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I have to tell you something strange — recently I almost stopped knitting. I knit some things here and there, but in general I don’t pick up my knitting every free minute, as I did before. For the last three months, I was spending every free minute online trying to figure out if my home country, Ukraine, still exists. I won’t go into political stuff here, but you can imagine that a question of that magnitude can distract from.. pretty much everything else.

That’s why I was happy to hear that Phoenix Community Center offered me to teach a knitting class to its clients. The class is scheduled for six weeks, every Monday morning. Some people who signed up wanted to refresh their skills, and some wanted to try knitting for the first time. I started thinking about a useful project that would allow my students to practice basic stitches. When I was buying yarn, Louise from LK Yarns suggested making wristwarmers. I thought it was brilliant, and made one when I came home that very day. (There is no pattern — I cast on 40 sts and knit all stitches until the piece wrapped “snuggly” around my wrist. Sew the seam leaving the opening.)

Wristwarmers
My students liked the idea and three of them already finished their mitts! Another idea came from an experienced knitter who showed up with a dishcloth in progress. Suddenly, everyone wanted to make one. So we got some cotton yarn and learned to read a dishcloth pattern called Grandmother’s Favourite.

Dishcloth
Teaching knitting techniques to a group of knitters with different skill levels is tricky. It’s a bit chaotic, but also very fluid. I am just trying to meet everyone where they are and take it from there. Making samples boosted my knitting mojo a bit, and I was able to finish a sweater that was a WIP (work-in-progress) for almost two years.

DinosaurSweater

I don’t know what it says about me as a knitter, but I have no projects on the needles right now and no interest in starting one. Which is good, because I am going to sew another Ukrainian flag.

Ukrainian Flag

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Nowadays, it’s possible to learn how to knit without stepping away from a computer. All kinds of tutorials on Youtube demonstrate basic stitches, various stitch patterns, and advanced knitting techniques. However, sometimes it happens that you don’t know what to type in the search box (Does my left sleeve seem shorter to you too?) or you simply want to spend an evening learning something new in a friendly atmosphere, surrounded by fellow knitters.

Here is the list of knitting classes and workshops from local yarn stores around Halifax. Please do click on links for more information and don’t shy away from picking up the phone — they are lovely people to talk to about knitting. The following list is arranged by the shop, in alphabetical order, plus Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design.

Dartmouth Yarns

Fall-Winter Classes 2012 (full schedule and details)

Location: Most classes meet on Wednesday evenings in the Dartmouth Yarns shop at 52 Queen St., Dartmouth, from 6:30-8:30 pm (Thrumming is the exception).  Class enrollment is limited to 7 students per class. You can call or e-mail (422-YARN or info@DartmouthYarns.com) to register for a class, but space is not guaranteed until the full class fee has been paid.

Knitting 101:  The Basics—In Progress
Requirements:  No prior knitting experience or knowledge is expected.
Meeting dates:  September 12, 19, 26

Introduction to Top-Down Socks
Requirements:  No experience knitting socks is expected, but you should be comfortable with the knit and purl stitch, as well as basic casting-on and binding-off.  Experience with increasing and decreasing is helpful.
Meeting dates:  October 10, 17, and 24

Thrumming (as in for thrummed mittens)
Requirements:  This workshop is planned for comfortable knitters who have some experience knitting in-the-round.)
Meeting dates:  October 20, 2:00-4:00

Colorwork using Fair Isle Techniques
Requirements:  The course is designed for intermediate-level knitters, although no experience with colorwork is required.  You should be comfortable with single yarn knitting in the round.
Meeting dates:  November 14, 21, 28

Cable Workshop
Requirements:  The course is designed for comfortable knitters. No experience with cables is required.
Meeting dates:  October 3

Double-Knitting Workshop
Requirements:  The course is designed for comfortable knitters. No experience with double-knitting is expected.
Meeting dates:  November 7

Wet-Knit Felting
Requirements:  The course is designed for any level knitter.  Required skills include knit, purl, cast on, and bind off.
Meeting dates:  Dec. 5 & 12

From Ewe to You

Location: 546 Sackville Drive, Suite 850, Lower Sackville
Phone: (902) 252-9665

Fall Needle Felting (flat technique) Workshop

During this workshop you will create a beautiful design on a felt pad (a ‘fall’ theme design will be provided by the shop or something from your own imagination). This workshop will take you from idea stage through development, to finished product. Learn the techniques of flat needle felting, and how to translate your ideas into beautiful works of art.
When: Saturday, 29th September 2012 (1pm – 3pm)
Skill Level: Beginner

Knitting With Beads Workshop

Learn to add beads to your knitting in this fun workshop, we will be making a 6” Christmas Stocking.
When: Saturday, 20th October 2012 (1pm – 3pm)
Prerequisite: must be able to knit in the round on double pointed needles. Bring your own needles (BYON) – a set of 2.75mm double-pointed needles.

