You might have noticed that I didn’t blog on time this week. I was on holiday with my lovely family and didn’t take my laptop with me, nor did I take my sewing machine. I didn’t even take any embroidery for the evenings, and it was lovely to be able to focus all of my attention on my children and husband for a full week.
We were in Pembrokeshire, possibly my favourite part of the world, and home to several woollen mills, which is what I thought I would blog to you about on my return.
In among the family outings to beaches and attractions, I managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to my own choice of destinations. We visited Solva Woolen Mill and Melin Tregwynt, to view, stroke and smell their woven wares and to see the looms in action. Each had a very appealing café attached to its shop, and Melin Tregwynt also had a very interesting exhibition space and a working water wheel to view. At over £100 a metre, I didn’t feel tempted to add to my stash during this visit, although I would like to make a coat from Melin Tregwynt fabric at some point. (But I don’t think I could justify the expense this Autumn.)
However, this doesn’t mean I didn’t buy any fabric over the holiday. While I was asleep in the car, my very clever and wonderful husband consulted with Google and surprised me with a visit to an amazing fabric shop hidden away in Crymych. Penbanc Fabrics, also known as Annie Washbrooks’, is on the A487 through Felindre Farchog, and is completely hidden away behind some lovely stone cottages. Even when we pulled up in the car park, we couldn’t see it and worried we were in somebody’s back yard.
I’m not sure what drew us, but after some hesitation we ventured towards this ivy-covered outhouse, half expecting to be chased away by an annoyed householder or a hobbit – but once inside we were rewarded with the most exuberant, chaotic little fabric shop I’ve seen in a very long while.
Five rooms branch off each other like a rabbit warren, and each room is filled with bolts, rolls and piles of fabrics in all colours and prints. My clever husband very cleverly took the children outside to play with the kite while I rolled up my sleeves and got to rummaging among the fabric-stuffed shelves.
Quilting, crafting, upholstery and apparel fabric are all catered for here. I was quite taken with some printed ripstop, a vibrant digitally printed satin, and a woven wool blend reminiscent of Melin Tregwynt, that I wasn’t quite able to justify purchasing just at the moment.
I didn’t leave empty handed though – a good amount of printed and plain corduroy, drill and moleskin found their way into our boot, and will be used shortly to make samples for forthcoming Sewabaloo sewing patterns.
I loved my visit here and plan to return next time I’m in the area – and I’d recommend it’s worth a detour to any sewer passing through Pembrokeshire. They aren’t open every day – Monday, Wed, Thurs and Saturday, 10am – 6pm only, and they don’t have a website as far as I could see – but make the effort to visit and you won’t be disappointed.