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Sconch Blog

  • June 27, 2020 Sam Conway

    Black Pearl

    Black pearl, precious little girl
    Let me put you up where you belong
    Black pearl, pretty little girl
    You've been in the background much too long

    I was listening to this song whilst dancing round the shop this morning *cough* I mean packing orders... And I was overcome by a wave of sadness. This song for me is one that conjures images of childhood and my mam singing it whilst dancing around a front room, bare foot. Songs from the Trojan Records label in general whisk me back to being a child and dancing until the early hours of the morning to Reggae track after Reggae track, interspersed with Motown of the 60s.

    These are songs I grew up with (if you haven't read my previous blogpost on my family, you can find it here: Standing Up and Speaking Out) and they always fill me with nostalgia. But listening to the lyrics this morning, I was filled with sadness. Listening in 2020, to a song written in 1969, I was struck with how nothing has changed. Here we are in 2020, still fighting the same fight.

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  • March 10, 2019 Sam Conway

    Standing Up and Speaking Out...

    So a couple of weeks ago, one of my a regular c'n'c ladies, Kas, was making a tube. Literally, a tube. Of course being the nosey cow that I am, I wanted to know why. Turns out it is a traditional Japanese item (with a twist, it wouldn't normally be made in merino or knitted, but would be fabric) worn around the tummy, known as a Haramaki. She was making it for her father, as it is traditionally worn by men mainly, but can be worn by women....


    Kas knitting...

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  • July 20, 2018 Sam Conway

    Midnight Mandala

    The world has gone a bit Mandala mad, and we've been inundated with requests for mandala like a dedicated dealer yarn shop owner, I have gone out into the wild and hunted some down. Which then of course meant I started playing around with ideas for a mandala display in the shop, because who doesn't need a whole window of mandalas?

    So this then led onto (of course it did, I mean, it's not like I have a newborn baby to look after alongside a 5 year old and also 2 businesses to run...) writing my own mandala pattern... and here it is in all its glory. I've even done photos for you, cos I is nice like that.

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  • March 11, 2018 Sam Conway

    Showered with Love

    Baby baby...


    Being pregnant and running your own business has many pros and cons. For example, today is Mothers' Day. I am waddling slowly everywhere, I am in pain, my ankles are already starting to swell, and I'd quite like to be at home. But I am here in the shop, writing a blog in between serving customers, missing the Sconchlet who is at home. But that is the way it is. A sacrifice that is made so that on the flip side, I am relatively in charge of my own working life.

    But being pregnant is especially full of pros and cons in a business where you are so in the public's view the whole time. Being pregnant in any situation is an odd one in terms of your own body and other people's reactions. For some reason, you immediately become public property. People touch your bump, when normally it wouldn't be socially acceptable to go up to a random stranger and start caressing their body. People comment on your weight, quite casually. People open up to you about their horror stories of their own birth experiences.

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  • January 23, 2018 Sam Conway

    Time Flies...

    This morning as I was groggily checking my phone for all the overnight emails and messages that bombard my little electronic life organiser, I was alerted by Facebook to an event that happened a year ago. Apparently, a year ago today, we opened our doors to our new shop at Blake House Craft Centre. The new-new shop that is, not the new shop. The new shop had opened the September before, this was the new-new shop a few doors up that we overhauled only months after overhauling the new shop...

    ...anyway, where was I? Ah yes, we opened our doors to the new shop! I can't quite believe a whole year has passed. Not least because everyday we get people coming into the shop exclaiming with delight that a new yarn shop has opened at Blake House. People who visit Blake House regularly. So sometimes I do feel that maybe we only opened a few months ago and I'm going crazy. But Facebook told me so, so it must be true...


    The Sconch Team!

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  • November 5, 2017 Sam Conway

    A New WIP...

    I've got WIPs coming out of my ears at the moment. I know this, because another yarn shop on Facebook (whose name completely escapes me at the moment), posted asking how many WIPs we have on the go. Oooh thought I, I'll answer this.

