From The Makery on Walcot Street it was just a short walk to The Fashion Museum and neighbouring Saville Row. The former, so enticing, it's windows swathed in lengths of knitted bunting. The colourful efforts of various knitting groups who have combined forces for 'Torch Knit'; the bunting is an Olympic inspired project that will adorn the Assembly Rooms until after the Games, at which point the flags will be stitched together to make blankets for charity - great legacy project. As I mentioned in my previous post, time was not on my side, so museum visiting is top of the list for when I return with The Sicilian and bimbi in tow (can't wait!). Saville Row, however, was very much on my packed agenda. I had a morning tea date with Eirlys Penn (aka Scrapiana), creator of the strawberry emeries that graced the second cover of Mollie Makes. Meeting place, Bea's Vintage Tea Rooms, 6-8 Saville Row, oh what a treat!
Having arrived a little ahead of time, I took the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the tea rooms and admire the tea trolley, laden with vintage linens, sundae dishes and pretty milk jugs. Everywhere I glanced, another treasure of times past caught my eye - I sat at the window, keeping an eye out for Eirlys; it was our first 'actual' meeting, and I had been looking forwards to it for so long.
I'd tucked an apple and cosy into my bag to give to her, it seemed apt given that it was my apple cosy project that had indirectly introduced me to her. And to my utter delight, Eirlys presented me with one of her Liberty lawn necklace kits - I had been admiring the necklaces from afar, wishing I could combine a trip to Bath with one of her classes. How wonderful to have a quick tutorial there and then, over several cups of Earl Grey and a slice of orange and polenta cake!
And whilst it was inspirational to watch Eirlys work her magic on wooden beads and tana lawn, it was the energy with which she spoke about her whole approach to craft, sewing and mending, which really grabbed my attention. She has channeled her passion into a project suitably titled The Big Mend, and if there was a craft project worth rolling out across the country, then this is it!
I suspect that the two of us could have sat happily for several more hours, our lovely waitress topping up the tea pot whilst we nattered away about the benefits of mending, thrifting and creating. But I had lined up another important meeting - all a bit last minute, but trans-Atlantic flights and rain delayed sports days simply cannot be avoided sometimes! The meeting in question was with my book editor, Eleanor Van Zandt. Again, despite exchanging probably close to 100 emails late last year, Eleanor and I had never met. But I had been completely overwhelmed by her generous and patient approach to my first book of crochet patterns. Not once phased by my flowery, chatty writing style (regular readers of this blog will know what I mean!), Eleanor patiently waded her way through over 35 crochet projects and their introductions. And, despite having only just touched down from a visit to America, Eleanor called to arrange lunch at the Holburne Museum garden cafe. And what a lunch it was! Eirlys had kindly guided me to the museum and was able to join Eleanor and I for lunch. So, here I was, sitting between two wonderful, articulate, animated ladies who I admire so much - in fact, at one point I was quite lost for words! Not ideal when in the company of two supreme wordsmiths!!! But neither seemed to mind, it was just such a delight to finally meet up. Any book or magazine publisher out there would be remiss if they didn't engage the talents of these two creative, eloquent and downright inspirational women - it was amazing we managed to finish our delicious lunch with all the chatter going on! But with my brief sojourn in Bath swiftly drawing to a close, I had to depart their company and make my way back into town to pick up my bag from The Henry before heading to the train station - just a quick diversion to The Makery Emporium for some last minute retail therapy, naturally. With some fabric quarters, velvet ribbon and purse clasps added to my yarn stash, I was ready to head home to Dorset and the little cottage in the woods. A bit of a whirlwind break, but food for the creative soul, everyone should treat themselves to a crumb or two once in a while! xxx