Mrs Johnsons Emporium

Good morning!!! I’m off work this week, as my mother in law has flown in from Australia and it’s the first time I’ve ever met her! I’ve been married for 18 years, we’ve spoken a lot on the phone and Skype but never actually met. She’s fabulous!!! She’s a knitter, loves yarn and she’s fascinated by my crochet. So she arrived on Sunday and we’ve been off out on day trips. I think her favourite trip was Tesco so far ha!!!!! The things we take for granted in the UK.

We have had an amazing bank holiday weekend of weather!

Yesterday we took Heather to Blackpool, it’s only 45 miles away from me anyway, but she wanted to buy some rock. I had a selfish reason that I wanted to go for and it was to visit Mrs Johnson’s emporium!! It was a bit of a walk from where we had parked, the emporium is just a street behind south pier and what an amazing building!!!

The emporium used to be an old bank, inside it’s like Aladdin’s cave! My pictures aren’t so good but if you visit the website you can actually walk around the shop.

There are types of brands I’ve never ever seen, lots of stylecraft which is fabulous but labels of stylecraft I’ve never seen before, including 400g balls of stylecraft aran, id didn’t even know these existed! I could of spent a long time and a lot of money, but we had walked quite far in pouring rain, we were soaking, and I think everyone was a hit cheesed off for me making them walk so far, so it was a quick run in, few snaps a couple of squishes and I was out without spending a penny! Which I felt a bit bad about. I was also a bit jel of the stitch and bitch group going on in there I would of loved to of joined in!

There were also some fabulous displays in the window. If you are planning a visit to Blackpool go to the emporium you’ll not regret it!

It’s also only 30 days until our next crochet sanctuary!!!! We’ve completely sold out of all day and weekend passes which is phenomenal!!! We are really looking to June!! We are still designing and planning but we have an amazing theme!!!

Anyway! I’ve also been busy with cosmic! And Sophie’s universe in between, not got much crochet done the last few days but slowly getting back into it

I was also busy crocheting items for heathers room especially after learning she loves yarn

This was originally Rosalyn blanket, but I knew I’d never finish it, so I turned this into cushion and was rather proud of myself!

Anyway enough from me!

Happy Hooking!! Xx

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What a weekend!

I honestly thought I’d be exhausted today after the weekend, but @lyndascraftroom and I managed to actually relax!! The weekend couldn’t really have gone any better. We also had the most gorgeous guests, including a lady who had travelled all the way from Germany!

We started the Friday evening with a quick ice breaker, then we made our own name badges, purely because we’re so awful at remembering names

I’m lying, I didn’t make mine, lynda made man thankfully! We then handed out everybody’s Sophie’s stool! We were so excited for this

Check that out! A pyramid of Sophie’s stools!! Everyone knew they were getting these, well almost everyone, one lady asked if they had to give it back at the end! Her face when we said no was a picture.

The best bit though was handing out the gift bags, and hearing people gasp with surprise

Yes!! Each weekend person actually got Sophie’s universe book too! We kept this a surprise, but it was lovely to hear, it really was.

After dinner on the Friday evening we started with stools, couple of glasses of bubbly and straight into chill out mode. On Saturday morning we had a few patterns for people to work on using Borge three bears yarn and some lovely Knitcraft Home cotton they had the following patterns:

  • Eco face scrubbies
  • Love heart wash cloth
  • Star pin cushion
  • Life ring pin cushion

So there was a good choice. After lunch we had a photographer arrive, Lynda and I never get a chance to take many, we’ve had one picture so far, the rest are being worked on, but I have to tell you about this, it was hilarious

So we threw the blankets in the air, but perhaps we should of moved away from the tree! Yes!! I’m sure there were some photos taken of us trying to get some of the blankets back down!

Anyway, the next bit, the most exciting bit! Amanda Bloom from little box of crochet created The Crochet Sanctuary’s own bespoke little box of crochet!!!!!!!!! Who’s ever of thought a year ago I’d be typing this?????

I learnt to Tunisian crochet!!! Check out my purse

I’m so pleased, and more so pleased that my daughter abby actually learnt to Tunisian crochet too! Amanda also had a little shop, where we were able to buy not so big and little boxes and candles too.

The rest of the time we really spent relaxing crocheting and eating basically!

A few more pics for you

There will be lots of professional ones of people actually crocheting very soon!!

Anyway happy hooking xx

April update

Eeeek!! Today’s the day!! I’m so excited, we have our second Crochet Sanctuary starting this evening and I’m so organised ive got time to blog.

