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.
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? ;) ^^
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 :)