On Saturday, I was in Skipton and spent the day in The Studio, with Lucy of Attic24 at her last Bower Bird crochet workshop. Yes, I know, I can hardly believe my luck. The Attic24 workshop had been booked solid long before I had known it was even going on, so its something I never expected to be doing this weekend.
The cancellation for the last place on the workshop came up a couple of weeks ago and I found out about it completely by chance. I had been having a few mins on Facebook one morning when supposed to be busy with the day job (I work from home and for myself so the only one to tell me off is me!) and saw Lucy’s update advertising the place, just five minutes before. Later that day, Lucy confirmed that the place was mine.
Was I excited? I was beside myself but there was something a lot more poignant. This weekend is the year anniversary of the awful weekend when my lovely mum died and it had been looming like a big black cloud. That I would be doing something creative and lovely and special, on this particular weekend felt very right. My mum loved to be creative and she was always happy and smiling, never complaining so she would have been pleased.
A Cooper’s breakfast
The Studio is very well set up as it’s above a fab cafe and coffee shop that makes real coffee and home baking. I drove over to Skipton with my daughter; she was going shopping in the day and then we were staying overnight and shopping in Harrogate the following day. We started the day with breakfast in the cafe and we were just ordering when Lucy arrived to set up. She is so friendly and we had a hug straightaway 🙂
After a while the other crochet ladies started to arrive and we all started chatting away and the cafe was filled with a buzz of excitement. I am sure everyone else felt the same anticipation and pleasure at being able to be in the famous Studio with the even more famous Lucy AND getting the whole day to crochet. Bliss, bliss, bliss.
After going round the table and introducing ourselves and speaking a little bit about how and why we had got into crochet, Lucy explained about colour choices. We were all following the same bird pattern, but we could each choose the colour combinations. Lucy is very knowledgeable about colour theory, having done a degree in textiles but she also has an innate sense of colour, which is so obvious from her blog.
Her use of colour is so well known but seeing some of her creations in real life makes you appreciate the beautiful mixes that she puts into her designs. The lovely ripple blanket she has been working on the last few months was on the chair in the corner, and it is so fresh and yet soft and subtle at the same time.
Getting the hooks out
In the nicest possible way! After choosing our colours with patient advice from Lucy, we set about starting to follow the pattern. This was very clear and well explained, as you’d expect and we were all experienced enough to get going. Lucy helped through all the tricky bits and we all chatted, hooking away, stopping only to eat more of the lovely treats provided by Coopers.
The little birds all began to take shape, although they did go through an evolutionary stage in which they looked a bit like flat fish. We had to do quite a bit of counting, so this workshop wasn’t quite as chatty and loud as the one I had done in April at The Studio when I made the spring rag rug wreath with Rachel Terry.
Hatching the birdies
After lunch, the birds all hatched, one by one as we sewed up the individual pieces after the eyes were put in by Lucy, and we added the stuffing to give the birdies their shape. My crochet is fine but my sewing presented some challenges as I had never sewn up a stuff object of any kind before. My bird has a definitely wonky face, but as Lucy said, it adds to its charm.
Amazingly, as well as all the lovely food and materials to make the birdie, we each got a goodie bag to take home with more wool to cover the bower – an embroidery ring – so that we can make the bower for the bird to sit. I didn’t get started on the cover for the bower but a few of the other ladies did, and some had started to make the hearts and flower embellishments too. Each bag also contained a large sachet of Yorkshire lavender so that if we want to make another birdie, we can stuff it using some of the lovely lavender fragrance.
The finished birdie in its bower
None of us finished the bird and the bower completely – that was too much to do in one day although one very speedy crocheter got very close. These are Lucy’s bower birds and they look so gorgeous. I can’t wait to get chance this week to finish mine and do the flowers and decorations.
Such a lovely day
The day went like lightening, as workshops usually do. It was a great treat to be able to spend a Saturday in the company of others with the same passionate interest in crochet and other sorts of crafts and Lucy was a delight. She is so down-to-earth and friendly, calm and very approachable. Reading her blog, I felt like I sort of knew her before Saturday and in real life she comes across just as she does in her writing. As we all said goodbye, she gave each of us another hug. I left feeling I had spent the day perfectly and feeling more inspired on my crochet and crafting journey.
Little PS – As I felt very lucky to get the unexpected place at the workshop I spent my metalsmithing time in the last week working on some Lucy-inspired earrings. I embossed some aluminium with very fine crochet lace then coloured rectangles with alcohol inks in lovely pinks and blues, which Lucy seems to love so much. I finished them with a tiny crystal dangle and handmade silver earwires.
Lucy genuinely seemed to like them and put them on straight away, which was inspiring to me in itself. I love making something for someone that they really like. The picture above and the photo below show her wearing them 🙂