Whilst there is plenty to see and do in Corfu Town, Corfu has many lovely villages to visit and so a hire car was an essential for some of the holiday. The first day we had the car we travelled up to Kassiopi, a small port on the North East coast.
It was quieter than we have ever known it, mainly because it was so late in the season but also because the economic crisis in Greece has had an impact on tourism (such a shame as the island remains largely unaffected and there is no reason not to go there on holiday to enjoy the best Greek hospitality). However, we like quiet! Plenty of space for a wander along the seafront, stopping to spot fish, watch boats and enjoy the views. Time also for a leisurely latte by the water’s edge.
Thankfully, despite many businesses being closed already in October, the place I wanted to visit was open – Agathi’s lace shop.
I have visited this shop several times over the last 20 odd years and it always had plenty of customers, but this time it was quiet. Agathi was crocheting as I entered and I was the only one there, so it was an excellent opportunity to have a chat. She had just started crocheting a top-down cardi in white cotton – she pointed at all the crocheted tops hanging up around the entrance – all made by her. She makes so many glorious things: garments, tablecloths, doilies, rugs – and in many different fibre crafts: lacework, crochet, traditional Corfu Venetian lace (a sort of tatting), weaving, cutwork, embroidery, ribbon embroidery, cross stitch – the list is endless, she is extremely talented.
Agathi opened her shop 43 years ago, in that time she has seen many changes. The season used to start early (March) and end late (November), but it has changed many times over the years. Today the season depends very much on the airline timetables and so do her sales – she has so many beautiful woven rugs but they will be too heavy for taking home on an airline and I expect many of her sales are for the smaller items. Next time I go to Corfu I will pack light to save room for a rug!
Each item in the shop has been made by her (well, apart from the carved olive wood by her son!) and the range, quality and beauty of them is unbelievable – she is so very talented.
I purchased 2 beautiful square doilies, in very fine crochet:
This one is 4 motifs joined simply in very fine cotton.
This is a single motif, with texture.
Each one will have taken 2 days to make. I explained that I crocheted as well and she suggested I should copy them! But I won’t as I doubt I have the patience or talent to make such very fine work. However, she has inspired me – and when I returned to the hotel I started swatching a motif based loosely on a simpler part of one of her doilies, it won’t end up anywhere as good as her work but it will remind me of how wonderfully talented she is.
Agathi’s is well worth a visit if you go to Corfu. Kassiopi is easily found and Agathi’s is on the main street down to the harbour. Next time I’m in Corfu I will visit again, it’s a must!
Tomorrow I’ll post a final blog about my fibre adventures in Corfu…..the last day was a bonus which I’m keen to share with you 🙂
Happy crocheting xx