Hello and welcome to the first edition of the new newsletter from The Yarn Dispensary - your place to find out all about the latest and future goings on at your favourite bricks-and-mortar (or lathe and plaster) yarn store. I am so excited to be writing this first newsletter and to share all that we have in store, both figuratively and literally.
For those of you who may not know, my name is Gemma, and I have been lucky enough to be appointed as the new manager of The Yarn Dispensary. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me and a very steep learning curve, which Sam has patiently helped me navigate, teaching me so much in such a relatively short period of time. I already loved the store but thanks to talking with Sam and Vanessa and John, I'm falling in love with Faversham itself. Thanks are also due to Sandra and Ros, two warm wonderful ladies who stepped in to support Sam by working part time in the shop after Gillian was taken ill, and who have gently encouraged me and made me feel so very welcome. Sandra is leaving us at the end of this month to focus on literary pursuits, and we wish her the very best of luck with the book. I am delighted to be able to say that Ros is staying on and will continue to be here two days a week to help you with your yarn and pattern choices. I know you'll all be as pleased as Vanessa, John and I are that she is staying with us.
I also want to say a huge thank you to every one of you who has made me feel so welcome and at ease as I start my new role. It's never easy starting a new job, in a new town, but I feel at home already and I'm so grateful to you for that. Thank you. I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you all a little more about myself, although I do hope to see many of you in person soon! My whole life I have been surrounded by yarn, knitting, crochet and creativity. My grandma had a yarn shop when I was a little girl and I used to sit in my pram, greeting the customers as they came in. She taught me to knit at age 5 - does anyone else recall knitting garter stitch with brightly coloured yarn and yellow plastic Pony needles? At age 8 I made my first garment: a Sirdar Snuggly matinee jacket for my dance teacher, and I've been knitting ever since. When I was 15, Grandma taught me how to crochet. It took me a while to get used to the new movements and to tension the yarn in my left hand (I'm an English-style thrower in knitting) but I was immediately hooked, if you'll pardon the pun. I'm now crocheting garments too and having so much fun.
It's funny - you'd think that coming from a yarn shop family and knitting for most of my life that I'd go into a career in the fibre arts, but I actually didn't at first. Originally I trained as a secondary English teacher, and worked for a little over a decade at that profession. I loved it and it was so rewarding, but it was time for a change. I left the classroom behind and started The Project Bag - my hand dyed yarn company. I am an indie-dyer, designer, tutor and hostess of The Project Bag Podcast. I've taught several very successful knitting and crochet courses in Maidstone since September, and I am looking forward to vending at my first big festivals: The Wool Monty, and Perth Festival of Yarn. I've already published two knitting patterns and I have two sock patterns coming out in the next month.
I never dreamed, when watching Grandma patiently tidy patterns and set out the yarn, that one day I would be managing a yarn store myself, but I'm delighted to be here. The Yarn Dispensary is a very special place, although you know that already, and I am ready to embrace the responsibility of continuing the wonderful work that has been done over the past three-and-a-half years, and build upon it.
Speaking of which, how about we move on now from me and talk about what's coming up at The Yarn Dispensary?
Local Yarn Shop Day
Saturday 27th April is Local Yarn Shop Day and Vanessa, John and I would love for you to pop in for a piece of cake, some crafty time and a good old squish of all the wonderful yarns we have in store. This event is in association with Let's Knit and they have some beautiful exclusive knitting and crochet patterns that we will be giving to everyone who visits us that day. I personally am looking forward to meeting you all.
Knit and Stitch Night
I am thrilled to say that we will be reinstating knit-night, starting on the 2nd of May, from 7-9pm. There is one small change, just in name only, to "Knit and Stitch Night". So bring your knitting, crochet, macrame, drop-spindling, hand-embroidery, whatever fibre craft you're working on along, for some tea, crafty chat and of course some late night shopping!
New Opening Hours
From the 2nd of May, we will also be opening during the day on Thursdays. The shop will be open from 12-4.30, and then from 7-9 for late-night shopping and stitch night. Our opening hours will be as follows
There are lots of exciting events planned at The Yarn Dispensary. Here are some of the upcoming classes, trunk shows and events for your diary!
Saturday 20th April - Renee Callaghan - workshop (sold out) Saturday 27th April - Local Yarn Shop Day Saturday 11th May - Travel Knitter Trunk Show Saturday 18th May - Renee Callahan - workshop (sold out)
Thursday 6th June - Summer Soiree (special guests and event details TBC) Saturday 8th June - World Knit In Public Day (special guests and event details TBC) Saturday 5th October - Tom of Holland - Visible Mending Workshop (tickets available soon)
Saturday 7th December - Karie Westermann - workshop (class details TBA)
Thank you for reading. Have a lovely creative month, and hope to see you soon!
With best wishes,
Gemma - Manager
Vanessa and John - Owners