יום שבת, 19 בספטמבר 2009

Memoirs of a Yarn Shop Owner - Part 2 - Judges Ruling

Thank you for all your concern.
As I said, I don't believe in the court system. Somehow the bad guys always win.
I was frustrated by the outcome, but realized that because the bad guys always win, I must be the good guy, so here's to nothing!
We arrived at the courthouse on the day of the trial, an hour earlier, and took our place on the benches inside the courtroom. While waiting our turn, other trials were taking place, some petty arguments like ours, neighbours disagreeing on a parking space, drivers trying to prove who was at fault for their smashed fender, a women demanding her money back from a class instructor for missing a class.
And in the middle of all this bickering, which I am supposedly part of, a prisoner is led in with chains on hands and feet. He looks pretty beat up. That's when reality hits me. I am in a real courtroom for the first time in my life. I am actually being charged for doing something bad! What am I doing here? This is not my natural enviorment. I shouldn't be here with criminals.
Finally our turn. She calls our name. The women is holding a nylon bag. The sweater is probably in there. I hope she tries it on and shows the judge how beautiful it is. That will prove she is a nutcase. Oh. What if she stretched it? She has had it for 6 months. Who knows what she's done to it? Who knows what she will say?
I try to keep calm while the women tells her crazy story. Everything she said was true. She admitted to hours and hours of free help. hours and hours of patience and professional help.
The judge asks he if she paid for instructions or paid for any type of help. No, she says, it's "built-in" the price of the wool. "It's known that everyone gets free help if they buy the yarn"???!!!???
She babbled on and on. I was waiting my turn. But it never came. I was never called to speak my peace.
The judge complemented her on the beautiful cabled sweater. She said she wished she had one like it. She doesn't understand why the women is sueing us.
The judge then turned to me. "I have made my decision". Wow, this is going to be good, I thought to myself, I was wrong after all. The judge must be a knitter and read this women for what she is.
"Do you mind if she keeps the sweater?" The judge asks me.
No, of course not, I said.
She is probably going to give her the sweater and tell her what a nutcase she is, I thought.
Well then, not exactly.
I was to pay the women the whole amount that she paid for the yarn, the magazine, the needles, including amount she paid us for hours of sewing together and finishing off the sweater, and an extra 100 shekels for all her trouble.
No explanations. Just pay the women. What did I do wrong?
Where is justice?
I wonder what was going on in this judges head while she ruled against me.
The women thanked her, smiled and congratulated the judge for the new post she was granted. The judge smiled back.
What post? What are they talking about?
Can anyone explain to me what is going on?
Honest citizens beware!

