Karie Bookish Dot Net

Good & Bad News

Karie as a kid

A bit of Throwback Thursday for you – me as a kid wearing a bonafide islænder jumper knitted by my gran. I seem to remember it was red and white – so very patriotic for a Danish kid!

First Newsflash! you can hear me talk about islænder jumpers, Icelandic yokes, Faroese mittens, Norwegian reindeers and Danish nattrøjer at Cambridge’s The Sheep Shop on June 11 where I’ll be teaching a half-day class on Nordic traditions. I hear some very good things about the shop from Joanne Scrace and Louise Tilbrook and I have never been to Cambridge before – I am super-excited!

Second Newsflash! I am teaching an evening class on the Byatt Shawl at Hackney’s awesome Wild & Woolly on Friday June 12. We’ll talk colour choices, explore clever short-cuts for the techniques used in the shawl and find out how to turn a lace shawl into the perfect pub knitting project (yes, honestly!). I have heard so much buzz about Wild & Woolly from people like Corrie Plutoniummuffin,  Ms PlayfulDay and Allison – I cannot wait to visit.

I was hoping to pack more things into my jaunt south-wards (I’m dying to go back to my spiritual homeland of Brighton and check out YAK) but between various commitments in the London area and train times, I am just amazed I managed to squeeze in two classes! I hope to see many familiar faces at either – do let me know about anything you feel I need to check out whilst in London. Good food recommendations are always welcome!

Now for some sobering news. Sometimes things are put into perspective and I write the following with a heavy heart.

May 2013 486I knew that the Coats Craft division (which includes Rowan Yarns) was sold to a hedge fund earlier this year – other brands under the Coats Crafts division includes Patons, Regia, and the Milward haberdashery brand. Earlier this week I heard some sad news from several corners: the vast majority of UK Rowan Design Consultants are saying goodbye. It is both sad and also incredibly sobering to hear this. The DCs have been the bedrock of Rowan for many years and they have played an important part in both teaching essential skills to absolute beginners and lending technical advice to skilled knitters. Seeing them go is a reminder that the times are a-changing and we are likely to see more changes ahead.

I cut my teeth on being a DC. I was first added to the fold in late 2009, and the first year taught me so much. I learned technical, administrative things like how to work with buy plans and how to implement various stock management tools. I learned about visual merchandising, and how to put together promotional displays. I learned how yarn lines were launched and what knitters were likely to find difficult. Then, as in later years, I learned how collections were pulled together and how to pitch a design submission. I learned about design vocabulary, about colour profiles, and who did what in a yarn company (the differences between a Design Room Manager, a Brand Manager, and a Head Designer). Most importantly I met an awful lot of incredibly interesting and talented people – many of whom I am proud to call my friends.

And so today my thoughts turn towards the DCs who are now saying goodbye. I do not know what happened or why decisions were made – I just know that times are tough for some good friends. If you are in the UK and near a John Lewis, go and hug your DC. They are all brilliant and will go forth and do beautiful things – but they probably need a hug right now.

6 Thoughts on “Good & Bad News

  1. Elaine on May 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm said:

    I am knitting your Byatt right now. The colors are a variegated fall leaf scheme and the other color is going to be a lovely blue red. Only up to 95 stitches so far but working right along.
    On a very special birthday my 2 daughters took me to London. The John Lewis store is amazing and I will remember it fondly with the rest of my memories. It’s too bad that “stuff” happens and makes a lot of us unhappy.

    • Karie on May 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm said:

      Do make sure to share photos of your Byatt once it’s done! “Stuff” always happens but hopefully other amazing things will take “stuff”‘s place – good time to support your local independent shops!

  2. Hazel Martin on May 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm said:

    I was shocked to hear that Gillian at john Lewis Bluewater has been made redundant and leaves in June. She was so lovely, enthusiastic knowledgable and inspiring and she will be greatly missed. Our last knitting group next week. Who will help and inspire us when Gillian has left??

    • Karie on May 21, 2015 at 7:07 pm said:

      I know that Gillian has something up her sleeve. You will definitely see more of her, so don’t despair!

  3. Oh exciting!! I would love to catch up with you if you’re able? <3 (About you coming to London, not the DCs. I'll go to my JL tomorrow.)

  4. Lisa on May 27, 2015 at 1:25 pm said:

    Have you tried Koya Udon on Frith Street? Nothing fancy, but so tasty!

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