Continuing the great success we had with last year’s Happy Hookers: Crochet for Beginners class, Boone County Public Library will be offering Hook & Needle, a new series of craft classes, at the Main Library in 2015. These are single meeting, project based crochet and knitting classes offered throughout the year. We wanted to be able to offer classes to crafters at all skill levels and have them leave with what they need to complete a project in just one class. The series will start with a set of three beginner’s level classes -a crochet scarf (January), an arm-knit infinity scarf (February) and a crochet beanie (March) with future classes announced in the the Discover newsletter. The idea behind the Hook & Needle classes came from the great success we have had over the last few years with other crochet class programs and the library’s participation in International Yarn Bomb day in June.
In the beginning there were granny squares… The first major crochet project we put on was a community charity quilt through Warm Up America in 2011. Participants attended a beginner’s class to learn the granny square pattern and pick up the supplies to make squares for what would become a queen-sized blanket that was donated to the Women’s Crisis Center in Hebron. It took ten of us about two months to complete the 4- square blanket seen in the picture.
Why is the Library wearing a Sweater? The Main Library began participating in International Yarn Bomb Day in 2013. Every year on June 8, crafters around the world “yarn bomb” buildings, statues, trees, and even bridges by wrapping them in crochet or knitted pieces. Yarn bombs are really communal art installations, a chance to come together and do something fun as a group that the whole community can then enjoy. We have been wrapping the pillars on either side of the door, adding a third pillar in 2014. For 2015, we have plans to “bomb” the statue of Mary Draper Ingles – Look for a class especially for the yarn bomb in May.
Ruffle Scarf Explosion Up until September of 2013, all the crochet classes had been small, around ten people at the most attended, but all that changed with the Ruffle Scarf class. What started as one 20 person class, quickly became three classes as the wait lists filled twice. It was an overwhelming success and would lead to an interesting experiment the next year.
From Beginner to Blanket in one year After the ruffle scarf class, we knew we had the audience for more classes and we embarked on a very ambitious project. Happy Hookers: Crochet for Beginners would be a year-long, monthly class that would teach a new pattern each month. At the end of 2014, each participant had a nine block sampler blanket, participated in the yarn bomb, and made a block for a blanket that will be donated to Project Linus. Each block that the class learned added something new to their crochet knowledge — be it a new stitch or technique.
We are excited to offer the Hook & Needle series at the Main Library over the coming year, and look forward to sharing these great heritage skills. For the more experienced crafters, BCPL is continuing the popular In the Loop, a crochet and knitting group that meets every Monday at 10 am at Florence Branch. There is also a new teen crafting meet-up at Scheben Branch called Threading Thursdays that meets the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm.
Katie Widener, a Burlington native, attended U of L and UK before becoming a Reference Librarian at Main Library in 2011. When she’s not crocheting, she is usually found geeking out over something- be it Harry Potter (Slytherin house rules!) or comic books.