Monday, November 26, 2018

A Year of Workshops

Prepping the kits the day before

On Saturday I taught my last knitting workshop for the year, and as I looked around the table while everyone's heads were bowed in busy concentration, I realised that I couldn't have asked for a nicer workshop to end the year on. Saturday's group of knitters were truly the loveliest bunch that made teaching the workshop easy and relaxing.
The workshop was Learn to Knit socks, and by the end of the day there were some finished little socks (we knit a mini so that all the techniques could be covered in the short time) and every single student had a big smile on their face and plans to continue on knitting socks. I do believe some even planned to cast on a pair as soon as they got home!

The mini workshop sock
Nettle Sock yarn was taken home by some students to knit into socks straight away.

Spending the day surrounded by others eager to learn new knitting techniques filled me up with inspiration for next year's teaching and workshops. Before Saturday, I was unsure if I would run any more workshops in 2019. I love teaching them, but they are Not the actual workshop - yes, it's a busy day and my mind is usually quite tired by the end - but the lead up to the workshop is very time-consuming. The initial planning of a workshop can be quite mind-stretching work; knitting is a slow craft and finding a way to fit the learning of techniques into a 3 or 6 hour time period can be tricky. But once that stage is over, it's the lead up that I find tiring. Promoting your own event/workshop is hard work, especially as you're targeting a very specific area (the local area, or anyone within driving distance).

Once the day arrives, however, and I'm putting the flowers on the table, yarn out in baskets and the kits in front of each chair, I'm filled with excitement and nerves. Once the class begins my nerves vanish, and I spend the following hours deep in knitting, which is just the best. I love seeing people's faces light up when they succeed, and their excitement at getting started is infectious. On Saturday we paused in the middle for lunch, which I ended up letting run for nearly an hour to give everyone's minds a rest, and because everyone was having such a good time talking. When I teach workshops, it's the joy of sharing skills with others that I love. To encourage someone and know that there are now more sock knitters in the world makes me happy, and to see them go home happy and inspired at the end of the day is all I ask for.

After lunch, everyone was ready to learn to turn a heel, which is the most technical part of a sock. A few heels were unpicked several times, but in the end, all heels were turned and those that hadn't finished were nearly at the toes. I think afternoon tea gave a much needed chocolatey energy boost after the heels!

The ornament we'll stitch at A Crafternoon Tea Party

With my last workshop being the one I've probably enjoyed the most so far, I'm really looking forward to the little crafty event I'm co-hosting next month. A Crafternoon Tea Party isn't a workshop, but a social and fun afternoon out for crafty folk. I'm looking forward to sitting down, chatting to others about their craft and enjoying some relaxing stitching. We're also having a very talented local lady bring along her spinning wheel, yarns, fibres & fleeces to show everyone all of that. I'm very excited because I think it's going to be lovely! There will also be a flower arranging demonstration from Paper Leaf Press, and her posies are also so pretty I can hardly wait.

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  1. Your workshops sound wonderful Sarah; I honestly wish I lived closer. Thank you for your inspiring newsletters & posts they have been wonderful! Who would believe that we need to start planning for the new year. Already!! I am going to try very hard to get to one of your workshops in 2019 ✨

    1. Thank you , Melissa! My mind is trying to plan the new year already, but I'm trying to say no to myself and just try and enjoy the year that still's tricky!
      I'd love it if you could come along to a workshop! x

  2. My daughter runs printmaking workshops and says exactly the same about promoting. I like the idea of making a mini sock to learn all the skills.

    1. The promoting would have to be the biggest part! Knitting a mini the only way to get through a sock in a day :-)

  3. Congratulations Sarah. I’m betting you’re a delightful teacher and that your students do so well because of your knowledge and sharing skills. Still hoping to get to a class one day!

    1. Why, thank you so much, Meredithe! I'd love to meet you at one of my workshops one day :-)


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Maira Gall