Purls of Wisdom

Getting ready for another fabulous Summer at The Handwork Studio!

Posted by Melissa Haims on Wed, May 23, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

Summer camp is right around the corner and I've been spending the month of May at Rosemont College in our storage rooms sorting, folding, cutting, piling, and labeling. There has also been an extraordinary amount of shopping, as you can imagine! This image is of the room I'm working in right now!

getting ready for summer camp! 

When I started here 5 years ago we had 2 summer camp loactions; Rosemont College and our studio in Narberth, PA. This summer we will be in 22 locations across 7 states!  I've been sourcing our materials for all of the camps for the last 3 years. Throughout the year my team and I develop a robust curriculum and then research the best vendors to partner with. I look at prices, materials and the manufacturing locations. It's my job to buy the best quality (cottons, wools, bamboo knitting needles) at the lowest costs and pass the  savings on to our clients so our camps can remain affordable. I'm also concerned about sustainability, which might surprise you since (unless you are talking about nature camp) you don't really here about the environment and camp in the same sentence. But... did you know that all of our felt is made from recycled plastic bottles? It is! Additionally, I try to buy local, whenever possible, and I never pay for shipping! (Mostly because I'm buying local and can go pick it up in The Handwork Studio Van!)

The Van!

One of our favorite local vendors is Gaffney Fabrics. I know I’ve blogged about them before, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention them here. As a business partner, The Gaffney family (Joe + Lenore and their daughter, Kate) understands our needs and our students.  The search all year for the fabrics that they think we might like and then we work together to determine costs and quantities. 

I would also be remiss if I didn’t' mention that Kate Gaffney and I went to grade school together and life brought us back together through our business adventures... This photo was taken in the 8th grade. That's me on the left. And yes, Kate is still that much taller than me. But she doesn't have braces anymore.

Miss Melissa and Kate Gaffney

From Fiber Crafts to Fashion Boot Camp, I look forward to sharing our hard work with your campers this summer. 

                      XOXO

                     Miss Melissa

Tags: kids knitting, Story Time, crafts, kids programs, creativity, imagination, teach kids to knit, stitch, Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Sewing, Knitting, Crochet, Fun, kids, fun kids activities, activities, camp, Handwork, Kids' craft class

The Handwork Studio On Location: 'Extra Yarn' with Mac Barnett

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Sat, May 05, 2012 @ 09:54 PM

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Have you ever had extra yarn? Though we often don't give a second thought to those leftover strands that dwell after our many knitting projects (because really, what would you do with them?), author Mac Barnett gave those bits we call scraps a second chance in his new book, Extra Yarn. Soon after we at The Handwork Studio discovered this gem of a story and decided to share it with our camps, Children's Book World in Haverford, PA invited us to visit and craft during a cozy gathering with booklovers and the author himself! 

Extra Yarn tells the story of a girl named Annabelle who lives in a monochrome town, but when she discovers a box of colorful extra yarn, a new world unfolds for Annabelle and her fellow townspeople. Can she knit enough to turn this town colorful once and for all?

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Check out Miss Julia's visit to Children's Book World for Mac Barnett's author signing and exclusive reading of Extra Yarn on our Facebook page! We were sure to choose a craft that used the yarny bits we gather every day in the studio and with them, created bright bouquets of Spring flowers! 

Tell us, what do you do with your extra yarn? 

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Interested in crafting with us at summer camp? It's just a few weeks away! Register now for a fun-filled week (or more!) where your child will learn new skills and create awesome projects!

 

Register For Camp

Tags: kids knitting, Story Time, Miss Julia, crafts, kids programs, spring, Summer Camp, kids, fun kids activities, activities, camp, Handwork, free craft event

Story Time at The Handwork Studio | A Time Out From Creating

Posted by Julia Yosen on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 @ 03:04 PM

Story time at The Handwork StudioParents ask us all the time when we run camp 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for approximately 20 weeks out of the year (that includes Winter, Spring and Summer break), Do they really craft all day?!?!?  


The truth is sometimes we have to pry the knitting needles out of their hands at the end of the day.  I will tell you nothing brings us more sincere happiness then to see a child who loves what they are doing.  However, I must confess that we do not craft for the entire six hours.   We do ask our campers to take a break to do things like eat and rest there hands.  During that down time we like to read.  


Over the years The Handwork Studio has accumulated quite a collection of story books that weave magnificent tales of silly sheep that won’t follow the flock, or a messy girl who has a room that looks like it is lived in by pigs, so of course she sews many pigs, and of a quilt that has been passed down from generation to generation.   

 

A Handwork Studio Favorite ReadOne of our favorite stories is "Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep, A Yarn about Wool”  by Teri Sloat and illustrated by the whimsical artist Nadine Bernard Wescott.  This simple funny rhyming story has proven to be a must read for all ages in our camps.  

 

The story begins when Farmer Brown shears his sheep in the chilly days of early spring. Much to their dismay these shivering sheep want their wool back!  As the story progresses the sheep follow Farmer Brown and watch as their wool is turned into something new.  Readers get to see the journey wool goes on from being cleaned and combed to dyed and spun and at the end you have happy sheep that get to see what their wool has become.

 

We feel nothing engages a child more than a good story and helps them to relate to the many different skills we teach at The Handwork Studio.  If you are interested in "Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep, A Yarn about Wool”or other fabulous stories we have at The Handwork Studio please contact us at anytime.

Happy reading!

Miss Julia

Tags: Story Time, Summer Camp, Kids Stories, Reccomendations, Sewing, Fun, kids, fun kids activities, Narberth kids' activities