A WOMAN has swapped spinning blades for spinning wheels after turning her hobby into a new career.
Aimee Nicholson was working as a windfarm developer and decided make a return to her childhood skill of knitting to help her deal with the stress of the job.
Now she has used the craft to launch her own business and has opened Harbour Yarns in Seaham Marina.
The 28-year-old from Easington Colliery was already designing her own patterns and posting podcasts offering tips to fellow wool workers, but will now sell yarn and equipment as well as teach classes at the unit at the North Dock’s business centre.
Aimee, who studied geography at Durham University before completing a PGCE teaching qualification through Sunderland University, spent seven years in the job which saw her work on designs for wind turbines.
She said: “The job was quite stressful and I was travelling around a lot and I took up knitting to relax.
“I’m not one to take things lightly so I did workshops and took up spinning around four years ago.
“I was just knitting accessories for myself and when I got made redundant in February from my job, I decided to spend my money on setting up my business.”
Aimee joins Nicey Icey ice cream parlour and The Lookout cafe in the centre, with a gift shop to open soon.
She added: “I had been looking around the area for a while and I originally wanted to open somewhere in Durham, but somebody recently opened a shop there.
“I came down to the marina one day and saw the units, had a look around and I just thought it was the perfect location.
“It meant I could have a workshop and shop as a two-in-one, it has a beautiful outlook and people can see it’s really distinctive.
“People have been really good so far and say they love it down here.”
With the help of mum June Nicholson, 61, who helped teach her to knit when she was a youngster, she is open all week from 9.30am to 5pm.
She is planning to run a series of workshops which will show others how to make socks, Fair Isle and crochet and one-to-one tutorials on using a spinning wheel to make wool. A knit and knatter session will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.