News, Tips

Online knitting classes

Are you missing knitting classes whether at your local yarn shop or a yarn event?

While opportunities to buy yarn and even see showcases of new items have appeared online, classes and tutorials via your computer or phone are now becoming more common. As it became clear that social distancing was going to halt the return of many face-to-face classes for a while, knitting teachers and designers started looking at what else they could do to help people hone their knitting and crochet skills.

Pre-recorded videos

You can find all sorts of videos for knitting techniques from short ones focusing on a particular stitch on YouTube or to support a particular pattern or knit/crochet-along to longer video-based courses. Some longer courses are available in one go – once you’ve paid, you can watch at your own pace – while others will be released on a schedule so participants are all at the same stage.

You can find UK Hand Knitting’s technique videos here.

One of the advantages of pre-recorded videos is that you can rewatch a difficult bit as many times as you want but you are likely to have less interaction with other learners unless there is an accompanying live session or a chat group for students to join in.

Live classes on Zoom

Zoom, and other online meeting tools, have suddenly become a major feature in many people’s lives. Now knitting teachers are exploring how to deliver their workshops that way. These will be more like the classes you are used to but there will be some changes.

Classes will be shorter or divided in a different way. Teachers are finding that 2 hours is about the maximum that people can concentrate on Zoom plus sections where everyone needs to knit may not be that effective over a group video call. So what was previously a three hour workshop may become a two part Zoom class with time to practice techniques from part one in between and an all-day workshop turns into a course. Or a workshop may become a teaching Zoom session and a knitalong session.

You may need a little practice with Zoom if you aren’t used to it, but you do get the benefits of more interaction with others. It is definitely worth trying and we’ve some top tips for you:

  • Treat your online class exactly like you would an in-person one – listen to the teacher’s instructions, save your questions for the appropriate time and don’t wander off in the middle.
  • Make sure you have everything you need for the class before it starts – you won’t be able to borrow a stitch marker or a darning needle from your neighbour!
  • Treat the time like you are going out to a class – set aside the time for you and avoid interuptions
  • Know where the camera is on your device in case you need to show your work.
  • Be patient if there are technical issues – this is a new way to teach.
  • Enjoy it. This is all about a hobby that you love.

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