UKSPF UK Government Funding West Yorkshire Combined Authority Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

Beginner Crochet:
Keep Warm Wearables

The WEA Delivered Our First Ever Course

Our first beginner's crochet course was inspired by the cost of living crisis in 2022-23.  Energy prices were high and people were avoiding turning on the heating and finding other ways to keep warm. 

We wanted to provide easy, creative ways to keep hands moving and keep warm with simple handmade items you can wear, as well as learn new skills to continue to make items at home.  We decided on hand-warmers as they could also double up as wrist or ankle warmers, made with chunky yarn and large crochet hooks for ease and speed.

beginners crochet class made winter hand-warmersBeginner Crochet Hand-Warmers
beginner's crochet hatBeginner Crochet Hat

We partnered with The WEA, a charity focusing on free* and low-cost adult education and lifelong learning (one of the 5 ways to wellbeing).  

A few of us had tried to crochet before, using videos or books but without success.  Our tutor taught double and treble crochet stitches, and having her there to watch and guide was extremely helpful.   By the end of 6 weeks we'd all made the hand-warmers and a bonus hat!  We could finally *actually* crochet!

It's true what they say too, it is relaxing.  You just get into the rhythm with your hook and yarn and before you know it you've done loads without really thinking (until it needed you to pay attention and count that is, but our items were easy).

This was a thoroughly enjoyable course, a new skill picked up and continued at home - sometimes just for the relaxing motion of creating the stitches: crochet a long chain and multiple rows, pull out and start over next time.

The WEA & Our Partnership

Since 1903, the WEA has aimed to "help adults learn, no matter where they are, no matter what their circumstances". 

Free*, discounted or generally low cost courses across a wide variety of subjects can be studied, either face-to-face or online.

  • Arts & Crafts**
  • Community & Family
  • English, Maths & Digital
  • Health & Lifestyle
  • History & Culture
  • Languages & Writing
  • Natural & Social Sciences
  • Performing Arts
  • Work Related

Free & Discounted Course Eligibility

Some WEA courses are free for everyone and some have a tuition fee, but financial support is available so that paid courses can also be free or significantly reduced for eligible learners.

  • Adult skills, english, maths and digital skills courses are often free for eligible students
  • Other WEA courses may be free if you're unemployed, job seeking or on a low wage
  • The application process will tell you if you're not eligible or you can call 0300 303 3464 to check first  

Free Courses

Learners accessing various income-related benefits or seeking asylum should check their eligibility for free course fees:

  • Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Claiming Asylum

Low Wage & Discretionary Support

Even if you're not eligible for free course fees, you can still seek financial support to study your course if you are low waged or have a low household income - there are eligibility criteria and you will need to provide evidence and complete forms, but your course fees may be reduced through:

There are plenty of WEA courses to choose from, both online and face-to-face.

Mini Creative Video Courses by The WEA

You might also Be Interested In: