So I decided to host an Open Studio. I thought it was a brilliant idea! My family were unconvinced. "Countess", they said, "you'd be just like an episode of Black Books". I don't do shows you see, being antisocial of the unpredictable health brigade so I was taking a bit of a risk. But I wanted to head on face my social anxiety and yesterday, I did. In fact the crowd was so amazing that I had no anxiety at all and am already plotting the next one.
The run up to the Open Studio was very laid back. I genuinely questioned if I had been abducted by aliens or something. My friend and knitwear designer Wool + Bricks and I got the studio set up on Thursday. I had to change around my dyeing area because of health and safety and well, my studio is somewhat on the petite side. But I think we managed a great layout that was perfect for the space.
There was an awful lot of squealing going on as the crowd rushed with their elbows pointed out at the yarn and fibre which was really heart warming because it made me feel that I was doing something right! But what was incredible was how far some people had travelled from and that there were fellow socially anxious people too, which was somewhat humbling. A gazebo was put up the small yard outside for eating food which I slaved for hours over thanks very much Waitrose Entertaining Service for preparing excellent food that I didn't need to prepare, ta! It was a tight squeeze but I think we managed most of us under there at one point.
A couple of weeks ago in my Ravelry group, I'd made the statement along the lines of "I hope that you all won't be disappointed by the lack of knitted bunting because I really do not do bunting". What I did not know was that behind closed doors in a cloak and dagger sort of scenario, one of my attendees had been sewing away at some custom made Countess Ablaze bunting which she had already posted off to me. So I can imagine how wretched she must have felt when they read what I wrote about bunting! Well this bunting arrived a week ago and I literally sobbed my heart out easily for a good thirty minutes. Not only did I LOVE it (I know, it's bunting, what is wrong with me?!) but it was very, very me. And the effort and time that went into it too. There were tears, many many tears but the bunting was in situ in the studio and it was a perfect fit for where I wanted it. And it looks amazing!
For a reason I am yet to fathom, the game of "lets fit as many people as we can into the one metre squared toilet cubical" was played - this was definitely an unruly bunch of knitters that were in the studio yesterday! We don't do sedate here at Casa Countess Ablaze so this was no genteel tea party. I'm not sure as to how much actual knitting even got done. One of the guests is a podcaster who'll be recording an episode this week and plans to talk about the Open Studio, which makes me a little nervous but I'll link to it if it's at least remotely favourable!
Although it wasn't just this lot that were unruly. The moral of a Countess Ablaze Open Studio is to never get her to pose with a pair of plastic legs with hats on the feet. They were such a bad influence on me!
The first Open Studio was such an incredible success that I've already got a score of people wanting to come to the next one, which I'm thinking next Spring. But I want to thank everybody who came yesterday for making the day what is was, a group of hilariously funny people, warm hearted, spirited and generous. You guys are what made Open Studio so special and I am indebted to you for that. Until next time!