A kick start to Wool Week, with a free knitting class from Wool and the Gang in the John Lewis store in central London as part of Knit Nation. I hadn’t picked up a set of knitting needles for twenty years, not since I had knit-perled along side my grandma. However, Alexandra from WATG was undaunted by my absolute beginner status. I was swiftly given an enormous set of wooden knitting needles and chosen a peppermint green ball of chunky wool. Slip knot in place, cast on came out of the recesses of my mind, knit I could remember, and purl I was gently reminded of, and before I knew it I had my first row of ribbed stitches under my belt. The giant needles gave me a sense of being Lilliputian, as did the sense of wonder at the evident skill on the sofas around me. It was beyond my skill level to talk and knit simultaneously, but there were other novices to join me in my meditative state, and the industry was infectious, creating an immediate sense of community.
With the chunky wool and giant needles progress was rapid, and
after only an hour the hat was already starting to materialise. Others in the groups attend or run regular knitting groups, and it is easy to see how quickly you can get to a level where you could maintain a good chat and knit in the company of friends. It might be a while before I have knitted a pouf or cushion but I’m on my way.
The UK Handknitting Association has all sorts of information from free patterns to tips on learning to knit or knitting groups in your area.
- Wool Week: Free knitting classes! (stylingthewayforward.com)