I had the loveliest time last night and I want to tell you alllll about it! I went to see the Mapperley Knit and Natterers - a group of lovely ladies (and a few gents) who meet to talk about all things machine knitting. Now, I don't machine knit. I did it once and wasn't very good at all. Blurgh. But the garments that these ladies produced was just incredible! One lady I was talking to after, I could tell that her top was knitted but I had no idea that the skirt was too! It was a midi length pleated skirt in tiny tiny black yarn and it draped like a dream. It was so lovely to see the talent there! I was invited a few months ago to give a talk at one of their meetings and I said yes straight away without really thinking what I was going to talk about. My first inclination at these things would be something that I feel pretty passionate about like fairisle or socks but I couldn't work out whether that crossed over to machine knitting. So I decided to talk about the shop, which is the reason I was asked there in the first place so it seemed as good a subject as any.
Thing is, and you know me, when I start thinking about the shop, or anything, it just comes out in a big burble. The important part about giving a speech is that it has to have a backbone. A frame to hang all of your anecdotes and jokes and pithy one-liners on (not many of those I'm afraid...). I've had a dead busy few weeks and and even busier weekend so the first time I really got to thinking about it was yesterday in the day time. I decided I was going to talk about why I love being a YSO. My backbone was essentially - introduce the shop, when we started, why we started, how we started, our ethos and then I thought about six different reasons I love owning the shop - the wool, the people, the community, the freedom, the confidence it's given me and the free stuff (mwahaha). Within that frame I talked about neon things, knit club, affairs, the Healthy and Every Size Movement, Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day, the Christmas jumper, setting up a dating event for knitters, Verity, the Bead Shop, having stupid coloured hair, going to London, the birthday parties, the blog and all sorts of other things. I'm glad with the way I organised my thoughts because I was able to shorten a few of the points when I was running out of time. RUNNING OUT OF TIME!?! I HAD AN HOUR AND I RAN OUT OF TIME! Does anybody want to pay me to talk for 24 hours? I could totes do that. Totes. I summed it all up with the plan for the future and a nice cup of coffee (which meant I was awake till like three this morning - bad call, Eleanor).
The ladies were lovely and very appreciative - I get the impression that mostly their speakers were a little bit more sensible than me? They kept telling me how 'bubbly' I was. Well, yeah, I am. :).
I took a single solitary photo:
Which doesn't show the ladies to their best effect really. But I tried. the boss took a few photos of me as I was speaking so I'll share those if she sends them to me.
Now, the deets. The ladies meet on the first Monday of the month at Haywood Road Community Centre which is dead easy to find even if it is a little tucked away. I believe you can get there from six and they have a bit of a chat and buy some machine yarn from eachother etc. Then they have a speaker from 7 to 8 and then there's a bit more chatting afterwards and everybody left at about 8.45 or so. I have contact details for you so please don't hesitate to e-mail or comment for them but I'm loath to put them out there for security purposes. Do go on down if you get the chance though, it was seriously lovely!
And now, why was I so busy? Bloody gardening. That's why. Boyf has a lovely but small garden that was covered in concrete. We started smashing the concrete last Sunday and that made me ache all week and then his parents decided on the spur of the moment to come up to help us take it to the tip. We got rid of loads of stuff! Smashed up a bit more concrete. Moved a completely full compost bin. Moved the normal and recycling bins out of the garden and into a ginnel that belongs to them but has been kind of co-opted by a load of nosy neighbours that have a legal (equitable actually. blah. law degrees) right to use it as a cut through and they do even though it's actually farther for them to walk. Whatevs. And then we started putting up a decking - which I didn't want but Boyf did but we ran out of wood. So that's why they'll be doing next Saturday whilst I'm at work. Thank the Lord! We borrowed a drill from my dad and I took the opportunity to photograph his cave:
Which goes some way to explaining the shop and why I'm so pleased that it's in the state that it's in. What I call tidy.
Yesterday I spent some time moving the pots of things that we planted a few weeks ago into the raised beds which are the only part of the garden that we're not changing and cat helped a lot. Can you see him? Incidentally, he's deffo a he because I saw him spraying in a manly way t'other day. Knowledge is power.
Incidentally, have you seen this?
It's a decoy wasp nest knitted in super chunky. Find the pattern here: Robin Stephen's Wasp Away Decoy Nest and it's amazing!!! The idea is that wasps are terratorial creatures and if they see that there's another 'nest' nearby they'll bugger off somewhere else. I have an irrational fear of wasps (and bees but I am bothered about that and trying to stop myself) and I've seen a wasps nest and it made me feel sick and I would hate my life if I ever had to see one again so I'm going to wack up these buggers all over Boyf's garden whether he likes it or not. I'm thinking it'd be great in the Seriously Chunky but I reckon you'd have to up your needles to an 8mm so that it's still sturdy but you don't do your hands some damage trying to work it.
And, once this is finished and posted I'm going to get on with the final touches on the super secret project. Actually, the penultimate touches. Because Boyf's parents were down I couldn't use him spare bed for blocking so I still need to do that and photograph them and the weather hasn't helped with that but if I can get that done then I can photograph on Wednesday. It's really taken far too long to do.
And finally. A competition! Can you remember at Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day I said I'd be giving away a free Yarndale place and then promptly forgot? Well, I'm making that good now! I'm going to be asking a series of questions about Yarndale and the shop over on the Facebook and Twitter pages and every time you answer a question you get entered into a draw to win a free place! Only one entry per question though so don't go answering 20 times on Facebook and Twitter. ;) For those of you who have already booked you can have your money back (in shop vouchers) if you win and for those of you who haven't booked, I'm saving a space on the coach but separately from that there are only six spaces left so if you definitely want to go then you really need to book a ticket and then do all your entries for a chance of getting that money back.
Click here to book your place.
And that's it! I'm off to tidy for twenty minutes and then get down to the super secret project.
Love Eleanor. xx