יום רביעי, 29 באפריל 2009

Memoirs of a yarn shop owner in Israel - Part 1

It's places like this that one can let out a bit of frustration. You never know who will read it, and don't really care. It just has to be let out.
When we were young, we were all taught about truth, and justice. Good things happen to good people. You get what you deserve. What goes around comes around. You start to believe in good things, and then life really dishes it out. What is the purpose? To learn of course. We are told, the more difficulties we go through in life, the stonger we become. Let justice do it's job. There is a reason for everything that happens.
I'm still trying to figure that one out.
At the beginning of last winter 2007, a women walked into my shop. I recognized here immediately. I heard she got in trouble and lost everything. Bankrupt.
I reminded her who I was. Of course she couldn't remember. It was far back. We got to talking and I told her that knitting was the best therapy for anything that hurts. I told her it really drives your mind away from problems. Knitters thank us on a daily basis for what knitting does for them. Much research has been done. The conversation soon changed to a small calculator in her hand, wanting to know how many hours it would take to knit a crtain sweater she chose, calculated by the average wage per hour, how much the yarn and the cheapest needles were. She clearly told me it was a bad investment. I was extremly pleasant, trying to convince her that people don't knit as an investment. It is purely for enjoyment. My first mistake.
A year later, October 2008, she again walked into the shop. After 3 visits and much convincing on my part, she finally chose a pattern, yarn and needles. We offered to help in any way. I was sure this would give the women many hours of relaxing therapy, just what she needed. My second mistake. Why couldn't I have left well enough alone.
The pattern had to be translated. She specifically requested to make sure the hip area be wide enough. She doesn't want it to cling. She wants wide wide wide. My mother, the knit doctor, checked gauge and measurements maybe ten times. The pattern will be wide enough, she assured her. It was a cable jacket. The women didn't have a clue. She actually needed to be taught from scratch. Another big mistake on our part.
My mother sat with her between once to twice a week, at the shop, at least an hour each visit, for six months. The women didn't pay a penny. Major major good hearted mistake.
During this never ending process, she got a ticket while parking illegaly on one of her visits. Of course she said this adds on to the price of an already extremely expensive sweater (cost of yarn was approximately $50!)
At last, when all the parts were done, she didn't know how to sew them together. She asked my mother to do it, and she did, at a regular charge.
When I saw the finished result, I was disappointed. It was actually very well done, and I was fearfull that this women would be back to knit again. I didn't want my mother to go through the whole ordeal again. It was tiresome, and felt awful to be used like that. And then she came.
She tries it on. Had it on for 60 seconds and said the sleeves were too wide. She left.
I get a phone call the next day, she says she wants us to solve the problem It's our responsibility. If we can't solve it, she'll bring it by for us to take apart and reknit the sleeves for her. I explained to her that it looks wonderful, but if she's not happy with it, we can undo it for her and give her instructions to knit the sleeves again, we don't knit for people. She was furious.
Two more calls with useless explainations later, the postman comes in with 3 court orders. The women is sueing us for 3550 NIS (approx $750) for the hours she spent knitting.
I had to take the paperwork to my lawyer, to draw up the defense.
For some crazy reason, after everything we did, I have the feeling she is going to win this case. Otherwise, if the saying what goes around comes around is actually true, she should have been thanking us for all the free lessons and encouragement she got over a period of six months.
For a few days, I decided that there would be no more being nice to customers. They'll just have to figure it out themselves. No more blaming us. All the HUNDREDS of people that have come in to thank us for ideas, explainations, color combinations, a kind word, encouragement, are not worth one single lady that's been causing so much trouble.
A few more days went by. A few more kind knitters come in. They hear the story. Many know who she is, they've seen her at the shop endlessly for the past six months. These kind knitters have changed my mind. My wonderful knitting community. The ones that visit the shop for a daily and weekly visit. Knitting, smiling, and always always appreciating our help.
I hope the judge is a knitter. I hope the judge has knitter friends. I hope the judge knows that knitting is not a sweater investment. It's a people investment. We are here to help knitters. To make them smile, to make them relax, to forget their problems, to be loved and appreciated by the family and friends they give their knits to.
I hope the judge understands. And if not, I'll pay my fine to the women. I'll still win. I'm left with all you knitters. Knitting friends for life.

יום ראשון, 24 באוגוסט 2008

The Monday Night Knitting Club

The Monday Night Knitting Club celebrated our 2nd anniversary with us last week. We met at La Tratoria in Raanana, an Italian/French restaurant a couple of blocks from the shop.
A group of women, aged 29-74, from different parts of the world, meet every week, same time, same place, with one thing in common. They all love to knit.

I will not neglect the other groups, all special in their own way, but today, it’s about the Mondays.
Each one loves knitting in their own way, some wanting to tackle the most challenging project, some never wanting to go beyond garter or stockinette.
Most learned the first simple stitches with us, and some came just for the company, with years of knitting experience behind them. And still, they meet every week, and have become the best of friends.
Whenever a grandchild is born, we all celebrate together. When there is a birthday, we don’t miss out on the fun. We call and worry when someone doesn’t show, and are there when one of us goes through some rough times. Never negative. Always positive. The support is felt throughout the room, from everyone, whether finding a lost stitch when needed, or finding a smile or kind word when needed.

I wonder how this happened.

When I first read “The Shop on Blossom Street”, and “A Good Yarn”, they were just a novels, complete fiction, but the girls in our group that have read these books always came in saying “Hey, it’s as if it was written about our shop!”.
Opening The Gourmet Yarn Shop was a bright idea, for many reasons. It has helped so many people in so many ways. You all know what it has done for you. Knitting has gotten so many of you through your personal experiences, whether easy or difficult, good or bad.

For me, well, knitting has introduced me to the most wonderful group of women, that today, are all my friends, real friends, and I am blessed to have met you.
Thank you.

יום שבת, 9 באוגוסט 2008

דברים לא קורים סתם

חוויות נפלאות וחברים מדהימים מופיעים כאשר פותחים חנות צמר.

שני סיפורים מהשבוע.

THE THURSDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB התחיל ליצור עור וגידים, וההצלחה נראית מבטיחה.

השבוע רוני הביאה עוגת שוקולד חלומים לכבוד יום ההולדת של החנות, וכולן התאלפו ממנה. ורדה סרגה לנו סל עם צמר. מרגש ביותר.

ורדה ומרי הצטרפו השבוע, אני מקווה שנהנו ויחליטו להשאר איתנו. מיכל ומיה מאוד חסרות לנו - שיסיימו כבר עם כל הפרוייקטים ויחזרו למפגשים - אנחנו מתגעגעות לצחוק שלהן.

