“All I can hear from that table are squeals of delight”
“No-one has ever been able to teach me this before”
“Look – I’ve made a square!”
“I’m just watching my son learn to crochet”
“Thank you again”
“My increases don’t leave holes any more”
“I never knew that”
“Right, where can I buy needles and yarn.”
These quotes are typical of what you would have heard if you’d dropped by the UK Hand Knitting stand at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show last week and help explain why we love promoting knitting and crochet so much.
The stand was run by a member of the UK Hand Knitting team each day along with a very talented team of volunteers and was visited by more than 100 keen crafters every day of the show. And it seemed like a great opportunity to tell you about some of our highlights and why passing on your crafting skills can be such a rewarding experience.
On the stand this year we were teaching people to knit or crochet, helping people with their knitting and crochet problems and queries and inviting experienced crafters to make squares for a charity blanket.
As well as all the people we introduced to a new skill, we advised people on steeking, working in the round for the first time, cables and intarsia. Plus we explained (and even rewrote) a few patterns and have hopefully helped a few works in progress make their way towards finished object status.
Apart from all the thanks we received, there is something very special to see someone’s face glow with a sense of achievement and realise that you have helped them to that moment or to see them proudly demonstrate their new skill to a friend. In fact some of our pupils, stayed on to help introduce other people to what they’d just learned.
We learned too
But the stand team learned things too, including:
- New skills from each other
- Better ways to teach. Again either from each other or by finding different ways to explain techniques. I definitely now have a better way to explain one aspect of crochet than before.
- And what can be achieved if you try. For example, late one afternoon we were visited by two deaf ladies who needed help understanding how to add beads to the edging of a lace shawl. Because they lip read and used sign language we had to adapt and find new ways to reinforce what we were demonstrating. Happily, I’m looking forward to pictures of two finished shawls very soon.
But most of all, we were able to remind ourselves that being in a group of people where everyone is crafting and making, is a happy and positive experience.
If you help on a UK Hand Knitting stand, you will have a busy few hours but we can promise a sense of achievement and lots of happy people. If you think this is something you’d like to try, please sign up to the volunteer list here.
Or if you’d like to know what shows we’ll be at this year, sign up to our newsletter for all our latest news.