I actually finished my Helen Shrimpton star of wonder last week, it did become a labour of love towards the end as it got heavier and heavier, at the same time our lovely British weather was getting a bit warmer! Anyway, I’m not 100% on the colours but I wanted something to match our logo colours and I think I did good!

That’s our Abby underneath! She’s 14, so you can see what I’ve been saying about the size. So this will be coming with us this evening.

I’ve also started Helen Shrimptons new cosmic CAL, the first part was released this Tuesday, id chosen my own colourway but didn’t quite do a good job, my main colours were too close together so chose something completely different, and colours I wouldn’t normally go for. I wanted something bright, but summery, a little tropical, so I chose Stylecraft shrimp as my main colour, aspen, saffron, white and then teal as a contrast colour, however the first part of the pattern has really called for my main colours yet and my contrast colour seems to have been included a little more than I would of liked, but hopefully ax the weeks pass by the shrimp will become more visible

I’m pleased with it, although the edges are curling slightly at the moment but I’m sure with more weight added it’ll be fine.

I absolutely love helens patterns, I’ve really learnt such a lot from her.

Water Garden CAL is coming on beautifully! As most of you know, there’s an awful lot that goes into designing, but it’s never a thankless task ever, because ever now and again you get such a buzz! Gillian Mitchell, said she kept looking at the CAL pictures and really wanted to be able to do it, but she’d only ever done a granny square, I’m a huge believer that if you can crochet a granny square and read a pattern you can crochet ANYTHING! So zgilluan uses some yarn from her stash, used the YouTube tutorials and the pattern and she did this!!!

One of each block to date!! How fab!!! Just goes to show I’m so right ha!!!!

I’ve got to admit I never look at anything and think it is beyond me, well that’s until I read the pattern anyway.

Anyway, we have a professional photographer coming into cranage Hall tomorrow, to take some pictures of @lyndascraftroom and I, which will be fun…..not!! Neither of us feel confident in front of the camera, but we’ll just have to go with it, he will also be taking some pictures of whats going on too as the last time Lynda and I were so busy we didn’t take many and ended up pinching everyone else’s.

We have also vowed to thoroughly enjoy this Sanctuary, our first one was quite stressful for us even though everyone else seemed to enjoy it, which is certainly the main thing. So this time we know what to expect, cranage know what we expect of them and we are hoping it’ll be fab, and we have a few surprises up our sleeves for our weekend guests that we think are just fabulous. Anyway, best go and finish off getting everything together!!

I’ll leave you with a few water garden pics, until next time.

Happy Hooking!!! Xx

Bit of blog neglect

It’s been soooo busy!! I’ve not even had a chance to sit and read through the blogs I follow, but I will! Plus I’m ever so excited to read @coastalcrochet blog, I believe there’s a fab video of her singing! Very talented! Anyway the Knitcraft Cal went live last week, and it’s been so successful! With some fabulous pics!!

Sometimes I look at peoples work and think ‘we designed that, that came out of my mind!’ It’s so heart warming!!

Knitcraft took some amazing professional pics of the water garden, they really did!

I’ve also been desperately trying to finish my star of wonder in The Crochet Sanctuary colours, I’ve literally 10 more rounds to go, it’s looking great! Not my favourite colours but still it’ll look good draped over one of the sofas

Anyway! That’s all I’ve been doing, apart from managing the Facebook page alongside @lyndascraftroom, Tanya from what I created next, sarah Miller my old school friend who now lives in Oregon, and Petra Simonini (Lyndas sister) without these it would be a full time job! I do love it though.

So week 2 was released today, it’s going so quickly.

It’s literally 14 days, that’s two weeks until the next crochet Sanctuary!! And I’ve a spare room full of boxes, literally full!! I’m so excited, I think lynda and I will thoroughly enjoy this one, we know what to expect now and we know exactly what we’re doing (not that we didn’t before!) but there were things that we didn’t do at the last Sanctuary that we know we should of done, it’s all a learning process. But we literally cannot wait!!

So we started planning June months ago. The weather should hopefully be lovely, so maybe a little outdoor crochet by the lily pond? Use of the outdoor kitchen and bbq would be amazing, so fingers crossed! We also have The Wool Nest as our guest designer. Lynne Rowe from the wool nest is going to be working us through mindfulness in crochet, and she did mention about some mandalas! My favourite items to crochet!

So, there’s not been much else really, In between my star of wonder I’ve been designing smaller items for the crochet sanctuary workshops, concentrating on the cal, and the sanctuary, and my job!! Mustn’t forget my job!

