Hello, good to have you back here. I hope you are enjoying this excellent summer weather?
Summer time and our retreats have been buzzing or murmuring or even baking in the sunshine. Hasn’t it been hot? Even here on the North East coast we have been melting in the unusual run of good weather, with some days tempered by our normal and rather welcome delicious sea breeze.
Dappled shade, full shade or full on sun, our garden provides it all. I love the twisty gnarled shapes of our old apple trees and they make the perfect setting for al fresco crochet. Autumn’s apple harvest is already set though the dry weather has meant the trees are offloading some of the tinier fruits. Even still the branches are well decorated with miniature apples so hopefully another good crop is promised. I can’t bear to think of Autumn yet though can you?
A little bit of bunting strung in the trees, a tray of iced water and cool soft drinks, chairs and tables out, sets the scene for a super relaxing day of outdoor crochet.
We’ve enjoyed some barbecues too as well as some of David’s delicious Coronation Chicken, homemade quiches, Eton Mess with home grown strawberries, and glazed fruit tarts.
I keep saying it but we really do have the most wonderful guests here whether they be regulars or first timers. Everyone’s lives seem so busy and stressful these days and it’s so good to get some ‘me time’ for a change. It can be difficult to wind down at first but always the soothing power of crochet starts to work it’s magic as we start to get to know each other. The cake always helps too! There is much laughter but also tears over those hooks I can tell you.
I am truly in awe of some of the emotional burdens people carry and yet they are getting on with everyday life and you would never guess. It can be so very moving and special to be invited to share these deep hurts when it all comes tumbling out. How wonderful that they feel safe to do this and what a complete privilege to hear such tragic stories. I think it helps us all to heal a little bit and I’m astounded at their bravery.
One of the very best parts of our retreats, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is the way everyone shares expertise. If you are a beginner then you will probably spot a pattern that you want to try next. Support from others always gets you started in a nice easy going way. It’s great to get inspired and we all do.
If you like to crochet then you must have noticed the current trend of corner to corner join- as- you- go squares? There are some wonderful designs and colour schemes around at the moment. I especially like the gingham effect. I must confess I’m yet to start one, though I’m itching to try. I’ll write another post soon about what I’m making at the moment. One of our regular guests has already made four or five beautiful baby blankets in this gingham style.
Last weekend we admired the crispness of this white, green and mint (this is a Stylecraft Baby Special colour but it fits in fine) version from another retreater who then encouraged someone else to start a beautiful grey version which was soon growing rapidly.
By the way, if you would like a great tutorial on line for this pattern then hop over to our friend Heather’s at http://www.thepatchworkheart.co.uk/2018/06/c2c-jayg-corner-to-corner-join-as-you.html
If you get really interested in this design another very talented lady to follow is Pat at Indigopobble. She is another retreater and friend, and has some great ideas to inspire https://www.facebook.com/Indigopobble/
Early in the life of Escape to the Crochet we decided that workshops and tutorials would get in the way of a truly relaxing crochet weekend. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something new while you are here. This is my seaside blanket I made last year.
Let’s hope the wonderful summer continues for the upcoming events.
See you soon
Sweet peas, my favourites.