Friday, October 17, 2008

Something about Eloise


Thank you so much for all of your kind comments and good wishes for recovery, I was amused to read how many of you are of a similar "smugly healthy" bent. I turned out to be much sicker than I thought, indeed too sick to even pick up my needles and knit! After several days of a raging sore thoat and a temperature which soared up and down I was forced to give in on Tuesday and visit the doctor who promptly prescribed antibiotics. Well at least I tried to beat it on my own and a couple of days into my antibiotics and I feel one hundred times better I can tell you.


So only one week later than intended, I am going to tell you about Eloise. I first came across Eloise Grey during the BBC's first showing of the excellent but small series on Savile Row which ran some months ago and I believe is currently being repeated. I had missed an episode and was googling the title to see if I could catch it again somewhere, through the search I came across a related post on Eloise's blog and was quickly sidetracked into reading through her archives whilst beginning to nurse an unhealthy obsession with owning one of her beautiful coats.


At that point Eloise's collection consisted only of coats, but my, such beautiful coats. Gorgeous Scottish tweeds and elegant but quirky cuts with the most wonderful names. I am sure that wearing one of these coats would easily transport me to that world in my head that I like to escape to, you know, the one that is set earlier last century where you live in a sort of Brideshead/Atonement type location and spend your days immersed in embroidery, knitting, visiting and swapping staff stories with the ladies of your circle. Expensive, yes, but these are coats that will stay in your wardrobe year after year, investment pieces made from quality materials and finished to a very high standard, as fits with Eloise's excellent philosophy.


Her green credentials are impeccable, indeed she even turned down a trip to New York to collect an award in favour of a trip to her weavers on Mull and her blog is a fascinating glimpse into her industry and very refreshing way of working. It is good to see someone who is committed to a better way of producing in a society where people think nothing of buying a tee-shirt for £4-00, wearing it once and throwing it away the following week. Given the current ecconomic climate it seems more important than ever to have real value for money and I firmly believe that saving up for something special and wearing it again and again, perhaps altering and repairing over the years when necessary, has to better than constantly disposing of money and "things".


Eloise was kind enough to send me some of her off-cuts to play with, I was overwhelmed by her kindness and thrilled when the fabrics arrived. Such lovely soft woven fabric, the muted colours so gentle on the eye. I spent a few weeks gazing at them in the window and then put them carefully away waiting for inspiration to strike.


As always I suffered from that fear of cutting that overcomes me when faced with something lovely but as the leaves outside began to colour and the air began to cool I found myself bringing them out again, looking and touching,thinking. I thought about little purses, and soft toys but I really wanted to wear them, not quite an Eloise Grey coat of course but something to remind me of what to save for. I remembered seeing all the Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colourful Quilt and Patchwork Projects
inspired scarves appearing on blogs last year and immediately knew that was what I wanted to make. Pairing fabrics was easy, everything in my basket was jostling to be placed with the tweeds, they are so easy to work with and love to be combined with brighter prints. It was such fun to use this very undisciplined technique with the tweeds and now my mind is a-buzz with more ideas for them.

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