It’s been a busy few months for all things Coastal Crochet, so I feel a blog post with a little (or big) catch up is definitely in order… 😄🥰
It’s a long one, with plenty of photos, so why not grab a drink and enjoy…
I lost my dear father suddenly and unexpectedly back in August and my life changed forever. I miss him everyday. I’ve often said to people that I feel I never quite flew the nest and my parents have always been a very big part of my daily life, living close by, including them taking Salty on many dog walks whilst we are working!
After such a loss I was initially unsure what it would mean for my crochet, but like so many others, I have found comfort in my crochet. The focus as well as the distraction, and all those soothing crochet stitches have certainly helped and given me huge comfort, which I’m definitely grateful for.
I’ve also kept incredibly busy which has been good for me, although I acknowledge that quieter, reflective down time is needed too.
Most of the Coastal Crochet adventures that have happened over the past couple of months were already arranged before I lost my Dad. I’m glad I went ahead with them…
I’d love to share what I’ve been up to. Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook will have seen some of this already – my crochet has really taken me all over the place!
In September I went to Yarndale in North Yorkshire, in October to the Spinning Yarns Festival in Northern Ireland, as well as a Sarah Brangwyn Crochet Retreat nearer to home, plus I’ve hosted workshops at Made and Making.
My daughter and I have been on a sailing adventure with one of my sons, and I’ve got my new ‘Down by the Sea’ blanket design ready to go! Plus as always there’s crochet happening behind the scenes which I can’t quite share with you yet… 😄
So here goes… let’s catch up!
I’ve just been on a sailing adventure! One of my sons, Rowan, has purchased an old 1976 sailing boat with his own saved up money and the mission to sail it back from Plymouth in the south west to our local marina in the south east has begun.
My daughter and I joined him for the leg between Brixham in Devon and Portsmouth in Hampshire which took four days with stops along the way. We sailed along a fabulous stretch of coastline, across Dorset too.
Seeing a famous and in parts familiar coastline from a completely different perspective out at sea really is quite something!
Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Old Harry Rocks, Brownsea Island and The Needles on the Isle of Wight are just some of the iconic landmarks we sailed past…
And seeing dolphins jump out of the water was simply stunning! A definite highlight but unfortunately not caught on camera…
I brought my crochet along with me but not a single stitch was made! Sailing life is busy and even though you’re sitting for many hours, there are things to be done and there’s constant movement out at sea – your eyes are drawn to the sea and coast all around.
It wasn’t all plain sailing either! We encountered a thunderstorm which if I’m honest, I found pretty frightening and the seas became rougher than I would like. Any parenting roles I had were quickly reversed as Rowan competently and calmly kept us safe, guided us and was generally being a brilliant captain!!
Wearing crochet was as near as any physical crochet happened! My Perfect Crochet Beanie was perfect for the trip and stayed put on my head in the wind!
It’s been an inspiring trip and whilst no actual crochet was done out at sea, there were many moments of contemplation and reflection, which I always find clears the mind and allows creative thoughts to enter… so maybe new crochet designs will emerge!
Yarndale yarn festival held in Skipton, North Yorkshire was extra special this year. My last visit was in 2019 and this time, not only was it the first time I’ve been part of the workforce in hosting workshops and giving talks, but it was the first visit for my niece Carla who came along too! My daughter Bronwyn and Carla looked fabulous in their self crocheted cardigans…
Here you can see the ‘Hawes Yarnbombers’ with their incredible life sized Shrek display!
I’ll be writing a blog post very soon about how my daughter created her own version of the famous Harry Styles cardigan so you can make one too… she certainly got a lot of compliments from people at the event!
I popped into the King Cole headquarters as soon as we arrived in Skipton on the Friday to pick up the cardigan sample which I designed and made for them. It meant I could wear it to Yarndale and it also meant I got to meet many of the King Cole team face to face and see their enormous warehouse! Plus we came away with more yarn… 🙂
Yarndale is a feast for the eyes! It’s simply a joy to see so much beautiful yarn and so many fabulous yarn lovers all in one place…
This year at Yarndale I met Lindsay, who is the talented person behind the ‘Making Stitches Podcast’. Having followed each other’s blogs for 7 years, it was wonderful to finally meet in person and it felt just like meeting up with an old friend! Lindsay recorded a brilliant episode for her podcast about this years Yarndale. Do go and have a listen – I was interviewed for the episode too so you can hear me chat!
And seeing many of you face to face was wonderful too!
Meeting fellow crochet designers at events like Yarndale is also very special! Where else do I get to finally meet designers I have admired for years?!
Hosting workshops and giving talks was a privilege at such a big yarn show and I’m grateful to everyone who came along…
Yarndale is held in such a beautiful part of the world and a walk along the canal is always a delight!
Fast Forward 1 week and at the beginning of October I flew out to Northern Ireland for the Spinning Yarns Festival. I felt really honoured and also very humbled to have been invited to speak again at this lovely yarn festival for a second year.
Seeing familiar faces from last year as well as new faces in the audience was a delight. And it’s always a pleasure for me to see my designs made by others up close…
And a huge highlight of the festival was seeing the fantastic display created by the Hookery Yarn Group. Such creativity showcased in a fun and imaginative way. I absolutely loved it!
Having fallen in love with Northern Ireland last year, it was a real pleasure to return and this time my husband, daughter and I extended our stay and visited Belfast, the amazing Titanic Experience as well as the incredible Gobbins Cliff Path – that’s an epic coastal walk if ever there was one!
I found the Titanic Experience really moving, especially a visit on board the ‘SS Nomadic’ which is in a dock adjacent to the main exhibition. This boat has been beautifully restored, having had an interesting life for a boat! On the 10th April 1912 she transported 274 passengers onto the Titanic for that doomed maiden voyage. Stepping onto a boat with a direct connection to such an historical event was truly incredible and I highly recommend a visit… 🙂
The Gobbins cliff path was spectacular! We were so lucky with the weather and for a coastal girl like me, it was a real treat to walk in such a unique way along such a beautiful stretch of coast. We spotted porpoises and seals as we walked along and our guide was so informative.
And then a visit to beautiful Glenoe Waterfall before our flight home was a perfect end to the weekend…
During our stay I visited Lighthouse Yarns yarn shop in Whitehead. It’s a delightful yarn shop and whilst there I purchased the yarn to create a ‘Causeway Coast’ Blanket… I’m very excited about that! 🙂
So do watch this space next year… a blanket inspired by the stunning coastline of Northern Ireland is simply a must for me!
Sarah Brangwyn Crochet Retreat
Sarah is the fabulous lady behind Made and Making where I also host workshops and a couple of weeks ago I was invited to pop into the third crochet retreat organised by Sarah.
I’m always bowled over by the setting of these crochet gatherings in this beautiful little hotel and there’s such a gentle, happy and friendly atmosphere filled with crochet which awaits…
My blankets and other crochet projects always come along with me!
Down by the Sea
I was in the middle of designing my Down by the Sea Blanket when I lost my dear Dad. Finishing the design was very comforting in those initial weeks and it’s become an extra special blanket for me now…
This crochet along starts on 4th November! Just one week to go and yarn packs are still available from the Knitting Network:
Looking ahead to 2023 and crochet continues to be a constant for me which I adore. I’m doing a little more writing work for Simply Crochet magazine which is always fun. I have 2 blanket commissions for 2023 in progress that I’m currently working on behind the scenes and I’m also planning to contribute a yarnbomb to the Woolinale Festival in Germany in March.
So there’s plenty to keep these hands busy and things to share with you all. I hope you’re all enjoying your crochet too.
Happy Crocheting Everyone! 🥰💙