My mother and I met up and quickly enter the building to escape the rain and cool air. This means the subways were full of people frowning. Whereas I am full of excitement to be going to a macrame plant hangers DIY class with CraftJam.
It is a pleasant surprise to find ourselves in a hip, modern day co-working space called Knotel, when we were off the elevator. We are greeted by our instructor Alexi Tavel of twoofwands.com. She is cheery, bubbly and shook off any nerves I still had.
“…But then she’s like wait, we should bring that back to real life because crafting has throughout history been something that brings people together.”
She speaks briefly about the gift bags of materials that were all included in the cost of the class. Along with a workbook that details the knots that we’d be using.
What is CraftJam?
Alexi shares the story of how CraftJam was founded a little over a year ago by its CEO Nora, who has previously created an online site for creatives to connect.
“It was sort of this idea of, we’re all so crazy and maniac, and a way to connect online to share in the crafting community. But then she’s like wait, we should bring that back to real life because crafting has throughout history been something that brings people together. AND we all do it together.”
Handmade crafts, good for the soul?
Alexi offers up some tidbits about why handmade crafts are good for us too! “Especially with yarn crafts and macrame and things like that, that it’s this repetitive knotting motion, so good for the mind and it’s meditative. And there’s been all that research lately that talks about how beneficial it is for aging and what not, so, we’re in a good place here. So [Nora] wanted to start CraftJam with that concept of bringing people back together in real life, and sharing in the experience and in a laid back environment that’s beginner friendly.”
Time for some DIY
We’d be using four knots to create the plant hanger and Alexi said it wouldn’t be nearly as scary as it might look! Examples of where to purchase supplies for similar future projects (should we get hooked on macrame) and some available class series were shared with the group. Like an upcoming series, Beginner Knitting with Designer Alexi Tavel, or Hand Lettering with Designer Jessie Katz.
Attendees opened the CraftJam gift bags and began to sort through the contents. Our macrame strings were even and secure around our binder clips. The binder clips were what secured our projects to the fence of the hip conference room of the co-working space. Then Alexi demonstrated the knots, and encouraged us along the way if we felt stuck.
Although getting familiar with the knots was tough at first, once my muscle memory kicked in–I was really pleased with my project. The best part was how CraftJam took a project that seems tough and broke it down into small pieces for beginners!
I would definitely go back for some more classes. And even my dogs loved the final product once I got home!
Check out all the classes offered by Craftjam:
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