Learning to Knit at Valley Yarn
Is there a better time of year to learn how to knit? Well at least for those of us who have to endure months of cold wet weather. I’ve been dying to learn how for months (okay, maybe not dying but you get the point) and finally I can say I’m actually learning instead of just saying I want to learn. Yay! Since I’ve officially started with my one year sewing challenge, which you may have read about here, learning how to knit has become somewhat of a priority since if I want a new sweater, I’ll have to make it myself.
I couldn’t find many places that offered knitting lessons and I’d pretty much given up finding any lessons this fall that worked for my schedule so I signed up for a Craftsy class called Knit Lab: Projects, Patterns & Techniques with Stephanie Japel. It’s a great and inexpensive way to learn the basics of knitting and even create some fun projects, though I didn’t do any of the projects myself. I just played around and made lots of different swatches.
Then I learned about Ravelry. My thoughts: Ravelry? What’s that? Well, for those of you who don’t know, it’s a social site for people who knit and/or crochet. It’s also a site where you’ll lose hours of your life browsing patterns, projects and learning about different yarns. Not that I’ve done that or anything. But seriously, if you’re into knitting and haven’t heard of it (though I’m pretty sure I may be the last person on earth who hasn’t heard of Ravelry), check it out.
Ravelry is actually how I came across Valley Yarn’s website.
The first thing that jumped out at me on Valley Yarn’s homepage was that they offered lessons and after a few email exchanges, I was signed up. I’m not going to lie, I did a little dance to celebrate.
I had never been to Valley Yarn before and let me tell you, when I walked into that store, I thought I’d died and gone to knitter’s heaven.
Seriously, the walls were filled from floor to ceiling (well, maybe not quite on the floor) with yarns of all different makes and colours.
There were shelves loaded with more yarns and patterns. It was pure knitting awesome-ness.
Check out this bowl (I believe made from birch or beech)! It’s for when you’re knitting with a ball of yarn so it doesn’t roll all over the place. See how the little grooved out area for the string of yarn to tuck into? You just put the ball in it and it rolls around inside the bowl. (I feel like such a newbie! But it is a beautiful bowl.)
They have a little table set up at the window and sitting there during my lessons surrounded by all that wool, I was both inspired and feeling very cozy.
My instructor, Angela from Cedar Box Knits, was great. I learned so much from her and she was SO patient with me. Seriously, it can’t be easy watching someone at my level learn how to knit. I’m sure I looked like I was still acquiring my motor skills. Like, a baby who’s just learned how to hold onto something and is uncoordinated trying to move bring it to her mouth but winds up dropping it or hitting her head with it. Actually, a baby probably looks even more coordinated than I did!
Although I had signed up for Beginner Level 1 lessons, Angela quickly suggested I switch to Beginner Level 2 because I already knew how to knit and pearl and since I was the only one taking a lesson, that’s exactly what I did. I walked in there knowing almost nothing about knitting and walked out an hour later having learned all sorts of new techniques, how to read a pattern and with my first real project underway. The pattern is one of Angela’s (Cedar Box Knits) and is called the Arrowhead Scarf. It’s available on her website and is a great pattern for learning.
I’ve already scheduled my second lesson and I think I’ve made pretty good progress on my scarf.
I definitely have been loving learning how to knit and I’m thrilled that I discovered both Valley Yarn and Angela in the process. Not only did I get started on my first real project, but I’ve found another favourite store. Did you see all that gorgeous yarn?!