Making a Few Changes for the Better!

Ive been reviewing how the knitting and crochet classes work, along with the demand for both beginners and improvers classes and have decided, based on the success of the Crochet Saturdays, the Knit and Natter session that I run on behalf of Solent Uni and the Creative Options Craft Sessions that a change in approach is needed.

Ive also had feedback about the bookings process via Eventbrite and requests from customers to pay cash and pay on the night where possible. In view of this the following changes have been made:

Ways to Pay

Via paypal by clicking on the relevant poster on the Event Page and filling in the registration form at the bottom so that I know which date(s) you are booking for.

BACS, Cheque or Cash – please email bev.bitsandbobs@gmail.com for details

All classes must be paid for in advance, 50%  non-refundable deposit guarantees a place.

Loyalty Cards

I am planning to bring in a loyalty card for all those who attend classes and workshops – Id be interested to hear your thoughts about how this could work – 1 free class for every 10 attended? 1 half price class for every 5? Bring a friend for free? Ill pop a pole up on Facebook later this week

Brochure

I’ll be overhauling the “Learn” page and creating a “Community brochure” with information about classes, work with community organisation, sample learning materials, photos etc. And a “At Home” Brochure for all individual, small group and private bookings, containing similar materials.

1. Mixed Ability Knit and Natter and Crochet and Chatter groups

There will be 2 groups running in Southampton, Crochet on a Monday – hopefully to start at the end of May, and Knitting on a Monday and are open to all.

The sessions will run as follows:

1. A mini weekly workshop on a topic of the groups choice

2. Free choice work on projects with support from me as needed

3. One to one teaching and support for beginners – start whenever you like

4. A monthly workshop, topic to be chosen by the class – you might want to focus on a specific skill or all work on a particular item at your own level e.g. Hat workshop could be anything from a beanie to more complicated stitch patterns or fun character hats using colour work techniques or knitting in the round for a seamless hat.

5. Practice materials available to all

6. A range of learning packs will be available at all sessions

7. Access to a facebook group with a library of all materials – or would you prefer password protected google docs?

8. Refreshments, including homemade cakes from Creative Options Baking Project

Sessions will initially be £8 per week, with a view to reducing the cost as numbers improve. Teens will be welcome at £4.50 per session.

 

2. Crochet at the Velmore

This will continue in its current form, with a themed monthly crochet workshop open to all:

1. Practice materials available to all

2. A range of learning packs will be available at all sessions

3. Access to a facebook group with a library of all materials – or would you prefer password protected google docs?

4. Refreshments, including homemade cakes from Creative Options Baking Project

Access to the facebook group will also be included

£12 per session for adults, £8 for children –  8 years plus, under 12s must be accompanied by an adult

 

3. Masterclasses

These will be held at HobbyCraft Southampton, on the shop floor, in an allocated workshop space.

They are aimed at those who can already knit or crochet but who want to improve their skills by focusing on a specific topic. As the summer is coming we are focusing on Lace Knitting on 31st May and Lace Crochet on 5th July. So plenty of time for you to make something beautiful for your summer holiday!

The upcoming Hobbycraft Demonstrations will be focusing on the techniques I’ll be teaching so why not come along and find out more!

Later workshops will include socks and colour work.

The sessions will run from 10am to 3pm and are £25 (please bring lunch or use the restaurant in Haskins). They will include;

1. All materials from Hobbycraft – just bring a hook or needles

2. Comprehensive learning pack

3. Full tuition

4. The opportunity to design your own unique lace wrap or accessory

5. Access to Hobbycraft’s books and patterns so you can try them out before you buy

6. Access to the Facebook group and the learning library

7. Refreshments, including homemade cakes from Creative Options Baking Project

 

Sneak Previews

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing short posts about preparations for the various classes to give you a taster of what’s on offer!

I’ll also be including short updates on classes in the Newsletter – the next one will be out over the weekend!

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Creative blog challenge Day 4 – Designing

I’ve just picked up a couple of crochet commissions which will have to be designed on the hook.

I love working this way as its possible to swatch, browse through old ideas,  look through my Pinterest boards and let my imagination and ideas flow.

Today I was at a somewhat quiet event and had taken yarn and hooks just in case. So I felt it was the perfect opportunity to start a shrug I’ve been asked to make for a wedding guest.

I spent the first hour swatching, working out tension and trying a variety of stitch patterns – eventually opting for a filet lace.

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I wanted to keep the front edging plain as it was where I would be increasing and decreasing so decided to do 4tr at each end of the row.
I had a look through Pinterest for something to add a bit of interest to the back and chose the flower from the centre of this design:

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I got on surprisingly well and with a bit of tweaking with the fronts and armhole depth am now ready to work a lace edging to widen the fronts.

