For lots of us the only options for learning a knitting or crochet technique was to puzzle it out from a book – I had a weird twisted crochet style for years as a result – or hope you knew someone who already could do it.
But now there are lots more options
Yarn shop classes
Your local yarn shop may run regular knitting and crochet classes. Designers and knitting tutors who specialise in particular techniques also do guest workshops from time to time. It is worth being on the mailing list for your LYS so that you can find out when there might be classes running because numbers are often limited.
Workshops at events
Check out the workshop programmes for any yarn shows you plan to visit. Combining a class with some shopping can make a great day out. And keep an eye out for our stand at lots of shows throughout the year – our volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable.
Knitting holidays and retreats
If you really want to immerse yourself in learning a new technique or improving your skills why not sign up for a retreat or weekend workshop. Retreats usually involve overnight stays and a weekend or few days combining workshops with social knitting, meals and relaxation. There are retreats all over the UK each year and we hope to feature at least some of them on our calendar in the future.
If you fancy going further afield to learn there are knitting holidays that combine sightseeing with knitting workshops in anything from colourwork to cable technique. Two of the UK Hand Knitting team teach on knitting holidays and report they are fun especially when everyone takes out their knitting project on a coach, boat or train.
Classes, retreats and holidays are all very social ways to learn – as is going along to your local knitting group and seeking the wisdom of a more experienced knitter. However, if you don’t have time for that, the internet offers some good ways to learn at home.
Online tips and tutorials
Simply google the technique you want to learn or improve, eg long tail cast-on or steeking, and a range of help will appear.
You will find photo-tutorials on yarn company websites and even on individuals’ blogs, taking you step-by-step through a technique. For most techniques you will also find video tutorials – typing “knitting tutorial” into YouTube produces more than a quarter of a million results. We’ve collected links to tutorials from some of our members and other useful sources on the UK Hand Knitting website.