I've no idea what was going on last night, but every Thursday we hold the knitting group meeting in the shop. It's usually a great way to relax after work, much more chilled out than our Wednesday pub meetings and a chance to wind down. I couldn't make it due to back issues, but Gerard was holding the fort...til 1am! Blimey, I know there's always some gossip but thats got to be the latest knitting get-together we've ever had. I might have to set up a curfew, or at least limit the amount of cider we sell, especially to Gerard, or from what I hear, to some of our regulars too. Anyway, I'm a bit sad I missed it, it sounds like it was a memorable evening...
Recently I posted here on the blog about some of the negativity we've had in the past, even from fellow knitters, who for some reason can't just be happy to have another lovely yarn shop in London. It grates, especially when you put so much work and so many sleepless nights into something, not for yourself but for others too. But you can't please everyone I guess. Anyway, I wanted to post about the nice things we get too. Whenever we see a post on Ravelry from someone we don't know, but who has been to the knitting club or the shop and enjoyed themselves it obviously makes us know it's worthwhile. I've worked in a theatre for many years and have never understood the role of critics, or more distinctly, I've never understood why people would base a decision to see a play on someone else's opinion, unless you read them all to get the bigger picture. So, it's great to get good comments, but when we're slagged off it's always sensible just to take a moment and be introspective - sometimes you can get too big for your boots! Most of the negativity we've encountered so far at IKL has been petty nonsense and jealousy so, for now, we're happy, but bad feedback is probably more important than good feedback!
One of the nice things that's happened over the past two years is that we've met some great new people, some who have become friends, and we've received some lovely pressies too! being ill always brings the charity out in people! This little fella, "Lamby" is from regular Lynsey. I've always been conscious of the knitting group becoming a clique where newbies won't feel welcome - but, although we do have a close group of friends, they are actually only our friends because of the knitting get-togethers in the first place. I think we do manage to keep our group open and friendly. Lynsey came to us early last year, and joined our beginner's knitting class. She has become an IKL mainstay, a regular at the meetings and has even graduated to shop girl on occasion. Lynsey is brilliant - the way she's taken the yarny challenge with so much enthusiasm is a bit inspirational actually. She's obsessed with it and has done about a billion more projects than I have. The fact that Lamby Lamb Lamb here is wearing his own bespoke IKL jumper, knitted especially for him by Lyns is, frankly, gorgeous! And those letters are knitted into the work not just sewn on top y'know. She also made me the little cat in the picture below to cheer me up while I've been off. Bless you Lynsey, you are marvellous. Another marvellous knitter is the much-missed Esther. She's away on the other side of the world right now but there's always a presence, especially in the shop as she has showered us with pressies and postcards since she first started coming along the meetings. There are some people you just like as soon as you meet them, and you always remember when and where that was. With Esther it was at the pub knit night, at The Wellington on the Strand. Not a great pub but it was summer of 2006 and we sat outside till it got dark. A great group that night, among them Esther. If you're lucky
enough to come to a shop meeting and Esther's there you can guarantee she'll bring some cakes and chocolate. Everytime. Recently she gave us this tea-towel (kitsch? how very dare you?). If you can't read it it's The Knitter's Song by Marjorie Carrier (I've copied it out below) I love it's retro cheesiness (and I mean that in a nice way, I do really love it). Weirdly it reminds me of a competition I entered at primary school - someone collected tea-towels and brought in about 50 of them. They were hung up on the wall of the assembly hall. We had to look at them for a minute then turn around and write down as many as we could remember. What a bizarre memory that has literally just come back after never bothering my little head for 28 years!
Talking of being cheesy - the best present has been kept til last though. When we got confirmation from Stephanie that she was coming to do our show in September. That made me nearly wet meself with excitement. When things like this happen, when you spend months trying to sort things out, when you have sleepless nights thinking it's all going to go arse up it's a big relief! Not that I've stopped worrying - no, this is just the start. I will be stressed out every day until 7th September now! Luckily, Gerard is much more philosophical and a little calmer than I.
The Knitter's Song by Marjorie Carrier
Clickety clack, clackerty clack,
The knitters at work - knit and purl back.
In two-ply or three-, mohair or double,
the knitting keeps growing, without any trouble.
Sometimes machine, often on pins,
the knitter is busy and has no sins!
The garments are splendid admired by all,
"Knit one for me" is everyone's call.
The colours are gorgeous, in all sorts of hues,
they cheer all those who suffer the blues.
"So keep on knitting", is everyone's cry,
"For we love knitting!" is our reply.
Marjorie Carrier, 1990, for The Button Lady