Happy February everyone! Roxanne and I just finished installing the new window display, full of Valentine's themed items to inspire your next knitting project! Come by and check out the Lily Hat, one of Roxanne's newest hat designs. The sample in the window was knit in Malabrigo Rios, just one of several new yarns we are carrying.
With spring just around the corner - and the evenings already a little brighter - this time of year always infects me with a solid case of startitis - that 'itchy finger' feeling, where I want to make every pattern I see, and just can't stop myself from casting on all kinds of new projects (regardless of how many are already sitting on the needles in my project pile!). Rather than try to stop myself, however, I try to use this burst of creativity to expand my knitting skills, and make projects which challenge my skills and teach me new techniques. With this feeling in mind, I thought I would share with you our new list of knitting and crochet classes - just in case you also feel the need to challenge yourself to some new projects! :)
As I'm sure you know, we always offer a number of sessions of Beginner Knitting Lessons, in both daytime and evening time slots. This course is perfect for absolute beginners, as well as for people who used to know how to knit, but are returning to the craft after a long absence. At the moment we have Sunday classes starting in February and April: keep an eye on our website, because we will soon be adding weeknight classes as well.
For more experienced knitters, we also have a selection of project based classes. Starting on Wednesday, February 6th, you can join us in making Elizabeth Zimmermann's Tomten Jacket. The class runs from 7pm to 9pm, for three Wednesdays in a row. If you've been in the store recently, you'll know this as the grey and orange hooded coat that has been sitting on our sample table. In addition to making a super cute coat for both kids and adults, this pattern is also a fantastic introduction to Elizabeth Zimmermann's (EZ for short!) style of pattern-writing. The jacket itself is nothing but garter stitch - the novelty of the design is in the details, and the many different ways in which you can (and are encouraged to!) alter the design to make it your own. I am a huge fan of EZ's patterns, and I look forward to introducing you to one of her most popular knitting patterns!
Toward the end of the month, Roxanne will be teaching a lace shawl class, featuring the Ashton Shawlette by Dee O'Keefe. This is also a three-session class, held from 7pm to 9pm for three consecutive Thursdays (February 21st to March 7th). The Ashton is a great beginner shawl - interesting enough to keep you entertained, but not too complicated to be used as your first lace project.
In March, we have scheduled another cuff-down Sock Class on Wednesday nights (March 6th through 20th), as well as a two-week Beginner Crochet Workshop that will run on March 27th and April 3rd. This is a new format for our crochet class, and we're hoping it will become just as popular as our knitting classes!
The final class I want to tell you about is designed for those of you who are looking to tackle a challenging new project, but want a little guidance as you work through it. Sign up to our 'Bring Your Own Project' class, and you get three 2-hour sessions with an instructor. The classes will be spread out over a six-week period, to give you additional knitting time between each meeting. We are limiting this class to four students, and both Roxanne and I will be on hand to help you out during the sessions (although I will also be helping customers as they come in!). We can help clarify a pattern's wording, teach you the techniques used in the pattern, or simply provide a little moral support as you tackle something new. Group sessions like this are a great way to improve your knitting knowledge - in addition to learning the techniques needed for your own pattern, you also have a chance to learn the techniques used in your classmates' patterns! Please let us know what pattern(s) you are considering making when you sign up for the course - this will help us make sure that the pattern will be a reasonable challenge for you, as well as give us a chance to prepare any teaching tools we may need to help you out. After all, we want to make sure you get the best value for your money! :)
Edited to Add:
I almost forgot to tell you this! We have recently started offering weekly Knitting Help Sessions, for those times when you just can't figure out how to proceed with a project. Join us on Thursdays, from Noon until 1pm, and ask us all the questions you like! Each session is $20, and pre-registration is not required. :)