Katie Jones and the Great Make Escape

Knitwear Designer Katie Jones has certainly been making waves in the crochet world this year. Her self-named brand has been stocked in luxury stores worldwide and featured on the pages of global fashion and craft publications (not to mention her fantastic window display in Selfridges). Katie has now launched The Great Make Escape, a residential weekend retreat run by Katie and her Mum Annie. The retreat goes hand-in-hand with her next design collection and our editor was lucky enough to head along for the launch!

The Great Make Escape takes place in a gorgeous, modern eco-friendly house, decked out in colourful crochet pieces – making it a total haven for yarn lovers! Simply Crochet’s Editor, Sara Huntington, says: “Katie and her amazing mum were super welcoming and endlessly dished out cups of tea (and glasses of prosecco no less) while we worked away.”

The retreat fits perfectly with the ethos of The DIY Collection, which is all about putting the task of constructing the garment in the hands of the customer, joining in with the love of crafting, and making luxury fashion accessible!

As part of the retreat, you get to choose three designs from Katie’s new DIY range (two accessories and one main item), and you will receive all the materials and guidance you need to make your chosen pieces.

“After a delicious and healthy lunch we embarked on the challenge of making a clasp bag created using Katie’s signature embroidered Aran technique,” says Sara. “The hours passed so quickly as we stitched and chatted, comparing colour choices and helping each other master the techniques we had been shown by Katie. It was totally absorbing and thoroughly satisfying to see each new finished project in its own unique colours and style.”

Katie’s retreat is open to all skills and abilities with projects to please all levels of crafter, so you can concentrate on having fun and socialising with like-minded crafters. The workshop sessions cover a range of techniques including crochet, embroidery, knitting, and macramé, with all the needed materials provided. Sara loved getting stuck in and meeting fellow crafters. “We spent the morning cheerfully making pompoms of all shapes and sizes. With baskets of yarn piled high around us, we could take our pic of colours while we chatted and got to know our fellow retreaters,” says Sara.

The weekend is all-inclusive and you’ll be treated to scrumptious cakes and treats, tea on tap, Fizz, vegetarian buffet lunches, delicious veggie evening meals, and wine.

We think Sara sums up the weekend beautifully: “Katie’s Great Make Escapes have the perfect mix of luxury, socialising and crafting, and are highly recommended.”

The next set of dates for the retreat are 23-25 March, 18-20 May and 6-8 July. More information and how to book your retreat can be found here.