Hello it is Eleanor - not Casper - and it is a pleasure to be back! It feels like 2015 with me writing a blog about a party. For me, writing about it afterwards was a big part of what made the parties - reliving the magic and sharing what some people had missed - but somehow, you get busy and the blogs went out the window. Replaced by vlogs I suppose.
Anyway, we had a party last Saturday. Roughly based around Knit in Public day but mostly just an excuse to test the waters before the real party party happens in September - our 12th birthday party! I was nervous - about the party, about having that many people in a room together, the weather, stock issues, whether people had forgotten us but I needn't have been. It definitely wasn't as wild and stuffed to the brim as previous parties but it felt full for most of the day and it had that magical quality where people pair off or fall into small groups and magic happens. There was a lot of laughter. It is difficult to describe the kind of laughter that happens at a shop party. It shouldn't be like this really, it's a bloody wool shop, but putting a lot of yarn hungry odd-bods in a room together with a little bit of wine and some snacks and it is just magic.
There hadn't really been any new products to buy from our suppliers in the weeks leading up and I was a bit worried to be honest (does that surprise you? #NeverNotWorried). I usually like to have something, so hand dyed would have been the obvious but I just hadn't had the time or energy to do a big drop (it's on my radar though so keep an eye out...). Then Emma Ball emailed me out of the blue and some products that we'd been waiting for were now in stock so I managed to get them in just the day before (because they rushed for me and I appreciate it!!) and they went down a treat. We had organisers, straight needle rolls and circular ones, more tins, more stitch markers and my favourite - the mugs in fantastic boxes. The project planners went down better than could have been expected and we've only two of those left.
I can't say the weather was kind to us - it was still muggy and it rained on and off all day but it felt okay to be in the shop together and we're a week in and I haven't had any reports of illnesses. A few brave souls sat outside for part of the day, while I was downstairs doing the lesson that I forgot about (...), but by the time I'd come upstairs we were pretty firmly inside for the rest of the day.
It was so gorgeous to see so many of you and to hear the way you encourage and inspire eachother. I didn't know when we first opened and it took a few years to develop but that it what this shop is about and I am so proud every time I hear it happening. I am *very* pleased to say there were some newbies came - some people new to the shop but mostly new to the parties. I hope they had a great time, everybody seemed to be smiling and chatting anyway. It was so good to see some old timers - I don't dare start listing names in case I forget somebody but you know who you are and I cannot tell you how much it means that you turn up again and again. Especially after this last couple of years, and how slow the shop has been this spring/summer. I remember saying to Casper when they first started how people are nicer to me than I deserve, I am told an inordinate amount of times what the shop means to people and how much they appreciate me. I get it, I know it, it means the same (probably more!) to me but it does something to me deep inside when people actually show it. You are my people.
I must say a HUGE thank you to our Steph though who turned up before we opened and worked like she worked here - escorting my students downstairs, making cups of coffee, pointing people in the right direction, getting folders out keeping Casper and Katie calm. Sometimes I wonder how I'm so lucky you know.
And here is the lovely Steph (and Rachel) faffing about at the party...
I'm sorry if you didn't get to come for whatever reason, it really was a great day and it's made me feel a lot more confident about our birthday party in September which will be Saturday the 3rd (if all goes well)so put it in your diary now!
Love Eleanor. xxx