I recently visited a friend of mine, Karen Dixon, who lives near Abergorlech, in South Wales. No, I’d never heard of the place before, either. But it’s a lovely area, about 25 minutes’ drive from Llandeilo, with wonderful views across the valleys, very few people, and lots of sheep.
Karen has been running her own tapestry and cross stitch design business from Cathilas Farm for about 10 years now, since she moved there with her partner, Richard, from Hampshire.
I hadn’t visited the two of them for about eight years (long story – I think life just got in the way. Oh, and it’s a five hour drive from where my husband and I live, in the Peak District. That might have something to do with it!).
Anyway, the last time we visited, in 2004, they were just about to embark on renovating the barn that adjoins their house, to make it into a design studio and shop, selling other people’s kits, as well as Karen’s, under the business name of the Tapestry Kit Collection. So, this was the first time I’d seen the barn completed, although I’d heard about the project as it progressed.
But the finished barn has to be seen to be believed!!!! It’s got dozens and dozens of tapestry kits, by all the main UK designers, a good range of cross stitch kits, and a large range of trammed tapestries in stock. Stitched models are all around the room. There’s even a cosy log-burner in the corner, with squashy chairs to sit in while you choose what to buy (or the corner could be used as a ‘men’s creche’. Just a thought…..). Have a look at these images, which show a selection of what you’ll find in the shop:
The shop is open 11am till 4pm each Wednesday, and either Saturday or Sunday most weekends (other times by appointment – phone 01558 685096). Phone before travelling, though, to make sure someone will be there to meet you. The address is Cathilas Farm, Abergorlech, Carmarthenshire SA32 7TB, and the website is here.
And a note to Karen: thanks for big bundle of spaced-dyed threads! They’ll keep me busy for months