Sunday, 9 February 2014

What a fabulous day!

Hello all my Lovelies out there - how are you all doing?  Do come in out of the cold and wet and have a drink and some cake.  I hope you are all keeping well and happy.  The cold continues here today but at least the sun is out shining.  I hope the weather is being kind to all of you and I send good wishes to those who are really suffering at the moment with the elements.
This particular post starts a little while ago when a very famous blogger, someone who really got me into blogging in a big way, said that she was offering some crochet classes on a Saturday.  Well I jumped at the chance even though crochet is not my strongest point at all.  I knew that there would be literally hundreds upon hundreds of people rushing to book a spot but I thought I have nothing to lose as I won't have a chance and put my request in.  The day continued and I didn't really think anymore of it to be honest and then an email - yikes! - I had a place............some heart started pounding as I visualised all these wonderful crochet experts turning up on the day and beavering away on the project with their trebles, half trebles, double crochet, treble crochet.........I was in a fair panic, sweating thinking about the indignity of me just about able to do a granny square.  My first impulse was to say thankyou but no thankyou, I have a previous engagement I had forgotten about.....but decided to take the plunge and own up to the fact that I was a crochet virgin so to speak!  I thought I would get an email back saying, well maybe come to a class when you are more proficient, thank you for your, the email was so lovely and encouraging, saying not to worry everything would be fine.  I thought she was being too kind and would regret these lovely words once I turned up for the class - I would be the student she remembered for all the wrong reasons.  How wrong I was.
Now then, where was I yesterday.........................I will give you all a big clue.................. 
The lovely Skipton, home to many wonderful things but most of all our lovely Lucy from Attic24.  Yes you Lovelies, I feel as if I have won the Lottery and cannot believe that I had a place on her first course.  Wow!  I hardly slept on Friday night and was up before 5am, I was going to travel by myself but my lovely husband fancied a trip out so came with me.  We set off at 7 am and arrived not long after 9.  It was a glorious morning and we quickly found the lovely Cooper's Restaurant - I was going to take a photograph but almost got run over trying to get one so please forgive - when we finished the day the rain was fairly coming down in sheets but I couldn't get one then for you all.  Anyway the café is just lovely inside and the coffee/cakes/food is just to die for, all homemade and delicious.  The staff are so friendly and nothing is too much trouble to any one them so highly recommended if you are ever in the area.
I got inside and Lucy came to introduce herself.  I have to say that she is the most friendly, engaging and lovely person you could ever wish to meet.  She is just like she is on her blog and it was such a delight to be in her company.  The group quickly arrived all as excited as I was, just eight of us all brimming with enthusiasm and delight at being there.  We quickly found that we all had the same reservations about our ability with crochet so I calmed down a little then.  Lucy took us all up to her famous studio and it was gorgeous - she has done the place proud and each one of us was saying how much we all wanted one.........if only. 
Just look at the wreaths, they are even more stunning in real life than they are on her blog.  I fell in love with them and was already mentally putting them on my ever increasing 'to do' list.  Many apologies for the quality of some of these photographs as the light was not the best and I didn't want to be rude by just going around taking photographs 'willy nilly', although Lucy was really kind and said that it was ok.
This photograph is a favourite of mine as it reminds me of the wonderful images Lucy has shared with us all from her Attic24, it felt so familiar.
Just look at how pretty the work area is, it reminds me about the old saying that less is more - something I have to attend to in my tiny sewing place which is over-run with bits and pieces.
This is obviously Lucy's sewing corner and look at the exciting project bags all ready for us to start - thrilling but nerve wracking for me!
The project we were set was the Bower Bird - something I really didn't feel comfortable about is it did seem rather complicated.  I had read this blog when Lucy had done it and thought it was rather lovely but something for the experts and hadn't thought about it again.  Apologies for the quality of these particular images as they are taken from Lucy's very good handouts.
Now I thought doing the bird would be enough work for the day but no Lucy said that we would be also starting the bower as well!  She had taken so much trouble when preparing for our day with her.  There was masses of yarn laid out all over the studio and she talked to us about the importance of colour and how we should go with our gut reaction.  What colours were we all drawn to - it was so important to get this right.  She was patient and spend time with each person helping them to decide the colours they would use.  As usual I went for red, although as the day went on I was looking at all the other colour combinations and seeing how lovely each one was.  Lucy's yarn finder must have been smoking as there were so many balls of yarn to look at. 
We were started our crochet journey quite early on with Lucy making sure each one of us was given time with her - she is such a natural teaching and has the patience of a Saint.  I think I can honestly say for everyone of us that she really enabled us to have confidence in our ability to make this little bird.  We were such a quiet group as everyone was concentrating on getting it right - there is a lot of counting to do initially and I realise that this is where I have been going wrong in my crochet - I don't really pay enough attention to the counting of the stitches and then wonder why it hasn't worked out.  I didn't take many photographs of the construction as I was too busy concentrating on getting it all right.  I did take this one though, the colours are not really true as the light is not that good but I was pleased with him.
The photograph below looks as if his tail is going off in another direction!
Not perfect but I love him anyway!

