Talking of trash TV, after our Eggheads appearance last week, Gerard hits primetime tomorrow when he's off to Hell's Kitchen! I'm not kidding. I've advised him to kick up a fuss cos it makes good telly and we'll all get to see him...he says he's just going to drink a lot and see what happens!
Yesterday I made it out and into the shop. I haven't been round for a few days, and I couldn't make the Wednesday night knitting group last night either - sorry folks, I hope it was good 'un, and the Tube trouble didn't dampen spirits and put anyone off. So, in the shop all day, pottering about and it gave me time to do a bit of business stuff. It's always nice to speak to those people who keep us going, the people who actually make the yarn. One of our founding ideas was to include in the stuff we sell yarns from this country. To support our own producers is, to us, a vital part of keeping the knitting industry alive. We were always amazed that the choice of yarn elsewhere either ignored completely, or just paid lip service to 100% independent UK producers - department stores won't touch the stuff because they are all about making a profit (let's not get on our high horse here, by the way, of course we are running a business and we have to make a profit, but we can do this without neglecting some gorgeous yarns, and without ignoring what knitters tell us they want). I remember I was surprised to find most of Rowan's yarns are produced overseas!
Anyway, one of our must-haves was Jamieson's of Shetland. I spoke with Peter yesterday about another large order, and I am really pleased that their stuff does so well. it proves there's a market for it and that, depite the number of knitting books recommending the big names, savvy knitters know that there's more out there. I always like calling them too, sometimes you even get the kids answering the phone and it brings it all home to me that they are genuinely independent, family yarn producers. I love that! I was actually calling because, as some of you must know, there's a new Simply Shetland Book on the way with Eunny Jang's Autumn Rose Pullover. I am honestly thrilled that such a high profile pattern is using Jamieson's, opening up their yarn to a whole new bunch of knitters! Their stuff has always been huge in the US and it's about time we appreciated it more in it's home country!
Thanks to fimngersandtoes on Ravelry who put this in my head and started this bit of a rant. But, y'know, when you support LYS you encourage choice and diversity, and the knock on effect is that we have to compete with other LYS and that just makes us more determined to expand our range, find new yarns and suppliers. We already have at least three yarns in store that we wouldn't have if not recommended by customers and long may that continue!