Sunday, 22 February 2009

Well Birmingham was great - probably the best Trade Show we've ever been to - smaller than in previous years but loads of interesting people to talk to and catch up with. These shows are a great way to meet other yarn producers and, crucially, other wool shop owners. It's a chance to catch up on what's selling and what's not, new trends, new suppliers etc, etc - and, of course, sell Cornish Organic Wool! Not sure if it's due to the "crunch" or what but we definitely had more shops looking for British wool - be it organic or not - and, as we produce wool made entirely in the UK, they came to us.

If anyone's reading this who was at the show, it was great to meet you all and thanks for all the encouragement!

Back to earth with a bump and the mountains of jobs and paperwork that seem to accumulate when you go away for just a few days - where does it all come from and what happened to the "paperless" society we were all supposed to be enjoying in the computer age - answers in a comment or email please - no postcards!

Yesterday I managed to upload all the needles on to the site - look under accessories - we have long, short, circular, dpn's and bamboo - you name it, we've got it or can get it! I also started uploading buttons - which I know are hard to find for many. The button range will get bigger and better - we have hundreds in the shop and I have a whole load to upload this week - so keep checking them out - also under "accessories". After that, I have some new patterns, books and yarns to add so look out for them too.

This afternoon I am planning a walk - up on to the top above my house with far reaching views across Mount's Bay - if the visibility is good I'll take photos so you can see some of this spectacular part of the world - I'm really lucky, I know I am.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Tomorrow I leave you for a few days as I head north to Birmingham. Please don't mock me by asking if I'm ready and organised for the show - if I was ready and organised I wouldn't still be in the shop at 7.50pm packing garments and mannequins, now would I? I have never been more "unready" for a show in my life. For this I will blame (in no particular order) this web site.

Tomorrow in the car I will be knotting small lengths of wool through holes in pieces of card to make shade cards - this is what you do when you're self-employed! Big yarn companies get big machines in other companies to make shade cards - us? - well, we do it in the car travelling north out of Cornwall. At about Bodmin I will probably fall asleep (ever since giving birth to eldest son [now 15] any car, boat or plane journey of any length of time has become the ideal time to sleep - I now carry a pillow in the car to avoid a cricked neck). I will probably awake - dribbling - at about Bristol and will continue the knotting. If there are any yarn shop owners coming to the show, please do come and see us on the Cornish Organic Wool stand - and if I give you a shade card, please treasure it!

Very exciting news earlier today - big drum roll - the March issue of Let's Knit magazine dropped on my doorstep today (I subscribe so it'll be in all good newsagents soon) and the front cover has a Cornish Organic Wool Peruk jacket on it!! Our first front cover - very, very thrilling. It was commissioned by Let's Knit and designed by Tina Barrett (who also lives in Cornwall and designs for us) and it's really pretty.

I've been trying to insert a photo here but it appears my blogging skills still only run to words at the moment - sorry - I'll try and get FB to put something in here:

Front Cover and inside picture in Let's Knit Magazine

As you can see - FB's computer skills are greater than mine - but he can't knit - yet.

I now have to pack and FB has to squeeze everything into the car. We have giant knitting needles on the roof of the car so if anyone sees a car with "Cornish Organic Wool" down the sides and huge needles on the roof, travelling between Cornwall and Birmingham, give us a wave or - even better - wave your knitting at us - assuming you're not driving.

Monday, 9 February 2009

I am now (almost) back in the land of the living but realised - with an unpleasant start - yesterday that I have to be in Birmingham on Friday for a three trade show - this time wearing my Cornish Organic Hat.

For those of you who didn't realise, FB and I also own Cornish Organic Wool Ltd - check us out at The annual trade show is at the NEC and is the place for wool shops and other retailers to see what's available on the market. Now, I have nothing against Birmingham and the NEC per se but, right now, I'd rather be at home catching up on all the things I haven't done over the past month or so - like sleeping and, possibly, downing a G&T (or two) and - heaven forfend - spending time with my children. After some deep breathing I pulled myself together and passed the happy news on to FB - who uttered some unrepeatable oaths and practiced deep breathing himself. For some reason we'd both thought it was at least another week away - must be something to do with time flying?!

Today I have mostly spent time doing paperwork and fixing the computer - or, more precisely, persuading the computer and printer to communicate with each other - why do they one day and then don't the next day - is it me?

One day - as this is a wool shop - I will talk about knitting but I'm going to have to leave you with a confession .. you may need to be sitting down at this point. OK? Sitting down? Deep breath ... I haven't knitted a stitch since before Christmas. Everyone stay calm. I know - it's unthinkable. Somehow the days have just been and gone. And - reeling from that bombshell - I will now leave you - do some knitting for me, will you?

Saturday, 7 February 2009

By late Tuesday night we were definitely in labour and by late Wednesday our baby was born and I went to bed with a screaming migraine. Anyone else out there who suffers from migraine will now be groaning in sympathy - those of you fortunate enough not to suffer from this debilitating condition can just sympathise and try to empathise. I have now spent two days in a darkened room on monumental pain killers and am just about emerging into the light - albeit rather bruised and battered.

Thomas and the FB have tried to iron out the teething problems and there are still a few but we are live and kicking and our baby is well and happy.

It is now Saturday afternoon and there's the small matter of a rugby match on TV. You have to understand that I live in a household of sporty men and all life ceases when there's a rugby international on so I do apologise but, if I'm to be involved in any kind of conversation at supper tonight ............. I need to go and watch butch men in shorts getting muddy with odd shaped balls - a girl has to do what a girl has to do .................... we'll call it part of my healing process, shall we?

Sunday, 1 February 2009

D-Day minus 1 (or possibly 2)

Today (Sunday) I have spent a merry afternoon stock-taking all the patterns for this site. Oh yes, dear knitter, for this site to work and for you to order without getting a message saying "sorry, we've messed up - the yarn/pattern you've ordered is out of stock, despite the site saying to the contrary" - every pattern and ball of yarn has to be counted and entered into the site.

Never let it be said that I don't know how to have a good time on a Sunday afternoon.

Fortunately, the weather is vile so any thoughts of a stroll along the coastal path or a sandy beach were dismissed at about 5am when I thought the roof was going to blow off our house. One day I'll master entering photographs into this system (I can only cope with one thing at a time and entering words onto a blog is this weekend's new skill) and I'll show you how lucky I am to live in the beautiful place I do.

For now, I await the arrival of the FB to take me home for a stiff G&T and tomorrow I tackle the piles of paperwork engulfing my office which have been totally ignored in an effort to get my baby "live". My part of "launch" is nearly done - now it's over to FB & Thomas. If I emerge unscathed we'll re-group on launch day.

Incidentally, anyone looking for Rowan Classic patterns, Sirdar Organza patterns, Stylecraft Kon-Tiki patterns or Debbie Bliss's Summer Essentials book - these are my top priority once I've done the accounts, paid my bills and got the bank off my back - apologies - all women are super-women but sometimes some things just have to give.