It's got to that time of year when I've started to reflect on the year just gone and also planning for next year. In a time when big name shops are struggling to survive and many are closing our LYS continues to thrive and that is because of you our amazing customers. Without your support and the vast quantity of yarn you purchase, workshops you book and all the occasions you plug the shop on social media we wouldn't be here. Because of you the shop has now been open for over 6 years and as you are aware we are going nowhere, well apart from a move to huge premises but we will get to that in a bit.
2018 has seen an action packed year, we have run workshops pretty much every weekend and I've taught countless people how to crochet, many of you have honed your skills under my watchful eye and we've even had a few knitting workshops as well.
April saw the start of our Sophie's Universe CAL, it's the first crochet a long we have run and it certainly won't be the last. A group of us embarked an a journey to make this stunning blanket all 113 rounds of it and every single one of them is different. But we did it together as people got stuck we helped each other work it out and our crochet skills grew.
May is my favourite time of year as it's Yarn Shop Day. You did me proud with the number of you that turned out to celebrate with us, it was literally standing room only at one point and we even had people sitting on the stairs.
As many of you know I've really got into dyeing yarn this year and it's been lovely to see which skein or several you have chosen to rehome.
The knit n natter groups completed a commission for Wakefield Musuem which saw us create a knitted Wakefield, it was on display at Wakefield One for a period of time and will be back with us and in our window soon.
With a little help from some friends and fellow knitters we established a branch of The Knitting and Crochet Guild right here in Wakefield. It meets the first Tuesday of the month 7 - 9 pm at the shop. Myself and the rest of the committee have been absolutely overwhelmed with the response we received to the new branch. October saw a talk on Yorkshire Gansey's and as you can see from the picture it was packed out.
September saw our annual coach trip to Yarndale and a great day out was had by all.
October was mad from start to finish we celebrated British Wool Week with a pop up shop from the Knitting Goddess and then a West Yorkshire Spinners Trunk show. The talk from Janice our rep was absolutely fascinating and even I learnt loads. But we weren't finished then, Halloween saw our very first Stylecraft Fashion show and it certainly won't be our last. The shop was packed out with people and the shelves were bare in minutes, the rep has promised to come back and do it all over again next year.
November saw my big birthday and I was truly humbled by the number of knit n natter people that turned up to celebrate with me. Not to mention they managed to not only track down the shawl kit I've been drooling over at Yarndale but they also bought it for me as well.
December is the month of husbands and loved ones coming into the shop to buy you my regulars a Christmas present. I'm sure you won't be disappointed with your stockings this year. It's also the month of the Knit n Natter Christmas party, it was mad and loud as always, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
2019 will see huge changes at the shop as many of you know I've given notice on our lease, the shop is just too small it has been for a while and although I'm pretty good at playing jenga we really are bursting at the seams. At the end of April we will be on the move just down the road to Kirkgate, three doors from Boots. We are moving into a former nightclub three times the size of the current shop. Not only is it huge but it's also all on one level, with full disabled access and disabled toilets something a large portion of our customers will be pleased to hear. Yes it won't have a shop window, but that makes it affordable, if it was a traditional shop we wouldn't be able to afford the rates.
The move will also see us changing from a traditional yarn shop into a craft centre. Although the range of wool available won't be decreasing it will more than likely increase in the new premises it will only account for around half our floor space. Along side our huge yarn selection we will also be catering for other crafts in a much bigger way then we do now. We will have a dedicated fabric department for one, stocking dress making fabric as well as quilting fabric. We will also be getting into cross stitch in a much bigger way, beads, needle felting, a huge range of haberdashery and pretty much anything else craft based I can squeeze in.
Diversifying in this way will help keep us on the high street, it's only by continuing to adapt that businesses are able to survive these rough times. Adapt we must and let's face it most people are into more than just one craft anyway.
I hope you are all looking forward to The Sheep Shed as much as I am, I can't say I'm looking forward to the move but it will be worth is once we are in. Later in the year we will also be opening a licensed tea rooms within The Sheep Shed so you will literally be able to stay all day if you want.
Thank you for all your support in 2018 and I look forward to seeing you all again next year.