I'm so happy to be back with more stories from our Mending Migration!
The holiday season threw me off track but I have a whole backlog of Swift Darner Hosts to gush about so please check back every week for the latest installment, or get on my newsletter to make sure you don't miss the monthly highlights.
Our guest this week is Athena Cauley-Yu. Based in Bath, Athena is the owner of her own creative small business (Meticulous Ink). It was such a delight to get to know Athena through this project, and I'm excited for you to meet her too! Here goes!
I’m Athena, owner of Meticulous Ink, a luxury letterpress print company based in Bath, UK. I am a hands on maker, and I love the satisfaction that comes with being able to respond to a compliment with “thanks, I MADE IT!”. I sew clothing, knit, crochet and like experimenting with fixing and mending things. It gives me a kick to be able to tweak or change something about clothing to make it just right for you, to make you feel good. I’m a letterpress and print geek, love typography and am also a lindy hop swing dancer. I can follow and lead, so ask me to dance!
I have a very full, abundant life. I really like doing all the things, plus am a business owner, so my brain is mostly full of thinking about my shop. My favourite way to fit in hands-on craft projects like mending, is to take it with me while traveling. It gives me that excuse to focus solely on one thing for those few hours and is why I much prefer getting the bus over getting the train if the journey is about an hour. I can often be found getting the bus to go out dancing in Bristol while doing some kind of craft project.
I only managed to fix a couple of things while I had the loom. The first thing I fixed was a thin cardigan that I’ve had since my teenage years, with worn out elbows. It’s the perfect basic cardi, as it’s super light, so great to take with you when it’s warm in the day and you want a little something for when the sun goes down. I was traveling by train from Bath to Folkestone, so knew I’d have a good amount of time on the train to be creative. The loom is the perfect size to bring along - not so big that its super weighty yet big enough to patch up substantial holes. It was a really nice distraction too - I was traveling to see someone that was not going to be around much longer due to prolonged illness. The lovely Swift project meant I could get started and focus my brain on something useful, rather than wallow in the sadness with leaky eyes while on the train. I was surprised by how fast I could see it grow and managed to complete it while on the way back. Such a pleasing accomplishment - there aren't many craft projects in my life that you can start and finish in one sitting. That is definitely my favourite thing about mending.
The Swift Darning Loom was utterly adorable and super easy to get used to. It’s so beautifully made, it’s an absolute pleasure to hold in your hand. I could completely see myself having one for the rest of my life and it getting more and more loved looking over time. The instructions were clear and the only place where I paused for a little was the final bit of stitching to complete the mend. The weaving process is really pleasing. I love seeing the build up of the different layers, plus I could see my weaving getting neater as I progressed. I also really love the tiny, delicate sound of the hooks.
See, she's a delight. Thanks again Athena - I look forward to seeing more of your mending and stationary adventures over on the Meticulous Ink instagram.