Anyway chicks, happy hooking xx

We have professional pics!!

But I’m only going to share one with you for now, we’ll save some for another day! It’s probably the most exciting part for me, once the blanket has gone to Knitcraft it then goes in for testing and photography, it’s amazing how the photography can help to make your finished item come alive!! Here’s one for now

Just a little one!! Looks so good doesn’t it? Can you believe myself and @lyndascraftroom designed this? Eeeek!!! Sometimes when we’re designing and we have to make an item as a big as a blanket I do get to the point where I’m glad it’s finished as it consumes so much of your time, but I have to say I’ve loved every minute of this one. It’s big too, it’s a nice 1.3kg and 56 inch at its longest point, I’m so proud of it you can really tell how much we’ve improved from Tea on the green to this. Proper high five moment for Lynda and I!! So the CAL starts on 30th March yarn packs are on sale now, if you’re thinking of buying use link on my page! The CAL will run for 7 weeks in total, but it doesn’t end there, we have a fabulous bonus pattern for after too! And made sure everyone has enough yarn to complete this too. The yarn used is Knitcraft cotton blend and it’s just a dream to crochet with it really is!

So I’ve been busy crocheting until Monday just gone, I’ve had to have a little break as I have rather embarrassingly given myself a bit of a crochet injury! Pain in my right shoulder, I couldn’t lift or lie on my right, and was in a bit of pain, I have a rotator cuff injury, can’t be through anything else but crochet, so I’ve had a couple of nights break from it, but it seems to be on the mend.

I treated myself recently to Mabel from Wool Couture company oh what a treat!!

She’s beautiful, the yarn is 100% Merino, and amazing to crochet with, on Sunday I managed to do her head, body and one ear admittedly I’ve not done too much on her since due to my shoulder but she’s just divine!!

I’m also a little conscious of the lack of crocheted blankets at The Crochet Sanctuary so I started a star of wonder by Helen Shrimpton they’re huge so it’ll drape just nicely over one of the sofas. I’ve also tried to use colours to match our logo, I’m way further on than the pic below but it’ll just give you an idea

And this morning I’ve had my Little box of crochet delivered, so cute designed by kornflake and stew, I won’t share too much but I did well up a little with this beautiful been brooch

The bee is so gorgeous! And never meant that much to me until the Manchester Arena bombing, after my gorgeous Abby was caught up in the incident and a night of absolute hell, they now remind me of how lucky I am, so to find one in my Little Box Of Crochet this morning was just lovely.

Happy Hooking xx

Knitcraft Spring CAL!

Well, well, well 30th March it is! The spring CAL will be our 3rd CAL with Knitcraft and we really do enjoy doing them. We’re so proud of this one, it really does say spring! Cannot wait to share pictures of it. The yarn bundles will go on sale on the hobbycraft website next week, if you do fancy buying it online use the link on the side of this blog I might make a penny or two!!

Now that it’s finished and been sent to Knitcraft HQ for testing it’s been odd to have a some time to crochet, you think I’d concentrate on finishing some WIP but I haven’t, we’ve been designing things for The April Crochet Sanctuary we’ve got some amazing things planned for our guests, it’s so exciting, we have people coming from all over the country, even someone from Germany!!!

One thing I have crocheted and can share is the Zeens and Rogers Easter egg, I need to make another really, but enjoyed it and the WI yarn was lovely to use. There’s a lot to be said about my embroidery skills though, or lack of!!

The pattern is free and can be made in any yarn, so I’m definitely gong to make more!

I’ve also managed to get half of my Embrace shawl by Little box of crochet not so little box!! Some may think its expensive, it’s more self indulgent, but we all deserve it right?! The yarn is amazing!!!! The colourway is stunning

Now we’ve also given a room at The Crochet Sanctuary to Little Box if Crochet for them to run a prize draw, so for every person that has bought the Not so little box, their name will be entered into a draw to win and entire weekend! Not bad!! Plus they would get to sit in on Amanda’s workshop on the Saturday afternoon, so this is open to anyone! But the box get entered, even if you don’t win the box is worth every single penny.

Now recently our little Knitcraft social has become not so little too!! Our table is now full plus and extended table! We’ve got so many regulars now it’s fabulous!

Today we had someone new join, Mike, I don’t know about you but there is something lovely about a guy that crochets, even more so his work! Check this out!!

A huge crocodile stitch blanket!! Mikes been crocheting for about 12 years, I personally think it’s fab!

