‘My friend dyed this yarn for me and I need something to go with it’..
‘I’m looking for a not-too-difficult but also not-too-boring cardigan pattern..’
‘I accidentally created an extra stitch 4 rows back. Can you help me sort it out?
‘I want to make that wrap cardigan in the new Pom Pom which uses 4 colours but can’t decide which will work together..’
There is something familiar, even predictable about these questions. They were all asked by customers who came to the shop this week but they are also the prompts for the work we’ve done ever since the shop began: shade searches, yarn subbing, technique explanations, and problem-solving. In a way they are unremarkable – just the things that knitters ask when they come into a wool shop. But opening up the shop again this week has taught me that the lockdown has really turned the unremarkable on its head.
For this week, those familar questions of passing knitters came like heart-warming chicken soupey soul music to this lonely shop-keeper.
We went back to scanning the shelves and pegs for nicely varying tones, twisting threads together to check for contrast, looking up alternative yarns to substitute for obscure lines that we can’t find locally, pulling out the shop’s teaching needles to demo magic looping, and excitedly finding patterns that would be a perfect fit.
‘It has to be that one,’ a knitter smiled, pointing to a blackcurrant shade of Bo Peep. ‘It’s perfect.’
I rang it up on the till, put the wool into a paper bag and passed it to her.
And she was right. It was absolutely perfect.
Welcome back everyone. It’s getting to be like it used to be and its wonderful.