By Sophie Jackson
Although long thought of as the hobbies of grandmothers, recent years have seen crafts like knitting and embroidery find a new lease of life in a much younger generation. Here in Cardiff, proof of this exists in StitchSoc, a brand new needlecraft society formed this academic year which welcomes individuals of all abilities and currently focuses on the practices of knitting, crochet and cross stitch in particular.
Despite being such a new society, StitchSoc has already managed to achieve bronze-tier status in its first term alone, with aspirations for a silver-tier rank by the end of summer, and membership only costs £3. After feedback from our members, we’ve moved locations for our weekly meet-ups this term to the fourth floor of the Students’ Union – you can find us up in room 4H every Tuesday from 7pm to 9:30pm, where we bring our current projects, offer each other craft-related help, and generally just enjoy the company.
If you’re not sure about StitchSoc, or if needlecrafts are for you, our Give It A Go sessions are a great way to try your hand without needing to commit to anything. Most recently, we held our first Give It A Go session of 2016 by inviting people of all abilities to try knitting. Committee members showed examples of all the sorts of things you can do with knitting, providing the chance to look through a number of books, and began by explaining the basic concept. While most attendees were completely new to the craft, there were some who had tried knitting before but needed a refresher. Everyone who showed up finished the session having learnt the basic knit stitch, with some more advanced knitters learning the basics of knitting in the round.
If you missed the first Give It A Go session, or you want to try your hand at another type of needlecraft, there’s no need to worry, as we still have two upcoming sessions in the next few weeks. After a week off for Valentine’s, we’re back in the Main Building Workshop Room on February 21st for a crochet workshop suitable for both beginners and advanced crafters, and then on February 28th for a joint cross stitch and needle felting workshop. This latter session is the first chance we’ve had to offer needle felting, so make sure you don’t miss out! Both sessions run from 1pm to 3pm and offer a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, taking time out from stressful studies to learn a new skill and meet new people.
The Give it A Go sessions are only £1 each for non-members and free for existing members, and optional £5 starter packs are available to buy from StitchSoc, either on the door at the sessions or online on our society page. Buying a starter kit not only means that you’ll be able to take your work home with you, but will also provide you with the means to keep practising and improving. For more information, and to keep up-to-date with what’s going on, just search ‘Cardiff University StitchSoc’ to find us on Facebook.
StitchSoc membership, starter packs and Give it A Go sessions can all be purchased from http://www.cardiffstudents.com/activities/society/StitchSoc/