I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published March 5th 2013
Who said that crochet is only for Nannas?
Once upon a time, the gentle art of crochet was a skill at which most Australian women, young and old, would have been adept. In days gone by, when times were hard, frugal mothers and daughters would skilfully knit and crochet winter woollies for their entire family and darn old, tattered garments, giving them a new lease on life. Over the decades, however, as our lives have become busier and more affluent, such skills have fallen by the wayside and been firmly relegated to the realm of country housewives and dear old ladies in retirement villages. Apart from the occasional school or church fete, it's rare to see hand-crocheted items anywhere in Perth and therefore, until fairly recently, I had considered this delicate textile craft to be a dying art-form.
Crochet is such an enjoyable hobby, and simple rugs like this are very easy to make, even for beginners.
Saddened by the apparent demise of one of my favourite crafts, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my assumption was far from true. Over the last few years there has been a renewed interest in traditional arts like crochet and knitting, and surprisingly this renaissance has been led by young women who are adapting them to suit the fashion and tastes of the twenty-first century. Throughout the Perth metro area and beyond, there are many classes, ranging from one-day workshops to courses spanning several weeks, which teach both basic crochet skills and more sophisticated techniques. Following, is a list of several places you can learn this charming and exquisitely beautiful cottage craft.
Find a group close to you and join. Or if you have time to spare, consider attending a few different knitting groups near your home or work and getting the most out of this relaxing pastime. Also, always be sure to confirm the meeting time and place with the group organizer before attending.
Classie hosts a range of craft classes including a Knitting Class for Beginners in Maylands, where you start at the beginning with the very basics. You'll receive materials in a knitting pack, as well as a complimentary tea, coffee or soft drink.
This antique doily has been expertly crafted using traditional skills.
Granny Funk Also known as Megan Sheard, Granny Funk is a local crochet artisan who has spear-headed the resurgence in popularity of crochet here in Perth. As the name suggests, her interpretations of crochet are upbeat and contemporary. As declared on her website, 'crochet is not just for grannies...and it's not just for making doilies and milk jug covers either.'
Granny Funk holds regular crochet classes in community centres and cafes all around Perth, which are suitable for all levels of ability, from beginners to the more advanced. She can even tailor-make classes for community and school groups. For more information, check out Granny Funk's website.
Woolly Lattes Situated at 46-48 Grantham Street in Wembley, Woolly Lattes is a groovy and unique creative haven catering to Perth's knitting and crocheting fraternity. Combining a cafe with a shop stocking a sumptuous assortment of wools, accessories and hand-made gifts, Woolly Lattes holds regular beginners' classes in both crochet and knitting, as well as more specialised tuition in sock-making and tea cosy crafting. They also hold regular 'Knit and Yarn' sessions throughout the year. Have a look at Woolly Latte's website to find out more, or call them on 08 9287 1492.
Liddelow Homestead Historic Liddelow Homestead at 7 Cooper Avenue in Kenwick is another terrific spot to learn how to crochet. Built in 1850, the homestead is now used as a community arts centre and holds a wide variety of wonderful creative courses. Currently, there is a group which focuses not only on crochet, but also on knitting and spinning. Unlike some of the trendy courses in the city, many older ladies participate in these groups / classes, so you'll be benefiting from their years of experience if you decide to come along. To find out more, go to Liddelow Homestead's website, or phone them on 08 9459 7228 on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 9.30am until 12.00 noon.
Doilies look lovely when embellished with a crocheted edge.
Challenger TAFE The Challenger Institute of Technology is holding a two hour crochet workshop at the Honeyclock Shop at 3 La Fayette Boulevard in Bibra Lake on the 23rd March 2013. Participants will learn the basic techniques of crochet such as chain stitch and double crochet, and make a small pouch which they'll take home. This workshop is $80.00, and all materials will be provided. More information can be found at this website or by calling 1300 300 252. Further courses may be held later in the year, so if you can't make it to this one, be sure to contact either the Challenger Institute or the Honeyclock Shop to express your interest.
Kalamunda Community Learning Centre The Perth Hills are another creative hot-spot in Western Australia, and the Kalamunda Community Learning Centre is one of the best places in the area to learn new skills. A couple of crochet and knitting classes are held here each week, focusing on different levels of skill and experience. Go to their website to learn more about the centre, courses and fees, or give them a call on 08 9293 2977.
This beautiful antique doily has been crocheted, using the skills of yesteryear.
Tresillian Community Centre @ Nedlands
Situated in leafy Nedlands, at 21 Tyrell Street, the Tresillian Community Centre is yet another cool spot to learn crochet. Every term, the centre holds a wide variety of creative and other courses, and there is always one focusing on Needle Craft, including crochet and knitting. For more information about the Tresillian Centre, including a link to their courses, check out this website. Alternatively, give the centre a call on 08 9389 1977.
The Perth Guild
Creative folk who are wanting to learn more about crochet knitting and other crafts may want to contact the Perth Guild. Its aim is to bring like-minded people together for the purpose of sharing and promoting their work. The guild holds regular gatherings around Perth as well as various creative workshops and other special events. To learn more about what the Perth Guild does, check out their blog.
Wesley Church Fremantle
If you're strapped for cash at the moment, and can't afford to fork out money to learn how to crochet, don't despair. Throughout 2013, the Wesley Church in Fremantle will be holding a series of free craft classes on Thursdays from 10am until 1pm in the Wesley Link Function Room. As well as crochet, there will also be sessions in sewing, knitting and china painting. Unlike the tuition provided in trendy cafes, these gatherings will be very informal, but you'll be learning from women with years of experience behind them. These women have kindly donated their time to share the skills that they love. Once you acquire the basic crochet techniques, it won't be hard to adapt them to your own contemporary projects. Alternatively, many modern crochet enthusiasts enjoy using vintage designs to make gorgeous creations inspired by the past, so this could be the place to learn some good tips from days gone by. For more information, call 9335 1775 or go to this webpage.
Thanks for the mention of our crochet course, Carolyn - very much appreciated and really nice to be noticed. Come up to the hills anytime and drop in - we'd love to show you around.
Janet - Kalamunda Learning Centre