Fun in Frome

gables

Did I mention that I really love my work? This week work took me to Frome — a beautiful small town in a part of Somerset which I have never visited. I was there to see Jen . . .

jen

. . . and also got to hang out with Jim (the inimitable Veuf Tricot) and Scooter. The latter is a very smart feline — far too smart to injure his dignity posing for photographs.

scooter

Jen and I worked (and plotted) really hard, and then then took an afternoon off to potter around town. I’m really glad we did, as Frome is a place that seems to demand pottering.

Everywhere you look, there are inviting windows to peer into. . .

window

tea

And things to look at . . .

dogsbestfriend

bouquets

seagullmask
(This needle-felted Seagull mask was one of an incredible collection in a shop called OWL. )

On Catherine Hill, there are several fabulous vintage stores, selling niche and carefully curated garments and objects. I love this selection of cloches . . .

cloches

. . . and am concerned that this dress and its very particular green is going to haunt me.

shirtwaister

Catherine Hill also boasts a lovely haberdashery shop called Millie Moon

milliemoon

I have a mild addiction to ribbons and trims . . .

trims

. . . which was certainly fed there.

spoils

And best of all, Catherine Hill has its own lovely yarn shop – Marmalade Yarns

marmaladesign

In this extremely pretty and well-situated shop, Catriona and Maxine sell a superb selection of British yarns from mainstream producers like Rowan to some of the best independents like Skein Queen, Fyberspates, and Shilasdair. Marmalade Yarns is also a stockist of (ahem) ME. I don’t think it will ever stop being exciting to visit a place that sells my book and patterns.

marmaladeyarns
(Jen and Catriona outside Marmalade Yarns. Yes, Catriona is wearing an o w l sweater!)

Thankyou, Jen, for a fun and productive couple of days, and for a great introduction to Frome!

85 responses

  1. I live just outside Frome and was ther yesterday and I agree the shops are fantastic!! LOTS of individual and independent people. Did you go to the black Swan? Marmalade yarns stock my local yarns too!

      • Sorry, I have to chime in to stand up for the home team . . . It is “My kind of Town, Chicago is . . .but I agree that Frome looks like my kind of town too. I’m putting it on my endless list of places I must see.

  2. Spending a day with a good friend in a wonderful place….what’s better than that? ….And I agree…that dress is SO you. Don’t let it get away!

  3. What a cozy town to potter away in….not to add to you haunt Kate :) but that dress so has your name on it. So glad you had such a grand day out. :)

  4. You really “need” to buy that dress. Love the knitted sign – so simple and charming! Love it. Glad you had a fantastic day.

  5. what a lovely day! i enjoyed it vicariously.
    the dress is going to haunt me too. i especially like the cuffs.
    and the wallpaper.

  6. This is exactly what I love about your blog–the chance to visit (vicariously) so many absolutely interesting places. Perhaps we’ll see you in the green dress…

  7. That seagull mask is amazing!!!
    If I ever have a yarn shop, it will have cute “open” and “closed” knitted signs! Or in my case, “ouvert” and “fermé”. :-)

  8. Oh Frome, I haven’t thought of it in years. What a great place and all of Somerset! Yes to the dress.
    It’s ‘your’ fault I am now sewing more ;) And I got all of Ann Cleeve’s mysteries on Shetland and tell you what……….NOTHING is getting done around here! And Inquiring Minds want to know how many books you sold……….I do hope it was a bizillion, maybe it’s a secret. I love my copy and it is the essays that definitely add to the patterns.

  9. I was thinking just yesterday that I should cycle over to Frome for an explore at some point. Reading this has only increased my desire to visit.

  10. Ah the West Country! Certainly, it is a place of JOY! I reckon that being self-employed and building your own career is all about finding the right COMRADES – folks who inspire; who are smart and capable; and – crucially – whom you can share such pleasures as tea and yarn and cake with. Huzzah!

  11. I’ve just moved to North Somerset so a trip to Frome I must now make! At knitting group in Bristol today a toddler was resplendent in your owl sweater.

  12. I just loved this post, and the wonderful (as always) pictures. I would love to visit Frome… but I think there’s some danger I would never want to leave and come back home to Canada!

  13. I love my town SO much, and you’ve done such a wonderful job of capturing it. Reading the comments is making me burst with pride.
    It was, as always, a joy to spend time with you. Here’s to more plotting in the very near future. xx

  14. Lovely pictures,I’ve lived near Frome for years but never really explored it properly, had no idea there was a wool shop, have made plans to visit on Monday!

