Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...

Obviously, Keats didn't knit or crochet. For us here at CCCK, autumn is the season when everybody decides to start their new knitting or crochet projects.

Not to say that we haven't had both mists and fruit around here, but mostly autumn has brought us people who want to knit, crochet or (in a few cases) do both. Our classes are booking out, we are ordering stock twice a month (instead of every two months) and we find ourselves apologising to customers who have had to wait for service.

Autumn has also brought a swag of articles in newspapers and lifestyle magazines about the growing interest in craft (particularly subversive craft, such as yarnbombing). Autumn has brought new tenants to the empty shops along High Street, with new and exciting plans. And as I trotted along the street, going for my morning walk (got to get those 10,000 steps in!), I was suddenly hit by a realisation - I have accidentally become cool.

In my younger days, I was so far from being cool, I wasn't even on the same planet. I knitted. I read. I didn't have a boyfriend in high school (or a girlfriend) and there wasn't the remotest possibility of me acquiring either. I wasn't old enough to get a car or a driver's licence until I was at uni. I liked my parents and got on well with them. I was sort of Gothic, but because I'm phobic about touching my eyes, I couldn't wear eyeliner. I wrote, but instead of heart-wrenching angst-driven paens of darkness bemoaning my desolate teenage state, I wrote sci-fi and comedy, and I was a failure as a suffering misunderstood author, because my stuff was being published. I sang, but it was all cheerful ditties by Gilbert and Sullivan about flowers blooming in spring. You would have to go a long way to find something less cool than a plump, healthy-looking Goth with no eyeliner who tells jokes and sings musical comedy songs...

But now, almost completely by accident, I have ended up with a cool shop in a hot street. Fitzroy rents have risen to a point where the cool people have had to move out - to Northcote. Knitting and craft are bigger than Ben Hur - men and women are knitting, crocheting, dying, spinning and weaving like there's no tomorrow. Hooray for the recession! And hooray for the new anti-consumerist trends! And of course, hooray for autumn, because if people weren't freezing and wanting warm woolly garments, I'd still be slogging my way through the stash gym. (More to come on that in our next instalment...)