There’s something special about gathering with like-minded people to play with your favourite craft, whether it’s knitting, crochet, macrame, or whatever floats your boat. Crafters are generally sociable, but not all of our friends really ‘get’ it, and it’s good to spend time with people who can enthuse about your project with you, share ideas, and admire your latest creation.
It’s difficult for many of us to find a craft group that meets in the right place, on the right day of the week, and at the right time. (I’ll call it a craft group so nobody feels left out, you know what I mean). One solution is to look online at the forum-based groups, like Crochetville, Craftster, Ravelry, Craftsy, etc, look on Facebook, but another option might be to set up your own craft group.
It does involve some admin, but if you can attract enough people you might make a really great group, and if you are flexible it keeps the work to a minimum. Here are a few things to consider…
Decide who will come
Will it be open to just your own circle of friends, or will you welcome everyone? What crafts do they plan on bringing? You might need good light and tables, or just work off a sofa. What restrictions are there in terms of time, location, what they are willing to pay, whether sessions will be structured with regular workshops or just meet for a chat and catch-up, etc.
Find a venue
You could try craft shops, but don’t restrict yourself, people who enjoy one craft enjoy trying others. Look at community centres, libraries, church halls, pubs, bars, and cafes. Look for somewhere with good links to public transport and easy parking. Ask permission to hold the meeting every week, month, or whatever you choose, and check if you need to pay room hire or any other expenses, (consider how you will pay if nobody comes one week). Also look at the size. It’s not good for 5 people to rattle around in a large sports hall, but you don’t want to be squashed if extra people turn up. Personally I would advise against meeting at someone’s house because it might not always be convenient.
Make sure people are willing to pay what you need to cover the cost of the venue, or their drinks. Even if they say they are, make sure they are committed enough to turn up, or you’ll be out of pocket. If you are meeting in a cafe or bar, either price the session to include a drink, or make sure they buy at least one cup. Some people might try to join in without buying anything, which looks stingy and rude, and doesn’t help the cafe.
Got a time? Got people? Got place? Excellent, now get started. Tell your peeps, plus anyone else you want to bring along. You might try the local paper, forums, posters in libraries, supermarkets, craft shops… You could even carry around flyers, and give some to friends to pass out. Remember Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry, UKHKA, emails, in fact every time you talk to someone. In future you could send out emails (Bcc people in), or use a ’round robin’ system where you phone each other.
Email me details of your group. If you have a postcode starting with PR_, I would love to list it on my Preston Groups page.
Now the groundwork is done, it’s time to enjoy it. Make sure you arrive early to sort out the venue, work out the lighting, greet the staff, etc. You need to be there first to relax and create a welcoming atmosphere. Meet and greet people as they arrive, introduce yourself, make sure they have drinks, make sure you speak to everyone, and try to involve them, because now people might look towards you to lead the group. You will have time to relax but make sure you look after your peeps and you’ll be rewarded.