Knitting classes

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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According to the Woolmark Company, knitting is one of the world’s greatest stress relievers. Well, they would say that, they have a vested interest in getting your needles clacking. However, there is no denying that knitting is fashionable once more, with celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz and Russell Crowe producing darling little baby bootees, twin sets and quilted knife holders. As well as this, knitting clubs are springing up all over the US, called things like Stitch and Bitch, Clack and Yack and Knit Punks.

These clubs are mainly the preserve of women, who go there after work to relax and chat while producing something woolly. However, knitting is not just for girls anymore – men are also getting creative. For example, American Noah Wulsten is an avid knitter and describes it as a personal and creative way to make a gift. He also adds that it is something of a chick magnet, on par with having a puppy in the park.

Knitting has been around since Methuselah thought that the nights were getting a bit chilly. Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Syria and the mountainous regions of North Africa have all been mooted as a possible starting point for the craft but no-one really knows for sure where knitting actually began. However, knitting certainly took off – it was an important industry in medieval Europe and it had developed into an advanced craft by the 16th century.

Knitting has also been part of Irish life since early times. An abundance of sheep and a surfeit of time on our hands led us to produce the woolly goods. Some areas developed their own styles – the Aran Islands, for instance, are particularly famous for their jumpers. In the past, the patterns were not written down, but passed on from generation to generation. Cheerily, this meant that that a particular design could be used to identify the body of long-drowned fishermen. However, you can also use the knitted item as a means of less morbid identification. If you do decide to take up the needles yourself, then you might consider knitting your partner a yellow and green muumuu so as to easily pick them out of a crowd.

If you are intrigued, then why not consider a knitting class A beginner’s knitting course will teach you how to cast on stitches, knit various stitch types, increase and decrease and cast off. You should also learn how to read a pattern and the class will start out with something relatively simple, like a scarf or a cushion cover. If you already have knitting skills, then you could consider an intermediate or advanced class and learn about stitch combinations, cables, wool substitutions, gauge reading and designing.

Frank Bolger

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