Thanks to a friend whose children attend Glendale Primary School in Pollokshields, an area of Glasgow that is not all that far from where I stay, I found out about the Glendale Women's Cafe, and was asked if I'd be interested in doing a few crochet workshops there. After the first attempt had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, it finally happened in the last 3 weeks. The Glendale Women's Cafe started out in a portacabin on the school grounds, a place for mums to meet. Now the cafe got some funding and is in a proper nice shop front with quite a decent amount of space. There's always cake, and lots of interesting activities. The area is quite multicultural, and so is the cafe.
So I popped in for 3 crochet workshops while friends of mine were kind enough to take my own preschooler to the German playgroup. I'm by not means an expert on crochet, but after a couple of years of regular crochet projects, and with a memory of how I struggled a fair bit to learn it well enough to be a contender with knitting projects (I've been knitting for as long as I can remember), I thought I'd at the right place to try and pass the crochet love on. Mind, I volunteered so nobody could sue me for being a fraud.
And it was just great fun. I approached it with not assuming at all that everyone would progress at the same rate - there's individual differences, some people knit or have done some crochet in the past which makes progress a bit faster, others have little ones that mean they cant' pay full attention, others only joined in session 2 or 3, some were able to practice at home others weren't, and while I had a rough idea what I would cover when, I let the rest just happen.
It was great to see so many people who came along for some crochet, the 10 hooks we had provided were soon gone and had to be replenished, as was the yarn. I loved to see that by session 3, there were still about 10 people with hooks in their hands, and some finished or almost finished products! And thanks to facebook I've even seen one finished project which puts my crochet work totally into the shade.
Some of the ladies even passed on their new skills to their own children, so there's rather a lot of crocheting going on in Pollokshields! Beyond my wee workshops, there are a lot of other activities on offer, art workshops, home energy advice, complimentary treatments and lots of links to community organisations and the services they offer. A brilliant project, all run by parents for parents, with the goal to increase community cohesion. I was a little bit jealous that our primary school doesn't have a similar cafe, it's just such a brilliant idea to create some community spirit by giving parents a space to meet and connect.