A few months ago, the blog and the Etsy shop and the writing thing suddenly got busy. Not busy-normal-people-busy, but busy for me with all of the stuff that we’ve had going on around the house. I needed help and I needed help STAT! So I set out to hire a blogging assistant who would be willing to pitch in here and there with tutorial drafts, product development, and just hanging out and being encouraging when things felt stuck. It was a long hiring process and I was privileged to have met with some outstanding candidates.
Cheddar had zero qualifications for this position, but since he lives in our house I decided to at least offer him an interview. He tried to convince me that he was a special kind of cat that does not sleep all day, and also that he takes pride in cleaning his own litter box after each use. Then he stretched into a giant yawn and went to sleep. When he woke up a few hours later he pooped in the litter box and did not clean it. Since he obviously lied during his interview he was not extended an offer.
Obviously, this chick knows yarn. During her interview, she had interesting things to say about yarn dying, color theory, and pattern design. Molly is super-creative and that definitely would have been an asset to Jen’s a Little Loopy. But, she seemed a little…frazzled? I was worried that she would be so all over the place that nothing would really get done. I have enough of that going on already.
Betsy came to me with impressive qualifications and fantastic letters of reference. She knew lots about natural fibers and spinning. I also noted that her fleece was impeccably maintained. I know appearances aren’t supposed to matter during an interview but come on, she’s a walking potential skein of yarn! How could I not notice that? Anyway, she did offer to regularly contribute to my yarn stash, which would have been a nice bonus. But, she’s not quite where I needed an assistant to be creatively, so I had to pass. (If you need a ewe to help you with your yarny business, I’ll send you her contact info. She’d be a real asset to a spinner.)
Hooooo boy. I don’t even know how this one got an interview. When she walked into my office she kind of looked down her nose at my mess. Obviously what I needed to do first was purge my stash of acrylic yarn and fun fur. She only worked with mohair and qiviut. Also, projects do not belong in plastic zippered bags. She kept repeating “no plastic bags” over and over again until I had a flashback to Mommy Dearest and fainted. When I came to, she said she would consider “slumming it” with a Fendi bag (I swear she actually said that), but really if she’s going to be working with qiviut, it needs to go in an Hermès bag. Uh yeah ok whatevs. Bye Felicia.
I had just about given up hope that I would ever find the perfect assistant for my blog. I couldn’t find anyone who was a good fit for all of the different things I needed an assistant to handle. I decided to discontinue the search for awhile and try again in the fall. And then, while we were on vacation, I met the perfect assistant.
Monsieur Panier and the Silly Skeins
I met M. Panier when one of his Silly Skeins hopped on top of kiddo’s head to get a better view of Horseshoe Falls. M. Panier was super apologetic but kiddo thought it was hilarious so he walked around with a Silly Skein on his head for a little while.
We got to talking for a bit and I learned that he had just retired after working in air traffic control for 20 years. He was happy to be away from all of the stress but found himself getting restless and looking for a new adventure. He knew a lot about managing time, chaos, and unruly skeins of yarn. I told him I had been looking for an assistant but so far hadn’t met the right person…would he be interested in something like that?
He graciously offered to show us around his hometown, Toronto, the next day. That way we’d have a chance to chat a little more.
We had a lovely day seeing all of the things. I was so, so impressed with M. Panier. He had a multitude of hobbies and had most recently been dabbling in watercolors. I loved that he was never afraid to try new things and that he saw mistakes as part of the learning process. He seemed super organized (we use the same planner system!) and had lots of knowledge about both crochet and knitting. Through all of the challenges life has thrown his way (namely, the Silly Skeins and all of the havoc they wreak) he has kept his sense of humor.
I was thrilled when he accepted the position!
So I just wanted to really quickly introduce him and let you know you’ll be seeing him pop up here and there (he’s almost got his papers sorted so he can move to the States). He also has a fantastic recipe for poutine that he said he’d love to share with my readers! Seriously, guys, he is the BEST and I am so excited to have him on board!
As I was typing this post, he sent me a cryptic message and asked me to think on it for a bit:
I wonder what the heck that is supposed to mean?
Please say hello and extend a warm welcome to M. Panier and the Silly Skeins!