We were all well looked after by Lucy and the café staff - there were lots of cakes and fancies in the morning and afternoon and a most delicious lunch - none of us stopped though, we all kept going like fury, not wanting to miss a second of the day.  It all went too quickly.  What was amazing was how different all our little birds turned out to be in their fabulous colours and shapes - here is Lucy taking a photograph of them all roosting in the studio.  It was getting quite dark now and the rain was just coming down in a torrent so the image is not that clear.
Sadly it was time to go and everyone was going on their way home.  I asked a kind lady to take a photograph of Lucy and I and she did, but I was disappointed with the quality after I looked at it later.  I know that I look very tired but my back gave me hell all day and I needed some pain killers.  But you can see for yourself how lovely Lucy is and what a fabulous time we all had.  Thank you Lucy!
This is an update on where I am now with my bower - I have finished it, yippee but am not going to rush it as I have decided to put some flowers on it and really finish it off quietly so that I can put it up in my sewing room (if I can find a spot - might even put it up in the living room if it is good enough).  I realised yesterday after hearing Lucy talk about her blankets that it all takes time and I am always rushing everything trying to get things done which is not how it is all supposed to be.  I learned a big lesson about myself yesterday - I have to slow down a bit with my crafting and try for quality not quantity, something I should have worked out for myself long before now.  However, I think sometimes I am drawn by the necessity of getting the job done through life experience. 
Here he is Folks roosting at home, haven't given him a name yet but will prepare a lovely bower to do him proud.  Hope you all like him.
Well I am fair exhausted by the thrills of yesterday and have to turn my attention back to the rhythm of life once again.  I do hope you all have a good Sunday wherever you are in our beautiful world and take care of yourselves.  Have a good week ahead and be safe and happy.  If you have time please leave a comment as I do love to hear from everyone of you.  Sending you all lots of hugs and loves, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  1. Oooooh Dorothy you lucky lady you, not that I'm jealous really I'm not lol. How I wish I lived near enough to go to Lucy's studio and participate in a crochet workshop, I love her blog and she is such an inspiration. I love your bower bird and look forward to seeing him in his bower when it is completed.
    Enjoy what is left of Sunday and have a good week
    Jackie x

  2. Wow!! How lucky you were to get a spot to join Lucy in her studio! Lucy's blog was one of the first blogs I used to unofficially follow when I first discovered blogs. She always sounds so happy and is such a creative gal. Your bower bird looks amazing ... you must feel so proud of your work from just one day! I think the smiles on your and Lucy's faces says it all, and the picture quality doesn't matter a bit ;) Wendy x

  3. Lucy is certainly the lovely queen of crochet. What a lucky lady you were to be able to join in. And her lucky to have you! It would be a dream come true for me...but thousands of miles away. :-) Maybe one day. You project is absolutely adorable with a happy memory associated with it. Have a grand week Dorothy and thank you for always checking in with me. Always good to hear form you. :-)

  4. Oh wow Dorothy how amazing...and your bower bird is just lovely, i very much like the colours you chose....I do Hope hubby was happy too what did he do all day?
    Thank you for sharing your very exciting adventures
    bestest Daisy xxx

  5. How fabulous is your birdie! I really love the pattern and look forward to seeing the finished result, I just imagine it now!

