In February 2021, I received my dream job. Working 4 days a week in a beautifully stocked and gorgeously designed knitting shop in Auckland, New Zealand. At the time of applying and eventually accepting the role, I did not know how important this job would be for me.
I have had my fair share of jobs in the past. From a receptionist for hotels in the New Forest to Air Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic, checkout assistant at ASDA to stewardess on privately-owned luxury yachts sailing around the Mediterranean. With all of these varied roles, there were days where I would wake up and dread the working day ahead of me. We’ve all been there, right? Well, not at Wild & Woolly. I would look forward to everyday, standing behind the counter, showing off the latest shades of delicious New Zealand yarn, talking through customers problems with patterns and advising on their next project. It was easy to love what I did because I love knitting. I love the process of it, watching the garment build and grow and I love the satisfaction of a finished piece and the pride that comes with wearing it.
My mum taught me to knit in 2014, whilst I was visiting them in Spain before I flew out to the French Alps to work a ski season as a chalet host. My cousin was pregnant with her son and I wanted to knit him a little baby blanket. Mum handed me this yellow acrylic yarn and some needles and I produced a (very hole ridden) snood. But that was that, I was ‘hooked’. The projects I focused on after that never really rocked the boat. I mainly focused on hats, blankets and a chunky cardigan for myself. Then I started at Wild & Woolly, and I was introduced to beautiful merino yarns and stunning patterns, including the Danish designer Petite Knits. My skills started to expand to knitting in the round, top down knitting and Italian Bind Off’s. And my addiction grew.
Then the day came when my partner (a Kiwi) and I decided that we would head back to my home town, Southampton. Leaving behind the wonderful New Zealand yarns, I wondered what I would do for a job this time round. I couldn’t go back to a meaningless job again, not after I had been so spoilt. Then my partner utter the best sentence he’s ever said (second best, after “will you marry me?”)…
“why don’t you open your own wool shop?”
And here we are. Fully Woolly Yarns is a place for all knitters, new and experienced, young and not-so young. I want this shop to be a modern take on the old wool shops. No tacky, novelty yarns, just beautiful natural fibres and stunning shades. There will be your well known names such as Rowan and West Yorkshire Spinners. But I also hope to introduce you to more exotic brands such as Sesia, an Italian yarn company that spin and dye the most divine extrafine merino and organic cottons. Also, there will be yarns imported all the way from New Zealand including Baby Haven 4ply, a machine-washable merino, and NZ Luxury, a blend of Alpaca, Merino and Possum.
I am here to share with you what I love about knitting. At Fully Woolly, myself and the team want to share ideas with you, help you, laugh with you along the way and encourage you through your knitting journey.