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A Party at Oxford Yarn Store

15 November 2013

I’ve been meaning to write to you all about Oxford Yarn Store for a long time. Like, for a year, because that’s how long they’ve been open. I found out about their opening from a flyer posted in North Oxford, which made the whole thing seem like the crazy fantasy of the sleep-deprived mother of a four-month-old. So I was pleasantly surprised to pop over to North Parade last year and see that the flyer’s claims were true (and I was not as far gone as I’d feared): a yarn shop had arrived in Oxford.

OYS Opening

The shop window of Oxford Yarn Store when it first opened, a year ago next month. Gorgeous spinning wheel.

I think I mentioned that there wasn’t a dedicated yarn shop in town when we moved here. This was good for my pocket and for the stash-reduction project, but of course not for my soul. So I might have been a little over-excited when I met Karen last year. I took lots and lots of pictures, and kind of told her my life story.

Beautiful array of yarn

Look at all that yarn! Karen has done a lovely job of arranging lots of wool in her cozy space.

North Parade

North Parade Avenue, which is of course south of South Parade.

She handled my fangirl-level enthusiasm with grace, even offering to have a launch party for Silver Screen Knits when it came out–a pretty nice thing, since she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. And last Friday was the day.

Karen Champagne

The OYS owner, Karen, pours champagne. The launch was lovely, with drinks and period music chosen by Frankie (on the left).

Karen and the fabulous James planned an amazing party for Silver Screen Knits, Volume One, with people dressing up and champagne and discounts on the book as well as on yarn purchased to knit the designs in the book. [That discount is good through Saturday 11/15, so pop on down there if you haven’t yet.]

Nice Big Group

So many people came to the event! I got to meet lots of Oxford knitters, and see people I hadn’t in a while. I do love the knitting community here.

One of the great things about this party was that it introduced me to more Oxford knitters. I’ve gotten to know some through Twitter and the Great London Yarn Crawl, but since so far I have been too shy to go to any knitting groups I haven’t met as many as I knew back in the States.

OYS has a really wonderful group of customers. Every time I am there, people come in and Karen knows them by name and remembers what they are working on. There are several knit clubs that meet in the shop each week, and when I have been there with the clubs their members have been friendly and inclusive. This is one of those shops you know will be around for a good long time.

Karen Toast

Karen gives a toast. I never know what to do when people say nice things about me, so you can see I am just sitting there awkwardly. Oops. But also look at my crocheted poppy, made by a customer of the shop to raise funds for the poppy appeal.

Karen made a lovely toast to me and I sat there feeling super-embarrassed, and then everyone shopped and chatted and drank champagne. Due to Little Miss Feisty’s habits, I haven’t been out on a Friday night in quite some time, so this was a really exciting day for me…made more exciting by all the yarn I got to pet and dream about, and the people who came by to have me sign their book and to ask me about the various patterns.

Kathleen Signing

The great thing about signing books at a party is that you always have a chair and something to do. There’s the fabulous Sadie to my left.

All of the samples for the book are at the shop right now, so this is a great opportunity to take a look at the products of the patterns close-up. The fabulous Liz, one of the tech editors for the book, admitted to us that she tried on all of the samples while editing, and confirmed what I have long suspected: that both the Humphrey Bogart pullover and the James Dean cardigan make excellent women’s sweaters as well. Anyone in Oxford want to model them for a photo shoot?

Beautiful Wool.

Purty, purty, purty: Jamieson’s wool in any colour you might want. I want all of them.

Now that the party’s over, I find myself dreaming of all kinds of yarn I saw in the shop that night: Colinette, Manos, Artesano, and especially the beautiful Jamieson’s pictured above. I think it’s time for some colorwork hand mitts, don’t you? What would you make in the Jamieson’s, and what color?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay Trask permalink
    15 November 2013 8:17 am

    The book and you should be celebrated! I have shown it to all my AW groups and they love it! Expect some orders from across the pond!

  2. Jeannie Zeller permalink
    15 November 2013 8:18 am

    How exiting! And, how heavenly :)

  3. Carolyn Buttram permalink
    15 November 2013 10:57 am

    Wish I could join you across the pond and try on every single sample from Silver Screen. Congrarulations on your success!!
    Warmest regards, Carolyn

  4. 15 November 2013 10:57 am

    I enjoyed this! How I wish I could have been there. GREAT book, beautiful shop, fun party, and yarn, yarn, yarn. Congratulations on the continued success of your book.

  5. 15 November 2013 1:30 pm

    I recognise Sadie! I met her on twitter – small world. Congratulations on a really beautiful book, two of the projects are already on my wish list. And what a lovely yarn shop, probably good for my purse that it was not there when I worked in Oxford but then again perhaps I could pay a little day visit…

  6. Ferret permalink
    15 November 2013 2:01 pm

    Oooh, I’m so jealous! It looks like you all had a blast and I’m so glad. As for the kamiesons, there’s some fair isle mittens that have been calling my name and I may just have to get some Jamieson’s for them, though from my LYS rather than so far across the pond.

  7. 16 November 2013 8:34 am

    Goodness, how did I end up in so many of the pictures? It was a lovely launch party, though, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to knitting some of the patterns from the book (when I decide which one(s) and what yarn to use and get some of the other things I need to knit out of the way first…)

  8. gt4936 permalink
    27 November 2013 5:56 pm

    Congrats on the book launch and the lovely party!

  9. Penny Reese permalink
    4 December 2013 12:16 pm

    I must wait until after Christmas, but I will be ordering Silver Screen Knits 1 and 2. I am so envious that you are able to live in the UK. i then saw your photos and realized that you are way younger than I am. So, I vicariously live my dream and visit every couple of years. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Kathleen permalink*
      28 December 2013 4:15 pm

      Oh, thank you, Penny! I’m not as young as I look. ;-)

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