Friday, 15 January 2016

2015 - In Review

Only a little late. I think I was thinking about last year and the sheer amount of posts I made reviewing 2014. I don't think I'm up to that this year, we're a lot busier behind the scenes this year (as you'll know if you've read the previous two posts) but I also have a lot of admin stuff weighing down on me which I'd love to get on with! I do need to write something though, it wouldn't be right not to. So.

I don't have to start about buying the business partners out, you know all about that now!

So I'll start with our other events. Yarn Shop Day went swimmingly as it did last last year (if you know what I mean, too late to be posting this really, haha). I think this sums up the day nicely:

A happy customer surrounded by wool. :)

The date for this year has been announced now - the 30th of April. And looking through for photos of last year it appears that by then Let's Knit were asking for nominations for the British Knitting Awards so keep an eye out for that (and let me know if you see it before I do! I'm determined to win again).

Which leads me onto winning the award!

This is the third year running that we've won the Best Independent Yarn Shop in the Midlands and it is always a thrill! This year we were also nominated for the Best Online Shop (which Dera-bugger-mores won) and Best Yarn Shop Day Experience and we came third in that but this year I'd like to be second before smashing it the year after. What's most exciting about this is that it's nominated and voted by the customers. I have a feeling that I wouldn't win if it weren't you lot voting, I'm no good at networking and I'm not great at being in 'the industry', I don't really care for it, or rather, I do but only in as much as it affects us, the knitters and crocheters. Anyway, winning this year definitely didn't feel like a foregone conclusion, I felt sick most of the way through when we were supposed to know about it especially because I'm now part of the AIYSO (Association of Independent Yarn Shop Owners) so there were a lot of us biting our nails when the announcements were delayed.

That's got to be another high for this year - the making of the AIYSO. I've talked about it a lot but I don't think I can overestimate how good it feels to be in contact with other people that know what it's like. Owning a wool shop is incredible but bloody hard work and they get it. 

Back to parties - our fifth birthday party felt like I real achievement. It didn't just feel like it, it was it! Although I have a hard time convincing myself of this, if a friend of mine had done this I would be incredibly proud - I've worked a lot on being kinder to myself this year.

I think this photo nicely sums that up. Love Holly's cheeky face at the front there. I'm so hoping that by the next party we will be in the next shop whatever happens. I think the next Yarn Shop Day Party might be at the new shop but I don't want to jinx it. I think September is a good time to plan for... I do worry that the shop gets too busy at these parties, people do come in and leave pretty soon after. To be fair, if they come in on a party and then stay, we know they're going to be good Knit Nottinghamites but some people are shy and I get that and wouldn't it be nice if we could all have a seat or at least some breathing space. Oh I am so excited! I can almost feel the relief already, I just know that there's a lot of work to do in between. Ahhhh!

Hmm, next highlight. Ahhhhh, I'm going through the blog and I know I'll find more stuff but I really loved this jumper!

Still love it! Still love it! Still love it! So warm, so stylish, so easy to wear. Well, maybe not stylish. But I think we're all looking for the one thing we can make that we love to wear and looks good - a perfect combo. It's made in the Chunky Tweed and it's this pattern although I changed the neck somewhat. It also brings back memories of when I had my ear did and all of a sudden nobody was bothering me to do anything but sit around and knit all day. Ohhhhh to be an invalid.

 I got the door fixed! This was such a problem to me and the noise grated on my soul so much that it feels like I only had it fixed yesterday. But it was February!

King Cole released my first pattern, I have so many ideas for many many more but time is not on my side... So thrilled to have this though! An official, published designer. You can still buy it here: King Cole 9026.

June's son got married and I knitted him and his husband socks. Bloody big footed men.

This is another stand out pattern from this year. The King Cole Shine is one of my favourite yarns and they just smashed it with this pattern which seems to suit every single person.

Just in general, I feel like the Drifter DK was a real standout yarn. It helps that it came in high summer when the shop is slowish so I could sit outside and knit with it and really fall in love but I've also now crocheted a simple blanket in it and I still love it. Ahhhhhhh. Still so many plans for this.

But the real smasher this year has been the Panache DK. Such good value but just such an incredible yarn. Everybody has fallen in love with it - people who love colour, people who love texture, people who love posh yarn, people who love a bargain, crocheters, knitters, arty people, garmenty people. Everybody! Boom!

I still have nothing finished in it... but other people do, I'm just struggling to find the photos... I will do soon as I started the second sleeve of Chris's jumper yesterday. I promise.

Following on from that, my lessons are always a massive highlight throughout the year!

This was my first evening lesson and it was on fairisle. This is like my favourite thing to teach ever and I've been really excited this year that you lot have booked out so many fairisle lessons that I've been able to teach it about once a month. haha. Usually, we use the King Cole Merino DK but lately I've been opening that up to the Panache DK in the lesson because people have just been falling in love with it.

And talking about events for customers. BLOODY YARNDALE!

This was, without doubt, the biggest source of stress and one of the biggest joys of the year. It must be a bit like giving birth because I've just bloody booked for next year ain't I?! An 83 seater! It's so weird how the year takes on a rhythm of its own - yarn shop day, nominations, birthday party, yarndale, Christmas. Ahhhhhhhhh. And this year will be even more special!

And to round it all up, on a personal note, my biggest highlight, or series of highlights, has been my garden, taking more time out for myself (until just before Christmas), and Chris. Ahhhhhh.

And that's it. It doesn't do justice to 2015 but it does do justice to the immense amount of work I have to do today (although, it's Tuesday that I'm writing not Friday as I'm posting so I might have nothing to do on Thursday. Jokes. Never nothing to do). I have loved 2015. Not every minute, some of it was downright shit, but a lot of it was solid and a few sparkly moments shine out above all else. Here's to 2016 when I should have a bigger shop, more customers, more wool and be dead organised!

Thank you everybody that supported us throughout the year and keep doing it (and maybe do it more!).

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

P.s. I forgot to talk about the vlogs which have been an immense source of enjoyment!

P.p.s. I've finished the jumer! (Apart from sewing in ends, blocking and perhaps redoing the neck. The less said about all of that, the better...).

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