If you’ve ever wanted to see how yarn is made or try your hand at knitting, now’s your chance. The Williamsburg Regional Library’s Year of Making is taking on textiles for its third quarter.
During each quarter in the Year of Making, the library takes a look at different categories of hands-on activities.
“When the committee got together to come up with our Year of Making, our whole goal was to explore what the public was most interested in, so when we look toward making a Makerspace in the future or responding to people’s interest in the Makerspace, we can see what our community was interested in,” said Rachael Nelson, adult and teen services librarian.
Nelson said one of the reasons the library decided to explore textiles was because it’s popular in the community.
“There’s a reason we’re able to support two yarn shops in one small town … and then a Michael’s and a Joann (Fabric and Crafts),” Nelson said.
She added the activities are geared toward those ages 10 and older because they wanted to include as much of the community as possible in the series.
“I think one of the biggest responses we’ve seen is there are adults clamoring for craft activities in the community,” Nelson said. “We haven’t traditionally done a lot of crafts for adults ... and we’ve seen a lot of adults who said ‘hey, I’ve never learned to knit but I want to learn to knit’ or ‘I’ve never made pottery before and I want to try that for the first time.’”
The Williamsburg Spinners and Weavers Guild and Williamsburg Knitting Guild will help run a couple of the workshops.
“We’re also really excited to bring in a lot of our local guilds that have such a passion and enthusiasm for knitting or weaving, or some of those older crafts where the skill sets aren’t as prevalent,” said Emma Pruss, adult services librarian.
Pruss said some of the workshops will expose people to textile crafts that require bulky equipment that the average person might not have access to, such as a spinning wheel.
“We also have some local spinners not connected with the guild coming to show how to use a wheel which I think will be really amazing because not a lot of people know how yarn is made,” Pruss said.
“A lot of people who knit and sew use ready-made supplies,” Nelson said. “With the felting and spinning we’re really going to get to see how does thread, how does string, how does yarn get to be yarn.”
The series will also have more mainstream fabric crafts, such as knitting and crocheting.
“We wanted something that is accessible and that they can find supplies anywhere and they can continue that at home if they want to,” Pruss said.
Linda Coppinger, secretary of the Williamsburg Spinners and Weavers Guild, said the group’s workshop on weaving will show people the craft is more accessible than they may think. They will be teaching cardboard loom weaving.
“We are going to do a basic how to weave seminar in which we will provide everyone a little loom made out of cardboard so they can see how simple it is to take this up,” Coppinger said.
No matter what workshop you attend, Nelson said the Year of Making is giving people to try their hands out on a new craft risk-free.
“Before they invest in the sewing machine or before they invest in pottery supplies …. they can try it on to see if it’s something they want to continue,” Nelson said.
Want to go?
The first workshop “Knitting Basics” is 1 p.m. Sunday, Stryker Center room 127, 412 N. Boundary St. Free; register by calling 259-4050. Textiles workshops will run April through June. To learn about more events, visit wrl.org/events.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.