  6. I am now working out how to get to Skipton ;0)
    I would love to do a Workshop.
    Your bird looks fab.
    Hugs x

  7. Oh Dorothy, what a fantastic day and it sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thank you for sharing your photos and your little bower bird is perfect.
    Marianne x

  8. Your bower bird is lovely, no wonder you are pleased with it. I'm not at all surprised you had a fantastic day Lucy is such a wonderful caring lady. I consider myself fortunate indeed as I have been able to attend a number of knit and natter sessions on Fridays at Coopers with Lucy and Tracy, they are both such lovely welcoming ladies and have inspired me so much. Liz x

  9. Wow that sounds like a fantastic day. I love the colours you have chosen and I think it will look brilliant sat in the little bower. Wello done! Glad your husband could go too Jo x

  10. Jealous? Me? Much? Yeah! Loads... :-) Looks like you had a great day, with lots of fun , learning and great result. Your bird is gorgeous. It's Lucy who's renewed my love of crochet (even though I am very much a beginner too.) I think I need to make me a wreath - I could manage to cover a circle and add some flowers I think. Looking forward to seeing yours finished. Jude.x

  11. Oh WOW!!!! How exciting, I cannot believe that you managed to hold this in and keep it as a surprise for us!! Thank you so much for sharing this Dorothy, I really am thrilled for you that you got to experience this. Your bird looks lovely and will be very pretty in it's bower I am sure. I hope that this will be the start of a whole new adventure in crochet for you and I look forward to seeing what you come up with as and when - in your own good time hey! Hope that you have just as fantastic a week ahead. xx p.s. you look great in your photo, it is nice to be able to picture you now! xx

  12. Lucky you! Your birdie is adorable, well done! xx

  13. That is amazing for a beginner's crochet lesson. I wasted money on a lesson once and was very disappointed at the end of it. You have made a lovely decoration. I might look for lessons with another teacher one day.

  14. Gosh I would love to go to one of Lucy's classes and I bet it was very exciting. I too would have been nervous just like you. I found Lucy's blog way back in 2008 and she really inspired me to crochet again, your bird is fabulous and I can't wait to see him all finish, the photo of you and Lucy is lovely. Glad you had a fabulous day. Take care, Louise

  15. You are so lucky! I love Lucy's blog, it is so inspiring. Love your bird. Can't wait to see him nestling in his bower.
    Have a good week.
    Jacqui x

  16. Oh Dorothy, how wonderful for you, I am so happy you went along and had such a good time; I love your little bower bird, you've done a great job and I really do think you ought to have more confidence in your crafting abilities for you're turning out beautiful pieces in all sorts of shapes and sizes!
    I agree that slowing down is a good idea - I have the same problem, always in a hurry to finish and get onto the next task, but what undue stress we put ourselves under, don't you think?
    I hope your lovely man was okay after his daylong outing - you could have started him off with a bit of crochet, see how he fared, eh?
    The pic of you and Lucy together is so lovely and natural - you look great my dear friend!
    You know of course that the other Dorothy in my life lived in Skipton for many years - way back when - and Lucy bears a strong resemble to her, especially in your first pic of her, so it's so nice to see you both together although rather sad!
    Well m'dear, you have no excuse now - keep up with the crochet hook and yarn - little by little!
    Warm hugs, and much love, Joy xoxo

  17. Such an interesting post about your wonderful day's crochet with lovely Lucy! Your bird is gorgeous, you did a lovely job. So glad you were inspired and have learnt lots! Enjoy your bower making now, Dorothy, and have a happy week.
    Helen xx

  18. Oh my goodness what a treat. I was reading about it and thought it would be a great day out. I love your bird and the colours you chose. I am so happy that you managed to go, you really deserve it my dear. Sending much love xoxo

  19. Seems that you are enjoying your classes and having a great day. The bird and the ring looks marvelous.!!

  20. Such a wonderful and exciting adventure for you dear Dorothy! Your bower bird is perfect and I love the colours and your lovely post!
    Susan x

  21. How lovely to hear about your day with Lucy. We hear about it from her but you tell as a participant, great to get that angle. Thank you. L Anne