Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stash gym III - Australia's biggest (wool) loser

Once again, the stash has defeated me.

I have been planning to take some photos of my new garments for the past four weeks and put them up on Ravelry. Unfortunately (?), I've now got a backlog of stuff to photograph and I don't know where to start. I could get photos of the poncho, the melange shawl and the shrug, but the shrug is currently on the mannequin and the poncho and shawl are stuffed into the drawer so tightly I can barely get them out (something to do with the drawer being full of other knitted garments...). I could photograph the cardigan, but it's not finished - I am hoping to get some more Ribbon Twist from the US to finish off the trim or (failing that!), I need to scrounge two balls of grey or white Big Wool. I have the fronts of two jumpers, but have not been able to get the wool I need to do the backs and the sleeves (still on order). I have a shrug that is slightly too long and needs to be modified, not sure how. The vest is accessible - I am wearing it at present - but it is a timely reminder that a large woman should not wear garments that draw attention to her chest. It looks like I am trying to smuggle two footballs into the shop... or maybe that should be two footballers...

My solution has been to knit or crochet more garments (singlet top, another LONGER knitted vest, a crochet vest which will probably be another disaster and a jumper for the Significant Other). This won't get the UFOs over the line, but at least it will keep the stash on its steady downward path. The other day (drumroll, please!), I hopped up onto the end of my bed, reached up and touched... THE SHELF!! That's right, I have cleared enough of my stash that the shelf has become visible. Maybe instead of photographing the finished objects, I should take a photo of the shelf!! Finished objects are ten a penny around here at present, but a shrinking stash has rarity value!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wool shop birthday!

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday on August 8th... Happy birthday to us! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray!

The other day, I was crocheting happily away on a shrug and thinking about how much has happened over the past twelve months. On 8/8/08, I first opened for business. We had half a dozen varieties of Patons and Cleckheaton yarns, most of the Jo Sharp range and a bit of Rowan. The sofas were in place, but we didn't have an urn or a food handling permit. Our stock fitted comfortably on one shelf, with a couple of boxes out the back for the overflow.

Since then, we've expanded our stock to include a couple of the NZ Naturally lines, Tahki Cotton, Twilleys, Filatura di Crosa and Mango Moon. We have organic, sustainable and ethical yarns, sock wool, and books (hardcover books, not pattern books). We've set ourselves up to serve tea and coffee - and successfully passed our first health inspection. We've run some very successful classes, and we've cancelled other classes that didn't get the numbers. We have lots of new shelves and baskets, but they don't hold all the stock on hand or even come close.

We've had at least 976 customers come through the door, because that's how many customers we have on our loyalty database. All in all, a very successful first year - I am very relieved that we didn't end up becoming a casualty of the recession!

We will be celebrating our first birthday on 8th August, with discounts for loyalty club members. (This includes any loyalty club members who might happen to join the club on the day!). Afraid I can't think of anything very intelligent to say, except thank you to everyone who has supported us through our first year! We'll see you all at our second birthday in 2010...

**Stash gym update: I have managed to finish off another three or four jumpers due to the Eye. Anyone who came into the shop over May/June may have noticed that one of my eyes was swollen to three times normal size and that I appeared to be slightly over-medicated on painkillers. I'm still going to the Eye and Ear hospital for regular check-ups, even though they don't seem to have the faintest idea what's wrong with me. However, at four or more hours per visit, this has been a chance to finish my Ribbon Twist vest, a Ribbon Twist cardie, a Jo Sharp DK Cotton singlet, a Mango Moon shrug and handbag and three pairs of mitts for birthday presents. Stash gym photos coming soon...