Crochet workshop at Rufford Craft Centre

Crochet Beyond the Basics

If you have learnt the basics of crochet (you can make a chain, double crochet, and treble crochet and have made a granny square or two) then eventually you’ll want to move on to something a little harder. Maybe you’ve looked at patterns or charts and wondered what it all means. Maybe you find British and American crochet terms confusing. Maybe you’re not sure if you are making the stitches correctly.

Warm-up those fingers

I designed my popular Crochet Beyond the Basics workshop to help you with these problems. You start with some simple samples in basic crochet stitches, a warm-up for your fingers if you like. Just a few rows of double crochet, then a few working firstly through the front loop only and a few through the back loop only. There’s nothing difficult here! Sometimes someone realizes that they usually work their stitches through one loop only, and they may decide to continue doing this because they like the effect. This is fine, as long as you know you are doing this. You will do a couple more variations of the basic stitches, then you move onto a project.

It was good because I learnt new things at each stage.

The grand finale!

Drawstring crochet bag

Some people have come to this workshop simply because they like the project, a drawstring bag. You will learn how to crochet a circle that becomes the base, then you’ll crochet a tube for the sides. The stitch on the sides is a cluster stitch, a simple variation of the stitch used for a granny square. The border around the top is a shell stitch with little picots on top. Nothing really complicated …

The best part was realising that some stitches which look complicated, in fact can be easy.

Show and tell

Cluster stitch drawstring bag

Cluster stitch drawstring bag

Cluster stitch drawstring bag


I compare British and American crochet terms and how to know recognise them in a pattern. I explain the abbreviations used in written instructions and the symbols used in charts. The pattern has both, so if you are familiar with the one you can see how the other relates. And if there is something you are not sure about you can ask, as many times as you like!

The best part was Nicki’s long-suffering nature and patience.

I don’t mind demonstrating several times, and I’ll talk you through the stages of a stitch as you do it. If you’ve been reading Being Knitterly for a while you will know that I’m left-handed, and yes, I do crochet left-handed.

Having someone left-handed was a real bonus!

But I’ll demonstrate both left- and right-handed. I’m very slow at crocheting right-handed – it really does not come naturally to me! However, it’s great for demonstrations since you can see exactly what I’m doing.

Rufford Abbey

I’ll be teaching the Crochet Beyond the Basics workshop at Rufford Abbey, just north of Nottingham, on Saturday 16 August 2014. The Abbey itself was founded in 1145 and was closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It became a fine country house, which was extended and altered over the years. Today you can see ruins of some of the original abbey and parts of the house.

Rufford Abbey


Workshops take place at Rufford Craft Centre. This building was the stable block, which you’ll be pleased to know is definitely not a ruin. Rufford Craft Centre comprises a gift shop, a craft shop, The Big Art Space, The Small Art Space and an exhibition gallery. The exhibition during August is “Structure” by Fibrefusion, a contemporary textiles group. Although I mainly knit and crochet, I find other textiles inspiring, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the exhibited work.

Gargoyles at Rufford Abbey


As well as the crochet workshop and exhibition, you can wander around the ruins and spot the gargoyles. You can walk around the grounds. It is a favourite spot for locals.

Gargoyles at Rufford Abbey


You can book a place on Crochet Beyond the Basics workshop here. The price includes materials, instructions and the pattern for the drawstring bag.

I shall bake a cake or two. You can buy lunch in the nearby cafe or restaurant, or you can bring your own. If it is good weather (August, so let’s hope so) you can picnic outside – definitely my favourite option!

I enjoyed it very much. Very happy. Good teaching, well worth the money.

A crochet workshop, cake and a textile exhibition – treat yourself to a lovely day out!

Upcoming knitting and crochet workshops

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