Well. I’ve had a very interesting few weeks. I went down to London at the end of September, mostly a holiday but I justified it by telling myself it was part business too. (It really was…)
Apart from being a tourist and ‘doing’ all the tourist-y things – the London Eye, Lego Exhibition, Camden Market, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, authentic Chinese restaurants (delicious food and I managed to eat it all with chopsticks without the need for a bib!) lunchtime pints, coffee in the sun, squashed on the Underground etc, I found time to visit two very interesting people.
The first man I went to see is a weaver called Daniel Harris who owns and runs London Cloth Company. He weaves amazing tweeds on old looms, including a couple of Hattersley’s and his passion is infectious. I’d been in touch with Daniel over the last couple of years and couldn’t pass up the chance to meet him in person and visit one of his mills. He is young, energetic, vibrant and extremely knowledgeable about weaving in general and old looms in particular. I spent a few hours with him, and could easily have spent a week!
A few days later I went to see the inimitable Philip of Crescent Trading, a cloth merchants in the Spitalfields area. I’d first heard about the company when the two owners, Philip and Martin, were on a Radio 4 programme talking about how a fire had destroyed their stock and warehouse. Even though both men have seen retirement age come and go, they decided to start over. They are passionate about cloth, especially British cloth and a visit to London should definitely include a trip to their warehouse. There’s every type of fabric you could think of in there and if you are a ‘toucher’ of fabrics, put a whole day aside!
After London, I spent a few days in Aberdeen with my elder sister and then a few days in Inverness with my younger sister. While it has been lovely and relaxing to be away, I couldn’t wait to get back home and into my shed. I’ve warped and woven a tweed since then and today is mostly going to be spent drinking tea and tinkering with my loom.