Monday, 8 September 2014

Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2014

The annual Brighton Mini Maker Faire kicked off at 10am on Saturday, and it was the busiest Faire to date. Last year there were waves of creatives asking interesting and thought-provoking questions, but this year it was a constant stream.

As well as my faithful staples of the giant machine knitted periodic table blanket, and the glowing crocheted hat, there were new items of interest including some baby shoes from a Victorian pattern knit on tiny 1mm needles (the nearest equivalent to a Victorian number 19), and a steampunk-style coat made from a decommissioned parachute.

The draw-scan-knit end of the stand was in constant demand, and according to the counter on the scanner, over 40 pictures were knit during the 8 hours the show was open ... a new record for me! (my arms didn't half ache the next day!). The questions ranged from interest in how a knitting machine actually worked, through to some very technical questions from both textile students and keen Makers.

Last year there were a few 'Learn to knit' kits that I had made up from finds in local charity shops. That went down really well, so this year we upped our game. The fabulous Knitting and Crochet Guild supplied knitting needles and both knitting and crochet instruction leaflets (the leaflets are a free download from their website). The crochet hooks, yarn and British-made recycled paper bags were supplied courtesy of a small Arts Council grant. We took enough stock for 150 learn to knit bags, and 50 learn to crochet. A quick look through what it left suggests we gave away about 100 knit kits, and 25 crochet kits. The enthusiastic response was infectious. A few people took the bags away to try and home, but a lot wanted to have a quick go on the spot.