Hello, my name is Elaine and I would like to welcome you to my website.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself, I have been married to my husband Barry for 39 years, I have two grown up children and three lovely grandchildren. I have always been interested in knitting, dress making, cross stitching and lots more crafts too many to mention. I knitted my very first cardigan at the age of 11 year’s, it was lime green and it was made from some odd balls of wool that my Nan gave to me. Having completed my first garment I was up and away, I knitted everything from baby clothes to school jumpers for my brother. I even knitted my Nan a cardigan some years later. I have knitted many toys too.
In 2009 the recession hit the company that I was working for, some people were made redundant and others had their working hours cut. I was one of the fortunate ones; I wasn’t made redundant but my working hours were reduced from 40 to 20 hours per week. Having two and a half days a week spare I had to do something, this was the opportunity for me to get back into my crafts. Some that had been waiting to be completed for many years.
First I completed a cross stitch picture of a leopard for my husband. That I had started and wanted to give to him for his 60th birthday…..well two years late isn’t too bad is it? Not when you consider the piece had 159 colours in total and no runs, every stitch being a different colour. I also got back into knitting baby clothes, scarves for friends and family and other knitted items. I re-joined the patch work club at Threads and Patches, and picked up my double bed patchwork quilt, the bargello design, that I had started 6 years previously. I finished it in just one month and I was thrilled to bits with the finished result. So one by one, all of my projects were being completed. I even had time to help my husband on an exhibition stand at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexander Palace (October 2009), where we were promoting our Picture Framing Business (Creative Framing Services); that specialises in framing needlework.
It was at one of the patch work club meetings at Threads and Patches that Sally, the owner, mentioned that she wanted to find someone to open a wool shop, in one of the upstairs rooms at Threads and Patches. I didn’t say anything to Sally at the time, but it had been a dream of mine for many years to have my own wool shop. I went home and discussed the prospect of opening the wool shop with my husband.
My dream was realised when my shop, THE KNITTING BASKET, opened on 1st March 2010.
I thought that Threads and Patches would be the ideal location for my Wool shop. There are not many places where you can find all of your craft needs under one roof.
My business started to grow as more and more people found out about the shop; either from friends, the internet, or from the adverts that I placed in various knitting magazines.
It was after about 2 years, that I started to get frustrated. I felt that I was out growing my available shop space. I also knew that it was a problem for people who could not manage the stairs. And that there were still a lot of people, who lived locally, who did not know that my shop had been opened for the last 2 years. Because it was tucked away upstairs. What I needed, to expand my business, was a bigger ground floor shop. That also had more exposure to the outside world.
I moved into my new shop at 64 Aylesbury Street, Fenny Stratford; just around the corner from my previous shop, in November 2012. This shop has fulfilled all of my requirements. It is bigger, it is on the ground floor and it can be seen by pedestrians and passing traffic. The shop is also big enough for me to accommodate a maximum of 12 people for my knitting and crochet group meetings, which are held weekly during shop opening hours.
It is so nice when I hear people say things like, 'Just think we would not have met each other and become friends, if Elaine had not started her knitting and crochet club meetings'. It is also very satisfying for me when customers come into the shop for help with their knitting, or help in understanding a knitting pattern. I still get a buzz whenever I get the opportunity to pass my knitting skills onto others, I can remember only too well what it was like when I needed help.
I look forward to meeting you and would appreciate any feedback with regards to the content of my website, the brands of wool you would like me to stock, or any other knitting or crochet related topics.