Maker Faire Detroit

I jumped at the chance to attend Maker Faire Detroit, which was held in Dearborn, Michigan July 27-28. It is a relatively short drive from our thread factory, and I knew it would be fun. I have been to Maker Faires in the past and found them to be some of the most exciting creative festivals in the country. 

If you have never heard of this festival, their website tells it best, "Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned." (http://makerfaire.com)

First, about the venue… If you have never been to the Henry Ford Transportation Museum and Greenfield Village, you will be in for a treat.  The Museum is divided into segments: Trucks and Automobiles, Clocks, Machinery, Trains, Farm Equipment and the history of what happened to the world after the automobile became mass-produced at a very reasonable price.  Henry Ford changed the world. You could literally spend at least two full days walking through the museum and the village and learn a lot.

Now, about the Faire… The TNNA (National NeedleArts Association) sponsored a "Needlearts Zone." This how-to center could be found amongst the museum's antique planes and automobiles. We had teachers instructing newbies in knitting and crochet (both right and left handed), needlepoint, cross stitch and spinning.  Even though I have stitched and have always been around these arts, I am not the greatest stitching instructor, so I spent my time directing people into the learning area and making friendship bracelets using the Kreinik Custom Corder and Kreinik threads. I made over 100 friendship bracelets with people over the two days of the Faire, and it was fun. The bracelets were definitely a crowd pleaser, especially for kids. 

The Corder was such a hit, I just have to expand on it. Kreinik has had this wonderful tool for years, but many still don't know about it. Once people see it and use it, they always say, "I need one of those!" Here are some comments from people at the Faire:
  • "The Custom Corder would make a great tool for fundraising projects. It’s easy and fast and the kids could create custom bracelets using any kind of yarn and thread." – Amy, Detroit 
  •  "My son loves this." - Sally, Toledo
  •  "This would be fun to create with at a kid’s birthday party," - Jan, Windsor, ON
I had a great time working with young kids, but you know, many adults are kids at heart.  When it comes to bling, most people cannot get enough.  We were making bracelets with different threads, differing weights of braid (one combination gave us a cool chain mail effect) and adding beads for even more fun. Here is a link to more information about the Kreinik Custom Corder: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kreinik-Custom-Corder-AMCDW-HD.html 

Maker Faire occurs in a variety of cities including Detroit, NYC and San Mateo.  It attracts computer geeks and crafting geeks who just want to learn something new. We handed out lists of yarn and needlework shops found in the surrounding states that belong to the TNNA association. Detroit’s Faire attracted at least 8000 people.  There were young boys and girls and men and woman who sat and stitched. We even had Batman and Princess Leia learning to knit, and a Sith desiring to learn how to spin yarn. It just shows that crafting is universal.

by Doug Kreinik

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