Looking back (through the windows)

Gift advice for what to buy the avid/newbie/lapsed uncles/sisters-in-law/nephews.. project-planning for surviving the week with family.. gigantic deliveries to restock our runaway yarns.. packing parcels to catch the post and filling up all those tins: The way that December has picked up speed and then crescendoed into its own woolly symphony, has turned these last few shop days of the year into something which feels not unlike a tumble-down a sand dune, so that it’s almost a surprise to find the shop is still there with things largely where they’re supposed to be, when we reach 6 o’clock and turn the closed sign around before switching off the lights.

And so by way of reassurance that the year wasn’t always this hectic and that we will all get back to a more steady one-stitch-at-a-time pace soon, I invite you all to temporarily put aside your to-do lists, lay your knitting down, and look back at the woolly year through the windows that have kept the Lower Clapton Road passers-by chuckling and wondering what on earth makes us knitters tick…

February 2023: Picture this! A Polaroid instant spring

April 2023: Ducklings having a quack splash in their Clapton wild flower meadow

June 2023: Knitting Underground: London by (i-cord) Tube

September 2023: Taking a peak into the autumn..

November 2023: Once upon a time there was ball of wool..

December 2023: 24 days and counting..

And now for the credits, for behind the windows is the wool shop and behind that are a multitude of characters – straight, circular and curious, without whom none of it would be possible, and to whom untold thanks is due..

Alessandra Rigillo for stretching, dangling and wrangling those window displays into shape, Professor Emeritus of the Knitted Stitch, Wendy Peterson for generously sharing her knitting genius in all those astonishing classes, Janette Budge, Cinthia Vallet and Judit Gummlich for travelling the hundreds of miles from their homes to bring their extraordinary talents and stories to the shop, Helen (The Wool Kitchen) Reed for the cosmic wisdom and joy she brings to the Sweater Club, Sally Cadle for her legendary services to tangle-free bookkeeping, Andzelika for all the dusting, sweeping and tidying, Annie Black for countless rescue missions, Liz Probert for keeping the shop online, safe from digital harm and keeping this newsletter moving through the ether, Sarah Macbeth for sprinkling the design with her artful mix of skill and colour, Hana Whaler for the magic numbering that has enchanted us all, and of course Brontë for her unparalleled parcel-wrapping, yarn-calculating, gauge-checking, pattern-finding, technique deciphering, and endless capacity to just make the impossible, possible..

But most of all thanks to YOU ALL for coming along on this woolly ride with us and for letting us join in with your’s too, for encouraging us to carry on, and for letting us encourage you. For all the balls of wool and patterns and needles in all the world would be nothing if it weren’t for you and what your creativity, enthusiasm and inspiration have made this knitting community into. Next year will mark 10 years of Wild and Woolly – it’s down to all of you that we made it this far, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got planned to say thank you and celebrate!

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