Thursday, 8 January 2015


Ahhhh. As a rest from the terrible stuff that's going on we're going to have a rerun of all of the best bits of 2014 and oh what a year it's been!! On a personal level I've had an incredible year, with the Boyf and the cat and two amazing holidays. There are still some secrets going on behind the scenes that I hope will come to fruition soon (everybody cross your fingers for me!). And in terms of the shop we've won Best Yarn Shop in the Midlands for the second year running, we've run another successful trip to Yarndale, we had our best day ever at the 4th birthday party and not far behind that an amazing day at Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day. We organised and sent over 100 parcels for the Sailing Pi, Dirty Rascal and Christmas Time Out Boxes and I released my most successful pattern yet in Bobica (and there's another bubbling round in my skull). On top of that we've taught a few more hundred people how to knit and crochet, and people that already knit and crochet how to do it better or do more. Introduced plenty of new yarns and run a few specials to let you lot work with stuff that we don't necessarily want to stock but do want to try. We've had a flood and an operation and everything in between. Oh, I'll shut up - let's look at the photos - and this is in whatever order the computer wants it to be in...

Oh, so the computer wants to start with the shit stuff. Well, this was the flood! The day after Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day and just days before my holiday - argh! 

But instead of looking at how terrible everything is, there's a saying isn't there, by Fred Rogers (of course), 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

And isn't that true? These were my helpers this day, the guys that work at my landlords who are not that bad despite the door issue... 

WE GOT NEON SOCK YARN! And promptly sold out of it all... 

Chris helped me organise the shop. Before this all of the needles were on wonky nails straight in the walls and before that they were in glass jars with no organisation at all. It's a step forward. :)

He also learned to crochet on our Valentine's weekend away. Ahhhhh. 

And another boy that likes big balls. It's really sad to say goodbye to Mark, who'd been an excellent rep for King Cole but we're happy to say hello to the new one (whose name I don't remember yet... it's only been a few weeks... something like Damon? Damien?). 

Apparently, this was the year that we started stocking King Cole Merino DK. I say 'apparently' because it feels like it's been with us forever. It's one of our best sellers and it's a well loved part of the shop now. 

I started, and didn't finish, a mood shawl. Lots of you did finish and one day I'll collate together the photos. 

I got over my fear of textured yarns to make this cushion in Romano Chunky from King Cole that we got in a big job lot for you. It's now got a permanent place on my bed and I can't life without it for propping up a newspaper on my day off. 

Rebecka made the MOST AMAZING cake for Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day - delicious, delicious, delicious! In fact, there's been a lot of cake this year. Partly why I enjoyed it so much. 

We shoved an enormous amount of people into the shop on that day. This was one of the least full moments if I remember rightly. Such a fun day. So lovely to get everybody together again. Are you looking forward to the next one?

We got some new colours in the Riot Chunky including this gorgeous colour - Rainbow. Davina loved it from the start when she realised it matched her nail varnish. 

Despite not being a best seller I am still over the moon about the Bamboo Cotton 4ply. It's a stunner of a yarn, an amazing combo of fibre, texture and colours - I have a little something ready to be published once I do some blocking and photographing and I'm waiting for some spring blooms for that. Just you wait!

Talk about beautiful spring blossoms, here's the Bobica. What I consider to be my first 'proper' pattern. I am thrilled with it, always will be and it's still whirling round in my mind as I may have thought about a new edging to add to the pattern. Hmmm. It also represents working with my best mate Vezza who continues to be an inspiration and my biggest source of support outside of the Boyf and my mum. Three of the best. 

YARNDALE! Need I say more?! I will - but I'm waiting for the computer to put up the next photo. 

Ahhh, the Sailing Pi Boxes. It was a real strain for me this - a big step into the unknown. Lots went wrong, including losing 30 plastic crabs (and finding them again just before Christmas...) and ordering bloody massive boxes but I absolutely loved the process and went on to repeat it with the Christmas bags later - refining lots of little bits and enjoying the process even more. 

Oooh, and there is it. I guess this also shows how my confidence in photoshopping type skills has also grown. I'm by no means an expert, there's a lot that I need to learn, but I'm happy with my colourful creations and every time I do a new one I get a little thrill about showing you lot and it's something I hadn't even thought about before the beginning of 2014. (And I had no idea I was going to talk about that in this blog - blimey! This shit's getting deep!)

Ahhh thanks computer! Here we are! This is Yarndale again but I think it also depicts really well one of the most amazing aspects of this little shop - you lot. I say it all the time, and it always sounds a bit soppy, but it's literally all about you. Without you, I'm just sat all day with a massive wool stash and I look a bit mental. It's your personalities, histories, expertise and enthusiasm that make it. And, let's face it, your money. ;) But I hope you get as much out of it as I do and I hope you continue to be part of this community, letting me know what you like, don't like, want, don't want, need, love, enjoy - all of it helps me run the best yarn shop in the Midlands and sllows you to enjoy the best yarn shop in the Midlands. Long may it continue.

I think that's it. Not too soppy ey? 2014 wasn't that bad was it? In fact, whilst looking for photos for this I found a load of finished object photos from customers that I want to write a blog about. It's actually what I wanted to write and publish today but I couldn't decide which photos to use and didn't want to leave any out so you might need to give me some time for that. 

Thank you so much for your love and support this last year, it's been well needed at points and of course, puts us in the best possible position to start 2015 on a positive note looking forward to all of the capers and japes that we can get up to. You ready?

Love Eleanor. xxx

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