Become a Stitch Sage: help wrangle the woolly Godzilla
Welcome to the next generation of Stitch London. You, the few, brave and proud purlers of world can join the Stitch Sage clan and get the opportunity to help wrangle the woolly Godzilla that is Stitch London. In return get some very cool opportunities.
How will it work?
1. You volunteer to help out at Stitch London as a craft teacher (see below for details of how to volunteer). Currently we are teaching knitting for free. More crafts will come later.
2. You get a shiny Stitch Sage badge sent to you (or you can arrange to pick up from a meeting)
3. You come along to any meeting you like wearing your badge. This badge shows you are willing to teach. Wannabe crafters come to meetings looking out for badges. You teach as many folks as you like (usually two to three, unless you're really ambitious).
4. Each time you teach you drop us an email to stitchsage@stitchLDN.com letting us know the names of the folks you've taught. We'll add the names to your Stitch Sage record. As an added thank you we'll add your name to our Stitch Sage VIP list for special offers and events. Wheeeee!
4. When special events and cool stuff come up Stitch Sages will get the first chance to snaffle a place, a freebie or a chance to do something fabulous.
What's in it for me?
A shiny new Stitch Sage badge featuring the Stitch London logo and the fact that you're an ever so lovely Stitch Sage
A warm fuzzy feeling
A discount at our upcoming Stitch London shop on all merchandise
Future discounts on advertising space on website (if you're a seller or designer)
Volunteer work to put on your CV
The chance to do bizarre knitting things
What sort of cool stuff will I get to do?
Stitch London get asked to take part in all kinds of events and projects. Here are a few examples:
• Prince Charles' Start Garden Party: Seven lovely Stitch Sages, who are regular volunteers at meetings, got the chance to help out at Prince Charles' Garden Party to Make a Difference in September 2010. Not only was it a brilliant fun day but three of them got cheerily shouted at by the beard himself, Brian Blessed, for a full ten minutes as he regaled us with tales of mountain climbing and Peter O'Toole. We also snagged a free lunch and a bit of the limelight as our area was featured on breakfast TV.
• Jamie Oliver's Fifteen: In October 2009 we were fed amazing grub and got to meet some lovely people (as well as helping promote British Wool and a very worthy charity) at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen when we helped launch their knitting kits.
• Science Museum: We designed and knit two chromosomes which became permanent exhibits in London's Science Museum.
• Natural History Museum: Five Stitch Sages created the Stitched Sealife Six escapees for the Natural History Museum and got to see their sealife exhibited in real specimen jars. Twenty-three Stitch Sages taught at our Stitch a Squid event at the Museum and were sent free Stitched Squid patterns.
What do I do now?
1. Drop us an email at stitchsage@stitchLDN.com with the subject line "I want to help wrangle the woolly Godzilla" (please use that exact subject header or your email might get missed) and tell us what you might be able to offer. If you're not sure just say hello.
2. If you've helped before but not signed up: let us know which events you've volunteered at before so we can backdate your points. It's been hard to keep track as it's been informal thus far.
3. Look out for Stitch Sage Invite emails for special events. Reply to them if you can help out.
We're started off easy with just teaching at meetings to begin with. Other duties will pop up soon. Some may involve free cake.
How teaching at meetings/workshops works:
The Basics: Stitch London teach learners basic knit and purl to begin with so you must know both stitches well enough to pass on the technique.
What to teach: You should teach each stage of beginning to knit from the slip knot to casting on (usually with the two-needle method but we're open to other easy techniques) to casting off (if they get that far).
Other stuff you might want to teach: You may also want to explain about how you hold your yarn, how to read yarn labels (for which yarn goes best with which needles) and to keep all stitches on the bottom and yarn at the front to avoid that extra magic stitch at the start of a row (a very common problem).
English or Continental: We usually teach the English method of knitting (as it helps us go on to teach other techniques later on). However it's fine for people to teach continental style or any other style to those who want to learn. Just need to make sure they are aware it is a bit different.
Teaching other stuff: Feel free to teach other techniques or offer pattern help but you're under no obligation to. Simple knit and purl is fine with us.
Help for you: Other Stitch Sages are are always on hand if you get a bit stuck with your teaching technique so find one and ask if things get tangled. Don't worry about asking for help. Everyone is ever so helpful. It's in the nature of most knitters.
How a meeting/workshop works:
Bring along teaching yarn and needles – As well as your own knitting you should bring along teaching yarn and needles to show the learner what to do by knitting along with them.
Wear your badge and make sure newbies can see it – You'll be wearing your Stitch Sage badge to show you're up for teaching. Make sure folks can see it so they can come along and ask you. Keep an eye out for lost souls who might be a bit nervous.
Find a space where you and your learners can knit in – Once you have your students find somewhere you can all fit and start teaching.
Teaching – Introduce yourself, get their names (to send in when you've taught to add to your Stitch Sage record) and get teaching. Go slow, keep it simple and feel free to leave them to it when they get the hang of it.
What to teach – It's best to start them off with a simple square of about 15 stitches to begin with rather than jump into a pattern or garment. Explaining it's better to mess up a practice square than a scarf/jumper/sock if they get itchy knitting fingers.
Remember to breathe – Be patient and encouraging in the face of whininess or someone wanting to give up. If your learner has a mini-freak out or looks set to throw in the knitting towel a deep breath and a sip of wine often works wonders. Newbies can be frustrated beasts so have patience and remember your days of wobbly wool and dropped-stitch sorrows.
If at first you don't succeed – If things are getting rather messy you may want to ask them if they'd like to start again. It often helps as they'll have the hang of it and will knit neater once they've restarted.
Leave them to it – Once your learner is getting the hang of it you can leave them to it. Just be near enough to help out if they get lost again. Or at least let them know where you'll be so they can find you. They're usually fine once you get them going. All they need to do is practice.
Let us know you've taught - When it's all over make sure you have the names of your new knitters. Drop us an email to let us know you've taught that evening. We'll add the names to your Stitch Sage record and make sure you're on the Stitch Sage VIP list for special offers and events. Woo hoo!
Any other info you want to give about the night is great too.
Join the woolly Godzilla wranglers. Go on.
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