We’re going home!

This weekend is our first proper weekend back at Cranage Hall, and i have this huge knot! In my stomach, we’ve managed a weekend and a crochet day since we left Cranage hall on 21st March 2020, and we’ve not been back since.

I don’t know why I’m so bloody nervous! This weekend was supposed to be our April 2020 weekend, I’ve literally lost count the number of times it was rearranged, and the guests attending this weekend have all waited such a long time, 14 months, they’ve all been fabulous.

The last time we left Cranage, the hotel was empty, just us and a very small wedding on the Saturday, we felt so sorry for the bride.

And it had been such an emotional day for everyone, I think we were all petrified of what was going to happen, and even though we’d been told 3 weeks it kind of felt like the end of the world! Dramatic I know!

lynda, paul and I packed everything up and said our goodbyes to the staff thinking the lockdown would only be for 3 weeks, that’s what Boris said (how wrong we’re we?!) we stood in outside our cars, as we’d made plans for the Monday, I can’t even remember what they were, Lynda and just stood there (we pretend we’re not friends) and I said “so erm Monday? See you then?” Lynda said “best not really, it’s lock down, it’ll be shut” I think that’s when it hit me that I wouldn’t see her for months! We both drove off and I literally cried all the way home, I didn’t realise Lynda did too, we didn’t see each other until 31st July.

So I’ve got this mixture of emotions going on, everything has been planned since last year, albeit we’ve changed a lot of the designs, it’s the first one back, people have waited so long, and I just want it to go well, safely!

We have the run of the old part of Cranage Hall upstairs, we’re normally placed in 1 room and then we have our coffee and refreshments on the landing, but this time we’re going to spread across a couple of rooms, so we can allow for social distancing, we’ve got loads of space!! Loads of space to fill with crochet and 80’s decorations! Which is so exciting and we’ve got some fabulous projects too, and the lovely lynn Rowe as our guest designer on the Saturday, so it’s exciting! But I’m nervous! I’m sure it’ll all be fine.

It’s the postponed April one that always worried us, and it just feels like getting to this one, we’re moving forward and actually getting there! No more sleepless nights! AND we might have some space at home too! The yarn and everything was all ordered and delivered prior to lockdown so space will be good!

Anyway, got that off my chest!

Happy hooking

Lisa xx

After the storm comfort blanket

Hiya! Can I consider my third blog post a roll? No I didn’t think so, but I’m getting there.

So! We’ve been busy the last 2 months designing a crochet along for Women’s weekly magazine, through The Knitting Network using their new Emu Yarn, we were very honoured to be given the opportunity to use this yarn before anyone else and actually design something with it.

However, a little bit about Emu! It’s not new! The bird is back! I remember my granny muchy using emu when I was little, it’s a brand that’s actually 80 years old, and The Knitting Network have brought it back to life in over 50 colours, and I have to say, I like it, I like it a lot, and I know we shouldn’t base things on price, but, it’s soft, it’s for great stitch definition, it doesn’t feel cheap either, but it’s only £1.59 ball! I’m sold!

So Lynda and I designed a crochet along which is available now for sale The Knitting Network the pattern actually comes printed with the kit itself, but will also be released in Women’s weekly magazine on 23rd June, we love the colours!

The idea behind it was that we were slowly coming out of UK lockdown, we wanted something to represent pastel rainbow colours, there is a white panel running down the centre which has white fluffy clouds and raindrops from French knots (too cute!) and either side of those clouds are different coloured panels, each panel has a different textured stitch and it’s then top and tailed with beautiful fluffy pom poms

We really enjoyed creating this and feel that it will suit crocheters of abilities.

With the emu yarn I’ve also been making mandala madness! I started one of these about 5 years ago, and then put it down for 3 years, during those 3 years not only did my tension change massively but, I had also learned how important counting is whilst crocheting (I know I’m laughing too 🙈) so when I came to pick it up again, it went into the bin I’m afraid!

Anyway! The Knitting network kindly sent me some colours to try and they’re just perfect for me!’they chose so well!

