Learning to knit with Bless the Weather!



Guess what? I can knit! Nothing very complicated, and reeeeaallly slowly, but I *can* do it! And that’s all thanks to the lovely Siobhan!

Siobhan knew I had been wanting to learn to knit for a little while (I think I mentioned it in a post, or maybe on Instagram…), and so asked if I might like to come along to one of her knitting classes! She runs the classes right from her gorgeous (and oh so Instagrammable!) flat in Brixton, and each lesson includes three hours of tuition, an online guide covering all the techniques taught in-class, a ball of yarn and a set of beautiful knitting needles. Also included are cuddles with Siobhan’s gorgeous dog Elkie (who’ll try to share all her toys with you because she’s just generous like that) as many cups of tea as you can drink, and slices of (vegan, and CRAZY delicious!) homemade cake!

In the class we learnt the very basics of knitting- how to cast on and how to do a basic knit stitch- before moving on to learning how to ‘purl’ and the various ways of combining the two types of stitches. It was beyond fascinating to discover how different patterns are created in the wool just by combining the stitches in various ways, and it was so satisfying to see the results of what I was learning come to life right in front of my eyes. Aside from cooking (and even that has a wait-time!) pretty much everything I do during the day is online. The photos I take, posts I write, conversations I have- all happen via a screen. Siobhan and I were talking about how amazing it is to do something so *tangible* in this digital age, and to see the results of your work forming instantaneously.

Bless-the-Weather-knitting-lesson Vegan-lemon-rosemary-cake Erika-Knight-wool

We started off the class looking at swatches (or maybe test squares, I can’t remember the exact name for them…) that Siobhan had knitted up, that showed the effect that knitting with different yarns, needles, and stitch combinations can have on the finished result. We got started casting on (a fancy way of getting the yarn looped onto the needles) a row of about 25 stitches, and then doing a few rows of basic knit stitch. I dropped a few stitches here and there (and made my first row of casting on stitches so tight it was a struggle to do anything with them), but on the whole I wasn’t too bad at all! We then moved on to experimenting with other stitches, and even began to learn how to create beautiful rib and moss patterns in the wool. The moss stitch is my absolute favourite. Once I’ve got to grips with knitting smaller items (family and friends, expect a LOT of scarves to be coming your way over the next few months!) I’d really love to have a go at knitting a big throw blanket for our living room. But I dream!


^^ Those were just my practise rows, ‘kay? ;) ^^

Siobhan-knitting-lesson   Bless-the-Weather-how-to-cast-on Casting-on

Aside from teaching me and Marissa (the other student in Saturday’s class) how to knit, Siobhan also gave us a ton of information about the best knitting books to buy, practical tips about yarn weight and pricing and blends, and warned us about how knitting your own scarves is nowhere near as thrifty as people would like to imagine! ;) All in all, I really can’t recommend the class highly enough. I had the best morning learning how to knit, and Siobhan is an endlessly patient teacher. She’s also a super talented and inspirational lady, and the class felt more like having a good catch up with a friend rather than a lesson!

If you’ve been fancying learning how to knit for a while, do consider booking up a class! There are classes running over the next few months (12th July, 20th Sept, & 25th Oct) but only three places per class so spots will book up quickly! They’re a snip at £35 (inclusive of materials!) and if you’re a beginner (like me!) now’s a great time to start learning because we’ve got a few months to get good and start knitting all our friends and family’s Christmas presents!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to whip up another jumper…

** Siobhan provided me with a spot in Saturday’s class free of charge in exchange for me sharing my thoughts on the experience here on Cider with Rosie, and as ever my opinion is 100% honest :)

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Posted in LONDON
  • Cath

    I was thinking about what you said about scarves…if you buy chunky cashmere yarn online and knit squares, I can help you make them up and show you how to crochet an edge all around the outside and then you, like Ruby Tuesday can have a nice think cashmere blanket for about fifty smackeroonies…I think her patchwork blanket is my fave thing I’ve ever made – easiest thing to do evening by evening and then after a couple of hours of making-up, you have this gigantic beautiful cosy *cheap* cashmere thing. The growing bag stuffed full of squares was uuuber satisfying and I did different things in some of the squares – made a little ‘R’, did some fairisle etc just to give it some interest…dunno why I haven’t made some more blankets, really. Maybe I will…

  • http://www.desperatelyseekingfreedom.blogspot.com Katie Matthews

    This post just made me so happy! Shivvy used to take me to school (she was in 6th form, I was just starting)from the age of about 7 and would look after my brother, sisters and I, helping my mum get us all to school on time and taking us to the train station in the evenings. More than 10 years later, we’re still friends so I know just how lovely she is!

