In case you hadn’t noticed – I enjoy making things. So it may come as some surprise to learn that i have never knitted. That is why I jumped at the opportunity to do a two and a half hour beginner’s class at Pop Craft, a pop-up craft shop in Brunswick. The shop has been set up in the exhibition space at the Harvest Workroom and contains knitting supplies, a dizzying array of colourful yarn, an assortment of knitted goods and some resident expert knitters, crocheters and pompom makers.
I arrived right on time for the 10 o-clock lesson, but when I got there I was the only student in the shop. David, described as knitter extraordinaire on the Pop Craft site, looked at a roughly scribbled-on scrap of paper on his desk and said, “I think you might be the only student today.” I’m not sure why, but I thought that learning how to knit would be more popular around here. Maybe everyone already knows how. As it turned out I wasn’t the only student, another new knitter joined me about an hour later. Nevertheless, it was still a great opportunity for me to get the hang of the basics of knitting with the help of someone who really knew what they were doing.
David went through casting on, letting me try a few then finishing off the row of fifteen stitches for me. Next we covered the knit and I knitted a few rows until I felt I had the feel for it. After that came the purl and again I did a few rows of these before David introduced the idea of alternating knits and purls in different patterns to create different types of weave. I suppose I had never really thought about it before, but I was actually amazed at the range of fabrics you can create with just two sticks, a ball of wool and two types of stitch. Incredible. We then learnt how to cast off and that was the two and half hours gone in a flash. I walked out with two new 4mm knitting needles, one ball of blue yarn, a little square knitted sampler and a newly-found inspiration to knit.
I think it is this last point that made the class worthwhile. While there wasn’t a whole lot that I couldn’t have worked out by myself from a book or a few YouTubes, having someone of David’s talent show me how to knit means I’m much more likely to continue. I have since started a new project and there quite a few things I need to work on – keeping track of how many stitches I’ve done, keeping tension in the yarn and getting faster!