We’ve been super enthusiastic about arm knitting – and loved passing on some of this enthusiasm to some keen bloggers on our recent blog tour – so we were delighted to discover that the London Craft Club has arm knitting workshops in its schedule. We invited founder Sonia to blog about their recent session, and if you pop over here and sign up for their newsletter there’s a chance to win Arm & Finger Knitting by Laura Strutt too so everyone can get involved!
So, over to you Sonia!
The first question I usually get asked about Arm Knitting is “what happens if I need to go to the loo?” My advice is to go before you start! In truth, most Arm Knitting projects are so quick at around 45 minutes that it most likely won’t be an issue.
I love getting ready for an Arm Knitting workshop be
cause it’s basically a shopping binge! When I teach I usually supply the yarn, and I like to lay on a good choice which means having2-3 times as many yarns as people. Endless bags of yarn get delivered to my studio in the days running up to the workshop and I get to scour all my local shops for a good deal on super-chunky yarn – it’s by far the nicest to arm knit with.
One of the icebreakers at the workshops is when everyone gets up and gets stuck in to the yarn pile. People get chatting about their favourite colours, and try to second-guess the person they might be knitting for. I try and find out who’s already a knitter or crafter and who’s a newbie to crafting. Being a knitter already helps some people, but others find arm knitting goes against what they already know and that befuddles them a bit, so experience doesn’t really make a difference.
Once that’s out of the way, we get started. Casting on is by far the hardest part. I can usually see an edge of concern creeping in at about this point… “How on earth will I master this? How can I possibly finish in the time?” Not to worry though, I have lots of different ways to explain and demonstrate and after the initial worry everyone gets the hang of it. After that the main knitting is remarkably fast and easy. People watch in surprise as their projects grow in front of their eyes, and often I have to remind them not to knit on too far!
Casting off isn’t tricky at all. Stitching up takes a bit of concentration but I tend to teach a very basic version of it. For normal knitting I’m a bit obsessive about invisible seams but in this case it’s nearing the end of the workshops, getting later and people are ready to wrap up!
My favourite bit of the workshop is when people finish and get to try on what they’ve made. Selfies, tweets and facebook posts start pinging around as people want to share their handiwork. Learning a new craft and finishing a project are both very gratifying moments, so get to both in one evening really tends to light everyone up. Seeing that moment is the main reason I teach craft!
So give arm knitting a go. It’s a fantastic intro to working with yarn. And a tip for anyone who can’t last forty minutes….you can thread your stitches off your arm and on to a belt if you need to nip off in the middle!
Thanks so much Sonia, and the London Craft Club. Pop over to their website to see more about what they do, and the sessions they've got coming up.
Arm & Finger Knitting by Laura Strutt is available here.