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Collaborative knitting workshop

by Sarah on October 7th, 2010

Following about six different conversations I had on Monday’s Big Night Out, with both knitters and non-knitters alike, I’m excited to announce that our first craft workshop (on Monday 18th October) will be a collaborative knitting workshop.

For beginners/almost beginners, we’ll choose a pattern and novices can work with more experience knitters to learn basic knitting skills. We’ll choose a pattern, needles and wool in advance so that you can get tooled up before the night, then work through starting to knit and the basics of following a pattern. If, like me, you can technically do a bit of very basic knitting, but hit a wall each time, now’s your chance to ask all experience knitters all of your questions without any embarrassment. (Not least: why doesn’t my knitting look like your knitting?!)

If you’re a more confident knitter, you’re encouraged to help beginners as well as working with other advanced knitters to develop your technique and learn new knitty skills.

By the end of the evening, even those who’ve never knitted before will be on the way to having a hand-knitted item. And fear not – if you get home and realise you can’t remember a thing you learned, just come back to Granny Green’s Big Night Out any Monday night – if there’s a knitter present, they’ll probably be happy to help.

This is where I need your help, though: I’m very firmly in the Not A Knitter camp, and therefore have no idea what pattern to choose. I’d like something pretty simple for beginners, and if possible I’d like it to be something practical, like a scarf, that can be worn with pride once it’s done. Are there any free/cheap patterns (online or off) that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

From → Do, Make

  1. For absolute beginners I’d do a garter stitch scarf, like this one:

    Scarves take a long time to make though …

    • Big needles (10mm upwards) and thick yarn are the answer.
      I’ll come along with some kit to show you if you like.

  2. Country Living magazine has oodles of free online patterns.

  3. Helena permalink

    Basic garter stitch scarf is easy: cast on as many stitches as you like (depending on how wide you want it to be), knit all stitches on every row until it’s long enough, then cast off! Would be ok for someone who’s never ever knitted before, but would quickly get boring. It’s slightly nicer to do a stocking stitch scarf (alternate knit and purl rows). Size 4 is the usual needle for DK yarn (double knitting, ‘regular’ type stuff), but a size 6 needle with chunky yarn would be quicker. As Madeline suggests, even bigger needles with a really thick yarn would be faster again, but I think really big needles like that are hard to handle. Perhaps we could give all sizes and people can choose their own preferences depending on what yarn they find in the shops that they like? Or beginners could knit very small things, such as egg cosies.

  4. Vicki Bradley permalink

    How about a knitted headband – the sort you wear instead of a hat. I will bring along a basic pattern for one. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t have to be knitted with circular needles. It would be good to give folks a choice as some might want to knit a scarf or something that would take longer to knit or others might want a quick project.

  5. I’ve got a basic square pattern which is great for scarves & blankets I’ve also got some spare needles which I’ll bring so if anyone fancies coming but doesn’t have time to source needles DON’T BE PUT OFF ! I bought a whole stash at the Redcross Shop in Dumfries

  6. this is the link for anyone interested in knitting for AIDS orphans in South Africa


    This is a great pattern for making in a workshop Beginners get lots of practice casting on and off and it doesn’t look like the usual “my first scarf” because the rows go sideways.

    It refers to 19mm needles which are standard in USA but you can get 20mm ones here and the difference is hardly noticeable.

    The idea is great for swapping and sharing yarns you happen to have around. Build up the correct weight of yarn from thinner ones so you each get a unique texture colour mix.

  8. Deborah Rodgers permalink

    I’ll bring along a mitten pattern that I taught myself to do. It mustn’t have been too hard if I taught myself. And I’ll bring all my spare needles along too. What time will you be starting?

  9. Emma permalink

    Hi,I want to come to the workshop on Monday but I’m not a knitter.what would I have to bring along to it? I want to learn to knit but don’t really know where to start.

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