I had to retire from dentistry in 2007 and spent a couple of years sulking and feeling very sorry for myself. The only thing that gave me a bubble of excitement was a trip to my local yarn store, squishing all the lovely yarns, planning my next project and of course, knitting! I had worked in a wool shop as a Saturday assistant back in the 1980’s whilst I was a teenager and always longed for my own, just never thought it would ever happen!
In June 2010, my husband, his brother and the sheep shearer were clipping the flock to keep them cool and insect free as the weather warmed up. I took them some refreshments and couldn’t resist the opportunity to squish the wool on the backs of the sheep whilst they were penned up and couldn’t run away! Somehow, that moment switched on a light-bulb and I came back down to the bungalow and frantically searched for somewhere to get the fleece spun into yarn. After some research and several phone calls I spoke to the lovely Sonja at The Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall. I sent Sonja a sample of the fleece and her feedback was good. I talked very nicely to my husband and his brother to get the project funded and sent off the first batch of 20 kilo’s of the Suffolk X fleece. The first batch was spun into an aran weight yarn. I applied to the Farmers Markets at Driffield and the Humber Bridge and was successful in getting a stall one morning a month.
At the Farmers Market I soon got a feel for the enthusiasm from knitters of how hard it was to find ‘proper wool’ these days and how pleased they were to find us! From there I gradually built up a large selection commercial yarns and premium branded knitting needles and notions…..we’ve also become famous for our fabulous selection of Mafana Bags!
We now have an Aladin’s Cave for knitters, a room in the bungalow packed with amazing yarns, fabulous pattern books from some of the biggest names in the hand-knitting industry from Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Jenny Watson, Ysolda Teague, Stephen West and many many more.
We have always welcomed people down to look at the yarns but request a phone call or email first as I’m not always on top form and need to make sure I have my assistant available but we now also open every Monday from 10am till 4pm when my assistant and I will welcome you to browse the yarns and patterns, pick up some tips if you need them and maybe have a cuppa if you catch us when we’re having one 😉
Little Houndales Knits has become my focus and my identity, it has given me back something very great which I lost when I retired from dentistry. I owe this opportunity to my husband and his brother for the financial support (and faith in me!), and I am eternally grateful for all the support I have had….you know who you are 😉