Crafty Manolo » Quickie Question: Best Class/Workshop You Ever Took?

Quickie Question: Best Class/Workshop You Ever Took?

By Twistie

If you’ve been crafting for long, chances are that you’ve taken at least one or two classes or workshops to build your skills. Whether it’s about learning a new craft from scratch, discovering new techniques to expand your repertory, or unlearning bad habits, classes can be a huge help.

The best one I ever took? I think that was the one where I learned to use copper and silver wire to make bobbin lace. Loads of fun, and the results can be quite spectacular,  like this fabulous silver bobbin lace choker by Etsy artist Mantzalin:

I had a blast taking that class. My fellow students were loads of fun (though I did manage to be one of the two class clowns, aided and abetted by a charming and blissfully deranged bobbin painter), I picked up a lot of technique, and I’ve continued using wire in my lace ever since, sometimes alone and sometimes in concert with other fibers. That class broadened my horizons in a way no other class I’ve taken has done.

So what about you? Did you take a class or workshop that really stands out as special? Was it because of the techniques you learned? Your fellow students? Something awesome that happened in the middle of class?

Tell me about it.

5 Responses to “Quickie Question: Best Class/Workshop You Ever Took?”

  1. Sarah F Says:

    For my 33rd birthday, my parents gave me a spinning class and a workshop with knitting designer Louisa Harding. Both classes were incredible. I adored spinning, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to afford a spinning wheel ever since. Our teacher carried three different lines of spinning wheels and looms, and we got to try several to find a one that ‘fit’ us. I had a blast learning how to prepare the fiber, card and spin it, and I see rabbits or merinos in my future, when I can spin yarn to knit out of fiber I’ve grown myself. It’s an exciting prospect.

    The workshop was fantastic. Ms. Harding is a lovely lady who told us all about how she designs her patterns, who helps her (it’s a family thing- she designs the patterns, her mother is one of the test-knitters, her husband takes the photographs for her books), and how she got started. We had a fantastic time knitting a bag. It was a great example of how little choices make things different, as we were told to choose 7 different yarns, and then given a pattern to knit them up with. Each person’s bag was very different depending on the yarns they chose. Mine was pink, the lady I went with had an aqua bag, and several other participants had mult-colored bags. I had a fantastic time! The best part? I had one of her books with me, and she autographed it! I’m still in seventh heaven over that one- I adore American football, but even the idea of getting Tony Romo from my Dallas Cowboys to autograph a piece of paper pales in comparison to having Ms. Harding’s signature in that pattern book!

    Hmmmm…maybe I’m a bit weird!

  2. Twistie Says:

    If you’re weird, at least you’re in good company, Sarah F! I took a workshop in Russian bobbin lace with Bridget Cook once and she autographed my book. It’s one of my more prized possessions. In fact, it goes right up there with my signed first edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And the experience goes right up there with meeting Douglas Adams, too. He had the sweetest smile, you know.

  3. dinazad Says:

    I love my weaving course – thankfully, it’s an ongoing course, I’ve been in it for the last three years or so. I love the ladies there, but most of all I love having time set apart especially for weaving. I have a loom at home but never use it since other things that simply have to be done (household, taxes, you name it) leave me with little free time.

    Speaking of bobbin lace: are you acquainted with the work of Vlasta Wasserbauerova? I slobber over her jewelry every time I’m in Prague (next time in three weeks, yay!).

  4. Orora Says:

    I took a class in Twined Knitting ( from Beth Brown-Reinsel and it really opened my eyes. I’d been knitting for awhile but never really felt confident about my skills. I was scared of that class. But I found I really liked the intricacy of it. After my first fumbling, I got pretty good and got into a rhythm. I was good at it and I could knit better than I thought I could. I loved how the fabric came out so warm and finished-looking.

    Once I finished the child-sized mittens we worked in class, I made another full-size pair for myself, which I wore all the time until I lost one this past winter. I’m still heartbroken, but I guess I’ll just have to drag out the pattern and knit another pair. The fact that it’s an ancient and semi-esoteric sub-genre makes me happy. Lots of people have knitted hats, but how many people have strange Nordic twined knitted hats?

    If you’re a knitter and you ever get a chance to take a class from Cat Bordhi, DO IT! I’ve taken a few classes from her and she’s a wonderful teacher. She’s very “try it and see what happens”. She’s taught me to look at knitting and try to alter my perceptions and turn it on its head. I don’t have the time to try all the wonderful ideas she inspires, but I like knowing that she’s out there telling knitters that the way we’ve always knit is not necessarily the way we *have* to knit.

  5. Twistie Says:

    Yeah, yeah, I know those little things like housework that get in the way of important things like crafts.

    I didn’t know about Vlasta Wasserbauerova… but her work is freaking gorgeous! WANT! And then some.

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