Ways To Workshop - i-cord colors 04-20-22 01

Ways To Workshop

I volunteered to lead a workshop at this year’s Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat. And I’m realizing that there are many ways to workshop.

What Are Your Ways To Workshop?

I’m doing a workshop on helical striped knitting.

It’s starting to become clear to me that my confidence in general lessens as I get older. Even as recently as in my fifties, I would barrel right into a workshop with all the self-assurance you could imagine. Perhaps it was just arrogance. But I certainly never second-guessed myself.

So, here’s the situation. I have a description of of helical stripes. I’ve put together images and graphics to visually describe helical striped knitting. There are also knitted examples of the difference between regular striped knitting in-the-round and helical striped knitting. Finally, I have a description of what are the advantages of helical striped knitting over regular striped knitting.

For hands-on experience, each attendee will be given an already-started project to try their hand at it. That is what’s in today’s feature photo. It is the project I will use to demonstrate the set up and execution of the technique. I’m hopeful to be able to set up an overhead video feed of me demonstrating so that attendees who can’t be directly in front of me while I knit can watch on a large-screen television behind me. There are 10-12 guys scheduled for the workshop. That television will be used to display the description images as well.

I’m thinking I’ll need a hand-out with the written description of the technique. And also a bare-bones pattern for the demo project they’ll get.

Is there anything I’m missing? Should I have an approximate schedule of what will happen. Maybe the schedule should include reminders to stop and answer questions every once in a while? Or do I need an outline of what I’ll be saying to make sure I include everything?

Not sure why I’m starting to get a little nervous about all this.

Current Knitting

The demo project for the workshop is the Snug Cowl/Gaiter that I’ve been making to sell at craft shows. It starts with 89 rounds of 5-stitch i-cord. And then I’ll need to pick up 88 stitches along the top of the i-cord. I’ll need 12 of these started.

In addition, I’ve made some progress on the Chevron Striped Wrap.

I will have to add a few more repeats than the pattern calls for to make it long enough. But I’m really loving how this looks and feels.

6 comments on “Ways To Workshop

  1. Regarding your concerns about your workshop. You have done a good job getting ready. Visuals, handouts and use of media so that students can actually see what you are knitting are all part of a great presentation. Very cool.
    Do make yourself an outline. I make myself one with a LARGE font that I can see when it is laying on a table and I am standing up. I also tape it down to the table! I teach Crazy Quilting and I tend to get supplies, and handouts all mixed up on my table. My outline, however, is always right where I taped it! I tend to birdwalk, telling stories and giving examples so I need outline puts me right back on track.

  2. Let go of the need to have the workshop be perfect.
    Whatever your participants get from it they will get.
    If they have questions they will ask.
    You have lots of prep work done.
    All that is left is to have fun. I hope you will enjoy the precious moments of your workshop to be with your learners in a fiber filled learning community.

  3. I love your choice of the Snug Cowl/Gaiter for the workshop demo project because it’s simple but very useful and attractive. I just wish I could have found projects like this when I was a beginner!

  4. Have you seen The Rainey Sister’s new I-Cord cast on video? The way it’s presented is for edging things like blankets where you want an i-cord edging on all 4 sides, but (without trying it) I think it would be fairly easy to adapt to knitting in the round. It looks to me like it would be way easier than knitting a bunch of i-cords for your cowls, but it also looks like you’re well on your way to having enough, so that may be a moot at this point. Here’s the link: https://theraineysisters.com/?p=9428

  5. In my job, I teach technology workshops to university professors.

    My advice is to have an outline so that you know what comes next, but bullet points only and not too many details. That will keep you on track and make sure you don’t forget anything, but it won’t be distracting.

    For questions, stop and ask if there are any questions whenever you’re switching from one topic to another, to make sure they’re ready to move on.

    And I agree with Karen. Your participants are looking to learn something, but they also want to have fun. The only people that expect a workshop to be perfect are the ones teaching it, so don’t worry so much about making it perfect. You’re well prepared, so now just concentrate on making it a fun experience for everyone (including you!).

  6. Agree with all. Also be careful not to let questions detail you. Practice saying things like “that’s a fun question but it’s kind of outside the scope of this and we have a lot to cover so let’s just chat about it over the rest of the retreat sometime” and “great question, the answer is coming up in just a few minutes”. And I stea dig asking “are there any questions” you could say “ is there anything I have said so far that needs more clarification?”

    Have a great time. Sounds like an awesome workshop. I LOVE a workshop that leads to an actual useful item not just a sample square!

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