And now for something completely different…

Today on, we go to knitting class!

Yes dear readers, I have jumped into the pool and have imbibed the Kool-Aid. I decided to take a knitting class at my local Arts and Crafts center of learning, Sew Make Do. It is a two night class, taught over two weeks. The class is taught by a good friend, Sharon. I met Sharon through my wife, and both my wife and Sharon are expert knitters. Sharon is also a fantastic seamstress, as is my wife.

Sew Make Do is a very nice little studio in my hometown that holds all sorts of craft classes. The classes are mostly sewing, but they also encourage other craft classes as well, including knitting. The studio was very well lit, clean, and sparsely decorated, which implied that the important focus was on the particular craft being taught. I was pleased to note that a lot of the furniture was IKEA (my favorite). The proprietor of the shop was very personable, kind, and offered beverages as we arrived.

On the first night, we were given a ziploc bag filled with a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles, size 6. Since I arrived WAY too early (which is typical), I got to choose the color of yarn.

The rest of my classmates (not surprisingly all female) arrived in short order, and we all settled in for class. Sharon, our instructor, began by talking a little bit about knitting in general. She then showed us how to cast on, after describing a few basic details about how to actually hold the needles while knitting. The styles, English or Continental, can roughly equate to comfort while knitting and help aid right vs left-handed people (Sharon stated Continental was more comfortable for left-handed people). We were being taught the English method, but she showed us an example of Continental.

After the preliminaries, it was announced we’d be knitting simple square coasters, and Sharon showed us an example of what our coaster will look like when complete (using the garter stitch), along with an example of stockinette stitch as well to give us an idea of an alternate way to knit.

After we completed a row, with Sharon wandering around guiding each of us through our first 20 stitches or so, we proceeded onto the next row. Sharon helped each of us through the steps and said we all did really well for first-timers. None of us were dropping stitches badly or making gross errors, and I think that’s a compliment to Sharon’s very patient teaching style. She asked us to make sure that we had 20 stitches at the end of each row, to ensure we weren’t dropping stitches, which is a good double check for accuracy.

We did a few more rows and then it was 8PM, and time for class to wrap up. Our homework was to finish our coaster (and do more if we wanted), but making sure to check for square by folding the coaster diagonally every so often. When it makes two perfect triangular halves, we have a square.

Next week we will be learning how to bind off our coaster, and then how to purl (which I’m not sure I can even explain yet).

All in all, I had a wonderful first time knitting. In all truth, I had learned the basics with my wife teaching me, but I promptly forgot how after not practicing regularly. I will make sure to keep my hand in by working on regular projects, and I hope to get into socks, scarves, and other nifty things as I learn.

And before I forget, I finally get to join Ravelry, which is a fantastic site for all things knitting. I felt strange joining Ravelry before I started knitting, so now I get to join the exclusive club too. Here’s the link to the project I worked on for class: Coaster Mk. I