Crochet a Fair Trade Alpaca Hat with Suzanna James
Saturday 23rd March | 11.30am-5pm
This complete beginners workshop will teach you the very basics of crochet with ethical knitwear designer, Suzanna James.
You will be provided with an individual skein of World Fair Trade Organisation Hand Spun Alpaca yarn from the Puskariy Tika, 'Awamaki' cooperative of hand spinners near Ollantaytambo, Peru; as well as your own crochet hook, bobble maker and a knitting pattern for your beanie hat.
Alpaca is a hypoallergenic fibre more valuable than silver or gold in traditional Incan society in Peru, known as 'fibre of the gods', 'La Lana de los Dioses'. Softer than cashmere, 3 times lighter than sheep's wool, and without lanolin that causes itching, it has temperature regulating properties, with the only fibre that's warmer being polar bear fur. Alpaca also hold on to less water than other wool, so dries quicker, and is self-cleaning and odour resistant. As well as therefore being practical, it is also a more sustainable choice as up to 4 jumpers can be made from one fleece of an alpaca, that's a lot of hats! Compared to cashmere where several shearings are required. All of these properties make alpaca the perfect fibre for your beanie hat, and this handspun quite chunky weight, makes it easy to see stitches which is really helpful when learning to knit/crochet.
The beanie pattern is adaptable so you can learn the way in which to make hats of different sizes, from newborn baby sizes all the way to adult hats and therefore the pattern will be a versatile first addition to the beginnings of your knitting pattern library! Suzanna will give a brief introduction to the hand knitting world and also share about ethical yarn sourcing.
Throughout the day you will work on your own hat in your chosen size, so that by the end of the workshop you'll go home with your hat well on its way to being finished and knowledge in the tricks of the trade and knitting pattern terms such as washing and 'blocking' your wool hat, knitwear 'finishing' and bobble making, so that you'll have crafted your very own Fair Trade Alpaca beanie hat or a precious keepsake gift for a loved one from the skills you have learnt in the workshop.
Suzanna will also provide a selection of colours for making a coloured bobble to add to your natural white coloured hat.
Experience needed: None!
This is for complete beginners, we will cover the very basics including winding skeins of wool so they are ready to crochet with, creating a chain stitch, the basic crochet stitch required for the hat, and crocheting in the round.
49 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 2EF