Last Saturday, my rather fully packed backpack and I made our way to my local yarn store (Big Knitters) here in Cardiff. I was a little apprehensive and quite nervous. This was going to be my first ever Knit Surgery and I wanted it to be good.
Anna (the wonderful shop owner) had already set out her board with all the information for the event a good week before and I had tried to spread to word by leaving posters and flyers in many of the cafes in the area as well.
The first thing we did was to set up a little information corner right by the door so people could not miss it. And I promptly forgot to take a picture. Sorry. Next time, I promise! And then we settled down to see what would happen – having done our best to spread the word, it was now down to the knitters and customers to come and ask questions.
Sadly, for some unfathomable reason (the rugby? The weather? The end of the first week of school? We still have no idea.), it was an incredibly quiet day for the shop (and many of the other shops in the area, so the turnout of help-needing knitters wasn’t great. When finally a lady came through the door with her question in tow, I was promptly at a loss as how to help her – but I shall learn how to cast on a moebius in the round rather soon. As the lady wasn’t set on knitting the pattern she had brought in, we solved that problem by suggesting that she knit a rectangle and then sew it up while twisting on end of it. Not the ideal solution but she was quite happy with it as she could now “get on with the knitting”. During the day we also provided some extensive help with choosing patterns for a mother and daughter (not that Anna wouldn’t have done that anyway, but they got my opinion as well 😉 ). They were really lovely and it was wonderful to see the mother taking so much care about what to knit for her daughter who was very much appreciative of the effort.
Despite the poor turnout for the surgery we still managed to raise 60 pounds thanks to the help several avid collectors (long standing customers and friends with their children) who took it upon themselves to stand outside with the collection baskets to raise awareness, pass out information (MSF leaflets and p-hop postcards) and collect donations from other shoppers. And quite a few of the people who did come to the shop to browse or just quickly by some yarn also left donations before leaving. A very big and heartfelt “Thank you!” goes to all of you for helping and donating! And of course the money has already been passed on to p-hop. Wouldn’t want to waste time there.
And while we had hoped for a better turnout for the Knit Surgery, I had a very good time just watching and helping where I could and I think that, in retrospect, the quietness and low volume of people through the door was nice for the first try. I say first try because both Anna and I have already decided that there will be a repeat. We haven’t settled on a date just yet but the next Knit Surgery in Cardiff will likely be held in late October and we are aiming for at least another one before the end of the year.
If you would like to hold a Knit Surgery for p-hop in your town or city, please do! It’s fun and doesn’t take a lot of preparation and I’m more than happy to share the poster file I made to spread the word around the area.