A time to look forward, but first a time to reflect. This has been a very exciting year at the shop. Ginni starts her 10th year at Crazy for Ewe as she continues to keep things organized, tackling the scheduling of four very busy lives and solving all my hard problems, knitting and otherwise. This will be Mary's fifth year on the team as the unrivaled queen of accessories. I'm so happy she finally relented after years of my asking her to come on board. I'm thrilled to have Jenny May back on the team getting everyone excited about socks and pushing me to be open Sundays and Mondays. I'm also pleased to welcome Antonella who has been happily spreading the gospel of crochet to a growing flock.
As you know, in November, we moved just one door down into what had for 12 years been Heritage Printing. We tripled our square footage, giving us much needed space for a dedicated classroom, additional display, and storage. Many thanks to our building's owners, Patty Robrecht and Virgil Mattingly, for having the confidence and vision to invest in Leonardtown and bring customer-facing retail back to two large storefronts on The Square. I am proud to be in Leonardtown, and proud of what we do in the shop.
Knitters so often hear comments about how no one knits anymore, and it's a dying art, but you and I both know that it is not. In fact, just this year we welcomed more than 280 brand new customers to the shop and started 43 beginners on their knitting journey. Our customers are women (and men) of all ages. We are girls as young as 8 who come with their mom, college students and recent grads, young mothers, working women and retired women. We come to the table together united by our love of knitting regardless of the differences in our opinions, circumstances, or life stages. I am proud and grateful for the community we have maintained during what has otherwise been a very divisive year.
We are starting 2017 with a bang -- our first week back Ginni is doing the beautiful Rigoles shawl, and Jenny starts a new beginning toe-up sock class. Ginni is back on with double knitting the following weekend. January 21 and 22 is our full weekend with New York designer, Lisa Barnes. Then the first sock club shipment goes out and there's the new shipments from Sweet Georgia, Mirasol, Berroco and the trunk show - so many goodies!
We are planning lots more afternoon and evening project classes. We'll also be continuing our Fast and Fabulous Sunday series, because everyone needs a little instant gratification now and then, plus there's nothing so motivating as a finished object! There's much more coming, including our spring retreat - mark your calendar for March 17-19 when we'll be at the beautiful oceanfront Clarion Hotel in Ocean City. It's going to be a fabulous 2017, and I can't wait to share it with you!