Stitch please! Collaborative crochet with Cathy for Brainchild festival

12 Apr, 2017 | Creativity & Craft, Festivals

I’m baaaack!

I’ve just returned from my travels in India and I’ve been welcomed home with some gorgeous (and rare) English sunshine!As I’m in London for a few weeks before heading back to the South West, on Sunday my friend Sarah invited me to come with her to a crochet workshop down in Vauxhall at The Workshop. Apparently most of her friends had thought she was joking when she asked them but natural me, being the crafty old woman that I am, was keen as a bean to try out a new yarn related skill!

Sarah and I, hooks at the ready!

Cool crochet…

Crochet and other traditional crafts enjoyed a resurgence a while ago, in both the fashion world and as a hobby, so it’s been a long time since it was solely the domain of grannies and WI members. I’ve got quite a few mates who are into it and it’s something I’ve wanted to learn for a while! It’s pretty cool all the different things that can be made with crochet for example my pals, the self professed ‘yarn goddesses’ at Gypsy Garms make all sorts of incredible top designs with just wool and hooks.

Cathy Van Hear teaching crochet skills for Brainchild festival workshop

The workshop was run by one of the creative team at Brainchild festival, Cathy Van Hear, who is a freelance knitwear designer and maker and works with all sorts of brands to create whacky and colourful wooly wonders! Check out this incredible window display that she’s just done for Selfridges…

We were all beginners so we started off learning simple stitches that Cathy demonstrated. I took to it right away steaming ahead of the others with my superior knotting skills… buuut pride comes before a fall and the rest of the workshop was a series of dropped stitches and mistakes for me!

Learn crochet yourself with A Beautiful Mess’ wonderful instruction series.

Smug Sarah with her crochet ring
Abstract crochet art… errrr
Happy hookers!

I rolled with the mistakes and did a bit of freestyle / experimental / impressionist crochet (errrm yeah). So what was supposed to be a nice square accidentally/on purpose became a jellyfish?

Cool House of Holland inspired scarf DIY on Spin Dizzy Fall that could be made if I ever get the hang of those granny squares.

I’ve now purchased a ball of wool and a hook so be prepared for some more crochet calamities from me!


The final aim of the workshop series is to create a collaborative piece of decor for Brainchild festival which will involve lots of hanging crochet mobiles and pom poms and other wooly things. I hadn’t heard much about Brainchild before this workshop but it sounds pretty excellent:

“We are a DIY powered and volunteer-led festival celebrating the talents and ideas of the people around us. For three days in July, we stitch together incredible creative projects into a program of live music, jam sessions, spoken word, DJ sets, talks, workshops, film, theatre and installation art. The festival is a meeting of minds; it is very intimate, with artists, crew and festival-goers all camping together and no VIP areas on site. We push important conversations and interdisciplinary art to the forefront and welcome everybody to get involved.”

Brainchild is 7-9th July in East Sussex and if you’re interested in getting involved in the final two workshops (they’re FREE!) have a look at the event on facebook.


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