|Ellen, Shirley Paden, and Ginni after the Saturday Class|
As with any special happening we have at the shop, I was really anxious for the several weeks preceding the actual event. Shirley Paden is a big name, and we had people coming from as far away as New Jersey, so the build-up was pretty intense. Additionally, Shirley is very organized and precise, and each communication I had with her reflected her attention to detail. I wanted to be sure that everything was up to her standards and that both she, and everyone who had registered for the classes, went away pleased with the Crazy for Ewe experience. I leaned heavily on the Crazy for Ewe team, so I owe a special thank you to each of them for helping get things ready: Lynne who thought of things like name tags and then beautifully lettered them for us; Paula, Sandy, and Lynne who helped prepare the La Plata shop for Friday's class; Mary and Michelle who staffed the Leonardtown and La Plata shops during the classes, and Ginni who stayed long after Saturday's class to get things at the Clubhouse put back in order. You guys are great! Thank you so much.
As far as Shirley herself, while she is a big name, she most assuredly does not have a big ego to go with it. Shirley is warm, friendly, and approachable, and unerringly upbeat and positive. It would have been an incredible weekend of learning regardless of her personality, but the fact that she was so comfortable to be with, made it that much more fun. Those of us who had the opportunity to have dinner with Shirley saw just how natural and unassuming she is. The six of us went to Ouzo's where shared Greek salad and appetizers and chatted about our teenage years. We laughed together, and it was as if we were had all known each other for years.
On our ride back to Union Station, after her very long day of teaching, Shirley was still full of energy and chatty. She had very nice things to say about the students in the class - how pleasant and positive you all were, and how much she enjoyed working with each of you. We know that Crazy for Ewe customers are the best in the world, but isn't it nice to hear it from someone like Shirley Paden!
I have asked Shirley to come again in 2012, and she said she'd be delighted to come. Personally, I'm really intrigued by the 14 cast-ons she teaches, and of course, we'll want to do another finishing class! Whatever she teaches will be fabulous, no doubt. Maybe next time I'll relax a bit knowing that Shirley is just another super-talented, world-famous knitwear designer whose work is published in Vogue Knitting. But probably not.