimy mud. I ended up just flopping down into the sea when I felt the mud. Elegant. Blurgh.

Then I had an ice cream: 

Which was the most delicious thing ever. And I read my book, kinda. And then I went to the shop to buy some bits, got some cashback and didn't bother picking it up. Which meant that when we got back to the chalet I had a bit of a panic, rang them up and had to get a taxi back which cost £9.50 just to collect £20. What a nobber. And worst?! I could have got a taxi, sat around on the beach a bit and then a taxi back later but I didn't think so I got a taxi there and back all in one go which left me in the chalet which was isolated, without a pub unless I wanted to face the hoards of moaning oldies having a tea dance and shouting and line dancing teachers. That would have been a lovely end to the week.

Gosh. I'm reading this back and it sounds quite a lot like a rant doesn't it? But actually, it was all a bit magical. The weather certainly helped. I would have been miserable stuck out in nowhere land without the sun but having Bird and the sun there made everything a hell of a lot brighter. And blimey o'reilly after last week I needed a holiday! Much appreciated!!! Me and Boyf keep looking up the next seaside place we could go to, we're thinking of camping. CAMPING! Not even glamping. Just a big ol' muddy tent. haha.

Anyway, I have a few more random photos that I didn't fit into my story and then I'm going to get on with designing a new print advert because I'm able to do that (not)....

Ahhhh. The Weston beach from the promenade. How beautiful is that???

We were actually in Hi-de-Hi. :)

This was the driveway into the complex. Just thought you might like to see. 

Just because. 

And another. Seriously. The photos from that evening (the one that I walked a million miles in) all came out stunning. It must have been the light. 

This was the day that I went into the Walkin Centre and I decided to walk along the forest path to Weston. It's kinda between four and five miles and takes about 10 minutes in the car but it took me like an hour and a half. Stunning though? It's also the first panorama that's really worked on my phone!

Four different drinks! Including scrumpy that Bethan told me I had to have. Blurgh. 

The burnt out pier that looked like just the most magical thing. I'm sure it's not that old but I can imagine kind of smugglers coming through. I don't think I've ever seen a pier with its own jetty before. 

Hi-de-Hi with three bachelor ducks. :)

And that's your lot.

Love. xxxxxxxxx

Friday, 9 May 2014

Allow me a few minutes to moan?

Ahhh. Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. The gloriously beautiful days. One busy, one mad in only the way a preschooler can make mad and one calm, pottering. Tuesday is another matter.

I got into the shop, tidied this:

And the rest of the shop that was full of 20 empty bottles, ballbands, biscuit wrappers, spend lucky dip tickets. I sorted through what was left of Verity's bits, started to write a blog, tried to get up to date with web orders, etc. etc. And when I sat down in my normal place I noticed that there were some damp bits. I assumed that June had spilled some drink there, I knew she'd spilled a little of something and maybe she'd done a bit more when I wasn't there. Then I saw that it looked like it had been raining on the inside. Again, I assumed somebody had opened a bottle of cava or something. Nothing to worry about, nothing very much had been ruined, just some extra printout for lessons that I'd been saving. No problems.

On Wednesday a lovely customer came, I know her from a previous life and it's been lovely to catch up and make a different kind of relationship. We were just talking about one particular brilliant professional that we'd both worked with when I noticed a drip drip sound. I looked around to see where it was coming from - assuming it was outside where the rain was but ohohohohoh no. The rain was inside. She left pretty quickly to let me sort it out. I rang the landlord and scuttled off to the shop to buy chocolate and fags. Very important. As I got back to the shop a maintenance man from the landlord's company had just pulled up and he helped me move as much stuff as I could out of the way and rang his mate to come.

They assessed what needed doing and went to fetch some ladders and some black rubbery plastic stuff. They screwed that to the wall above the sign and used some sealant stuff to keep it all in place. It seemed to work but to be fair the rain had more or less stopped by then.

 It seems what has happened is that some little bastard has been up there for lead, found that it was only felt and ripped that off anyway because they are a scrote. Sorry not sorry for the language... On top of this the gutter at the very top of the building (three stories) was blocked so the heavy rainfall was meaning that there was extra water power hammering down. Blurgh.

