When the community hall in Shirley Road was demolished, we didn’t just lose a hall, we lost a place to learn and practice handicraft. Many groups struggled to find a new location and many people, displaced from their homes, didn’t know where they could go. Some tried crafting alone at home, but it is a bit boring and you don’t learn from others.
Here at Shirley library we have attempted to fill the void. We did have two craft clubs. Knitting for a Cause ran on Tuesdays and the ladies knitted and crocheted granny square rugs for the children in CHOC, the Children’s Haematology Oncology Centre at Christchurch Hospital. The Craft Club met on Mondays and worked on simple craft projects using donated materials. Knitting for a Cause made enough granny squares to make fifteen rugs for the children in CHOC, while the Craft Club made pincushions, scrapbook pages, cards and egg cozies. After much discussion, it was decided to combine the two groups and re-launch with a new time, new day and a new name.
Craft Space at the Shirley Library is held on the last Tuesday of the month, 1-3pm, for social crafting and featuring guest demonstrators. You can bring along your crochet, knitting, scrapbooking and more. We also provide a box of craft supplies to help you get creative.
On June 25th we welcomed Canterbury Embroiderers’ Guild. The ladies turned up at 1pm and Michelle made them welcome. By the time I arrived, everyone was working on their projects. One was doing cross stitch, another was hand quilting a blanket. Hexagonal patches were been carefully pieced together to create flowers. Approximately fifty more motifs will be needed to make the quilt. One lady showed me her up-cycled muff. One was teaching another how to do blanket stitch. Books on embroidery and ideas were happily shared by all. Talking and sharing was the theme for the day and no-one mentioned EQC or insurance. I was amazed how quickly the time passed and too soon everyone started packing up. On Tuesday I learned one very important thing: handicraft isn’t just about the making; it is about the learning and sharing, friendship and company that goes with social activity.
If you need somewhere to craft, come down to the Shirley library on the last Tuesday of the month 1-3pm. You might like to contact your local library to see if they have a craft group or check out CINCH for a craft group near you.
For more photos of the Craft Space in action, check our Flickr set.