קבוצות סריגה אלו נולדו ללמד סריגה, וכן להחזיר סורגות שלא החזיקו מסרגות ביד במשך שנים. חתך הגילאים רחב, מגיל 25 ועד 75, לכולן נושא משותף, ההנאה שבסריגה. חתך הרמות גם כן רחב, אלו שממשיכות להנות מהצעיפים הפשוטים ביותר, וכן מי שלוקחות על עצמן דוגמאות קשות ואפילו סריגת תחרה.

והסיפוק שלנו, של אמא ושלי, מענג. כולן הופכות לחברות, כולן מתענינות, כולן דואגות כשמישהי לא מגיעה, כולן מפרגנות בסיומו של פרוייקט מפרך, וכולן לא מוותרות על אף ערב.

אני היום מביטה לאחור, ולא יודעת מה הייתי עושה בלי קבוצות הסריגה שלנו. הן לא רק תלמידות, הן לא רק לקוחות, הן חברות אוהבות ומפרגנות.

אין מסר מאחורי כל זה, אבל דברים לא קורים סתם.

השבוע נכנסה לחנות אישה נאה, סיפרה שבעבר עיצבה סריגים, חיה 35 שנה בחו"ל, עזבה הכל, ולפני 6 חודשים חזרה ארצה ללא רכוש, להתחיל הכל מחדש, בדיוק מאותו מקום שעזבה.

ככל שהשיחה התפתחה, חשתי צורך לשאול אותה אם היא מכירה את דודה שלי. אותו גיל. משום מה נראה לי כי הן פעם היו באותה חברה. הן דיברו באותו סגנון שמסמל תקופה.

הזכרתי את שם דודתי, וכמובן, הן אמורות להפגש אצל מכרים משותפים למחרת בערב.

היא לא נרגעה. כל כך התרגשה מהקשר.

דברים לא קורים סתם.

שבוע נפלא וסריגה מהנה!

יום שבת, 2 באוגוסט 2008

Happy Birthday Gourmet Yarn Shop!!!

ב-1.8.2008 צמר גורמה חוגגת יום הולדת שנתיים. איזה דרך ארוכה כבר עברנו, וזה נראה שרק אתמול התחיל הרעיון.
כבר חודש שאנחנו מנסים למצוא דרך מקורית לחגוג את יום ההולדת.
THE MONDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB החליט שיוצאים לאכול במסעדה, עוד לא סוכם איפה. רצינו השבוע אבל ליאורה טסה לחו"ל (שוב!!) ואי אפשר בלעדיה. בינתיים קבענו ל-18.8, (שזה גם יום ההולדת של אחותי הקטנה אטה), עדכונים עוד יבואו.
החלטתי שיום ההולדת לחנות זה בעצם גם יום ההולדת החדש שלי, תאריך של התחלה חדשה בחיי, פתיחת החנות הנפלאה, אהבת חיי, ומגיע לי (ולחנות) מתנה. ובכן, אתר החנות יעלה בימים הקרובים. שרון ג' עובדת על זה במרץ. מזל שהיא מנדנדת לי, אני בעייתית בלעשות דברים לעצמי. צילומים, לינקים, מלל, אוף.....מזל שהיא טובה בזה.
בינתיים עובדים על הזמנות חורף, צמרים חדשים, דוגמאות מדליקות, מסרגות מכל הסוגים והחומרים מכל העולם,
יהיה כייף!
Happy Knitting!!!!

יום שבת, 12 ביולי 2008

My first post

Well, I finally had a little time to take care of all this blog stuff. I'm trying to work it out myself, so if it doesn't look so hot at the beginning, give it a chance.
I'm trying to give this blog some sort of framework. It seems like I should probably let everyone know what's happening. I'll give it a try and see from there.
Summer is here full blast, there's lots to do at the store, getting all the projects knit up for the next season, Winter 2008. My mom is knitting the challenging projects, Heike and I are knitting the simpler things, although she is a fabulous knitter and can take on the most difficult patterns.
The winter knitting season doesn't feel close by, but next week the Alpaca/wool blend by Vitalgo should be coming in, and it takes time to knit all the things we've planned, so I hope I get everything done in time. So much to knit, so little time!
And I always have to include some thanks to my friends. Dalia brought in a great crochet bag made with 8 strands of cotton, which immediately became a hit. Malka is crocheting bags like crazy, she must have made 10 bags already in the last couple of months.
Well, all is ready for the beginning of another week. We have six weddings in the coming 6 weeks, so there's plenty to look forward to.
Have a great week, and Happy Knitting!