Anyway, we did the best that we could do and I headed off home. The next morning I was hopefully but if you remember it was raining pretty hard. Outside the shop, inside my shop and in my soul. Haha. I rang the landlord again and he said that there was nothing that he could do but that he'd called a roofer to come on Monday, he was also sending round the bloke that did the bodge job to do a bit more bodging. See the problem here is I'm going to holiday (praise the lord!!!) on Monday and lovely Elizabeth is looking after the shop. I can't leave her with workmen can I? Plus, if the leak isn't fixed then there's a good chance it will leak again, yes? And that means I can't put anything back into position, or if I do then Elizabeth's going to have to sort it. The workman seems nice but what if he doesn't turn up? It's going to be up to me, sat on the beach, ringing workmen and landlords and no. That ain't happening. I tried to ring my mum to see if I was right and then a customer who's like my mum came in and the workman that did the bodge job came too and he's a bit like my dad. They both said that I was right and that I needed to ring up and sort it out.

So when they left I did. And the bloke I spoke to, who I like and get on with, started umming and ahhing and telling me it wasn't their responsibility, that they were getting somebody for the gutter but not for the lead bit on top of the sign. Thing is, that's exactly what I was told was being fixed on Monday - so if they can take responsibility for it on Monday then why the bloody hell can't they take responsibility for it now?! Plus, I pay building's insurance to the landlord and I was very careful to get my insurance from the same place so there could be no messing with this kind of thing. I think I scared him. Haha. But at least he knew I meant business then.

He and the roofer came more or less straight away, they tried to sort the gutter but needed a bigger ladder which the rented and they were back and sorted within the hour. I was still reluctant to anything in terms of tidying though - with the lead still not in place but happily overnight it rained a treat and nothing came in that I noticed in particular so I spent the rest of today tidying and cleaning.

To make myself feel better last night I tried to get the new workshops on the internet. I decided to go a bit mad and spruce up the workshop page on the website which has been doing my nut in for a while. I couldn't get the thumbnails where I wanted them so I thought it would be better, and look a bit more professional to have kinda long thing photos for each section of workshops. Like:

Looks pretty cute, doesn't it?

Not as bloody easy as it looks. The photos were still floating to the right and it was driving me mad. Every bit of html I tried was leaving me cold. Until I remembered css.

Now, if you know nothing about websites (and that's pretty much me) then let me try and explain... html is the thing that actually puts the content out for you to see. So each webpage is a html page. If I want to make a paragraph then I put some brackets around the paragraph with a code telling the interwebs that this is a paragraph. Easy. And in a very bog standard way you can change the font or size or colour of that text by putting a little code in that bracket. Easy. You do something similar with photos changing how big they are, where they sit in comparison with the words or the rest of the webpage, their borders etc. etc. However, websites are more complicated than that now. They often consist of hundreds of paragraphs and images. So around 10 years ago (Boyf reckons, I believe him but I also don't care enough to check) the geeky powers that be came up with css. A cascading style sheet is another little folder on the back of your webpage and in that folder is all of that style information. So you might say, in code because none of this is to be accessible to non-geeks you understand, I want every paragraph in the main body of my page to be in a size 15 font but every paragraph on the right hand column to be in size 8 (god knows why you'd want that, but whatever). And then you go about making your html page with paragraphs in the main body and they'll be a 15 font without you having to put the information in the paragraph - it'll just know by linking to the css. Yes? Does that make any sense at all?

So, knowing all of this on a very basic level. I found where the photos were being ordered around in the css and I changed it from a right orientation to a 'center' orientation (bloody Americans and their terrible spelling). And it worked! But the html page that I wanted it to work on wasn't the only html page that the css applied to. It makes sense doesn't it to have the same css apply to all of the pages on the website, but to be honest, I've ended up with like five different css pages for only about eight web pages. I made one for the html page that I wanted and put the original css page back to how it was and that fixed everything. I'm sure there'll be a lot of tut tutting amongst geeks but to my mind, they should change it so that one css page applies to all but so that specifics, like what I was trying to do can be overridden in the head (which is a whole 'nother thing that I have no time to explain now. I've been told, when I was being mansplained to that I don't think like a tech geek and no, not really, I think like a sensible, logical human being. Thank goodness.

Anyway, whilst all this was percolating in my head at around 7.30 last night, I decided that a glass of wine would be just the ticket. So I popped over to Cagla's bought a bottle of his finest, used the shop bottle opener (yes we have one) and sipped happily. It did a really good job of calming me down and chilling me out and I thank the wine almost completely for my css brainwave. I got to the end of a little bit and thought I'd do some tidying, leaned over and spilled the bloody wine all over the floor. Oh yes.

