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Guest Blog – The Move

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We moved in on the 22nd of August 2010. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we took some silly photos  as we were first opening the doors to remember the day by – here’s the one where I look least like a tit (and that’s saying something…).

CN8

We had tonnes of stuff for cleaning and painting and generally sorting. The idea was we’d make downstairs liveable and the upstairs could be done last.

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Downstairs we have a gorgeous original stove but it’s rusted through in some parts. One of the partners bought some brass-o type stuff with which to clean it – I’ve never got round to that but maybe this blog will encourage me so I get some lovely before and after photos… (Alright, it’s not encouraged me that much but I’ll try to add a photo at some point over the next week or so…).

The lady before us was a messy mare so there was loads of rubble and rubbish to take out before we even got started but if memory serves me correctly we had the walls downstairs whitewashed within the day. The final wall we painted was damp which is a bit of a nightmare. We realised then that we couldn’t use the place for storing yarn (smells cling to yarn like nobody’s business) so it’s turned into a bit of a dumping ground and upstairs is full of boxes and never looks quite right. I guess that’s why the rent was so cheap and we didn’t have the experience to know what to look for – I’m sure it wasn’t damp when we looked but that’s the luck of the draw I guess.

Either way, we decided on plain white walls upstairs so as not to affect the colours of the yarns in any way. We kept saying we wanted the yarn to speak for itself.

The yarn cupboard

In terms of furniture we did some real rooting about in charity shops and and the Cattle Market (our lovely wooden table was a tenner!). We’re also extremely grateful that the Arts Council was having a clear out because we got all sorts of cabinets and shelving that we really couldn’t have afforded otherwise. And of course we’re grateful to my Dad and his van for carting us and our freebie furniture around Nottingham. Also, props to my arm muscles – I lost about half a stone just from all the carrying around we did (that didn’t stay off for long, I’ll tell you that story sometime…).

I spent ages working out exactly what to order. We had barely any money so I had to be really careful. I decided I wanted a wool, a wool-mix and an acrylic in all of the main yarn weights (the weight of yarn is the thickness it is – you might have heard of 4-ply or DK used as a description but there’s lots of others). It’s also really important to me to have a big enough range of colours in each yarn we stock, ideally we have every single colour that’s available but at the time we couldn’t afford that so I had a spreadsheet to work out whether I’d got a good colour range in every weight of yarn. I was a bit anal (which isn’t like me. At. All.). What I didn’t realise is that actually yarn companies don’t always have what you want in stock (I swear sometimes it feels like they just send you what they fancy. Nightmare!).  My spreadsheets went to pot and we put what we did have in stock artfully on the shelves, nice and evenly spread out. It’s the tidiest the shop’s looked and it’ll never look that tidy again because now we have the money for me to arrange it in it’s natural, crammed style.

The finishing touches were put together as the first customer came through the door on the opening day, Saturday the 4th September at 12 noon.

What a day! What a manic rush! It was amazing. We think around 70 people came through the doors that day, which is quite a feat – you’ll understand if you’ve been to the shop! I think everyone had a great day, at least I hope they did. We had cake and tea which, apart from the yarn, is the most important part of any yarn shop! People were pouring out onto the street outside, we had spinners and mega knitting needles and the sun was shining still. I still can’t get over it.

I’m going to say a MASSIVE thank you to everybody that helped us out here – you know who you are. Without our friends’ dedication it would have been impossible and it makes me feel a little emotional to

think about the support we had then and how much people continue to help us.

After that the hard work really started – that’s what I’ll be talking about next.

Knit Nottingham