The Nightmare of Technology! October, 24th 2019.

Well, here I am, less than 24 hours before setting up for Kendal Wool Gathering, I need to print a few things off and my printer is throwing a wobbly. I have installed 2 new print cartridges as it had started to print in black and white only, to no avail. It is now printing in bands, so that the tops of words are missing. I have aligned it numerous times, cleaned the cartridges, and even prompted it to do a deep clean, twice! It still isn’t right. Grrrrrrrr. These things always happen just when you least need it don’t they!
Perhaps it is because it is a domestic, little printer and I print loads of things on it. Either way, it isn’t very old, and it should be in the prime of its’ life still. I keep on aligning it and keeping my fingers crossed. Hurray, not quite there but certainly improving. Let’s try again…..
I may be some time….
It is really strange, I think that I am totally organised for a show, and then last minute, I find myself jobs to do which are crucial, and take loads of effort and time, but have to be done to make sure we are prepared. Madness. We did a show a fortnight ago, the Bakewell Wool Gathering and it was brilliant. I really enjoyed myself, the venue was great, the organisers were friendly and supportive, and the customers were keen too. It helped that it is within easy driving distance of home, so we returned to sleep in our own beds and were able to grab any extra stock or “essential items” while we were here.
Here I am wearing my Beryl Jacket in Wensleydale Longwool aran, it is so cosy, and it was great to catch up with Kath, I shall have to knit another one of these, but I am spoilt for choice when it comes to colours!

When we returned and unloaded I actually commented, that instead of putting everything away, we could leave it in the dining room and then it will be already prepared for next time.
This weekend we are going up to the Lake District, and we know this area very well. We love Kendal, and really enjoyed the show last year as vendors. This year we are a bit more experienced, know the venue, know where we are staying, and are less stressed about it. So why am I spending my time doing these last minute things you ask…
Well, one of the things that my friend Debbie suggested, was some printed info about “The Knitter’s Companion”, as we tired of hearing our own voices repeating the same story over and over. Great idea, and so now we display the information about the companions with them. It worked a treat and I was happy to discuss it with our customers when they had got the basics about it.
This year has seen the introduction of “My Knitting Diary” for 2020 and it is doing very well. We observed customers going to the diary, opening it, and invariably it opened on the actual diary part, and then closing it again. Hence the need for detailed information about the contents, what makes this diary unique, or it’s “USP” as Alan Sugar talks about. There are loads of knitting journals, but there are very few actual knitting diaries. I know that there is one, because my friend Liz showed me hers, and it is a German one – don’t quote me on that, it might be Scandinavian…anyway, its not the same format as mine, and I wanted it to be a useful tool, which would fit easily into the knitter’s project bag. This is selling very well online, and was popular at the previous show too. I have included a pack of stickers in it, so you can add a little picture of a knitting basket, or balls of wool at crucial parts of your life. We sell it at a cheaper price at the shows, and I also reduced the prices for my online customers, just for a fortnight so they could benefit from the great deals too.
Unfortunately, they have forecast terrible rain tomorrow evening when we are travelling North, and we’ll be getting potentially drenched when we unload at the venue, so this afternoon I was transferring the stock to plastic boxes with lids on, to keep them dry. All our items wouldn’t benefit from getting wet as they are either fabric or paper. I must remember to put a couple of towels in too!
I have made some Knitting needle cases with room for crochet hooks and circular needles too, so these will add a bit of colour to the stand. We also have gorgeous project bags in a range of themes and colours. Some are so lovely that I don’t really want to part with them! It is ridiculous really because I have about 8 project bags of my own. I certainly can’t justify having another!

I adore this one in linen, the shades of blue are gorgeous. At Bakewell Wool Gathering, we had a couple of customers asking for birthday cards with the little knitted jumper on, instead of Christmas, so I made a few of those too! This is the last time that we use the IKEA silver shelving for our stand. My hubby Mike had analysed our stand, the way we were displaying our goods, and had a look around to see how others were doing it.

There is always a great variety and some people are ingenious at how to display their goods at an attractive angle.                 Another drawback of the shelving is that it is heavy and takes a while to build it up and then break it down. I mentioned to Mike that I wouldn’t be confident doing it on my own, as I didn’t think I was strong enough. I have osteo-arthritis and my grip isn’t very good. This is a big issue as I will be driving up to Leeds with Debbie next April, and we will be building the stand together. Mike had a brilliant idea for displaying our books, bags, cards and stitch markers, whilst using a table, and so we have begun to collect our necessary “new” items for the new look. It will be a lot quicker to set up and take down too, as well as being more compact and lighter! I will let you know how I get on!

Now must get back to try to print some essential stuff….

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