The Value of Attending Workshops


Before I start, I will put my hand up, I run workshops, mainly in arm knitting, but I am also running an adult evening class at the local 6th Form in Upholstery. Teaching is something I have been interested in for quite some time and I am really fortunate to be able to show other people why I love both Upholstery and Yarn, but an added benefit? The people who leave my workshops are buzzing. They are absolutely thrilled with what they have created, and I, in turn, get a buzz off of them. It puts me in such a good mood, seeing the end results, and it never gets old. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, I also ATTEND workshops, just recently I attended an intro to loom weaving workshop. It was an all day session, with lunch provided. Throw in coffee and tea on tap and you have me hooked! I learned several new skills on the day and left with a fabulous scarf that I pretty much haven’t taken off since.


 So why attend a workshop? First, you will pick up a new skill. OK, you may not walk out being an expert, but who cares?  You have to start somewhere! Secondly, the social side of workshops is an added bonus. I mean you automatically have something in common with the person sitting next to you, your both in the same boat, learning something new. I recently ran a workshop and two woman left the session having just met, and went to have lunch together.  While I’m not guaranteeing you will meet your new best friend, I can assure you, there will be some fun conversations and some laughs!

It’s also GOOD for your brain. How so? Well just read this article if you don’t believe me, but learning something new helps the old grey matter stay sharp!


And this article goes on to quote studies claiming that engaging in crafts and hobbies like quilting or photography gave the most brain boost!

 It can be good for business…..

Adding another sting to your bow is always good. I am continuously looking for workshops that will push me in my upholstery business. Even the weaving workshop I attended served a purpose (besides my new favourite accessory) Learning the fundamentals of weaving just gives me a better understanding of fabric and how it is constructed, which in turn, I can better recommend fabric to my clients. It’s a win-win!


You have some “ME” time. 


When was the last time you took a few hours for yourself?  I had a woman attend an arm knit workshop last year who left in tears. Not only did she have a fabulous blanket that she had made herself, but she gushed about how much she NEEDED a few hours, just to be herself, away from her children. Everyone needs a little bit of time to reconnect with themselves, right?


“Experiences” are WILDLY popular, so the choice is really yours.


Arm knitting, candle making, gin tasting, needle felting, calligraphy, jewellery making, floral design, basket weaving…the sky is the limit. If you have a weekend free, you can go to an Alpahca Farm or travel to Scotland and make your own whiskey.  People are seeking out the experience gifts. As a veteran workshop attender, I can attest, there has never been a better time to go to a workshop. The world is your oyster, as they say. When I was just starting out, knitting and crochet were pretty much the staples! I jumped at the first chance I had for stained glass, it was so exotic!! But these days you can pretty much Google whatever you’re interested in, and I bet you will find a workshop out there! You may want to learn how to knit, and attending that intro class at your local coffee shop just might be exactly what you are looking for. But lets say you want to learn how to knit sustainably,  you also want to spin and dye your own yarn, well look no further, there are weekend retreats that tick all those boxes….


So get out there, have a bit of time for yourself, it’s so good for you!!!


Here are some of the best workshop spaces I have come across and if you have others, please just post links in the reply area. I’d love to be able to spread the workshop love!


In Leistershire:  Wow! That is the first word that comes to mind when I entered the lovely sanctuary that is Mon Amie! Not only are you knocked out by the lovely smell of fresh flowers, you are blown away by the space! Add to the mix the most amazing Lou and Ju and you will never want to leave. Lots and lots of workshops on offer, you should check them out!



In Cheshire: carefully curated space provides a slew of amazing workshops every week. Nikki is always on the look out for interesting new workshops to hold, so the locals are spoilt for choice, she takes all the hardwork out of the hunt… 



In Staffordshire:, situated in the lovely Trentham Gardens near Stoke on Trent, this space is oozing with creative pieces. During the day it is a shop with carefully curated art, cards and unique gifts for all occasions, Hannah and her team have created a beautiful space. In the evenings, they host several workshops throughout the year, just  pop onto their website and take a look at whats currently on offer.




 In Llandrindod Wells, this is the place to go! I love how Katja is changing things up all the time. There are so many amazing artisans in and around the area, she loves being their biggest champion! Not only is the space amazing for workshops, but she does drinks nights, and raw food and juice bars as well. 

Tara CorkComment