Note: Your seat is reserved when class is paid in full. Drop-in to the shop to register.

Thrummed Mittens or Thrummed Slippers

When: Saturday, 17th November 2012 (1:00 PM – 3:30 PM)

Prerequisites:

  • Mittens: Knit in the round on double-pointed needles
  • Slippers: Basic Skills (i.e. knit/purl/cast-on/cast-off

Gaspereau Valley Fibres

Classes Schedule

Location: 830 Gaspereau River Road,
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, B4P 2N5
Phone: 1-902-542-2656

Scared Silly by Steeks?
Saturday, November 17th 10am – 3pm

Why not join us and lean how to steek with confidence? Gain experience while knitting a sweater for your yea pot? This course is designed for those knitters who are familiar with working in the round and have some experience of stranded knitting. All demonstrations will be on circular needles.

Two Socks in One Day with Susan Doyle
Saturday, November 24th 10am – 3pm

Join Susan in discovering how to knit two socks at once. No more one sock wonders! Susan guarantees there will be “lots of laughts, knitting and new friends!” Participants should have experience knitting socks already.

Needle Felting for Beginners
Wednesday, November 28th 10am – 1pm

Join artist Sandy Charbeneau as she takes you through the joys of needle felting! In this workshop participants will create a 10″ x 12″ photo of clothes blowing in the wind on their very own clothesline. Learn the tips and tricks of felting and how to mix and match different elements into your art.

Lace for Beginners
Saturday, December 1st 10am – 3pm

Let Lace Queen Kelly take you through the ins and outs of lace knitting 101. Using squishy soft baby alpaca yarn, learn how making holes in your knitting can be a good and beautiful thing.  Learn how to not only read a lace pattern and chart, but your knitting as well. Lace – you’ll love it! Participants are asked to bring a 16″ 6.5mm circular needle.

Have a Yarn

Events Schedule

Location: 575 Main Street, Mahone Bay Nova Scotia
Phone: 902-624-0569

Introduction to Sock Knitting
Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate
Saturday, October 13, 2012 12:30 to 4:30 pm

Meet designer Ilga Leja
On Saturday, September 22 at 1:00, Ilja Leja will be at Have a Yarn. Come meet this wonderful designer and see many samples of her patterns and projects featuring Kauni yarn. For more information on Ilga you can visit her website www.ilgaleja.com.

The Loop

Full workshop schedule, Sep – Dec 2012

Location: 1547 Barrington St, Halifax, NS
Phone: 429-5667

Beginner Level Classes

Knitting for Absolute Beginners
Sun., Sept. 23rd, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
OR Tues., Oct 16th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
OR Sun., Nov 4th, 10 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Skills-building series:

Beyond the Basics
Tues., Oct. 2nd, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
OR Sun., Nov. 11th, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting experience

Crochet for Beginners
Thurs., Oct. 18 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Embroidery for Beginners
Sun., Dec. 2nd 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Needle Felting
Sun., Oct. 28th 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Finishing School: putting together your knits
In time for Christmas projects!
Tues. Dec 4th 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting skills – cast on, knit and purl, increasing, decreasing

Introduction to Sock Knitting
This class in two parts:
Part 1 – Sun., Nov 18 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Part 2 – Sun., Nov 25, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: basic knitting skills and some experience with knitting on double-pointed needles.

Try Your Hand at Mittens
This class in two parts:
Part 1 – Thurs., Nov 1, 6pm – 8pm.
Part 2 – Thurs., Nov 8, 6pm – 8pm.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting skills – cast on, knit and purl, increasing, decreasing

Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design

Full Courses Brochure

Location: 1061 (Suite 140) and
1096 Marginal Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Telephone: (902) 492-2522

Felt Embellishment
Wednesday, October 3 – 24 6:30-9:30 (12 hours/4 weeks)
Class size: 6 (no experience necessary)
Registration Closes September 26

Sculptural Knitting
Wednesdays, November 7 – 28 6:30-9:30 (12 hours/ 4 weeks)
Class size: 8 (some experience necessary)
Registration Closes October 31

Hope you will find it useful, and if you know about other interesting classes in the area, please give us a shout. As they say — live knit and learn.

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