Hello and welcome to Patchwork House . . . . .
my little corner of the world in England, where you will find me addicted to colour and playing with yarn!

21 March 2018

A Crochet Retreat

In your busy moments
 do you dream of escaping your busy life
 to have time for yourself, to relax and crochet?

Or maybe like me you live a quiet life
 and crave the company of other crocheters?

Do you dream of a cosy cottage
with a roaring fire,
cupboards full of yarn and
 cosy blankets to snuggle up with?

Homemade cakes, made for you
with teas and coffees served at regular intervals.

and time . . . 
uninterrupted time to work on those crochet projects
that keep getting put to one side.

Well keep reading!
 I have discovered the most wonderful escape
 that you can imagine!

A few weeks ago I took myself off for a weekend away.
Jumped in my car and drove up the A1 to beautiful Northumberland.
What a little gem I was going to!

 is owned and run by the lovely David and Gillian.
A perfect stopping place to discover the beauty of unspoiled Northumberland,
 within easy reach of Alnwick, Lindisfarne
 and ideal for stopping en route to Scotland.

A beautiful en suite room awaited me, 

with fabulous furnishings and decor
 and I knew instantly I was going to be very comfortable here!

As well as running the B&B
David and Gillian host a retreat called
where they run weekends and day retreats
for crocheters to relax and meet up with other crochet addicts.

Gillian, an ex teacher, now puts her skills to great use
 teaching beginners and helping people with their crochet needs.
 She has a small shop selling Stylecraft yarn at very reasonable prices.

The weekend I was there,
 had people like myself,
 who had driven a few hours to stay the weekend

and others who were day guests living more locally.

David is the chef, and treated us to the most fabulous
 cooked breakfasts and then a wonderful tasty 3 course lunch!

We were stuffed
and the afternoon and evening sat by the fire

with new friends and our yarn, was just perfect.

So if you're looking for an escape, check this out!

You can find Escape to the Crochet on Facebook

and visit the B&B website

and Escape to the Crochet website

David and Gillian are blessed with a wonderful gift of hospitality
 and I can guarantee that you will have a wonderful stay here.
 Either as B&B guests visiting the area
 or as crochet guests for a retreat,
I'm sure you will leave refreshed and wanting to return.

x x x

1 March 2018

Mandala Magic

Mandala making is an addiction beware!
A mandala is the new doily.
Little circles of colour and pattern completed in an hour,
 perfect to satisfy any colour craving and the need for creativity!

They are beautiful around your home
 for use as table mats to protect furniture

or just alone to add a cheerful burst of colour and crochet!
This star doily is 9.5 inches / 24 cm diameter
 and is perfect for under a vase.

This granny star doily is a free pattern from the blog of
it is really easy and suitable for beginners
 who have mastered the granny square.

If you don't want to make your own,
 you will find these for sale in my Etsy shop

I have been using the gorgeous colours of
and have put together 3 colour packs for you to suit all tastes.
Rainbow, pastels and Cath Kidston style
in my colour pack shop

Small mandalas are perfect for use as coasters.
These coasters are 5 inches / 13cm diameter.
This pattern is a particular favourite of mine as it is very thick.
It is from the book
Vintage Style Crochet Projects
 by Agnieszka Strycharska.
It is clearly written in US terms and has a lovely clear chart too.

I like to buy crochet books to give payment to the author,
 knowing how much time it takes to write a pattern and get it into print.
 However if you wish to search around
 you will find many free patterns for mandalas on
 Ravelry and Pinterest.

Classique cotton dk is a thick cotton yarn with a good twist.
 It does not split and it has a lovely natural cotton finish.
 The colours are just wonderful 
and as I said before mandala making is addictive!

Coffee and crochet is as always my favourite pastime
 and much pleasure is to be had matching my mug to my yarn!

This is another free pattern from the blog of
 called the Little Cherry Blossom Mandala.
It is a medium sized mandala 9 inches / 23 cm in diameter.
It is a wonderful step by step tutorial with photos and
 instructions in Swedish and English using US crochet terms.

When this pattern is made the mandalas curl,
 as you can see in the stack below.

So blocking is important to improve their finish.
I pin them out onto a foam blocking board (bought on ebay)
spray with cold water and leave to air dry over night.

The transformation is amazing!

Blocking is magic and well worth doing.

It really doesn't take long and when you get used to doing it,
 it just becomes part of the process.

There are stacks of these pretty colourful doilies
 here in my
 waiting for new homes!
They are perfect gifts for Mothers Day, Easter, 
New Home, Birthdays
 or at any occasion when you may gift flowers.
Light weight and easy to post too!

When you have accomplished these smaller mandalas,
 you may like the challenge of a giant mega mandala!

These are super as a table centre.

They are fascinating to make, using a variety of stitches and colours.
This is another free pattern from the blog of 
 called Mandy's Mega Mandala.
It measures a giant 16 inches / 40cm in diameter
 and will make a wonderful crochet statement in your home.

If I haven't yet tempted you to dig out your hook and get making,
 then take a look here at my 
 for a collection of mandala patterns!

Wishing you all a happy hooky day


x x x

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