At this point I rang the Boyf crying and asking him why my life had to be like this. We talked about how terrible it was and what we could do and he told me he'd drop off a some of bicarbonate of soda. In the meantime I googled the weather in Weston Super Mare to try to cheer me up. Hmmm. It's raining in Weston, outside of the shop, inside of the shop and in my soul.

I carried on htmling and cssing and then Boyf turned up. He'd brought wine, chocolate and five tubs of bicarb. Haha. We shook that down and left for the night. Lovely.

This morning I got here early and there was no more leakage so I got to work hoovering the bicarb. It was a soggy disgusting mess and the hoover didn't like it but I kept emptying it and sticking fingers up the tubes - so intimate with my hoover right now. Then I put the heater on and went to get a coffee from next door and to sit down and knit because I knew there wouldn't be much of that whilst the shop was open. I cleared the Londis shelf of bicarb and put some more down. I tried to tidy around whilst I was waiting for that to soak and of course there were customers. Then I hoovered more and tidied more and hoovered more and tidied more. Ad nauseum. And finally, I was ready to move the table which I usually do just by pushing the table. This time though, it didn't like it and it tipped right over. With everything on it. Now over the floor. Blurgh.

And then the hoover packed up.

But you know that soppy thing on facebook where they ask you not to look at everybody running away in the event of an emergency, but to the ones who are running to help. And the one who was running to help today was the lovely Singing Bird. She's brought a spare hoover that is happy with both wet and dry so I'm going to give the floor one last bicarbing tonight and a hoover tomorrow and then I'm calling it quits. Everything that I needed to do before my holiday has been scrapped essentially. I'm hoping that I will be able to get the workshop thing finished, because it's still a big bloody mess and I really want to get my super secret crochet thing written up so that I can sort of test it whilst I'm on holiday but I don't know when I'll fit that in. Blurgh.

How many of my paragraphs have ended with 'blurgh's today? Haha. I'm actually in a surprisingly chipper mood given all of this shit, and I'm off out to celebrate a friend's birthday. It won't be the booze fest is should have been because I need my wits about me if I'm to finish all the stuff that I need to finish but it will be a break which is lovely and just what I need. I keep thinking - only two more days and then I can bugger off to rainy Weston and sit in a chalet and knit. Heaven.

I haven't got time to reread this so sorry if it's a bit mental, I'm posting anyway!

Love Eleanor. xxxx

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day < 3

Ahhhhhh. Where to start!? Where to start?! What a simply amazing weekend. It was the kind of weekend that Lucy from Attic24 would like - lots of little, simple pleasures like pottering around planting peas and visiting Rufford Country Park in the glorious sunshine on Sunday but most importantly, and I'm not sure Lucy would like this, there was drunken raucous Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day Fun on Saturday. IT WAS AMAZING!

I don't really know how to go about writing about it to be honest. It's certainly not going to be in a timeline... I think I'm going to go collect some photos, load them up and see where we go, yes? Gimme a sec.

 So... only a day later and I'm back! THERE ARE SO MANY PHOTOS I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN! I'm going to start with customer photos:

Karen brought the clap with her. 

Sarah brought her sock in the beautiful new Zig Zag Heather colourway (which is sold out in no small part because of Sarah's beautiful socks...). 

Debbie brought her fairisle in the Truly Wool Rich 4ply vest for her dad (and some flowers that have now been, not so beautifully, arranged...). 

And June brought incredible fairisle socks because she's an overachiever... Not that she was in any fit state to fairisle on the day... ;) She's used the black in the Truly Wool Rich 4ply and the Zig Zag in Emperor.

And the beautiful Sue collected her shawl in the Truly Wool Rich 4ply which is the finished thing from this blog here.

In the morning we sat outside to watch the Mayday Parade. 

And Lindsay, Beccy and the Boy (who's name I will remember one day) did some knitting and crocheting in the sun. We couldn't have asked for better weather!

There was booze. 

Lots and lots: 

Of delicious booze.

And shooooooooooooooes.

And, and there are a tonne of photos because you won't believe this, there was and INCREDIBLE amount of people!!!

