Friday, February 1, 2008

Unbridled enthusiasm.





My friend Elaine and I are halfway through a four-night “Introduction to Rug Hooking Workshop” which we are co-teaching at a local community centre.

This is our second attempt to get this workshop off the ground. The first time, we didn’t get the 8 people needed to run the class. This time, we had an enthusiastic and robust registration. In fact, when we turned up on our first night, we found out we had 12 students - 2 more than we were expecting. Luckily, we had one extra kit and one spare pattern, so we managed to pull together materials required for these surprise students. (Lesson learned: always have extras of everything, especially when you are not controlling registration.)

From the very first night, there was great chemistry in the room. There was an interesting range in age. A few students came in pairs, but mostly they were women who didn’t know one another, many from the neighbourhood, eager to try this new art form. The pulling of loops quickly brought them all together and encouraged lively discussion around the table.

The sampler we created for this beginner workshop is designed so that the students can hook one shape each week. Spreading the shapes over four weeks provides ample hooking time in class plus allows us to teach some theory each week. And the students can use the week between classes to finish each shape before moving on to the next one.

By the time everyone came back for the second class, many had moved well past the first shape. Some had all four done and were ready to start on their borders.

I remember being told that in any group of students, there is this rule of thirds: 1/3 of your students will become rabid hookers and will adopt hooking as their true passion; 1/3 will add it to their menu of art forms and come back to it from time to time, and 1/3 will not pick it up again after the class is finished.

Our little dozen appear to defy the formula. In fact, I believe we are 12 for 12, which is pretty amazing. Although it is still early in the process, I have a feeling that we have at least two thirds - if not three thirds who will stick with this new found love.

The real eager beavers are coming to our Hook in tomorrow, since we told them there would be vendors there. They are stoked to buy a pattern and the supplies they need to start a bigger project.

How wonderful is that!

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