Last week was Wool Week and there were some free workshops happening in John Lewis. I got an email asking if I wanted to go to one, I said please could I go to either Christmas Jumpers or Plaid workshops, and I was told I could go to both!
The first was a Christmas Jumper class with Sue Stratford, owner of the Knitting Hut and pattern designer (just as I was leaving did I realise I own her Meerkat book!). We didn’t learn to knit a jumper in the hour-long session, but instead started a pair of fingerless mittens. Sue checked our knitting as we went along to ensure we had the right tension for fairisle knitting (making sure the yarn at the back is loose enough). We were able to take the wool and lovely lovely needles home to complete our projects, so I will show pictures of the finished mittens soon (Camera phone was on very low battery that day).
On Saturday evening (after a lovely day of fabric shopping, food and drink with the Spoolettes, Roisin, Rehanon, Amy, Claire, Sally and Janene) I went back for a Plaid Collar knitting workshop. “How on earth do you knit plaid?” I wondered…
Well, we were doing Erika Knight‘s quick and easy version of plaid. We were going to knit a chunky snood/collar and then embellish it to get a plaid effect. There were some experienced knitters in the group (hello again Allison from the yarn crawl/zoo!) and some total beginners, but Erika did a great job of giving everyone something to learn; I finally learnt how to do thumb cast on!
The plaid effect was done by either Swiss Darning (white collar) or doing running stitches (mustard and black collars). I didn’t get time to do that on mine (I was knitting very slowly so as not to injure myself) but have some oddments of wool to finish at home.
Erika’s website talks about her trend-forecasting skills, and during the workshop she was keen to tell us that pom-poms will be big, both figuratively and literally; she showed us how to make easy giant pom-poms using a book to wrap the yarn around.