Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Teaching Workshops

I wanted to share some photos of the Magic Looping workshop that I held in Bellingen on Saturday. It was a wonderful day, with the best group of knitters, and there was lots of laughing and chatting amongst the learning.

I love the entire process of teaching workshops - from putting together the kit's the day before, to setting up for the day. I always try to bring a bunch of flowers with me to brighten the table, and this time a large bunch of native blooms and foliage had pride of place. I made a pompom to decorate each participant's bag, which contained their knitting needles, organic wool and my Cherry Pie Beret pattern.

The setting of the venue, Cedar Bar & Kitchen, is so pretty and pleasant to be in for a day. It's an old church that has been redecorated and turned into a beautiful restaurant. Aside from its pretty looks, the food is scrumptious. I didn't manage to capture a photo of the delicious lunch spread that we enjoyed, but I did get a quick photo of the chocolate brownies that were part of afternoon tea. Alongside them were the fluffiest house-made scones and a beautiful fresh fruit platter.

The lovely ladies I taught on Saturday ranged in skill levels - from more experienced knitters to newer beginners. Everyone left with knitting on their needles and big smiles on their faces, which is always what I want to see at the end of a workshop.
I always feel more excited for my next workshop after having just taught one, and the next one isn't far away! In a few weeks I'll be teaching a Learn to Knit course for absolute beginners, and after that, there comes a Knit a Tea Mouse workshop in September. The latter is another all-day affair, with the goal that everyone leaves with a finished mouse at the end of the day.

A question I am often asked in my workshops is "will I finish this today?". The answer is usually no, as knitting is a slow craft, and when you're learning something for the first time it is always slower. Techniques can be tricky to master, which is why I teach workshops for them. If you leave at the end of the day having mastered the technique then my job is done, and going home with a project you can still practise on is the best way to ensure you'll remember the technique the next time you come along. I don't offer crash courses but technical workshops, and if a skill could be mastered in five minutes, there wouldn't be a need to come to a workshop for it. Because I want students to spend the time at the workshop practising exactly what they're there to learn, I spend a lot of time planning what project best suits the workshop. It has to be something that has the technique I'm teaching right at the beginning of the project so that we can get straight into it.

For me, knitting isn't about the speed of the project either. Whilst it's nice to sometimes make a quicker project, everything knitted takes at least a little bit of time, and that's the joy of the process. Having said that, Tea Mouse only takes me two hours to complete from start to finish, so most people should finish theirs at the September workshop.

Have you ever been to a workshop?
Do you knit, or would you like to?
I hope you have a lovely week!


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  1. I sure wish you had a workshop in Northern California :( and they look great from the knitting/new skills, the flowers, and the food. Some lucky people over there! I knit (a little better than a beginner), but need to have a knit shop close by just in case - ha, ha.


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Maira Gall