I’ve also been working on my Coastal crochet seaside stash buster and thoroughly enjoying it!! I’ve not completed fridays yet but I’ll crack on with that tomorrow.

Also this morning I was sooooo chuffed. Christmas 2016 my next door neighbour who has 4 gorgeous girls asked me (a week before Christmas) if I could crochet 4 mermaid tails, I said yes, and finished the last one 03:00 Christmas morning. Well the youngest of her daughters has been dragging her tail around with her everywhere, it’s a real comfort to her, which I wasn’t aware of, so this morning they popped into hobbycraft to see if I could stitch the tail back on as not surprisingly after 15 months it’s showing some wear. But I was so pleased that something I have crocheted has been loved so much!! I mended it as best I could, but I am going to make her another and see if she’ll replace it. But she also mentioned that she has two reborn dolls, and one day maybe I could make a cardigan for her. So I’ve grabbed some of my hayfield blossom, which I’ve been itching to use and I’ve whipped up a quick set for her in a couple of hours, the yarn is so cute!! It’s not perfect but I’m sure she’ll appreciate it

I think that’s about it……other than we still have a couple of rooms left for April, which obviously need booking! June’s is 50% booked, September 75% booked and November is surprisingly 50% booked too!!!

I think that’s all for now

Happy Hooking 😘

A wee update

Our deadline for the spring CAL looms at the end of this week, so as per usual @lyndascraftoom and I have been hooking none stop!! It’s so worth it though because it looks stunning, and we’re rather proud! But I can’t show you! Not yet anyway.

It’s amazing when we look back at Tea on the green, and then to this CAL just how far we’ve come, even if I do say so myself, we were ahead of schedule and then for slightly off track, only slightly, the CAL has now gone to Lynda for her unusual fabulous finish and then back to me for the border, but it means I can catch up and sort out designs for the next Crochet Sanctuary which is on 20th April until 22nd, so literally 8 weeks away. We’ve had so many messages about other dates, we were trying to wait until we’d sold out on the next date before releasing the rest but we’ve given up and released all dates now, so we have April, June, September and November.

So first on my list was to catch up on Coastal crochet seaside stash buster CAL I’m really enjoying this, there is absolutely no pressure at all. And I have to admit blues and greens aren’t really my favourite colours so I seem to have a large amount of it in my stash which means I really can make mine look rather coastal, I’m really pleased with it

Just 4 rows a week, and the patterns are nice and easy to follow, I’m enjoying the process and I know it’s going to be a long CAL but I’m also rather excited to see the finished result too.

I’ve also been teaching my 14 year old daughter to crochet! We spend a lot of time together and she comes to our Knitcraft social most weeks, and I kind of felt guilty that she couldn’t come on the last Sanctuary but she couldn’t crochet and of course it’s a lot of money to pay for her to be bored all weekend, so she has been nagging me if she can come to April, the deal was that if she can crochet she can come, so this happened!

She crocheted her first granny square! Ok so she’s not quite for the bug and I don’t want to force it on her but I couldn’t help but take her to Blacksheep wools on Sunday, she bought herself a yarn cake and a tulip hook

The chunky blossom is mine though!! And guess what? She completely unravelled her cake and decided she couldn’t do it 🙄🙄 do I’ll leave her for a bit and then give her a gentle reminder!

So! While I’m here! We’ve sold out of all day passes for April, but we have got some rooms left for weekend bookings. It is going to be fab, each weekender will receive a fabulous Sophie’s stool!!!

We will work through a number of workshops, using some stunning yarns, three bears yarn, scheepjes and hopefully some hoooked or some Knitcraft Home cotton, all with a spring feel! Our workshops will also be including the very fabulous Amanda Bloom from Little box of crochet

Amanda has a fab workshop planned and no doubt with some amazing yarn!!

So if you do want to book click Here it is just a £50 deposit

Taking of little box of crochet, I was very naughty and bought myself the Not so little box of crochet…..oh wow, just wow!

Well!!! I couldn’t not could I?! So I’ll soon be getting started!!! Once the CAL has been sent and I can concentrate anyway!

Best got to bed now really

Happy hooking xx

I forgot!!!

I completely forgot to add on my last blog! @juliascreativeyear is soooo talented!!! We finished our workshop on Saturday at about 18:00, and when we met back up for our evening meal she had made this beautiful book for me! Totally unexpected! But so talented!! This is my new Pip Pad (Pip is my mini schnauzer) how cool is this?!

Thank you Julia, you are super talented!

