After all these weeks of wondering if this funny little mis-shapen shop will ever be fit for wool, the thrill of finishing the fitting on Sunday was ecstatic. Now it turns out that ecstasy is not the best head state for considered population of new shop with wool.
So when I got in on Monday morning I faced an arrangement of colours and weights that held little hope of guiding any knitters (baffled or otherwise) along the rows. I stood back and began to wonder whether there’s a link between alphabet orientation and thin-to-thick yarn sequencing. Then decided that it has to be about optimum positioning for the customer profile. Think, think, think! And then it dawned on me that if you’re a new knitter you don’t only want to grow your knitting fast, you want to find the yarn quickly. Knitting fundies on the other hand will be more likely to take the extra steps needed to explore the far end. Newbies like the thick stuff, yarnies will go for the finer skeins. The balls came down (tumbling in some cases) and got carefully and calmly re-stashed into sensibly located cubes – from super chunky shmunky at the front down to a whispy lace at the far end. I reconsidered the colour combinations, gradually and sensibly migrating balls and skeins to better places.
Unlike Sunday, the clock was ticking though. I only had until 5.30 – there was to be no late night stashing on Monday. Why was Monday different from all other nights? I had a date with my in-laws, some hard boiled eggs and unleavened bread that I had to keep. It seems that Moses didn’t check when I’d be opening the wool shop when he decided which day he wanted to lead the Jews out of slavery into freedom. No worries. Calm headed local business woman can finish her work on time, don a clean frock and make it to Passover meal in north west London even though she’s on the threshold of life changing and earth shattering endeavors. So we ate the bread of affliction, lent to the left, found the Afikomen and got back to Hackney in time for just enough sleep to power me through the getting-everything-ready marathon on Tuesday.
Tuesday began with wool more or less organised, but displays needed arranging, needles needed sorting and everything needed pricing. Thankfully turbo-charged Maya stepped in armed with a calculator, pricing gun and to-do lists with checkboxes. Six o’clock came and went and by eight, Felix was on the phone checking whether we’d be home to eat supper. No chance. Then suddenly there he was like a super-hero jogging down the street with a pressure cooker full of the most delicious pasta. So we gobbled and carried on and on until by ten we could do no more. It was ready – or ready(ish).
And that’s how I came to find myself sitting in a beautiful wool shop on Wednesday morning, sunlight pouring in by the knitting table, wool sensibly stacked (now also priced) along the cubes, needles arranged in size order, and till all in working order on the counter. A couple of knitters were browsing the wools, asking about suitability for different patterns. We discussed and concluded. And I smiled a smile inside that was even bigger than the one on the outside. I’d come home and there’s nowhere in the world I’d have rather been.