Looking back on our workshop…I am actually pretty proud of what we did. I think Tara and I benefited from the great workshop put on by Elizabeth and Tracy. For me, their workshop expanded my imagination of the possibilities and helped me reframe ours as a more communal/collaborative time. So, cheers to them for going first.
Some of the best qualities of our workshop I think were: the off-site location with Tara’s beautiful crocheted blankets. We wanted to promote a calm, welcome environment to start our workshop and sensually, I think this nailed it. Also, Tara and I had a relatively organized structure for our two hours, particularly at the beginning. We wanted a good introduction to locate our intentions and goals, both in our crocheting and the book. Reading a couple quotes from the Book of Joy centered (I hope) us and provided the platform we needed to move onto our craft.
Tara did…such a great job with the instruction booklets. We didn’t talk about her also crocheting sample pieces for everyone. I was blown away when I saw that the morning of. That said…teaching crocheting is still a challenge and I was a little surprised and how difficult it was. I am not trying to put that on our fantastic cohort…it is just that crocheting is a very hands-on and detailed act, in many cases, it requires a feel or sensitivity that is very tough to teach. Instead, I think it takes time and failure and eventual success to pick up how to hold your hands, how tight to keep the yarn etc. Time not is something we had a lot of in the workshop, so we just kind of hopped person to person on the blankets. At times, it felt a little disorganized. Bigger yarn might have helped visually as students were just trying to learn it.
Our end also felt a little discombobulated. I wish we would have been able to put together the khata and take a picture with it. I think a concluding picture or moment, quote or even better: an opportunity for the students to express their feelings/impressions, could have really sealed the experience. Thinking about it now, it would have been interesting to hear what the takeaways were.
Overall, I really enjoyed doing the workshop with Tara. I think we did our best to manicure a good and thoughtful experience, while sharing a traditional craft. If I were to do it again, I think I’d like to improve on the communal nature of the workshop, perhaps with snacks/sharing food. I’d also like to include an intentional ending. Another good idea could be to give students a list of resources to look at in case they wanted to explore crocheting further.