Naked Sheep 2.0 Rocks!!!

(I feel like everyone who reads that title needs to do so out loud, preferably using one of those microphones that imitates a large stadium echo.)

Tonight the ever-amazing Lisa hosted the first knitting night at the newly rebooted Naked Sheep, and an excellent time was had by all. If you live anywhere near Toronto, you simply must go and see. Yes, even if you don't knit or crochet.

Lisa and I met at the original opening of the Naked Sheep four years ago, and the first thing she told me after announcing she had bought the shop was that she was going to rearrange the shelves so that there was room to sit and knit in the centre of the shop, and so that things were more spacious.

"Makes sense," I said, but wondered about the narrow shape of the shop and whether it could be made "spacious" and still have a decent stock of yarn and pattern books.

Well, I got to see with my own two eyes tonight, and after I picked up my jaw from off the floor, I couldn't stop saying how much of a difference the new layout makes. Not only is there room to sit and knit, there is room to dance. I know, because we did some dancing towards the end of the night when everyone was packing up their knitting.

"Wow, I can't believe how open it all is," I said to Lisa. "How many shelves did you get rid of?"

"Actually, I bought a new one," she said, and pointed to a six-by-six foot cubbyhole rack on the wall behind her.

I am amazed. More space to move around and knit, and yet more space for yarn.

The energy tonight at the knitting drop-in was incredible. I don't want to moan about all the details, but I had a very busy day at work followed by a stressful drive to Mississauga to return a rental car. I wasn't even sure I was going to make it, but I wanted to see the new shop and check things out, so I went. It's almost 11:00pm as I write this blog, and I still feel buzzed.

Some people who dropped by tonight, like Brenda and Sandra, were people I met at the Sheep during the opening of the original version of the shop. Other people were new to me, and some were even new to the shop, but everyone got welcomed in and invited to pull up a chair. (And I would give them shout-outs too, but I can't remember everyone's name! If you were there, please e-mail me so I can say hi to everyone!) Knitters of all sorts of different skill levels were there, which to me just makes things more fun — some projects even got worked by several sets of hands. Variety is very cool when it comes to DIY.

On the way over, it occurred to me that I should at least give Lisa a card — I mean, that is one of the things you're supposed to do when someone you know takes over a business — so I made a quick dash into my favourite card shop. They had all sorts of cool blank cards, and a couple of "congratulations" cards, but in the end I picked one that had a neat collage on the front: a pen-and-ink drawing of a woman's head from the 1950s, a diagram of an atom picked out in sparkly ink, bright happy shapes. On the inside it was blank; on the outside it said "Inspired".

In a single word, it describes Naked Sheep 2.0 perfectly.

Go see.