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New craft hub in Kingussie will help strath's recovery from Covid stresses


By Tom Ramage

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Craft courses are being set up for those in Badenoch and Strathspey who want to mend and create their own clothes and fabrics.

A special opening event is set for Sunday, from 10am to 3pm.

Behind the venture is Lexy Sellar who explained: "Our new Creative Hub will be available to all wanting to learn crafts and hire equipment. It's for all ages and we will be holding a Young Creatives programme to get kids involved at an early age."

Lexy Sellar will be teaching a wide variety of skills in the new Creativity Hub
Lexy Sellar will be teaching a wide variety of skills in the new Creativity Hub

For the older generations social craft nights are being lined up for early evening sessions.

"We are a small venue," explained Lexy, "so there will have to be restricted numbers due to Covid regulations, but we will be indicating just when it's safe for new people to enter."

The hub is at 21 Ardbroilach Road, behind Joe' Cafe.

"Learn & Create's aim is to provide a space where the community can come to learn new crafts, try out different equipment & enjoy creativity," Lexy added. "Craft hobbies can be expensive, can require a great deal of space and can be tricky to get started, but we aim to tackle all of those problems, so that anyone can not only try a new craft, but develop it and have a place where they can come and practice it."

The main project, though, will be the Young Creatives Programme helping young people to develop and learn creative skills.

There are four programmes: sew, knit, stitch and crochet, with two age groups for each (Junior for 6-11s, Senior for 12-18s).

"Every course is project based - teaching skills through ‘doing’, as well as giving participants the creative freedom to make decisions, mistakes and alterations at their own speed and comfort."

They are due to start the week beginning February 28 and can be booked online at w/c 28th Feb & can be booked online at https://www.learn-create.org.uk/youngcreatives

Lexy added: "We will also be holding a range of craft workshops and courses, social craft sessions holiday programmes, themed crafts and craft parties."

Lexy has been teaching her skills for years, includin sessions with the strath's Guides
Lexy has been teaching her skills for years, includin sessions with the strath's Guides

The sessions will concentrate on:

Family Hat Making - open to all ages to learn to knit a chunky bobble hat (February 19, 21 and 23)

Blanket Crochet/Knit Along - Learn to knit or crochet a blanket, working through each stage as a group (March 4-25)

Memory Quilt Stitch Along - Use baby clothing, old t-shirts or favourite fabrics to create a memory quilt (March 9 tito Aplril 13)

No newcomer to the old skills, Lexy has been crafting since about the age of 10, learning from family members or magazines, books & the internet.

"My education was focused on academia - I didn't really get the opportunity to study creative skills, which is one of my motivations for starting Learn & Create.

"Even today I don't think there are enough opportunities in schools to learn skills like sewing or knitting. But I think the best ways to learn craft are trial and error, seeing how other people do things and developing your own methods."

She has been teaching kids craft skills through Girlguiding and began teaching adult courses with Cairngorm Learning Partnership in 2016.

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