Thursday, 1 September 2011

A plan... finally

Apologies for the long, wordy post. I promise I'll be back to normal for the next one.

When I was 10 I decided I wanted to be a structural engineer (this might seem young but I grew up with A LOT of Lego). This past year I was attempting my final year of an Engineering degree at Durham University but, unfortunately, I was unable to sit my final exams in May due to a recurring health problem. At the end of June I found out that I would not be able to resit my exams and so would have to leave without a complete degree.

Two days after I got this news, my partner of 9 years left me because he saw no future in our relationship without my degree. Having lost the two defining things in my life I have, probably understandably, been feeling a little adrift. To top it all off, the last two months of job hunting have resulted in many replies of either "I'm sorry you're not qualified to be an engineer" or "I'm sorry you're over qualified to be a receptionist/administrator/shop assistant/client services person/data inputter/call centre phone answerer".... Poop.

Kym and Lucy to the rescue! Kym is the owner of my LQS, The Fat Quarters, and Lucy is the owner of Woolaballoo, a local knitting and yarn shop. Woolaballoo used to be situated in Crawcrook, just along the road from where I live, and my sister and mother used to go there regularly on a Thursday evening for "Stitch and Bitch" (knitting and gossip) session.

Inside The Fat Quarters

The shop in Crawcrook closed down a year ago because the rent was too high but it is reopening right, slap bang, next door to The Fat Quarters in Blackhall Mill. Kym and Lucy have made me an offer I can't refuse; from next week I will be working 2 days a week in Woolaballoo, while Lucy is away doing trade shows, and 3 or 4 days in The Fat Quarters, learning and operating the Gammill long-arm quilt machine. How exciting is that!

Inside the new Woolablloo - click on the picture to go to Lucy's facebook page and see more pictures of the new shop

The best thing about the arrangement is that neither shop is open on a Monday so, after I save up some money, I may be able to squeeze in some modules and finish my degree via The Open University. The scariest thing is that I have never knitted in my life! I'm going along to "Stitch and Bitch" tonight with a ball of wool so hopefully I'll be a fast learner.

If you are around in the Newcastle/County Durham area this weekend, pop into Woolaballoo for the grand opening on Saturday. There's 10% off everything all day and if you bring a friend you'll be entered in a prize draw.


  1. Been following your blog since I was on suspension back in April. Can really understand that feeling of rejection... I had done a HND course at university (not a degree) but still got the 'sorry, you're too over-qualified' reply for admin/receptionist jobs etc, but I did some volunteer work which led to my current job.
    You will get there, may be not as quickly or on the straightest path as you expected.

  2. Jill,

    Girl, I am SO JEALOUS. I would LOVE to work at a stores like that! Agh! I too get the overqualified thing for just about everything except for what I am trained for in...lawyering. Ugh. And I hate being a lawyer. What was I ever thinking???

    More importantly - I am visiting you from the Small Blog Meet on Lily's Quilts! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures as I am going to start following you!!!


  3. Jilly, that is the most awesome news :)

    I'll have to come by and visit you at your new job soon.

    And if you fancy doing any knitting practice during the week when you're not busy then I'm always happy to help.


  4. I'm so sorry that life has thrown such nasty curve balls but, although you want to be an engineer you are going to have great fun getting paid to do your hobby - you lucky, lucky thing!

  5. Congrats on the two jobs. They sound like alot of fun. :) I am visiting from Lily's SBM also, hope you won't mind a new follower. :) Have had fun visiting your blog. Looking forward to more posts.

  6. Well, what a series of sad experiences! I'm glad you've been able to find some work that will make you happy ... I mean, how could it not?!! *swoon* And good for you for moving forward and far away from some experiences that must have left you feeling rather rotten for a while. Glad to see things working out and that you have plans on the horizon.

  7. Good luck with your new adventures. I have been quilting on a Gammill for about 11 years, and still love it, most days. Happy Quilting!!!

  8. I am sorry to hear your rubbish news, but delighted to hear your good news. Life has a funny way of steering us on a path. I am studying my accountancy exams through distance learning, on top of a full time job - it is hard work, but the sense of acheivement on passing each exam is fab: you will be able to do it and you will look back and think 'I did that against the odds'
    Good luck with the new jobs - am very envious!

  9. After the downers of school and significant other, this truly sounds like SERENDIPITY. I believe the Universe always provides if we open ourselves to it!

    New reader in USA

  10. Hmmm, looks as if some pretty difficult doors closed for you. I knew about the college thing but not about your Sig other. Thank goodness this wonderful opportunity opened up for you. Hang in there :)