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Creative Blogging Challenge Day 3 – Colours of Nature

I skipped yesterday essentially because I spent a fair bit of it travelling between Devon and Hampshire, passing through some amazing countryside, some bearing the signs of human occupation from over 6000 years ago, such as the bronze and iron age barrows, circles and hillforts that stud the Dorset landscape as you travel along the A35 between Lyme Bay and Dorchester. The whole area has a sense of timelessness and it is interesting that farmers over the centuries have respected the dwellings of their ancestors:

 

I often find myself inspired by landscape, whether is it the ever changing colours, shades and highlights caused by the seasons and the movements of cloud and sun, the sense of timelessness and allowing my mind to wander to the sheer determination our forefathers had to cling onto the land and make something of it or the play of water as it develops its path from spring to seashore.

2 hills dominated the village where I grew up, Brent Hill and Ugborough Beacon. The village is on the lee or rainy side of these hills plus other high ground of the Dartmoor National Park. They were the older generation’s weather station – if the Beacon had its hat on – was covered in fog – then it was sure to rain. They would often turn white long before the snow hit the village and as kids we anxiously awaited snowfall – although it never got us any time off school!

Image from the Brownston Gallery – Brent Hill

 

Ugborough Beacon, Dartmoor from geograph.org.uk

I have a ball of yarn in my odds and ends pile that I keep putting to one side for a special project.  And this trip has helped me realise why – the colours are redolent of Dartmoor – its a randomised ball of golds and greens, very like the beacon on a sunny day before it becomes covered in thick bracken. Sadly King cole have discontinued the line which is a pity as I am currently knitting a shawl for myself with the purple colour way and its looking gorgeous!

What I will do with it, I’m not certain but I want to capture the sense of undulating hills in the pattern. That suggests some form of waviness to the fabric – perhaps a cowl, perhaps a bag – something casual but beautiful, set off with beads to really highlight the changing heights across the rows? I’m not even certain whether I will use knitting or crochet – I just know I need to do something unique and special with it – something that will root me to the natural beauty I love.

Creative blog challenge Day 2

Yesterday was a day of visiting people and catching up with old friends.  A large group of us descended on my Dad and occupied the upstairs lounge in his rest home and spent time reminiscing.

We’re spending time in the village where I grew up, on the edge of Dartmoor.  Some of the buildings and the basic street plan are centuries old.

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I am passionate about history and the structure of old buildings, the time, effort and often creativity that went into building them or fitting them in to little corners.

I have ideas developing around using medieval carvings, illuminated manuscripts and design. To do this well I feel that I need to spend time visiting, interacting with and experiencing old buildings.

Another thing that inspires me about Devon is the abundance of primroses, from the embankments of the A38 dual carriageway to the peaceful village cemetry, vast swathes of ground are carpeted in soft yellow with the odd splash of blue where early bluebells are breaking through.
Flowers often feature in medieval design so I can envision a way to combine the soft beauty of a Devon spring with the twisting stems of a carved vine.

Creative blog challenge Day 2

Yesterday was a day of visiting people and catching up with old friends.  A large group of us descended on my Dad and occupied the upstairs lounge in his rest home and spent time reminiscing.

We’re spending time in the village where I grew up, on the edge of Dartmoor.  Some of the buildings and the basic street plan are centuries old.

image

I am passionate about history and the structure of old buildings, the time, effort and often creativity that went into building them or fitting them in to little corners.

I have ideas developing around using medieval carvings, illuminated manuscripts and design. To do this well I feel that I need to spend time visiting, interacting with and experiencing old buildings.

Another thing that inspires me about Devon is the abundance of primroses, from the embankments of the A38 dual carriageway to the peaceful village cemetry, vast swathes of ground are carpeted in soft yellow with the odd splash of blue where early bluebells are breaking through.
Flowers often feature in medieval design so I can envision a way to combine the soft beauty of a Devon spring with the twisting stems of a carved vine.

Creative Blog Challenge Day 1 – Easter Sunday

The thing that inspires me most about Easter has to be the cross and all that it symbolises – sacrifice, love, live, relationship with God.

I’ve often crocheted little crosses or used crochet to decorate fabric or neoprene crosses

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But I want to create something much bigger. A free form crochet and embroidery piece, mounted on canvas. I want to base it on a poem I wrote in one of my note books a few years back which I need to dig out 🙂
I want to crochet the cross then embroider the poem around the outside. Its going to be a piece for me….but it would be great to make prints or a kit 🙂

Blogging Challenge

Due to various things I have really got out of 2 important habits that help me creatively. …. keeping my lovely blog up to date and noting things that inspire me, either through sketching in my creative ideas book, yarn plau, photography or simply engaging with the moment
I have a few days break as of today so my plan is to set myself a 7 day challenge, starting tomorrows.
The theme is ‘Creative Inspirations’.
I hope to run this again in the summer and open it out to all comers – perhaps make it a regular event….what do you think?

My other blog commitment is to develop a mini brochure that lets people know about what to expect from a class or workshop.  I aim to write one post per week on this theme.  I will then collate all the posts into a downloadable PDF document. What would you like to see included?

My final blog commitment is to develop some video blogs talking about what I do and why, eventually developing a series of tutorials. This is a huge challenge as I don’t enjoy having my photo taken, let alone being filmed….but I can at least talk for England lol!