Re-stocking complete, I was left to the far more pleasurable elements to the job: Helping fellow knitters with their yarn purchases, discussing current and future projects and yes, knitting. I even helped a lady with her crochet (yes, look at me: I’m oh so yarn inclusive). I have to admit that parts of today were enormously satisfying, and didn’t always have the outcome that I would have chosen for myself. For example, a lady wanted to crochet Christmas corsages for some very lucky members of her family. The yarn had to be "Christmas red and thin". Obviously (!), my first choice was Kid Silk Haze and I was able to give her an idea of how the finished project might look since I happened to be wearing something similar myself. But even I understood that for three corsages, a ball of the albeit beautiful KSH might be out of budget. So I found some alternatives. Lady's friend returned with an offering of her own and although also admired the KSH, it was clear that both women were in agreement with regards to the financial outlay. I left them to weigh up the merits of the various yarn choices and scoured the shelves for alternative solutions. Which, I am pleased to say, I found. So although the lady didn’t go with the yarn that I'd have chosen, she did leave very pleased with her choice and that's all that matters.
Another customer had found, as she described "a most beautiful pattern" for some gloves and came in to get the required needles: 2mm dpns. She'd never knit with anything so small and on sight, reckoned that it would take her the next ten years to complete the project. But she was clearly sold on the pattern so thin needles were the way forward, although maybe we could negotiate an extra 0.5mm. Then we discussed yarn and how sock yarn could be a very suitable maker of gloves. And then she talked about "doing a trial run". At this point, though our philosophical paths were still in union, we were diverging on the practicalities. A trial set of gloves? Oh yes, she admitted, if the gloves fitted they would be her gloves but if not...? Me, I would just skip the "trial" notion and say that they were for me and worry about a less desirable outcome in the actual eventuality that they didn't fit. I'm clearly not enough of a perfectionist to have "trail runs". Though clearly happy with her choices, she was still sceptical as to the time duration of the project... I believe some agreement might have been made whereby we said we'd meet in five years to show each other a completed pair of gloves and completed Husband's jumper. Oooh, the pressure.
Then there was the lady who almost bought the last remaining copy of a new magazine that I was working from. Now I know that wanting to keep shop stock for my own personal use isn't really the key to running a successful business but I'd already cast on. Wonderfully, and at the last minute, she changed her mind – taking instead some gorgeous yarn and patterns for a winter hat and gloves. She and I will be friends forever.
There were, of course, those who didn't buy any yarn and, again, so long as it was for the "right" reason, that was okay (oh, I'm so magnanimous). I tried not to take personally any criticisms of the yarn or designs – after all, they're not actually mine and as much as I love them, others are entitled to their own opinions. I also know that I'm in an extremely fortunate position, having such ready access to both yarns and patterns. At the end of the day, I have to knit – my difficult choices are what to knit first.
Of course, I'm not oblivious to some of the less romantic sides to running a business and I do appreciate the opportunities to learn more. As I've said before, and will no doubt say again, it's the people that make knitting (and crochet) – and I'd like to thank you all for being so wonderful.