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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Crochet Days in Dorset #1 - Improvers

Crochet Days in Dorset

Part 1



We all had a lovely, hooky weekend.

I am thrilled with how the weekend went and my pupils were too!

Here is the goody bag that all the girls got, thanks to Inside Crochet, Purplelinda Crafts, Lets Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet, Jane Crowfoot, Toft Alpaca, KnitWits Blandford & Quarto Publishing.

They were very happy to get all these little goodies, including a crochet hook, a lovely embroidered crochet card, free patterns & some wool wash too!

Here are some of my improvers, hooking away, using the window seat area & sofa's.

Others sat at the big table

 & others at the little table (the one closest to the heater!! LOL)

They were all given WiFi access so that they could share internet crochet on their ipads and phones.

Pinterest was used a lot!

I designed a market bag to be made over the two days, from T Shirt Yarn.  I bought them all a ball of Tek-Tek online & they all had fun choosing the colours they would use, as I got a good selection.

Can you seem the amount of tea and coffee on the coffee table??  We needed lots of refreshment to get us through the day.

I told them to bring along their slippers, so that they would be comfy during the weekend.

These pom pom ones were my favourite.

Their bags are getting larger!

And handles were added

They were encouraged to deviate from the original design, and some did just that!

This bag was made with 1 strand of T Shirt Yarn and a strand of cotton in a contrasting colour.  The effect was brilliant.

It's a shame that you can't see the true colours of the T Shirt yarn from the photo's

As they were all so lovely, especially this one.
 This lady popped down to KnitWits in Blandford after the first day, to buy these amazing handles, which were sewn on using the same dk cotton as the added strand used in the making of her bag.

Here we are on another project of the weekend.  All my pupils brought along something that they were making - their WIPs - something that they hadn't started or needed to start, makes that they had got stuck on e.g. one started to make a baby cardigan, another a jumper, and there was also a shark sleeping snuggler being made too!

Here we all are making T Shirt Yarn. 
In the feedback form that they all filled out, making T Shirt Yarn was the most popular activity!

Wow what a fab market bag!

A lovely lunch was provided on both days.
Home made vegetable soup and warm bread rolls on day 1 & Aga baked Jacket Potatoes with cheese & coleslaw on day 2, followed by cake

Most went up for seconds!!

One pupil learnt Basket Weave Stitch, using 3 strands of DK and a 9mm hook.  It's comes out really effective as you can change just one colour at any time you like, so great for using up scrap ends from your yarn stash

We also made handles for our crochet hooks

Don't they look fab?
I have to confess that the AGA let us all down.  One lady was timing the length of time that they had to be in the oven, but, I think the oven was too hot.  I should have put them in the baking oven and not the roasting oven as they came out very sadly cremated.

 Some buttons were made out of the spare clay - aren't they fab?

 We also had a go at Wire Crochet.   We all made bracelets with beads that the lady's brought in with them.  One lady had a huge amount of beads, which she very generously let us all delve into.

So there you have it, a weekend of crochet fun.

We went to the local restaurant on the Saturday night and had a lovely 3 course meal with a bottle or 2 of wine.

They all want to come back for more, so I am looking into another weekend in September!!

The next 2 weekends are for Beginners - April is now fully booked, but there are still 2 places available in May
See  http://www.gethookedoncrochet.co.uk/crochet-days-in-dorset-2016/  for more information & to book your place!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Blogging has lapsed - Hooking has exploded!!

It's been a long while since my last blog and it has lapsed totally.  For that I do apologise, but here's why:

Social media e.g. Twitter & Facebook has taken up a lot of my time recently - taken up time promoting my small, one woman business in the world of Crochet.  Advertising is expensive, especially as small businesses are charged the same rates as the "big boys" but there's nothing one can do, so Social Media is a bit of free adversiting, apart from the time it takes to type it all in of course!

Classes and workshops have got busier and busier.  Not only do I teach from home, from my Crochet Classroom (is it the only dedicated crochet classroom in the UK?  I do wonder) but also from other local venues like The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne & KnitWits in Blandford, both of which are FAB wool shops & more, owned by dedicated, passionate ladies of wool & other crafts.  I am not complaining - it's great to be busy, but I do need more hours in the day.

On a personal note, I have 2 rescue Lurchers, 2 Indian Runner Ducks and 4 calves to look after too.  One of the calves is just over a week old, whereas the others are 8, 7 & 6 weeks, so they are ALL on different milk formulas, which makes looking after them that little bit harder.

Back to Hooking:  I have 3 Crochet weekends coming up, one for Improvers this coming weekend, one for Beginners in April and a final beginners one in May.  I am pleased, very very pleased, to type that I only have 3 places left on the last weekend - the first 2 are fully booked.

I have had very generous donations from various companies 


In Blandford Forum

They have all been EXTREMELY generous with the items that they have sent & I am sure that all my pupils who will attend will be thrilled.

So, not only do I have to organise lots of new techniques & designs for these weekends, but I have also had to source & buy in a lot of stock for the things that we are going to make, organise lunches for the two days, organise the Saturday night evening meal - that went a little tits up as the Pub decided that they didn't want my business, all over a free bottle of wine, as I would be bringing about 30 people to them over the next 3 months,  and living in a small village, you don't have a lot of choice LOL.  However Carol, at the Willows B&B has come to my rescue and come up with a lovely set menu, either 2 or 3 courses, with a bottle of Red and a bottle of White on the table with her compliments - she knows what good business practice is obviously!!

Then there's getting all the printing organised - everything has to be sent in PDF format, and deciding on what wools and yarns to order in for the courses - the list seems like it's endless.

I took a beginners workshop this morning and then I have a Bavarian Crochet Workshop on Wednesday & I am teaching at The Slipped Stitch on Thursday morning.  

I then have the rest of that day and all day Friday, apart from doing my volunteer stint, visiting an Old Lady via Age Concern.  I go to visit her once a week, we have a chat, a cup of tea, put the world to rights and have a laugh.  Once that's done, then I have my classroom to re arrange.  I have a sofa & two armchairs that I can steal from upstairs to put in my room & I want it to be all comfy and warm.

I have also bought 2 dinner sets and cutlery sets, so I don't have to use the families plates, glasses, cutlery etc.  It's one expense that I didn't expect, but it does make sense as I have 3 weekends to cater for, plus many more in the future too I hope.

Well that's it for now folks, oh no it isn't!!

I am being asked if I am organising a trip to the London Knit & Stitch show in October again this year!!  Yes of course I am but I need this first weekend out of the way before I can even start to think about sending out booking forms!!  I did speak to the Coach Company today & they have a new 54 seater coach instead of a 49 seater, so I have gone for that this year!!

And then there are the commissions that I am working on for books and magazines - phew, I think that's it now.

Yes that's it now - really it is.

Happy Hooking