Dear, dear City Knitting Yarnies,
This post is not a regular newsletter, but instead is a personal letter from me (Lorilee) to all of you. When you consider all the great relationships we enjoy at City Knitting, you’ll realize what I convey here now will be exceedingly difficult. I am closing the store by the end of this year. I will do my best to convey the closing plan to you next week so there will be no more surprises.
Six years ago, when I began researching locations for this “possible” shop I was planning, the first thing I always did was grab the graph paper and sketch out the area. If there was not enough room for a 10′ x 10′ space for sitting and knitting, that location was off the list. Period. On my graph paper, it was a square of just about an inch and a quarter or so.
Just think of all we have fit into that little square since September of 2005! We’ve learned so much about knitting and met so many new friends. I want to thank you for all you have taught me, most importantly that nearly anyone can enjoy nearly anyone else’s friendship when we just spend the time getting to know one another. You are a welcoming, accepting, joyous bunch I am honored to know.
Indulge me in some stats and walks down memory lane.
Number of items you have made for charity. That’s 450 hats for the Red Thread Project, about 220 hats for Knit Michigan cancer patients, about 180 items for the DeVos Children’s Hospital, and 100 Hearts for Haiti.
number of unique customers, which is why, forgive us, we can’t always remember your names
number of students in classes
questions answered/ dropped stitches picked up/problems solved, estimated
about 30 =
percentage of questions preceded by, “This is a stupid question, but…”
highest attendance at a Late Night Yarnie Party
number of different restaurants we’ve seen on the other side of the needle wall
number of part time employees since 2005 (K,M,D,R,M,J,K,S,A,S)
Approximate number of cakes/pans-of-bars/tins-of-cookies Ursula has brought nearly every Tuesday night (picture them lined up for a moment)
number of states containing CK customers
number of countries containing CK customers
number of bathroom keys lost (not bad)
3, out of 3 =
number of times we won the Townie Gold for Best Yarn Shop, out of number of times it was up for voting
number of marriages resulting from people meeting at CK
age of our eldest customer, Hank, knitter/cyclist who has a great knitting name. We may have customers older, but they keep it secret.
number of youtube views of the CraftSanity video of Lorilee continental knitting
3 months =
length of time the seating area sat empty until people started believing the space was for them
number of transactions since 2005, which is why we cannot always remember what you bought last week, much less what you bought two years ago
number of hours commonly worked (by me) during peak season
less than 50 =
number of days in which we did NOT greet a new customer
Maybe an hour, maybe a few times =
Longest length of time the shop was open without customers in it
often our busiest and most fun day, due to the fact that we haven’t been open since Saturday
the only day we are not happy to see people knock on our door. We’ve been closed on Mondays for four years, yet people still come. Knock it off!
2+ months ago =
time when I made these closing plans
Why? Well, beside the obvious secondary reasons such as stress, and missing Saturdays, and wanting to say “yes” to things I’ve said “no” to for four years, the main reason is that I’m tired. I am certain that is easy to understand.
What is incredibly difficult is to think about how much I will miss all of you customers, co-workers and friends. I’ve said all along that the yarn is secondary, but I’ll miss that, too. It’s been a real joy to serve you all for four years. Please accept my thanks.
Thanks for being patient and nice to us all of the time. Thanks for clearly expressing your gratitude countless times. Thanks for letting me know what you think of my awesome staff, by saying so often, “Do you know how lucky you are to have such outstanding help?” To which I reply, “Yes, I do, and you are right.” Thanks for buying stuff; you’re all very good at that, good enough to have made it worthwhile. Thanks for the 10# I gained with all the food and treats you bring. Yes, thanks a lot. Thanks for making such cool stuff and sharing it with us. Thanks for respecting your co-knitters, being willing to share in fun and hard times, while respecting privacy and refraining from gossip. Thanks for hopping up to help us help customers when we are swamped. Thanks for making a cool place for us to all be together. Many, many thanks to Kathy, Marilyn, Ruth, Darlene, Margaret, Jessica, Kim, Sophie, Amy, and Sara.
Please understand I’ll be reading but not replying to all e-mails. And, just so you know, I am neither sick nor moving, just, as I said before, tired, and ready for a change.
Before Tuesday, I will post again, laying out some details about the schedule for upcoming “everything must go” sales. Please note that all events posted on our site, including Cat’s visit in September, are all on. There will also be upcoming opportunities to learn, socialize, and retreat in 2010 and beyond. When I next post, I will have some favors to ask regarding ways I want you to help me remember you, so stay tuned.