The bottom of our garden, in full bloom. The laburnum makes a glorious display at this time of year. We have been admiring the various wisterias around the village and ours is doing well this year. Our wall is not very high, so it will never reach the tree-like splendour we have seen on other properties. And Clematis montana spilling all over the viburnum.
My latest charity shop find: a Lavenham jacket in a speckled blue tweed, with cord trims. I was amazed to see this almost new jacket in Sudbury, which is a few miles from Lavenham. The company began in the 70s, producing quilted horse blankets, but the jackets appear to be enjoying a revival just now.It is certainly useful this season with its chilly air even when it is not raining. I was very happy to pay £7 for this, and even happier when Hollington Bros, in our village, featured the very same jacket in its window, priced at £185!
My latest weaving project: a length of tweed using some yarn bought from the Trefiw Woollen Mills in North Wales. I knitted a cardigan, but then had six balls to spare. This piece has both warp and weft in the purple, making a lovely solid fabric. The yarn has lots of tweedy variation within itself.
However, this length used the purple as warp and a lively variegated dyed skein as weft. I have experimented with adding some metallic threads to this, but they may come out. The notion is to use the plain piece as the back, and the brighter length as the fronts, of a waistcoat top.
As I wove these pieces, I thought of my trip to Skye, in the early 80's. I was staying at a fantastic b&b in Dunvegan. The lady rose at 5.30 each morning to bake many different types of bread, scone and teacake for the breakfast table. The evening meal was like a Christmas dinner, although how she did this each day I do not know.
While there, the lady spoke of a tweed weaver who wove at his home and would open up his weaving shed in the evening for customers. I went, of course; he could see cars coming down his lane from some distance and he hurried out. In that shed he had his handloom and bolt after bolt of wonderful tweed: he had won prizes in Edinburgh and regularly shipped lengths to Japan.
He told me that he had come over with a group to remedy overpopulation on Harris. They had formed a small community on Skye and never returned to Harris. All day, while the light lasted, he wove at his loom in that unheated shed. Imagine a life lived to that rhythm, working with those lovely colours all day, making lengths of tweed. I bought two skirt lengths for my mother, who made them up and enjoyed wearing them.