It's shocking that we're headed straight for the end of February - I feel like I was just cursing Puxatawney Phil's shadow seeing.... I'll sprinkle in some WIP photos just to break up the saga that looms ahead.....
It was right about then, Groundhog day-ish, when, out of nowhere, a fabulous yarn shop for sale came hurtling out of the universe into my lap. Just like that. It came flying at me with flashing neon signs saying "this could be IT, Dawn!" It happened out of the blue in the kind of way that stops you in your tracks and makes you think it was meant to be. It happened just as I'm settling in to much better times at my job that I was ready to run screaming from eight months ago. I wasn't looking for it - that's the way things are supposed to turn up in your life if you work hard and live right and put it out there in the universe that you want to find a way to work with fiber all the time... right? So holy shit - here it was!
I literally vibrated for several days - learned about the whole thing on a Thursday night, set the appointment for Captain America and I to meet with the couple selling the shop on Saturday, and I tried to remember how to breathe. I felt like my organs were sucked flat and pressed against my back inside. I felt giddy. Captain America got excited.
We met with the yarn shop folks - great. I had to wait until Monday to take advantage of my eight years working with the most incredible people who serve on the Board at my company - boy oh boy am I lucky to get to work with these folks. I needed quick, serious financial, legal - all kinds of help - we're pretty simple folks who filed a 1040EZ til we bought our house and we never had to find a lawyer, or have a relationship with our bank, or any of that other sort of grownup stuff.
The incredible person I called was away on vacation, but he must have checked in with his secretary 'cause all of a sudden he was on the phone. Without hesitation he made a phone call on my behalf and set me up with red-carpet treatment at a local bank, whose commercial lending people called me right after the bank president did! (Vibrating, trying to remember to breathe still - four days into the process)
Tuesday morning I met with the bankers - what do you wear when you're thinking about borrowing a whole lotta cash? I've been wearing the same pair of ratty black pumps for about ten years, and they say shoes say a lot about a person, so I had an agonizing morning trying to build an outfit around the new blue shoes that said I wasn't some cheapskate who couldn't afford new black shoes. I wore gold jewelry and a sweater set - gold somehow seems more serious than silver and since I'm not so into suits, the sweater set said "classic" and "professional." Right?
The bankers asked where I was in the process and my response was "here." My wonderful business owning mom kept assuring me no one knows anything about buying a business until they're buying one, and the bankers were incredibly generous and helped me set up a plan to figure it all out. Next step: CPA.
It was much easier getting dressed for the CPA appointment on Wednesday. Somehow it seemed like there was less on the line - and appearance just wasn't so important for an accountant. I know - where do I get this stuff?
We talked numbers - really talked. I had to stop him a few times for definitions and clarifications, but we got through a good discussion before he said he'd never have guessed I was a knitter! He pointed me to the next step: attorney to work up an offer.
I called the attorney - seemed like we weren't quite ready to get to the offer. We talked and agreed to talk some more the next week. It's all backwards when you want to buy a business - the bank doesn't want to talk about lending you money until you've got a firmly accepted offer, but I wanted to know how much I could borrow before I could decide if I wanted to make an offer!
In the meanwhile, I decided to call up a yarn shop owner I've admired since she opened her shop in another state more than four years ago. When I landed at her website, I discovered she'd sold her shop last summer! Was this a sign? I tracked her down by email and asked for advice - and she was incredibly honest and incredibly generous with her time and experience. So the next night, I decide to pop on over to Knit Happens - another yarn shop I watched open with envy and admiration four or five years ago - turns out Kristine has left the country and the shop is running without her, AND they closed down what I thought looked like an incredibly successful online shop too. Another sign.
And all through this time I was avoiding the nagging realization that I had already processed the whole yarn shop idea over the last four or five years and had decided that I really didn't want to be in retail. I didn't want to deal with the hours, the inventory, the staffing, the cash flow, etc., etc., etc. Decided. Moved on. Started thinking about other things I could do in the industry. Got involved in interesting and challenging projects in my day job. Didn't bat an eye last summer when another LYS went up for sale - didn't even consider it. So, this shop is THE shop in the area, or at least the one I where I shop. It's always busy, has a steady clientele, good classes, and a fabulous big deal retreat every year. So, so very seductive!
Then I figured it all out. I boiled it all down like my man would - so simple. Captain America and I recently spent several months talking about whether or not we should get a puppy - something we'd both really really love. BUT - after considering all the pros and cons very carefully, understanding the demads of puppy ownership, and witnessing my little sister's gorgeous four-month old golden leap from piece of furniture to piece of furniture, we made the very grownup decision that this wasn't the right time to become dog owners. Decided. Moved on. I'll continued to talk to all dogs on the street, but not gonna get one right now.
So this yarn shop thing felt just like what could happen in an instant if I got a whiff of puppy breath - a single whiff of that sweet, sweet puppy breath, and I could forget my hard fought, rational decision and end up with a puppy. Easily. Except the yarn shop would have locked us into a very, very large debt that would have made housebreaking a puppy seem like a walk in the park.
So, no yarn shop for me. I did the work, I took the steps, I made the right decision. I was telling the one friend who knew the saga about my phone call last Monday to pull my name from the running, and I held up my thumb and forefinger in that universal "little bit" symbol about to say I felt just a little bit disappointed that I wasn't going to be the new LYS owner when it occurred to me with a lightbulb flash - I wasn't disappointed at all! It turns out is wasn't meant to be in the end, but it was an incredible journey filled with great stuff, great people, and great generosity - not a bad way to spend February 2008!
- Daffodils that were all ready to bloom right before a cold snap, so I cut them. And note the vase - I blew that glass!
- White mohair blouse from Sally Melville & Needful Yarns blocking - it's further along and I'm grafting the collar to the neck band at the moment.
- Sleevage! I finally gritted my teeth and picked back up on my Whiskey Fair Isle pullover - and it's DONE as of yesterday! Except for all the ends I have to weave in and the neck bind off I want to change from "in pattern" to a smooth knit bind off.
- Gratuitous Bluefish shot - she's recently decided it's great to watch TV - she's really going to ruin her eyes this way, but she makes me giggle. I think this is the opening to HBO's In Treatment on the screen - how cool is that? Are you watching this show BTW? Good stuff, especially with smouldering Gabriel Byrne in the lead. Mmmm.