A fine tightrope

A few months ago I was devastated to find that all the big London haberdashery shops suddenly stopped carrying Gutermann thread and switched to Coats Duo. I’ve had awful experiences with the cheap and nasty Coats & Clark thread they sell in the States and it wasn’t a good sign that Coats Duo is the same price as Gutermann, but for less length on a spool. Questionable quality for high prices? No thanks, I’ll stick to Gutermann, which has never ever once failed me. It’s quality stuff and I appreciate quality after having sewn with terrible thread – life’s too short for random breakages, inconsistent thicknesses, and frayed edges.

So I was very interested to hear from my friend Alex that the haberdashery shops by him in Cheltenham still stock Gutermann, and since he’s coming to visit us this weekend anyway for one of our charity dinners, I sent him off with a shopping list.

He grabbed me some fantastically huge spools of white, beige, navy, and gold (I’m still well stocked on black after Dublin, and we’ve worked out a swap where I’m paying him in a case of Alphonso mangoes (if you don’t start salivating at the mere mention of these, then you’ve obviously never tasted them!!).

Most disturbing, however, is that he pointed out to me actually how much thread I’ve got: “That’s 4.5km of thread. Enough to cross the Thames at the point of the moorings seven times. “ I reckon this haul of neutrals should last me until the end of the year. Or we could blow it all and make a fantastic tightrope to Wapping!

If you ever find yourself in Cheltenham, make sure to stop by Sue’s Crafts on the high street, where he was able to pick up all this thread for me (and it appears they stock general craft supplies in addition to sewing stuff, too). And straight from the local’s mouth, here’s a few other diversions in Cheltenham to occupy you after you’ve gorged on craft supplies:

“There’s quite a few little useful shops like that, such as the tiny little watchmakers in Tivoli who said he’d look at my digital callipers for me, and accepts payments for watch batteries on the honor system. We have a local co-op which is really well-stocked and friendly, and on Bath Road we have the Natural Foods supermarket. Sells organic meat and dairy, not just veggies and hemp tampons. Very good – and open 8-8, 7 days a week.

A good Red Cross charity bookshop – at least three times as deep as it is wide, some flashy cookwear shops, one decent local DIY shop, Burger Star (the best by far) who do american-style burgers you’d actually want to eat… “

Oh also, a heads up for any Londoners or visitors – the Borders on Charing Cross Road have officially stopped stocking Burda WOF now (I suspected since Feb though. pooh.) So now your stockist choices in that area are RD Franks or Oxford News… Hopefully my subscription will kick in next month and I won’t have to worry any more.

My only sewing purchase this week (apart from the thread bartering) was the March, April, and May issues of KnipMode magazine from Naaipatronen.nl, which should give me plenty of Spring and summer eye candy to work through, since it appears that we might actually get Spring weather this weekend!

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