Show Me How for Families – 11th July – Carillon Court Shopping Centre.
On the 11th July I ran two crochet workshops for LUArts (Loughborough Universities contemporary arts programme) as a part of their Market Town project. An arts project which is designed to illustrate the potential of our town.
Artist Ania Bas designed the Show Me How element of the project – a series of workshops led by local makers designed to illustrate how our town could be a place of skill sharing.
In an unused unit in Carillon Court Shopping Centre the makers, artists and organisers gathered along with members of the public who signed up for the free making sessions.
Super Hero side kick Nelson also made an appearance – he loves being around crafts and crafters.
I ran two beginner crochet workshops, focusing on the chain which is normally used at the beginning of every pattern although it is very rarely used on its own. I decided to show that the chain is just as versatile as other crochet stitches so we made flowers out of our chains.
The first of these sessions was crammed – such a lovely turn out with at least 4 families attending, including a young lad who had never even intended on coming to the crochet session but got the chance to learn this and Marquetry with one of the other makers later that morning.
I began this session by illustrating the basics to the whole group however I find that it is often better on a one to one basis so I went round to every family and showed them individually as well. I spent the rest of the session bouncng around the room – largely going to where there were confused faces. This usually works!
It is sometimes easy to forget how difficult it is when first learning to crochet however I often get left handers coming to workshops to learn how to crochet and I always try to turn things around so that they can see how it’s done. This is a great reminder for me of how difficult I found it when first learning to crochet.
I use stories about mistakes I have made and daft things I did when first starting out such as when I snapped the yarn because I could not get the tension right. These stories are often helpful when teaching beginner crochet, they help to aleviate frustration and they generally cause a smile or laugh. It is always good to remember that we were all beginners once.
Artist Ania Bas helped a lot with teaching.
It was great to have Ania on hand to help me – she is a wonderful teacher.
What was really lovely was when family members started to help each other. I find that this often happens in workshops, and I think this really embodies what Show Me How is all about – teaching and skill sharing between people.
The second of these workshops was much smaller but no less amazing. The skill from the participants was awesome. Everyone picked up the skills really quickly and before I knew it we had some lovely flowers.
This little girl was an absolute whirlwind and managed to make two little flowers which she turned into a necklace – ingenious!
And Nelson also got a hug for his hard work welcoming visitors.
A huge thank you to Ania Bas for welcoming me to the project and giving me the chance to work with some marvellous people. Also a huge thank you to all the particpants who came to the workshops – I hope that they enjoyed them and that they will continue to work with yarn.
Thanks to Kev Ryan of Charnwood Arts for the Photographs. To view more images from other Show Me How for Families workshops visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129849401@N04/sets/72157655863344471/with/19679476032/