Myrtle, the sock knitting machine
Myrtle, which is the name we have given our sock knitting machine, was ordered from America and we knew it would take a while for it to be made and shipped to the UK, especially with all the complications that Covid-19 has thrown up.
The company we ordered her from were great and kept us up to date with progress, even to the point when they told us she was in Chicago. But there she sat, waiting to clear customs. With nothing to be done but wait, we just had to be patient but it was hard as we was keen to start making socks.
And the weeks ticked by, with Myrtle still in her box in Chicago and no amount of emails could shift her, so the wait went on.
Finally, we heard that Myrtle had left Chicago - surely it would not be long now before she arrived at her new home so we could put her to work to start creating Swizzle Socks.
A flight and another wait
Well, no, the waiting went on. We knew she had arrived in the UK and got as far Coventry, but then it all stopped again. We knew there would be duty to pay, though we were not sure how much, so we wondered if that was the hold up - no money, no machine.
Unfortunately, no one was telling us what we needed to do to release Myrtle from her captivity. Our new friends in America were at a loss to understand why we were being made to wait for our package to arrive. And other communications seemed to get lost in the ether.
Finally, we heard she had been released for her onward journey to Devon and she would be with us soon.
Can't wait any longer
Obviously, we were keen to meet her as soon as possible, so when we heard she had arrived in Exeter and could be delivered soon, the excitement got too much and we headed to Royal Mail's sorting office to ensure we could get her home before the weekend.
The transaction could not have been easier, as we paid the custom duty and were handed a wooden box for transit to Myrtle's new home.
Less than an hour later, Myrtle was installed in her temporary position in the front room on an old treadle-driven sewing machine table, which we had bought specifically for the purpose.
And how did she get her name? Well, when she was in the front room, the noise she made competed with whatever was on TV, and child one said it sound like the machine was moaning, so she became Myrtle, after Moaning Myrtle of Harry Potter fame.
Putting Myrtle to work
Early attempts to put Myrtle to work were experimental but we quickly got used to how to make the most of her skills and are now building up stocks of Swizzle Socks.
Myrtle is now in permanent residence in the office, on the now modified sewing machine table, which also got a polish as part of the process.
And we are looking forward to many hours of working with Myrtle to create many pairs of Swizzle Socks and now that we know what we're doing, she's not moaning as much.
You can purchase socks by clicking on Swizzle Socks