Couldn't make it to this week's Knitcraft Social at +Hobbycraft Milton Keynes? Catch up on all the gossip with Emma Harrison-Brown @pidgmaleon's awesome new weekly review.

So, the very 1st Knitcraft Social at +Hobbycraft Milton Keynes has really taken off and I am absolutely loving hosting it!

I only wish more of you around the world could come!!

But you can still join in the fun by tagging your work every Thursday 11am to 3pm across social media with the tag #knitcraftsocial... me and +Hobbycraft love to see what you are working on! 

Since November, our weekly meeting has forged real friendships and with one member missing for 3 weeks on holiday at the start of this year, gorgeous lady Emma @pidgmaleon decided it would be a fun idea to write a little note to Jude every week to keep her updated on our crocheting shenanigans... 

So I thought maybe you guys would also like to know what yarny-mischief we get upto for 4 hours a week playing hooky and knitty nora, so every week you can now catch up on the gossip with Emma's weekly Knitcraft Social review. 

Knitcraft Social Thursday 5th January 2017

I was a little nervous about coming to this week's social because it was so busy before Christmas – both in terms of +Hobbycraft itself and people shopping and asking us questions whilst they are choosing yarn, and also in terms of having quite a few of us around the table all competing for Miki’s attention in making the baubles!

And what to bring to work on – I wonder how many granny squares Jude has whipped up out there in the sun? I really like crocheting in different places, I feel like you are stitching memories in a way, you can look at the squares you have made and remember where you were when you made them.  So, I didn’t know what to bring to work on because last time we were doing the baubles altogether, and sometimes in the nattering environment I do find it quite hard to concentrate, so I wanted to bring something that was not going to take too much concentration or counting.  

Then, there was a lady called Kate coming along who Miki knows through the social media app Instagram.  And you know, this social media business is all a bit UNSOCIAL sometimes really – I think that people invest so much time in putting things on facebook and Instagram accounts and taking perfect pictures that it takes away from real life socialising which is why the knitcraft social is so special because it happens in real life with real people like you!  And I wouldn’t have met Jude, Peggilini and more wonderful ladies through Instagram! Kate @lanaboushop and Miki had never even met before in real life!  

Miki and Kate and I got on together really well which was really nice because neither Miki nor I had met Kate in person only chatted on Insta.  Kate runs an online shop 'lanaboushop' through Etsy here, like Miki does and sells some absolutely amazing jewellery and crocheting bits and pieces, Click here after you have read this.  Kate is very good at crocheting, but like the rest of us sometimes, did struggle with the old concentration with all the giggling and me talking lots and lots! Oh... and I did do the impression of the shark head on the trigger stick and the groan tube for her so she was up to speed!

Acrylic Crocheter necklaces £10 + P&P lanaboushop Etsy 

The manager of +Hobbycraft Milton Keynes – Levi, had been busy over Christmas and put a lot of effort into making our space more spacious so now we are right in the corner and less disturbed by people shopping.  I think you will really like it and if you visit us you will be able to make some nice crochet decorations to help brighten it up even more!

When I arrived, Kate and Miki were already there and of course, already crocheting.  My adoptive Granny Peggilinni had a terrible cold so couldn’t make it...  I was gutted, I was ready for my big granny hug squeeze and to make her laugh with my shark head on the end of a trigger impression! 

I sat down and got my chosen project out – I am making a scarf.  It’s in very boring colours, the colours of the Harry Potter school Hogwart’s house Slytherin... panels of silver and sludgy green. I am really hoping that you know about Harry Potter from your own reading, children or grandchildren, but basically in Harry Potter the school has houses in an old boarding school style.  When you first start at the school of wizards and witches, you put this mad hat on (there are patterns to crochet one of these!), the hat is called the sorting hat. The head teacher – Dumbledore – sticks the hat on your head and it determines which house you go into....

You know those quizzes in magazines, that determine whether you are (A) mostly A’s you a mad fer it party animal and may need to think about rehab or (D) mostly D’s – yawn are you still awake isn’t it past your bedtime and have you had your Horlicks? Well... Depending on how you answer a number of questions, the author of Harry Potter, JK Rowling has done the official sorting hat quiz on her website to determine what house you go into in a sorting hat style... You tick the answer that you find most applicable to you in a given scenario, an example might be that you encounter a troll under a bridge do you (A) give the troll a bear hug (B) fight the troll (C) run away from the troll (D) bellow “who's that trip trapping over MY bridge”. 

Which one would you pick?? I went for fight the troll!  I went through and answered all my questions and waited, and do you know what?! It put me into Slytherin!  How rude.  Slytherin is the house that the bad wizards and witches are in!  Powerful black magic wizards!  Which is better than being in Hufflepuff because they are a bit of a waste of space in magic circles, but still!  I volunteered to fight that Troll and that was how I was repaid?! But then I decided to embrace my inner-Slytherin and I am crocheting a Slytherin scarf.  

I am a bit bored of it, it’s been kicking around the lounge since I started it mid September, but I want to finish it for two reasons.  One, if I finish it David the husband will take me to Harry Potter world, and two, I have lost count of how many bloomin scarves I got about a quarter way through when I was a slow scared knitter and then abandoned.  I think I need to complete at least just one scarf in homage to all the abandoned knitted ones that never got finished!

Levi the manager also found time to sit down with us and Miki put her amazing crocheting teaching skills to practice and taught Levi to do a chain – remember when you did your first chain?  We were saying today how we've now had a few graduates!
We also had someone who needed a tape measure and Kate had one in her trusty pencil case of hooks and crocheting bits and pieces.  I really think that having balls of yarn on the table and hooks in our hands makes people more sociable and talkative to us – everyone wants to tell us what they are making or thinking of making when they are looking at the yarn, you just don’t get that sort of interaction in other situations!  I think it’s a great ice breaker, say you were going somewhere and were a bit nervy, whip out the crochet, gives nervous hands something to do and people are always bound to ask what you are making or tell you a story of someone that they knows crochets, or say that they wish they knew how to crochet.  It’s great that we have something that brings us together, chaining friendships, literally and metaphorically.

Towards the last hour of the social, Kate had to head off, and we were joined by another +Hobbycraft customer who wanted to learn to crochet. She was a left handed knitter like Jude!  Miki has perfected teaching left handed knitters and this lady left the store well on her way to crocheting lots of granny squares and did say that she would return next week!

So, all in all, it was much less manic than the social before Christmas.  I did miss Jude, we all missed her actually – the lady that was learning, it would have been brilliant if she had been there because she was giving herself such a hard time as she was learning – just like Jude did – and if she had been there Jude would have been able to say “I was just the same and look where I am now” – hopefully she will return and everyone else will get to meet her.

I hope you are all having a great week and getting lots of time to crochet!

Lots of love
Emma  xxx