The thing that strikes you when you first walk into The Crafties studio space is how gorgeous it is! Beautiful objects, beautiful design; just being there makes you feel a little more creative! I felt inspired from the moment I walked in, and I immediately wanted to get crafty!
The Crafties is a creative workspace that is open to anyone to get together and practice their craft – whatever that may be. They have loads of tools and machines available for use; for example, if your tiny Hong Kong apartment just doesn’t have space for a sewing machine, you can drop in and use theirs. You can also just turn up, meet like-minded people and get knitty with it, or alternatively book with a group of like-minded mamas.
Alternatively, if – like me – you are a bit more clueless, they offer a series of workshops, including soap making, leatherwork, knitting, screen-printing, crochet… the list goes on. They even offer a personalised stamp-carving course… just supply a photo of your favourite person and then immortalise them in all their glory in a stamp. Such a sweet gift idea.
I took part in a free crochet workshop (it’s amazing to find anything for free in this city!) I was pretty excited about this as – despite being pretty crafty myself – I’ve never quite been able to master crochet, despite several attempts with YouTube tuition. My wool and fingers always seem to end up in knots, which is incredibly frustrating given that the basics of crochet are quite simple. However, with a good teacher, crochet isn’t nearly as difficult! My host for my evening class, Asa, had me doing slipknots, single, and double stitches in no time (though I discovered I still need to work on my ability to count!). In around 30 minutes, I had mastered the basics, and felt confident that with a few more lessons I could actually make something cute and worthwhile. Asa showed me one project she was working on – an “upcycled” bathmat; she was using old t-shirts to crochet a funky and functional bathmat. Super-cool!
The class was great because the small size meant that I got loads of individual attention, and so managed to master a skill that I was unable to perfect on my own.
In order to really get a handle on your chosen craft, you will probably need to attend more than the one introductory class, but given that the class is free, and offers the chance to socialise while creating something unique, what’s not to like? There are plenty of workshops that you can participate in that focus on producing specific items, for example, a baby owl-hat crochet workshop that requires a few classes to complete. But what a thoughtful gift for a new baby, and a very pleasant way to while away a few hours on a Saturday afternoon!
In addition to the workshops, The Crafties can host birthday parties, and if you are thinking of holding an event, you can book exclusive use of the space. They told me they are child-friendly, if not entirely childproof, so this would be a fun alternative activity for slightly older kids. Similarly, they hold themed evenings and events like the upcoming Craft Party on 12 October. There are also plans for a spooky Halloween craft event.
The studio also doubles as a retail space with heaps of cute gift ideas and craft supplies, along with a small snack bar so you can enjoy a cuppa with your new crafty friends!
For more info on classes, hiring the space for a party and upcoming events, check out The Crafties Facebook page.
1/F Sing Kui Commercial Building, No. 27 De Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
Ironman, multiple marathoner, corporate lawyer, and mum of one, Jane grew up in a small coastal town in Australia. Not ever wanting to be too far from a beach, she recently moved south to Hong Kong after a 2-year stint in Shanghai. When she’s not running – either round and round a track or after a toddler – Jane studies Chinese, cooks for friends, and does crafts. She also blogs at Dim Sum and Long Runs. This year she plans to break 3 hours in the marathon, and to finally finish the quilt that she started for her son’s first Christmas…