Monday morning I came into the Tufton Arms Hotel and got good news – my luggage was on the way! It wouldn’t be at the hotel until later that day but it would reach me before I got on the bus and moved on to Ravenglass.
We had class with Phillipa on Monday morning in a small shop behind the hotel that sold wine. (I’m sure you can see it in the photo below). It was a charming little shop, the lighting was very good and there was room for all of us.
We were given another piece of linen twill with the same design as the piece we got in Meredith’s class. I think this was a brilliant idea – to work the same design twice so we could all see how one design could be embroidered differently. The piece we worked on with Phillipa was, of course, crewel work. We had a morning learning and practicing long and short shading. Phillipa first taught me long and short shading and it was a joy to see how the other students, who hadn’t done it before, we able to be so successful due to her teaching.
We began by mounting our fabric in our hoop frames, using plastic wrap to secure it rather than wrapping the hoop with binding tape. (Saran wrap apparently works best and Meredith had brought some from the USA since that particular brand isn’t sold in the UK.) We cut the plastic wrap larger than the hoop so we had a piece to lay over the fabric when we weren’t stitching, thereby keeping it clean. It works a treat!
Phillipa then passed out the wools – what gorgeous colors! Phillipa has such a fine eye for color which is why I just love her designs!
We stitched away, talking sometimes and concentrating other times as Phillipa kept a close watch on our progress, correcting and helping as we needed it. Everyone left the class feeling positive about their work thanks to Phillipa’s encouragement and praise – the sign of a good teacher!
I really enjoyed this morning since I just love doing crewel work. I also learned to watch out for a funny little scoop I do with my needle – bad habits do sneak up on you – which I need to stop doing!
We then had lunch together at a local restaurant called Bojangles followed by another wonderful talk by Jacqui Carey on Sweet Bags. Once again, her passion for her subject, her photographs and her interest in the human side of the embroideries made for fascinating listening.
Some of us had decided to use the free time we had in the afternoon to go on a tour of Appleby Castle, the home of Lady Anne Clifford.
The castle is at the top of the main street in Appleby and we simply had to walk about 500 metres and we arrived. The photo above is looking through the gates down the main street in Appleby. As we walked further into the castle grounds, the modern world slipped away and we were surrounded by the history of the place. Our tour guide, a young man relatively new to the job, was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.
After a tour of the outside of the castle during which he explained the defences, we went inside to see a small collection or helmets and weapons which we could try on. I tried on a helmet but will NOT be sharing a photo with you. However, here is a photo of our guide partially equipped for battle.
The castle has been added to over the centuries and there is an ancient keep that is currently being renovated. It is one of the few Norman Keeps in Great Britain and has changed little in the 900 years it has stood. We were asked not to photograph the Keep as it doesn’t look it’s best covered in scaffolding. The photo above is part of the castle and below is of the courtyard, which Lady Anne certainly would have known during the time she lived here.
Lady Anne gave a large, intricate lock to many of the families nearby who lived in the great houses as a gift when she visited. According to the guides at both Hutton in the Forest and Appleby Castle, when she presented them with the lock and key, she always kept a spare key for herself!
We finished the tour in time to get back to our hotels to prepare for a private viewing of Phillipa’s textile collection followed by supper at her home, Pembroke House. It was wonderful and Phillipa was so generous to share her beautiful home with us all!
We fell into bed when we got home so we could get up early to visit Holker Hall and travel to Ravenglass where we would visit Muncaster Castle.