So I decided on Mandala madness, and I love it!

This is a free pattern available on Crystals and crochet it’s beautiful and so well written.

We’re also getting ready for the june crochet weekend! And just crochet day, but I can show you more of that once they’re done.

That’s all from me I think! I’m back out on the road tomorrow with work! Slightly nervous, I don’t know why, but I think 15 months working from home you kind of get a bit stuck in your ways, so back to it tomorrow!

Take care, keep safe and well and happy hooking

Lisa xx

And I’ve recovered

Well! That Saturday knocked me for six! It’s been such a long time, and I guess we’re a little out of practice to be fair.

But what a great day we had!! On Friday evening, I met with Lynda and Paul, both of our cars rammed with crocheted blankets, amigurumis, and gift bag supplies. We really could not do the crochet sanctuary without Paul, the guy is an absolute legend!

He unloads everything onto trollers from both cars (I fo help a little) and takes it up to the sanctuary room, luckily at the cottons spa hotel there is a lift, but we’ll be back at Cranage hall soon, and there isn’t one there, so we’ll be carrying everything up 2 flights of stairs, I’m thinking of the steps though ha!!

Because of covid restrictions we need to make sure there’s some distance between seats so there’s a lot of table and chair shifting to do then covering all of the tables with cloths, arranging blankets over chairs and generally decorating the room, I think we’d finished by about 20:00 and home for 20:30, very little sleep that night, just pure excitement to be in a room full of fabulous people!

I picked lynda up at 08:00 the next morning, after grabbing a McDonald’s breakfast, and we arrived at cottons for 08:30 to pack gift bags, we’ve finally had our own gift bags printed!

The crochet sanctuary gift bags

Gift bags included 450ml teapot, photo album, euclan sample, teapot stitch marker from @mrsgmakes, a scheepjes after party folder to store after party patterns, and an after party pattern, so they we’re pretty full!

Our room is pretty huge with a veranda too, it was quite warm so it was nice to have all the doors open

I’ve got to be completely honest, I hate the chairs, I hate the way we have to set the room up, it just screams our care home to me, and that’s not what we aim for, but during these times it has to be done, once we’re back at Cranage we can get our chairs back and we’re looking at buying some small tables as we’ve realised these are useful for drinks and things, but i suppose people aren’t really there for the room, it’s about the crochet and the people.

There was 22 of us including myself and lynda, and our theme for the day was cherry blossoms, our projects were cherry blossom tea cosy, cherry blossom egg cosy and napkin ring

Photo courtesy of Carol Davies! Because it’s much better than mine!

People seemed to really like their projects and!!! Actually finished them too!! Check these pics out

I’ve never know chriss to finish something so quickly! Well done chriss!
Sam first ever finished item at a crochet sanctuary!!

Not bad going!! After the tea cosys we had lunch, lunch was fabulous! I had the beef Ragu and then chocolate choux buns 😋

Heaven on a plate

After lunch we moved onto the napkin rings and egg cosies, nice simple crochet patterns but using embroidery to decorate, how cute are these?!

We also had the pleasure of meeting Lindsay from making stitches podcast, and we’re really excited! Because she brought along her microphone and recorded the introduction to the crochet sanctuary and probably a bit of the icebreaker too, then later on that day Lindsay took a few guests and asked them some questions, we didn’t get to hear any of that so I’m slightly nervous! And at the end of the day we had 5 mins with Lindsay where we were asked a few questions, so! I think there will be a rather interesting podcast on it’s way! How exciting!

On everyone had left by 18:00 we then had the mission of packing up the room again, the only good thing is, we have a little less to take home, my crates are back in my crochet shed which has all been cleaned and they’re now waiting for the next one on 25th june, now i cannot wait for this! A whole weekend, back home, where we belong, at Cranage Hall.

If anyone is interested in attending one of our sanctuary days (we’ve sold out of weekends) we do have some days left for 2022 have a nosey The Crochet Sanctuary it would be fabulous to meet you!

Happy Hooking

Lisa xx