Headed out of town for a nice relaxing vacation this summer? Staying in for a few days for a nice “stay-cation?” Either way, you are probably starting to think about what books to gather up. For knitters, planning for a vacation starts with sorting out what new project to cast on for. Knitting and vacation go, pardon the pun, hand in hand. What better way to unwind and feel productive even while on vacay than to have a project going on your needles. Knitting will certainly help curb the temptation to check email or Facebook!
The health benefits of knitting are huge. It’s a craft that can help curb the temptation to snack at night, can help someone quit smoking, relax a busy mind after a long day, increase memory function, and can even help prevent arthritis. One of our regular customers who has Parkinson’s was recently proud to report that her doctor credits her regular knitting lessons as the reason that she is still able to use her hands!
So how do you get started? First, don’t dismiss something crafty as being just for the “creative” folks in your life. I promise that all knitters aren’t “patient and crafty” people. In fact, most of our knitters wouldn’t describe themselves as the creative type at all, and they certainly wouldn’t say that patience is the number one requirement for this sport. What they would tell you is that they find it relaxing, soothing and fun. Similar to cooking, you can follow a recipe or knitting pattern or you can get creative and spice things up a bit, but the latter isn’t necessary! Even the most basic project can provide all of the amazing benefits of the craft, to even the newest knitter.
Second, get good instruction. Whether it be a friend, a book or one of our classes, good instruction is key. While I learned my first stitches from my grandmother, sometimes a relative isn’t the best instructor… If you lack a knitter friend or relative who can show you the craft, check out our amazing classes. Each class has only six students. Our instructors are well trained and PATIENT. They love to teach, and they love to create new knitters.
Third, get good supplies. If you aren’t ready to commit to a three week class with us, stop by the shop and grab some basic supplies. We can put together a learn to knit kit for you – with your choice of instruction book, yarn and needles. Our staff can guide you to the yarns that are most recommended, while encouraging you to explore the many options that we have around the shop. (We are known for small and independent as well as hand dyed yarns!) We typically recommend a wood or bamboo needle (metal is too slippery to start with), a worsted yarn made from an animal fiber and a few simple notions. It is really important to work with a nice wool, if you can. It has a spring to it, won’t fight you like cotton or synthetics, and it can even condition your hands while you work. (Lanolin comes from SHEEP!) Grab one of three or more instruction books that we regularly stock, and you are ready to go! That’s all you need. If you are short on time, grab one of our pre made kits for $50. It includes two skeins of pure wool worsted weight, bamboo needles, a complete notion set, a fibre space tote and notion case as well as a copy of Debbie Stoller’s (yeah, that Debbie Stoller) Stitch n Bitch (by far the most popular introduction to knitting book ever published). I can’t promise that this hobby will leave you with a nice tan after your vacation, but tans fade and the satisfaction of learning a new skill or craft is lasting!
fibre space™ specializes in unique yarns and fibres from hand dyed, independent, local and U.S.-made sources for knitting, crochet & spinning. Enjoy our wide selection of classes, designer workshops, yarn tastings, movie nights & more. Join the community in our comfy lounge, and let the helpful staff at fibre space™ get you started on your next handmade creation!
1319 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314