Deanne and I have been on leave for a couple of months over the school holidays. We’ve been travelling and busy with family. Now everyone is settled back into school and university (both of our first born started this year), we are ready to get stuck into some serious Thread Sharing.
Over the Summer we have been thinking about what we are trying to achieve through Shared Threads? What should our goals be for this year? We have listened to our Shared Threads community and talked to many other people about our ideas.
Shared Threads began last year with the aim of bringing people of different ages together through craft: Knitting Community Together. Both Deanne and I came to this idea independently. For me, the idea came from my own experience of crafting with others over many years as well as my awareness of the benefits of having many good people in my life – my village. Conversations with a number of people made me aware that many people lack a strong network of friends and family. Engaging in craft activities has so many benefits – the pleasure of making something, of learning new skills, sharing skills with others, making things for oneself and making things to give away, relaxing with others or by oneself. Many people have reflected on these benefits in their class feedback over the past few months. There is also the pleasure of meeting new people, engaging in interesting conversation and treating oneself to some time out away from the busy lives we lead where our own time and needs are often last to be considered. Most importantly, Shared Threads events are a lot of fun!
Other benefits we have become more aware of are the therapeutic elements of engaging in craft activities. A number of our participants (including myself) have talked about the role of knitting or crochet in their recovery from or living with chronic illness. We hope to write more about this later in the year.
Distilling all of these factors we reflected that the common elements were community, making and well-being. Clinical Psychologist Martin Seligman, of Positive Psychology fame talks about well-being as having 5 core elements: positive emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects), engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose and accomplishment (PERMA for short). We thought that summed up what we were trying to do pretty well! You can read more about Seligman’s work here.
This year we are planning some fun and interesting workshops featuring a range of crafts and we have been able to recruit some of a Shared Threads participants to teach us. Coming up first on March 18th we have a Recycled Shopping Bag making workshop with Colette Reynolds at The Bronte Sewing Room. On Sunday 15th April, the lovely Susan Solomon will be leading an Ikebana Workshop (details to follow). In late May we are going back to knitting and crochet for a peaceful crafternoon of stitching in anticipation of the colder months. Later on we in the year we are planning some more interesting workshops as well as opportunities to gather peacefully to craft in a relaxed and nurturing environment. We will be partnering again with The Australian Design Centre for Sydney Craft Week with some exciting plans at the distilling stage. And on July 21st we will be partnering with Mama Creatives for a Creative Family Workshop at The Little Space in Bondi Junction. More details to follow.
As you will see we are in the process of expanding the content of our website. Watch out for regular profiles of Makers (see our first about Susan Solomon), providers (yarn shops etc) and facilitators of craft (ie those that run workshops and retreats, produce magazines, write blogs and websites).
We hope you will join us online or for our workshops this year. We look forward to seeing you.