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Thurso CDT hosts a day of crafts

January can be a dark and gloomy month in Scotland, but it is a great time to spend at home by a roaring fire and take out your craft boxes to enjoy quiet and cosy evenings working on creative projects.

Thurso Community Development Trust (Thurso CDT), as part of the Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP), wanted to draw as much attention to slow crafting as possible. In a world of high pace and stress, slow crafting is a great aid to regain focus, submerge into the meditative state of repetitive action and feel balanced and at peace while reusing fabrics and gaining new skills.

On 21 January, Thurso CDT hosted Slow Craft Sunday at the Royal Thurso Hotel, Traill St, Thurso. We were delighted to see a lot of attendants taking part in two or three events throughout the day as they enjoyed the atmosphere so much and we had a craft material swap that was open all day for the visitors.

There was a crochet toy making workshop that was great for both adults and children as it only required basic crocheting skills. Making small things like toys is a great way to use up leftover wool from bigger projects that would otherwise be wasted.

Next on the programme was an interactive demonstration of the magical process of spinning. Anyone could watch, learn and try their own hand at making their own thread on the spinning wheel. We even had the motorized spinning wheels for people with disabilities who wouldn’t be able to set the spinning wheel in motion using the foot pedals. There was also a display of various fibres and everyone was encouraged to guess what they were made from. There was wombat wool, recycled plastic bottles and even banana fibres, among more traditional materials, like alpaca and viscose.

As the day progressed, participants came along to take part in our session devoted to getting to know their sewing machines. This type of workshop is highly popular with those who lack confidence and experience in using their equipment. After just two hours our attendants were feeling more confident and knowledgeable about their sewing machines.

The final event was the screening of The Nettle Dress film, which is a feature documentary by Dylan Howitt, about a man who makes a dress by hand just from the fibre of foraged stinging nettles over 7 years. A modern-day fairy tale and hymn to the healing power of nature and slow craft.

Oksana Iatsiuta, HCWP Project Officer for Thurso CDT, said: “The slow crafts that we celebrate today are not only techniques to create something with our own hands, which is great in itself. It is also the way to connect us with the previous generations. It is a therapy, in a way, that helps us to regain focus and concentration. And from environmental point of view, handcrafted things produced in situ, with use of locally sourced materials, have very low carbon footprint.”

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22 January 2024

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