I have always wanted to learn how to crochet, so I naturally jumped at the opportunity when I saw this occupation station on offer. I am a knitter, and have knitted various projects throughout the years, but have never quite mastered the art of crochet yet. I was glad I attended early, as unsurprisingly this session filled up quickly. Helen was a great facilitator in attempting to teach a large class to crochet, luckily there were also some more experienced people in attendance who were also able to teach us the basic stitches.
We were provided with detailed instructions as well as an attractive powerpoint. However, even with these, I wouldn’t say crocheting is a skill I will be adding to my cv any time soon! I struggled almost immediately with how to hold my wool and the crochet needle, and my first attempt at a chain went awry. I was hoping my skills as a knitter may be able to be translated into this project, but to no avail. Conversely, I struggled with the exact same problems I struggled with when I first began to knit, namely that my tension was wrong, so I ended up with some really tight stitches and some far too loose stitches. This created a rather wobbly looking square by the end of it, in fact if we’re perfectly honest, I ended up with an uneven circle. I gave up after one round, I claimed it was to give others a chance to use the hook (as it was so busy there weren’t enough to go around). The truth was, I wasn’t finding it relaxing at all and I could have been there all night trying to master even that basic stitch.
Overall, I did enjoy the opportunity to learn, and can see why it would be relaxing as eventually I assume you get to a stage where you do not need to concentrate as much, similar to the stage I am now in with knitting. It was good to see a mix of abilities in the occupation station, with some having lots of experience already and others that were struggling as much as me.
The occupation stations are a great idea and I hope this is something they carry over into further conferences and develop further!