    I keep meaning to book myself onto one of her courses, thanks for the reminder :)

    Katie <3

  • http://theearththroughalens.blogspot.co.nz Emma

    I love knitting. There is just something so relaxing about it, and as you said, something very satisfactory. :)
    It sounds like an awesome and informative class, yet another thing that is in Britain so I can’t do it. :(

  • http://www.berrydiaries.com Lulu

    Rosie I love this post! Sounds like you had a wonderful day and Siobhan is so lovely that I’m not surprised at all! Looking forward to seeing your next masterpiece :) And I need to book onto one of Siobhan’s classes! Lulu x x

  • http://bluebellandbumpkin.blogspot.com Beccy

    I really want to try knitting! We had an old family friend who taught me when I was eight but annoyingly, have forgotten how. This looks like a gorgeous class.

    Beccy // Bluebell & Bumpkin

  • http://www.waterpainteddreams.com Hayley

    Go you! I’m a keen crocheter but I never really picked up knitting. These classes sound so good!
    Water Painted Dreams xo

  • http://freckles-and-all.blogspot.co.uk Faye

    This sounds just lovely and exactly the sort of thing I’d love to do if I were a little nearer by!

    Faye | freckles-and-all.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://asimpleelegance.com arielle

    so fun! and trust me, I had the same too-tight, miss-stitched issues with crochet. but it comes eventually. or so I’m told ;)

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  • http://lou-in-paris.com Lou

    Yay, I love this post : ) So glad you took to it and moss stitch is my absolute favourite too. Lou xx

  • http://leavventuredellapice.blogspot.it/ Bea

    Hi Rosie!
    This was something I want to do too!!!!
    I think it’s very relaxing!
    I do cross stitching, and I love it!

  • http://www.littleobservationist.com Steph

    I so agree with you guys that it’s such a great break from a screen when you have a talent like this. I started making jewellery when I was living in Colombia a few years ago and when I came home, I realised how relaxing it was when I took the time to do that instead of sit in front of a screen. I have no idea how to knit, but would love to learn one day!

  • http://www.littleobservationist.com Steph

    PS – I forgot to say – how cool are her labels? I love them!

  • http://www.hersundaysmile.blogspot.co.uk Sarah

    Wow, that looks like the most lovely knitting lesson ever. I brushed back up on my knitting a little while ago, and I loved the idea of using chunkier needles, bit less fiddly when your starting out and you can whip up a chunky scarf in no time! xx

  • http://cookingcocktailsandcaptainamerica.blogspot.co.uk Kate

    I’m a (mostly) self-taught knitter with the help of the Stitch n’ Bitch book by Debbie Stoller, but the class you took sounds great and I’m thinking about looking into one to get my knitting confidence back. I’d also love to make a soft, comfy throw blanket for the lounge :)

  • Nicola

    Oooh, Brixton is really close to me so something like this is tempting. I’ve been trying to learn to knit or crochet for so long, I have all the books, all the materials, and a knowledgeable housemate who does both all the time but I cannot learn!

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

  • http://just-add-deenie.blogspot.com Deenie

    This is perfect! My grandma gave me all her old knitting needles and loads of wool not last Christmas, but the Christmas before, and the most I managed was wrapping the wool around the needle! This sounds like so much fun!

  • http://unciaandtigris.blogspot.co.uk Clare Marie

    The first thing I ever knit as an adult was a beautifully soft big white cowl and it’s still one of my absolute favourite winter scarves – good luck with it all, I can’t wait to see your first finished object! Beautiful photos, too, as always!

  • http://www.jolihouse.com lily kate

    Ahh it’s so lovely to see fellow young blogger knitting! You must be a natural to be doing moss stitch already – I know I made a couple of ugly scarves before getting to that stage haha. You’ll be whipping up cables and lace in no time! I think it’s down to the fact that ‘big’ bloggers like yourself are showing crafty things that there’s less of a stigma attached to granny activities these days, which makes me really glad as a 16 year old knitter/ pattern designer. :D
    Good luck with all your projects, I’m sure they’ll be beautiful and I can’t wait to see!
    lily x

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