A number of years ago, Jan, my lovely button rep', commented that my shop was too tasteful and predictable and that I was far too pedantic. Jan, along with being a sales rep' was also a good pal, she could be brutally honest but she knew I would laugh and ignore any changes she suggested. I decided, on this occasion, to go along with a particularly ridiculous idea of hers.
Just as a bit of background information, I'll give a brief description of the buttons I sell. I have a fairly small but incredibly well thought through range. I go to great lengths of get natural shell buttons dyed to match many the colours of my wool, how pedantic is that? Many of you ask for wooden buttons and toggles, they look so good on woolly garments for busy and boisterous toddlers. I have Swarovski Crystal buttons for those of you attracted to anything bright and sparkly, they are often bought with no particular purpose in mind...you just want them! I have New Zealand paua shell buttons made by a local conservationist and I could write a whole newsletter about these buttons and the extraordinary gentleman who makes them. The vast majority of my buttons are made from natural materials and our hand made ceramic buttons have a good social enterprise story behind them. Very occasionally a customer will hover over my buttons and retort "Is that all you've got?" I bristle slightly, and, if I think I can get away with being a little cheeky, I will explain that in my shop I choose to have a selection quality buttons rather than quantity.
So, I will try not to digress to much. Those of you who are new to my newsletter may not be aware that I do ramble on rather. Back to Jan's interesting exercise. I would order a small range of buttons...there would be colorful plastic train and car buttons, sparkly flower buttons, buttons in the shape of rugby balls, and most importantly, we would have a whole assortment of smiley face buttons. Jan and I then took bets on how long it would take me to sell my new range, she predicted 12 months, I set a time line of 10 years. Well, I'll just let you know that my prediction was the closest, I still have plenty of the dratted buttons and for your information these buttons were ordered in 2008...12 years ago!
If you have a preference for any of the above buttons PLEASE call in and buy some!
The Softest Baby Blanket In The Whole Wide World
Visitors to our store will have seen our glorious Pure Baby Alpaca Bassinette Blanket, and purchased the MUHU Baby Alpaca for this gorgeous project. Although the soft grey shade used from our sample is not available at the moment we have secured plenty of natural undyed cream, beige and charcoal. These three colours are totally dye free, they're simply the natural shade of the alpaca fleece, and are utterly gorgeous. With the warmer weather in mind I'm making a second blanket from this pattern. I have chosen the Chaska Takama Organic Cotton and Alpaca. The five natural shades are sumptuous, ranging from an unassuming cream, through to buttery and fudge-like beiges to gentle greys with a little more 'attitude'. My new summer weight blanket won't take too long. (sleep isn't important when there's knitting to do.) I expect my lovely new sample will be on display in the shop in a week or so, and of course I will make a bit of a 'song and dance' about it on our online shop. there's also have a classic summer sweater on display in our shop window, using this delicious new yarn.
Chaska Takama Organic Cotton and Alpaca...isn't the label lovely?
So, to recap, the dishcloths, face cloths and oven cloths are extremely simple knits and without mentioning the CHRISTMAS word, they make excellent handmade gifts.
Pretty oven cloths for a joyful kitchen
Every morning Mum and her octogenarian neighbours gather at the end of their respective driveways and dance and do exercises to the music blasting out from an ancient cassette player. Abbas's Greatest Hits from the 1970's is a particular favourite. This exercise class has taken place daily since mid March. Mum informed me that the days of the exercise class may well be numbered. Boris (Johnson) has brought in his Rule of Six, which explicitly says gathering are limited to a maximum of six individuals, Mum's exercise class regularly draws a crowd of upwards of eight elderly residents. I told Mum to take no notice of Boris, as who on earth would disapprove of such a spectacle on a quiet residential street in a sleepy North of England village. Mum wasn't convinced, she informed me that one of the non participating neighbours disapproved of the morning dance routine, apparently the music was far too loud and it frightened her dog. Let's hope The Disley Dance Group doesn't make the headlines of the UK's newspapers for disobeying Boris's Rule of Six!
I will be sending mum some beautiful New Zealand Possum yarn. Her knitting days are not quite over, although she has refused to make me any more socks. I'll send her a couple of hanks of the Duck Egg Blue Possum yarn and she can make herself a Tarras Poncho, which s lovely and light, but super warm and cozy.
Finally please remember that our physical store will be closed on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th October, for the Labour Day public holiday. Neil, Harry (Dog) and I are heading off to Rotorua for a couple of days in our motorhome. Harry has packed plenty of doggie treats, Neil has a new book and I have a large amount of knitting wool. Bliss!
I bet Jacinda was in The Brownies!
Old Bear is prepared
48 years ago I joined The Brownies. My Mum was Tawny Owl, a figure of great importance. I wasn't the model Brownie, although I remember I was awarded a cloth badge for knitting, or it may have been sewing a button onto a square of cloth. I was a headstrong little girl, and along being totally disorganized and always ill prepared, mum decided I was an embarrassment. She instructed me to stay at home with dad on Wednesday evenings. That suited me fine, Dad was a pushover, and always had a secret stash of sweeties. I do remember he let me go into his shed and have a puff of one of his cigarettes...thank goodness mum doesn't read my newsletters!
Phew, I'm Back In Business!
slopping around in my slippers and spending quality time with my kids
It's been a long wait, but finally, our online shop is open, you can now indulge in a little retail therapy. I'm sure many of you have worked your way through your 'stash' and would like a lovely new project to get you through the next few weeks.
I Need To Get This Off My Chest!
Working from home ain't all it's cracked up to be...
The shop security guard.