Happy Hooking xx

Relax, Unwind & Crochet

Yes we did!  I am currently recovering from our very first Crochet Sanctuary Weekend……….I didn’t realise quite how exhausting it might be, we may need to change our strap line of Relax, Unwind and Crochet, because it was pretty full on from our part, but you know, we enjoyed every single part of it, well most of it anyway!

@Lyndascraftroom and I arrived fairly early at Cranage Hall to make sure that the room was set up and just perfect for our gorgeous guests, I can’t tell you how excited we were, with cars packed to the point that our boots wouldn’t close properly, even with the seats down, we started to off load our goodies into the Appleton Suite at Cranage Hall, which is a large Victorian style room, which a beautiful fireplace, huge great big sash windows and stunning ceilings.  Well we certainly crochetfied it!

We had a room full of sofas, just enough for 30 people,  we are glad we didn’t have anymore people otherwise it would of been a squeeze for sure,  @lyndascraftroom did a fantastic job of the sweety cart, I mean who has a sweety cart at a Crochet Sanctuary?!  We had a lot of lovely yarn, including some stunning Leader of the Pac and Knitcraft Aran from Knitcraft,  Scheepjes, Styelcraft, King Cole, James C Brett, Sirdar it was all so lovely and squishy, we had the fireplace decorated in crochet too!

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The fireplace later had some stunning Amanda Bloom Little Box of Candles, which were just divine!

We had a couple of runs to make to the station to collect a few of our lovely guests as we didn’t want them forking out for taxis etc.  I actually had the pleasure of picking up the adorable Julias Creative Year, just the most loveliest lady,  and then all of a sudden we literally had mintues to spare before our guests arrived at 5pm.  And in walked the very lovely Knitcraft themselves!!!  Emily from Knitcraft is just the fab and such a fast crocheter!  We have been working with her for some time, but we have never met!  How bizarre!  Also the hilariously funny Moomaloom from Little Box of Crochet and then!!!  Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet I mean come on!!  This is amazing!

We think it is so important that everyone mixes with each other at our Sanctuaries, there is nothing worse than attending somewhere like this where you are not introduced to everyone, and you feel uncomfortable.  So we started off with an ice breaker, then into some crochet!  Which was The Crochet Sanctuary Snuggle socks in the Leader of the Pac from Knitcraft.  We ate food, we had some bubbly and got to know each other really.

Myself and Lynda were up early Saturday morning to prepare the room for our day guests and of course another ice breaker

Yes we actually had Toft kits for everyone!!!  Toft kits!!  They may of been a little ambitious for a workshop, we knew nobody would get them finished but at least they could take them home and the yarn in them is so beautiful. Our day guests also included some amazing people we had Keep calm and crochet on who will actually be hosting a workshop for us in September too!!!

We also had the best workshop ever!  By Coastal Crochet and how fab to meet Eleonora too!  I have admired her work for a long time, and she agreed to run a workshop for us, but the effort and thought she put in was second to none!  We were crocheting around rocks, okay so its not something I have ever considered before, but why not!  Its actually very thoughtful, and Eleonora explained it as creating memories, I will certainly be collecting rocks at our next holiday and crocheting them, thats for sure!

In the evening we had a lovely sit down meal, three courses and a couple of bottles of wine.  Sunday consisted of making our very own faux fur bobbles for hats, at a fraction of the price of buying them, beanie hats, and we literally had to force guests to take yarn home with them.

So all in all its been great!  We have had a few more bookings too!  We only have 2 more day passes and a hand full of weekend passes too.  April is going to be great!  All of our weekend guests will be working on a sophies stool each and lots of other fabulous workshosp, in particular we have one being hosted by Amanda from Little Box of Crochet!!  We will be working with lots of Scheepjes, Three Bears Yarns and much more!  So get booking!!!

A few other pics for you

Now time to get my bum into gear with the Spring CAL!

Happy Hooking xx

Read this ⬇️

Hi everyone

We have a lovely lady that has two day passes to The Crochet Sanctuary next Saturday and unfortunately she cannot make it. She has kindly asked us to offer these passes out at no charge to give someone the chance to attend. So that being said if you can make it to De Vere Cranage Hall in Cheshire next Saturday comment below and tomorrow evening we will do a draw to give out the passes! (All travel costs and arrangements are your own responsibility, day passes begin at 10am, include refreshments and lunch and finish at 6pm) Please only comment if you wish to register your interest and can make it to make it easier on us to keep track of the draw xx

DRAW ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED!