Monday, June 6, 2011


On Saturday I went to two classes at the inaugural Handmade at Te Papa.

The fibre seems to have an angelic glow about it in the photo. Well, looks can be deceiving.

In the first class I learned that spinning with a spindle is really really really really hard. I was especially gammy at it so after about half an hour the tutor said, 'Okay Cherie, come and sit up here by me.' After that I improved a little bit, but not very much. And at the end of the hour and forty-five minutes I was so tired from concentrating I wasn't sure I'd make it through the next class.

A reviving few hours in the Knit Lounge perked me up though and I got to covet an amazing crocheted blanket that someone had found at an op-shop and brought in to contribute to Tash's knit graffiti installation (which, unfortunately, I didn't get to see as I had to zoom off to the Wairarapa on Saturday evening, but hopefully she'll post some photos on the OutdoorKnit blog). I badly wanted to steal it. The colours are so great and the pattern is enough to make me want to learn to crochet.

In the 'Learn to Make an Embroidered Needlebook' class I got to do two very exciting things: meet Melissa of Tiny Happy, and learn how to chain stitch! Here is my not-quite-finished poor excuse for an embroidered needlebook next to one of Melissa's beautiful ones:

I was very pleased with my new found chain stitching ability though, I believe I said, 'I'm chain stitching! It's like magic!' aloud a few times. Well, it is. I also got to use a magic sewing machine that was all electronic and flash. Want to change the stitch length? Just push a button. Want to make sure the sewing machine doesn't run away on you if you accidentally put your foot down a bit too hard? Adjust it to a slower maximum speed. Magic!

Overall, my Handmade experience was a good one. I think some of the classes needed to be longer than an hour and forty-five minutes (I heard quite a few other people saying so and I definitely agreed in terms of my embroidered needlebook class) and that the cost of materials should be included in the class cost so that people know the total cost up front, but apart from that I will try to go again next year if it's on and hopefully have time to hang out a bit more. I wish the Knit Lounge was there every weekend!

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