Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Teaching Crochet - Class Size

Monday night saw the second session of my beginners crochet course. 

The course lasts for 10 weeks with each session lasting 2 hours.  It is run and funded  through the community learning programme in Wigan and is amazing value for money.  However, I have only a minimum of control over the size of my class and, as such, it is much larger than when I teach my private workshops.  I currently have 15 students on my beginners course which presents a number of challenges, least of all supporting 15 students all at the same time.  It takes a lot of careful planning and I have developed a few ways of managing such a large group:

1)  Make use of the skills your students come with.
Luckily, some of my students could already crochet a chain prior to the course and so didn't need as much support as other students who had never picked up a hook before.  For those with experience, they were able to get on independently and move on to other stitches whilst I could support those who needed it.  

2)  Make use of the facilities
Teaching within a school, I also have access to a projector which is really useful for sharing images and information to the whole class.  I always prepare a PowerPoint presentation with stitch instructions, diagrams and images prior to the lesson and use this to guide my lesson.  When I teach private workshops, I don't have access to a projector so I make use of the local library's photocopy to reproduce my slides in A3.

3)  Provide Handouts
Handouts are really important and extremley useful.  They allow students to work at their own pace and practise outside of class.  They can also make notes and helpful hints on them.

When I teach private workshops, I have a maximum number of 8, preferring to only take 6 students at a time, as this means that everyone can have plenty of support and get the most out of the class. It is really important to consider the size of the group to ensure it is manageable for you and allows all students to receive the support they require and to get them hooked on crochet!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Teaching Crochet

Last year I achieved one of my.big goals - I started to teach crochet. I began with 1 day workshops which I teach in The Coven in Wigan - a great little vegetarian/vegan/gluten free cafe and restaurant with the most amazing food ever!

Then, later on in the year, I was offered the opportunity to teach st night school as part of the councils community learning programme. These take the form of 10 weeks of 2 hour sessions and are heavily subsidised at just £40 for the whole course which I think is just amazing. I taught my first beginners course at the end of last year and it was so much fun. I had a fabulous group of students who worked hard and leant so much. By the end of the course they had made mini amigurumi owls, flowers, wreaths and shawls. I learnt lots to (you never stop learning as a teacher) and discovered that I really enjoy teaching adults as well.as children.

I didn't blog about it as I was so busy getting to grips with my new job and the paperwork side of things. I've decided that, as I start a new beginners and improvers course next week, I will share my experiences with you all. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I Love Crochet!

I found this fabulous picture on Pinterest and just had to share it. I've set it as my phone wallpaper and header picture on my Facebook and Twitter  page. I feel that I may have to crochet myself a notebook cover and recreate it!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Working in Progress - Poncho

I'm still enjoying working on crochet projects that are all for me.  I finished my Rainbow Jumper last weekend and am really pleased with it (I will post some photos over the weekend) and have moved onto a cosy poncho.

The pattern I've chosen is the Intertwined Poncho from Curvy Girl Crochet by Mary Beth Temple.  It combines 2 of my favourite things - half treble stitch and crocheted cables.  I'm making it in Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn in a lovely grey colour (I chose grey as it will go with pretty much everything) and is a really nice yarn to work with.  I'm currently 2/3 of the way through the first panel and I love the way it is looking.

What are you working on at the moment? 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Bargain Crochet Books on Kindle

I was browsing Amazon a few days ago and spotted some amazing deals on a few excellent crochet books to download to Kindle. You don't need a kindle to access them, I use the Kindle app on my smartphone to read them.

Here are the links to the books. All are well worth their current price!

Stitch 'n' Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker - £2.49

Crochet One Skien Wonders - £1.99

How to Crochet: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners - £1.99

I'm not sure how long these books will be available at these prices so be quick if you like the look of one.