After I returned from teaching my workshops in Dublin a few weeks ago, I was asked whether a guest blog post might be of interest, to offer insight to the fabulous location (hint: it's one of my fave places to teach) and offer some feedback from workshop participants. And here we are!
Hello Everyone! Today's blogpost is a guest post by me, Nadia (Bunnyt on Ravelry) and I'm going to take you on a journey behind the scenes at two of Woolly's Workshops. For those of you who don't know me, I have the wonderful job of working in This is Knit in Dublin, where Woolly recently held her workshops. This was Woolly's fourth time teaching with us, and we're always so excited when she comes to visit! Our customers are always eager to learn from her too, and both workshops were sold out well in advance.
For those of you who haven't been to This is Knit, the shop is based in the gorgeous location of Powerscourt Townhouse on South William street in Dublin 2, which is also part of Dublin's Creative Quarter. This is a striking Georgian building with both rococo and neo-classical styles under one roof and the Georgian Society tells us, that it was once used to store the wool from the Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow, before it was to be exported. With such rich history, it's a fantastic location for a family run LYS . We hosted the workshop in the old ballroom of the house, complete with antique drop glass chandelier. Oh yes, nothing but the best for our Woolly!
See, she loved the circle spotting:
Woolly filled the space with stunning Hat samples, beautifully presented notes and oodles of energy and creativity and all before the knitters came to join us. I can tell you that there was a lot of effort put into those class notes and reports from the students have been fantastic. The first 3 hour workshop kicked off with an early start and the knitters were quickly drawn in by the swatch samples of Reversible Cables. The students quickly became engaged and creative by planning how to work their reversible cables into shaping and garments. There was such a buzz, in fact, that there were people peering in the huge windows and wanting to join in!
Woolly had shared some friendly advice with our afternoon students: sugar would be required! This session was a very mathematical look at the magic behind rotating stitch patterns. "Turning Sideways" covers how turning our knitting through ninety degrees affects stitch patterns and increases/decreases, and how that we can be used to our advantage. It's not for the faint of heart, but us Irish Knitters, we are brave! Armed with chocolate, coffee and trusty needles we worked on swatches that came alive into 3 dimensional forms.
One of the best reasons to attend a Woolly Wormhead workshop (other than meeting her fabulous self) is being able to get your knitterly paws on some of Woolly's beautiful Hat samples. There were samples from Painted Woolly Toppers and the recently published Painted Woolly Toppers for Kids , in which Ivy-May steals the show for me! Go on, it's ok to stroke the screen no one is looking:
We had a little modelling show of our own too! We just couldn't help ourselves - you only get this chance once right?
How do you bring a day like this to a close? Well the lovely ladies Lora and Deirdre from Olann and Magazine popped by and had a lovely chat with Woolly and they modelled two of their personal favourites from the collection. These are the ladies behind Ireland's first dedicated fibre and craft magazine - don't they look great with their Woolly Toppers?
From left to right Lora and Deirdre from Olannand Magazine wearing Vortice and Gallone. Photocredit from Olannand with permission.
So you've heard enough from me, but what did the students themselves have to say? I nabbed a knitter, Surfguna to be exact, and here is what she had to say about her workshop:
I did the sideways knitting workshop, and I loved it. It was really fascinating to think about turning my knitting and also working out the maths to make a hat to fit me and work with the yarn I had brought. For me, one of the big "ah-ha" moments was measuring my head correctly and learning how to pick a hat size to suit. My hats tend to always end up too big, so hope that works better for me know.
I've actually cast on a hat using my maths from last weekend, and I am nearly finished. I think it's the first time I've done a workshop and actually used the skill immediately. Woolly is a fascinating and patient teacher. She took her time to explain, and explain again her concepts. Really enjoyed the whole experience.
If you want to catch one of Woolly's Workshops I hear she is going to be teaching at Edinburugh Yarn Festival in 2017, and there might be a space or two available on her workshops at Countess Ablaze and The Knit Studio this November. If you want to hear more from me, you can catch me over on CottageNotebook.ie.
If you are ever in Dublin, do stop in to meet us all in This is Knit. We'd be delighted to chat all things Woolly!