    So off I go, counting them up in my head, feeling a rising sense of shame as the number gets higher and higher.  The more I thought about it, the more half forgotten projects started surfacing in my mind. Abandoned creations that haven't seen the light of day in years. Like the really pretty striped wristwarmers that I loved until I realised I'd made them too small. Rather than fix them, I abandoned them like a cruel crochet mistress...

    Abandoned Wristwarmers...

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  • May 12, 2017 Sam Conway

    Blue Hair, Don't Care...

    It's Mental Health Awareness week. In no way do I consider myself to have any kind of mental health issue. I've never been to the doctor about anything other than physical issues (of which I have many ha!). So clearly I don't have anything wrong.

    Apart from the anxiety that is. The crippling anxiety that leaves me unable to move, or breathe, or complete sentences. I started a blog post about 2 years ago, after a customer (not in a mean way at all) laughed when I mentioned I suffer from anxiety. Because she thought I was joking, or being melodramatic. I am not sure which. I'm known for both, so I am not surprised. But I felt that it was something that needed to be addressed. I have a couple of friends who suffer from anxiety. Some that are on medication, some not. And most people don't know. It isn't something we talk about.

    I didn't post this particular blog post at the time because I wasn't sure it was the thing to post. People want to read about squishy yarny things, not about my issues with breathing when in a supermarket...

    Blue Hair...

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  • January 6, 2017 Sam Conway

    The Temperature is Rising...

    Temperature blankets - have you done one? We are all in a frenzy here with temperature blankets (well, if nothing else, when you sit and look at your 'warm' colours, you can dream of warmer climes...)

    If you aren't familiar with a temperature blanket, the basic principle is to track the temperature of each day by crocheting or knitting a row of a blanket in a colour that represents that temperature. The end result being a beautiful blanket with a gradiated colour scheme (with no doubt some random shades in there - especially if you live in the UK haha!)

    Vintage Themed Temperature Blanket

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  • January 2, 2017 Sam Conway

    Silver Linings...


    Silver Linings. Apparently every cloud has one. My problem is that I'm a tad rubbish at finding them. I tend to only see the rain approaching.

    You see, I'm actually really bad at dealing with change. And things not in my control. In fact, if I'm totally honest, at the moment, I'm just really bad at dealing with everything. I mentioned a while ago (I think) about how there would be a blog post later on about some slightly not so cheery stuff to do with stuff. This is not going to be that blog post but, to sum it up, I'm a pretty anxious person, with a fairly hot head, and a knack for crying a lot.

    So yesterday (after I had planned a whole week of staff shifts to work round the shop move, plus friends and family cover to look after the Sconchlet during this crazy moving period) when we all rocked up to collect the shop keys and all piled in to my lovely new shop to begin decorating and we found it actually not even remotely ready to move in because, well, I won't go in to details, but let's just say the builders have had to be called in, it wasn't really a great time for me.

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  • October 26, 2016 Sam Conway

    Girls on Tour...

    A few weeks ago, Natalie from And Sew On (the rather lovely fabric shop two doors up from us on the Blake House Craft Centre) took a roadtrip to Ally Pally. This wasn't the most sensible move for us, as apparently putting two not-very-good-at-adulting people in a car together and then letting them loose at a knitting and stitching show, was crazy. We won't talk about how much money we spent, because that is frankly shocking (let's just say the 11 bags over spilling with yarn was getting some stares...) and as some clever person in the world of the internet once said...


    Yarn Stash...
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  • October 12, 2016 Sam Conway

    Settling In...



    Blog posts. One of those things that can so easily come to a grinding halt. Either from writers' block, or because you are simply too busy.

    For the past two months, it has been a real mix of both. Crazy busy with moving in, settling in, awards ceremonies (more on that to come), opening parties (again, later...), new term for the Sconchlet with new days at nursery, a new job for Mr Sconch, me signing up to be in more shows (no really, I thought 2 at once would be a great idea...). But also, just an amazing amount of emotion; emotion that has been so overwhelming I have been struggling to get anything down into words that are coherent.

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