Saturday, February 09, 2008

Craft-a-Thon Recap

Yesterday, was The Preemie Project's first annual Craft-a-thon. It was a really great day, even though I was not able to stay all day. The organizers did an incredible job of putting it together.

As part of the event, The Preemie Project sponosored a Crafting for Preemies Contest. There were a number of categories (knit/crochet, sewing/ needlework) and items could be based on original patterns or on published patterns (with full attribution given to the original designer, of course). They received a number of really great entries from both local and national volunteers. I wasn't there long enough to see how the judging came out, but I definitely had some favorites and found some new patterns I hope to try.

My entry was a set. Bug hats.
Bumblebee Hat 3
The first is the Bumblebee hat. Readers of this blog will remember this hat, as I originally knit it a year or so ago. I've received a number of requests for the "pattern," but have never taken the time to put it to paper officially. So, I'll write it up soon in preemie to toddler sizes and make it available in some form through The Preemie Project.
Ladybug Hat 2
The second part of the set is the Ladybug Hat. This is a pretty simple and similar version of the Bumblebee hat or a simple roll brim hat. I had wanted to use fleece to make the dots, but the weather this week kept me away from the fabric store so I had to improvise. Eventually, I'll write the pattern up for this one as well. Both are knit using Berocco Comfort purchased at The Knitting Shoppe in Iowa City. I'd like to reknit them using Berocco Comfort DK, as I think a lighter yarn would be a little better for smaller sizes.

Yesterday afternoon, the Craft-a-thon event included a learn to knit session for local Girl Scouts. The event organizers put out the call to the local Girl Scout council, and there was an overwhelming response. Over 70 girls showed up ready to learn and they had turn away a few groups in advance due to space limitations.

I'm going to be honest. I am a skeptic. I was skeptical of our ability to keep that many girls organized, quiet, and to teach them the basics. They substantially outnumbered us. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how patient and incredibly well-behaved they were. Each girl received a kit with a set of knitting needles, a ball of yarn, some instructions to take home, and a pattern for a simple garter stitch hat. Volunteers cast on for the girls and then started them off knitting. I was also suprised at how quickly a number of these girls picked it up. There were certainly issues here and there, but for the most part the girls kept trying and made great success for just a couple hours of lessons.

The space was packed...

TPP Craft-a-thon 2008 -1

The Preemie Project had some assistance. Our guest speaker, the author of Knitting for Peace, Betty Christiansen, helped enormously with the girls. And the proprietors of our two local knitting stores helped immensely by lending their expertise. Most importantly, the girls seemed to have a good time and to actually be interested in learning the craft. The fact that pizza was provided didn't hurt either. I wish I had taken a few more pictures, but I know that The Preemie Project's intrepid web guru will have plenty to add to the official site soon.

5 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Wool Winder said...

What a fantastic turn out. I love your hats!

Knittripps said...

I think that is so neat. Maybe a few of those little girls are part of the next generation of knitters!

RadioactiveUnicorn said...

You won first in the original design category as well as volunteer's choice. ;) Awesome hats!

AndreaLea said...

Great picture! I can't wait to see the rest of the ones we got.

Chelsea said...

I loved your hats. Congrats on the wins!

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