Thursday, 19 November 2015

A long overdue update...but my oh my, have I been busy!


Well, as you may have noticed I have been a little slack in the blogging department, but I thought it high time I updated you all on the world of Darn It & Stitch!

In the summer we turned five, which is a huge business landmark. We ate a lot of cake, saw a lot of people and felt good about the fact we are still here. Thumbs up all round!

Our 5th birthday celebrations with Cake. Lots of Cake courtesy of The Moving Teashop

As regular customers since 2010 you will know me, Jo (lunging above) as the owner and face behind the counter at Darn It & Stitch. You also will know I popped out in 2012 to have baby, and then again a year ago to have my second. So, boom, there goes a few years in what seems like a minute! If you are new customers, then Hello!

 (This photo had to go into this, as the level of satisfaction you experience when you find a painting to match your jumper is immense. This particular happy match happened in Stavanger, Norway.)

So I am now mother of two, and a shopkeeper. That is so few words when you write it down, compared with what that actually means in real time.

Having the girls has enabled me to step back and really work on the business behind the scenes, explore the bones of it, and permanently be on the hunt for new products.  I have more time to develop new workshop ideas for Pinworks. I have a great new work space (a proper studio!) in my house, where I sit and my desk or sewing machine planning and plotting. If I am not there, I am fiddling about with yarn and scrawling knitting patterns on the backs of envelopes. If a small child falls asleep, then yarn, needles and sample boxes empty themselves across the house. Any opportunity to design and I am there with bells on! The latest one you can find here, inspired by my smallest daughter and the desire for a large pom pom.

Since having my children ( that still sounds far too grown up!) I have also been able re visit the origins of why I started Darn It & Stitch. Six years ago I had a van and a market stall and wore a lot of thermals. I had huge enthusiasm for all things haberdashery related, and a degree in knitwear and textiles. As a result Darn It & Stitch was born. Now, I have a bricks and mortar shop, with lovely staff, and a lot of brilliant loyal customers. After working all the hours there are available to work establishing the shop, I feel I can take a step back and go to the designing and creative part of brain which started this whole story.

Now that I am not behind the till every day, my working time is spent exploring all the things I had in list form for the first few years of business. The shop is managed magnificently by Makiko, assisted by Jenny, so I am going to seize this opportunity and get cracking on a few of those listed dream projects. The next few months are exciting! Up and coming projects include our own hand dyed yarn range, a collection of cotton printed fabrics and a knitted installation for a new local festival. Not too shabby as work schedules go.

These days I am in the shop once a month for a couple of days, children and desk shaped work allowing, but behind the scenes its still me squirreling away finding all the yarn, fabrics, patterns and things you all I am there in spirit. I know many of you ask after me and my girls, so thank you and hello! We are all well, busy, slightly frenetic and happy. We have moved house more than is ideal recently (now on a huge restoration project on at the moment) and  live a little further out from Oxford, but more on that another day ...

Jo xx

Jenny and Makiko. aka Darn It & Stitch Dream Team .


  1. Thanks for this Jo - I'm so pleased to know you are doing so well and enjoying all the behind-the-scenes creativity. Makiko and Jenny do you proud at DIAS, and the place clearly has your fingerprints all over it. Sending lots of love and strength to hold up amid all the house-moving exhaustion. You're a total hero. Keep it up!

    Jenny O xxx

    1. Thank you Jenny! You are so kind! Onwards and upwards eh? See you next time around x

  2. Great to see your blog. Love your shop, I'm a weaver as well as a knitter. My favourite yarn is alpaca, very warm for the extra cold weather we are expecting. Currently using alpaca yarn from Quélvéhin Alpacas, Pontivy, Brittany, also UK Alpaca Ltd in Devon who process some of their yarn. I love the way you display your yarns in colour themes. Will try to get to Oxford soon!

    1. Thanks Kate! Alpaca is delicious indeed. As for the colour theme thing...its the most satisfying order to look at, and always fun to do. See you when you are in Oxford! x

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