People were very impressed by Boyf's horrendously coloured crochet and his concentration face. Can you see him looking adoringly at me over on the left? That's the way I like him. haha. Also, look at Steph and Lynsey's little faces - aren't they excited to be at a wool shop?! When I asked Boyf about it later he said that he couldn't believe how excited people got about yarn. Well... uhhh... duh... it comes in like a million colours and it can be soft or hard or shiny or dull or sparkly or hardwearing or... or... or... what's not be excited about?!!?!?

Can you see the lovely Zoe Halstead on the right there? She was wearing the same colour as me because she is coooooooool like I am! :) 

 And Jem Weston was here:

She came just as Zoe was leaving. MAYBE THEY'RE THE SAME PERSON!

And she bought some wool from me that isn't Rowan!!!!!!! This is her trying to hide it at the pub later. 

 Lynsey won the 100% off. It was getting to the point where people didn't believe that I'd actually put 100% in! I'd done about 70 lucky dip things and we were down to the last six when Lynsey thought she'd try her luck with some lurvely Truly Wool Rich Two Of A Kind and then she won I think we were all in a state of shock. Dead pleased.

 But it wasn't all fun, games, giving yarn away and booze you know. It was also an incredible day for sales. Literally our best ever by 100% and more! I still haven't filled all of the shelves but this is how we looked at 1pm:

And it only got worse... :)

I really do feel like we celebrated this day to the best of our abilities. The woman that interviewed me on the radio apparently used Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day to illustrate that there's a day for everything later on in the week - with a tone of... slight incredulity? And I know there is - but the point is that we're all increasingly isolated what with the internet, and scares stories in the press and less money around and working ourselves to the bone and sometimes you need to just get together and bond with other human beings over a shared experience. Yeah? And that's what LYLYSD was about for me. Obvs I was working but I was surrounded by people, my friends, getting giddy and excited about yarn and patterns and projects and I wish I'd taken a photo of the Mood Scarf to show you but I'd been having a big slump of sad and mediocre days then I had one angry day where the printer wouldn't work to do the lucky dip tickets, an excited day for the event itself and ever since it's been happy and contented. It's like a big kick up the arse to make yourself be grateful for stuff that really matters. I hope you lot felt it too. 

And just to stop it being so gushy around here, here's what some overachievers have been up to with their spoils from the day.


She's using like a million shades of the Bamboo Cotton and I'm glad it's working out as well as our drunken selves imagined...

And then, like mother like son, the lovely Gareth (Garth as I like to call him), a newbie knitter, has taken on a mighty garter stitch scarf in the Patons Fab DK. I love his even stitching!!!

And, of course, MORE SOCKS!  In some of the non-Two Of A Kind Truly Hooked Yarn that was available on the day (but only on the day... too late suckers!!! Mwahaha!). The heel's done in the Patons Diploma doubled I think? Lindsay is a fabulous crocheter and apparently a sock-and-sock-only knitter. She knows what she likes. :)

I'm trying to see if there's anything else that I need to show you from the LYLYSD but I don't think there is but I do have a photo from the bank holiday that I need to show you. See this?

WHAT AN IDEA I HAD! Me and Boyf went to the garden centre and I saw a plant that had a cat on it and I assumed that it was cat mint even though it looked nothing like the cat mint that I have in my garden - I thought there might be another type of cat mint? Anyway, knowing cats like I do (or maybe it's just my cats) I knew that I'd have to protect it at least until it was a little grown because they gnaw right down to a stump and then it's never going to survive is it? So I found this broken bicycle wheel and the bricks, all ready to be trashed essentially (or hang around rotting more like) and I used them to form a shield. I was dead pleased with myself. And then when the Cat turned up I excitedly finished the bit of accounting that I was doing and dragged him into the back garden and he was absolutely not. bothered. I plucked a little leaf off, rubbed it on his face - nothing. So I decided to read what I'd actually bought and it's called Scaredy Cat! It's not cat mint, it's to keep the cats away from your garden! HOW AM I SUCH AN IDIOT?!?! Haha. So I'm going to put that in the front garden and get some cat mint for the back. Unless I forget how to read... again... apparently...

And that's that. I'm off to do all the work that I have to do before I go on holiday next week. NEXT WEEK! GAH!

Thank you all who turned up on Saturday, especially Zoe and Jem for their appearances. But to everybody that's ever bought from us and those who continue to buy from us and those who buy gifts for us and like things on our facebook and share our blogs and talk about us on the bus to the uninitiated and come in to have a laugh - we luuuuuuurve you. See you next year?

Love Eleanor. xxx