    • It might, if that tiny little bicycle sign in the Marmalade Yarns picture means there is a ramp there which you could ride down with your backpack full of yarn after visiting the shop…. ;)

  15. I was in Somerset last summer and completely missed Frome! That will have to be rectified someday. Thanks for the delightful tour.

  16. The picture of the little Loriot book made me smile. He was one of the really great German comedians (died in 2011). As a half-German I can say this: we don’t really have that many comedians who we don’t need to be ashamed of, and he was definitely one of them. His films and sketches are must-sees for every learner of the German language ;)

  17. So lovely and surprising to read this blog! Long time reader, first time commenter from Frome who first heard of your blog via a Newcastle univeristy (where I was a student) acquaintance. Glad to hear you liked our little old town and I hope to one day visit all of the Scottish islands you frequent!

  18. Thank you for your kind comments on Frome and our shop. I would like to bet I was more excited to have you visit us as stockists of your exquisite patterns, if you return for that dress please call again.

  19. Looks amazing. I would really like a trip to that part of the country. I love towns with independent retailers. My sister in law is lucky enough to live in Totnes (Devon) which is very reminiscent of Frome. I bet you had a grand time.

  20. What a lovely place! I love all those little shops. Not badly off here in Edinburgh (Stockbridge on my doorstep) but it would be lovely to have more independent retailers like that. I guess the current economic climate is not so great though.

  21. Looks like such a lovely place. I am hoping the dress and the owl mask came home with you. I suspect you’ll be seeing more and more of your designs in the future. Luckily that means we (your fans) will be too…

  22. The votes are in, Kate…we all want you to have the dress, obviously. Post a picture as soon as you have it, so we can all relax! Thank you for sharing your lovely day with those of us across the pond!

  23. Another vote cast for buying the dress! I’m headed for Wales next summer, and almost wish it were England instead…almost! It is truly wonderful to see all these little villages with their shops on your blogposts. Where I live in small-town America, those retailers were long ago driven out by the local big-box store.

  24. Lovely photos of a lovely place I am unlikely to ever be able to see. Thanks for the eye-candy! I am glad you had a good and productive time, Kate.

  25. Please check the Internet for Shetland Ponies Wearing Sweaters. An advert put out by the Shetland Tourism Board.
    I wonder how long it took them to knit those big FairIsle sweaters. Seen on Good Morning America on January 25.

  26. I was so intrigued with the seagull mask from the OWL shop that I found its site on facebook, and asked who the artist was. It is a woman named Gladys Paulus, and she does amazing wet-felting work. And for those of you in the United Kingdom, she offers felting workshops! http://www.gladyspaulus.co.uk/

  27. Time travel… And goes with the various items that keep hauting us the inevitable question from the male partner (perplexed tone) : “If you talk so much about it, if you really liked it, WHY didn’t you buy it ???”. Ignorant men.

  28. I live in Frome, moved here almost 2 years ago to the day. I love it! What wonderful pictures you took, I think they truly evoke the spirit of our wonderful town and all the reasons we moved here :-) Don’t hesitate to visit people – and, you may like to know that on the first Sunday of the month throughout the summer months (May-September) we have a wonderful Artisan market on the cobbled St Catherine’s Hill (where Marmalade Yarns and Millie Moon and all of those lovely retro shops are) which is a fantastic chance to see even more local craftspeople, eat delicious local “slow food” and more. We look forward to seeing you. (PS – if you are local we have a great WI, and Marmalade Yarns and Millie Moon, the florist featured Bramble & Wild and other local people are regular speakers. Do join us http://fromewi.blogspot.co.uk/ )

  29. Frome is now definitely on my list of places to visit! Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for similarly picturesque places with lovely independent shops? I’m surely not the only person who loves a mooch around shops but am sick of the homogenous high streets which are so prevalent. In the UK some of my favourites for a grand day out are Rye, Ludlow, Totnes, Lewes, and Ledbury but I’m keen to find more!

  30. Just to be contrary: you already appear to have the dress’ twin. I had to look twice to be sure the dress in your header-picture and the dress on the form weren’t the same one! Although, I admit, this may also mean you *should* buy the dress, for they are almost certainly different in more ways than the prints.

  31. I live in London but have stopped in Frome a few times on my way to Glastonbury festival. It has lovely coffee and cake shops which is what you need when heading off to a large busy field. I am so happy to discover that it also has wool and haberdashery shops. Brilliant and why am I living in London……

  32. Nostalgia trip for me. I grew up in Frome before moving back to Scotland. I have memories of my mum pushing me up Catherine Hill in a red and white striped buggy telling me I was too big now and would have to walk. At the top was a little bakers where we got Battenburg cake as a treat.

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