Minding the shop

Sandwiches… check; knitting… check; mittens… check; shawl… check; woolly socks… check; thermal undies… check; keys… check.  It’s an odd combination of things to need for work, but I think that covers the most important stuff. And so, yesterday, I set off for my day in charge of Red Apple Yarn.

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a woolly tribute in the shop window

The loss of our friend Pauline has left a hole in our little knitting community. Whilst Red Apple Yarn is owned and run by Jude, it was Pauline who looked after the shop when help was required. Minding the shop this week was already in her diary and no one expected that she would no longer be with us to do it. The Knit Nighters, however, were determined to fill the hole and so we volunteered our services to keep the shop open this week so that Jude didn’t have to close up for her holiday… and yesterday was my day.

I should explain that Red Apple Yarn lives in the old Post Office in Lampeter and it still has many of the original features – wooden doors and window frames, the old counter (now L-shaped rather than running across the room), the wooden panelling and, most importantly when you’re sitting in there all day, a very high ceiling. It’s very difficult to keep warm, and the big, heavy outer door needs to be propped open otherwise no one would dare venture in, but it makes for a chilly work place… hence all the warm clothing.

Despite the temperature, I loved my day there. I settled down to knit and talk about wool. I found chatting to the gents whilst the ladies browsed  a good ploy. Of course a wool shop on a rainy Thursday is not the busiest place in the world*, so I had time to make use of the huge swift that Jude has in the shop and wind a couple of skeins that were too big for my antique one (skeins must have expanded in the last 100 years!). I cast on for my new top-down jumper and drank a lot of tea. I failed to locate the gift vouchers and a specific colour of yarn, but on the whole I think I had happy customers. In addition, I didn’t break the till – which I was slightly intimidated by. So, I’m hoping that I’ll get the chance to help out again in the future… it is a very happy place for me!

-oOo-

* Apparently, however, Sainsbury’s was heaving as people stocked up for the Easter weekend, when no food is available in the UK**

** No, really… we may all starve

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39 Comments

  1. Looks like such a wonderful place to be, especially when the weather gets a bit warmer. So glad you enjoyed your day.
    Bank Holiday mass panic buying always amazes me – that reminds me I must get some milk to put in the freezer! 😉

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  2. Oh yay, I’m glad your day went well… Even if it came about because your knitty family lost someone recently. Red Apple Yarn looks like exactly my kind of place – it must have taken serious determination to resist the siren call of all that lovely yarn!

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  3. I shall have to try and organise a visit to the quilt exhibition on a day when you are minding the shop – but not bring a credit card or much money or I will spend too much! Glad you enjoyed your day.

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  4. What a delightful place to spend the day – even better if it was warm too but you can always prepare for that.
    Is Sainsburys even closed at all over the Easter?

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  5. I could LIVE in that shop–it looks so warm and welcoming (despite that you said about it being cold inside!)

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  6. Such beautiful colors of yarn all around the store! Thank you for this glimpse into your day at Red Apple Yarn.

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    • It saddens me that the internet, for all that I love about it, is depriving us of real shops. I’m delighted to be able to be part of a community helping to keep at least one of them open.

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  7. Ah, that explains why Sandwiches was item No. 1.
    Good Friday in Australia is a retail free zone. Nothing is open. Nothing…. Which explains why I had to make a 7.30pm run down the road; I hadn’t realised we’d be short of milk.
    It sounds as if you had a whale of a time, in more or less your natural habitat!

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  8. Laurie Graves

     /  March 30, 2018

    Looks like such a bright, cheery place. So good that the Knit Knighters could keep it going.

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  9. Well done you!! It certainly looks like the kind of place one could spend a lot of time in – and I love that there is the option/service of winding a hank into a ball too. I’m guilty of doing a lot of my buying from on-line retailers, because I don’t have a lovely local store any more – but did they disappear because of the move to online? It becomes a Catch-22 doesn’t it. Your comment about the panic buying of food for a long weekend made me smile wryly. It happens here too, even though there is just the one day when the shops are closed. I needed to pick up some milk on Thursday and couldn’t find an empty parking space and the roads were backed up too – though Ed Sheeran being in town over Easter added to that insanity! Apparently he is very popular here.

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    • I really enjoyed spending a whole day in the shop – it gave me an opportunity to poke around and find all sorts of bits and pieces that I didn’t know were in there! I’d certainly be happy to step in if required again. I love being able to squish the yarn and see the colours for real… several times I have been disappointed by on-line purchases because I’ve ended up with colours that don’t resemble the pictures on screen.
      I hope that Mr Sheeran does not disrupt your weekend too much – I’m sure he’s a lovely young man really!

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  10. Ohh, I would wander into that shop too, and spend hours looking at everything. Then, of course, I would have nothing to eat because I missed the food shops! But I am sure I could find a hot cross bun somewhere.

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  11. I love yarn shops, but would be over the moon to find one in a former post office. What fun. I’m so glad you could step in to Pauline’s shoes. How bittersweet.

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  12. Looks a wonderful place to spend the day, despite the cold. Good on you – and try to find something to eat!

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  13. This looks like a wondrous shop and how great that you could go mind it. Glad you dressed warmly and got to start something new while there.

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  14. How lovely that you could help out while it’s sad for the reason. I too would have to look at everything and squish all the yarns and I don’t even knit. 😉 Colors of anything draw me in. That is the most amazing store. You are very good at planning for the day.

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  15. Oh that looks like such a wonderful shop and so great you all volunteered. I’ve always thought it would be fun to work in a yarn shop!

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  16. What an amazing shop – so much yarn!!

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  17. Hmmm, why am I likening this to letting a kid mind a toy shop! Sounds like too much fun to be work for you. (Note: My mom, a quilter, “works” in a local fabric shop, so I’m sure she would relate to this post.)

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  18. Oh what a lovely and inviting shop!

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