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Needle Crafting workshops

with Rachel Millington

Beginners Crochet  (taught right-handed only)

An introduction to the delightful craft of crochet. Aimed at complete beginners, this course will show you exactly how to begin, and take you slowly through the first couple of stitches you need in order to get going. Yarn and hooks will be provided, we will work towards being able to crochet a chain, useful for draw-strings and hanging decorations, to start joining to make a circle, then crocheting flowers to practice a few crochet stitches. 

I will show you how you can use these few basic skills to start crocheting a Poldark-style, wrap over shawl, which you can continue with once you're at home. These shawls can be made with anything from lace weight to chunky yarn, giving you endless possibilities to create attractive accessories.

You will need to bring a 5mm crochet hook and some DK yarn. You can buy or borrow a crochet hook on the day, and there will be a selection of free yarns to choose from, to practise and get going, and a small selection of yarn for sale. 

Beginners Knitting (taught right handed only)

An introduction to this useful and rewarding hobby. You will learn a little about how to choose suitable yarn, needles and patterns. You will learn and practise casting on, casting off, knit and purl stitch. You will be assisted until you can 'go it alone' to create your first piece of knitting such as knitted squares, suitable for making into a baby blanket etc, or knitting in the round to make a cowl. Once you've mastered these basics, you will ready to embark on a project of your own, such as scarves, hats and simple baby garments. You will need to bring 4mm knitting needles and some DK yarn. There will be a small selection of knitting needles and yarn for sale on the day. 


On this course you will have a short introduction to English Paper Pieced Patchwork quilting, known as EPP patchwork. 

This technique involves creating a panel of hand stitched hexagons. This is distinctly different from machine stitched patchwork. You will be provided with enough equipment and materials to make an EPP sample, which you can put to many uses such as decoration for a dressmaking project, or making a pot stand, or a small try cloth and so on.
You will learn about how to get the most out of the colour and design aspects of you chosen fabrics, and also learn a about using tonal values. You will learn how to prepare your fabric, how to use the templates, how to build up your panel and how to finish off your panel. 

You need to bring your own embroidery scissors, fabric scissors if you have some, cotton thread, and your own fabric if you wish. There will be a selection of fabrics on sale on the day. Plus a sharp pencil or fine line pen and some thin card.

Kantha Embroidery 

Learn about this age-old technique of stitching, originally intended to repair clothes, which has now been elevated to an art form. You will be taught about composition, design, stitch technique and you will make a sampler. Your sampler will provide a starting point for further development in your own time.

This technique has been used by many cultures over time to add decoration to fabric, notably India and Japan. We will explore some of the traditional design ideas, using straight and curved lines, and look at how these ideas can be used for decorative darning. 

All materials will be provided for you to get started on you first ever piece of Kantha! But you could bring some pure cotton or linen fabric (dressmaking weight), embroidery threads, needle and scissors.


Textile Decoration part 1

The aim of this workshop is to teach you how to create detail and decoration onto fabric. That fabric can then be used for a range of purposes such as embroidery, dressmaking and bag making etc. 

a) surface decoration- adding colour and pattern on top of the fabric surface, such as printing and painting

b) decoration by partial or complete immersion in dye, such as pleating/tie dyeing 

c) negative decoration by using bleach to remove colour in some areas using a range of tools/techniques .


Textile Decoration part 2

Ideal for those who have attended part 1, but not essential. 

Assuming some knowledge of the basics of applying colour to fabric, we will take it a step further, and begin to explore more complex printing patterns and surface decoration, creating greater depth and richness in the finished pieces. 

This course will also teach how to use simple running stitch to create gathers in fabric which will then be dyed, so beginning to explore Sashiko.

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