I’m not quite sure where the years go but it seems I have been knitting for 47 of them. It’s hard to believe that this wonderful craft has been with me through teenage angst, university in Manchester in the 80s (yes I did work at the Hacienda), through break ups and babies.
I am a continental knitter and so was always a bit reluctant to pass on my skills. Until quite recently some people thought I was ‘knitting all wrong’. I firmly believe that however you manage to achieve a knitted fabric and have fun with a pair of knitting needles is your own business, and is right, right, right! I am not a knitting snob and want as many people as possible to get sucked into a craft that has given me so much pleasure.
There are lots of most excellent teachers out there whose workshops I have been delighted to attend so when I took the bold step into teaching myself I took a long, hard look at what I could offer that would be different and that I was really good at. And yes, it was continental knitting.
You see, by using your left hand to knit it actually liberates your Fair Isle technique. Two-handed Fair Isle becomes a very natural progression and makes the tension of stranded knitting so much better.
Last weekend I was delighted to teach a continental knitting workshop at Black Sheep Wools and the lovely Sara even managed to find the time to take my course. We had one student who had never Fair Isled in her life but by the afternoon she was merrily stranding with a yarn in each hand. She was delighted but I was delirious. Teaching gives me such a huge sense of achievement and excitement. It’s that moment of revelation when someone suddenly ‘gets’ what you are teaching them that is quite intoxicating. I try not to bombard my students with too many different things to learn, but give them the time and space to really get used to a technique so that it is something they will take away with them, use and enjoy.
In July I will be teaching continental knitting and two-handed Fair Isle, together with steeking in the Faroe Islands – it would be lovely to see you there.