July 6, 2006

New and Improved

So last week when I was at Lettuce Knit, it was raining. Really, it was raining very hard, and this normally wouldn't bother me, (I try to accept Nature and all it's variability) except it was raining inside the shop.

The store has always had a little wee bit of trouble with leaking, it's an old building, it has a flat roof, the landlord is perhaps not as committed to worldwide dryness as is possible....but in the end, it didn't leak anywhere that there was yarn or books, and the problem was solved neatly with a bucket on rainy days. So it was that when the rain began while we were all sitting around knitting that evening, that Megan and Laura brought in a bucket, and we discussed ways to put the bucket to minimize splashing from the drips (one of the techniques suggested was to run a string from the ceiling to the bucket for the water to run down. Very funny moment when Laura was in a yarn shop... looking for string. ) and nobody worried very much.

Nobody worried very much until Mother nature decided to up the ante. Rain did not fall, rain pelted. It sheeted from the sky in colossal overwhelming waves of monstrous rain, and the ceiling began to leak. Laura duly placed a bucket, the knitters knit. The ceiling began to leak in two spots. Another bucket was nervously placed, knitting continued. Suddenly, a third spot began, and this time...this time it was over the yarn.

The room erupted. Seven knitters sprang up and bolted for the yarn. A brigade formed to move the yarn and books to safety, furniture was shoved, fibre was stowed...no knitter would let yarn suffer so much as dampness on our watch. While we moved yarn, placed buckets and laid towels (and completely trashed the store in the process)...a fourth spot started. (Not coincidentally, right over one of the spots that we were moving the yarn to. No system is perfect.) The ceiling began to bow, full of water...and I began to feel a little panic. (Yarn was threatened. It's my instinct to feel nurturing towards it.) "Poke it" I said. "What?" said everyone...
"Poke it, make a hole and let the water out, before it spreads all around."


"With what?" Said Rachel H. (Please take a minute to register where Rachel is standing while she asks this. She's in front of a wall of needles. Hundreds of pointy sticks. Hundreds.) It was classic. All of these knitters standing in a yarn shop, holding their knitting while standing in front of a needle display saying "If only we had some kind of pointy stick!". (I'd tease Rachel worse, but mere moments after a metal straight was procured from one of the knitters, I leapt up onto a chair, super-hero style, needle swung bravely aloft, ready to impale the ceiling and save the yarn.....only to suddenly find that my outstretched arm (attached to my five foot body) came quite a bit short of the ceiling.

As I stood there, arm up, needle high, ceiling far away, Rachel looked at me, looked at the gap between my needle tip and the sagging plaster above me and said, with complete seriousness and an air of incredulity that will never be repeated on this earth,
" Steph? How tall do you think you are?"

The rain continued the next day, and despite heroic efforts by people taller and smarter than me....


This is what the shop looked like yesterday. Closed. Our little Lettuce Knit, gone forever. Now the good news.


The new Lettuce Knit! It's bigger! It's the same great shade of green! It holds more yarn! It's got a patio! (It's inspiring me to a ridiculous use of exclaimation points!) That's right. In the span of less than a week, Megan and her crack team of yarn pro's moved the shop into the bottom floor of this awesome little house. The best part?


Be still my heart. Lettuce Knit now has a washroom. (There wasn't one before. We all coped by planning bathroom breaks before we came and limiting fluids while in the store.) I was so excited about this that I had a cuppa tea before I left the house to go to the shop, just because I could. When Megan's done fixing it up there will be a kitchen too...thus removing the last few barriers to me actually moving into a yarn shop.

The very best part?


Look. On the right, the old Lettuce Knit, and just down the street, just a smidge down, the new store! Same wonderful neighbourhood, same streetcar stop in winter, same bike ride in summer. Perfect.


I'm so proud of Megan, the owner. She's been bright and ethical and warm and lovely and firm all at once, and I'm really impressed by the way she combines her family and the shop. It can't be easy, but she's such a good person that I can't help but be happy for each and every nice thing that happens to her. (This may have something to do with why I keep spending my money there. Ethics in business is a real attractant for me.)

Not only was it the Yarn Shops big leap to a new place, but Amy's big leap party too. (There's a great set of photo's over at her place.) Amy's quit her day job and is becoming the full time writer/editor/knittylady that she's dreamed of being.


This was the look on her face when I said "Smile Amy...You're unemployed!"

There were many knitters of note there last night (including FiberTribe Caroline, who sailed in while I was tied up and was gone by the time I looked for her...Caroline, I wish we'd had some time!)
This is Diane.


I know it looks like Diane is holding an ordinary sweater...she is not.
This is a sweater begun by Diane in 1996, and finished...well. Just now. 10 years. I can't believe she went back and finished it...I mean, we all talk about it, but nobody really does it....

This is Veronica. You're not going to like her.


She's holding a sweater that she's knitting out of wool she dyed herself, she's knitting it brilliantly, it's beaded beautifully.....
and she learned to knit two months ago. TWO MONTHS. She's knitting a beaded sweater out of her own handpaint. (And she's nice) Can you imagine what she's going to be knitting in a year? No, no, no. We don't need this sort of a person hanging around a yarn shop making the rest of us look bad. Brilliance should be reclusive.

Finally...I have a partial solution to the cherry problem.


I sent the tall teenager up there. (Doesn't she look happy to help?)

Posted by Stephanie at July 6, 2006 12:59 PM