I wasn't sure what to expect. There are about 10 of us in the class, most of who had previously done the beginners knitting course last year. The teacher explained that she would be showing us different stitches each week to build up a library of stitches, but the teaching would be structured around our own projects. The first week we were to use a stitch which we could use to make a scarf or cowl, without shaping. We had been instructed, somewhat vaguely, to bring "wool and needles" to our first class, so I brought a few different balls of yarn and a selection of needles. We were given a handout with different drop stitch patterns to experiment with. I tried an openwork cross stitch using Rowan Tapestry DK:
And then settled on a wave stitch which I thought suited the colours of the yarn:
Although it was only the first week, the class made me realise that my approach to knitting is, or has become, very focused on the final garment. I find a pattern I want, select the wool and then knit it. The class seems like it will be focusing on learning different stitches and techniques for shaping and construction and then looking at the qualities of different yarns. The drop stitch patterns show off yarn really well, which isn't something I usually consider. As I was knitting the swatches, I thought that I could never imagine wearing anything made using the open work stitches. They were too loose or unstructured to fit into my usual style. However this is exactly what the class is about - making me think differently about knitting and showing me something new. It's also lovely to get to meet other knitters in real life. There is something so nice about being able to talk to other like-minded people about one of your main hobbies - which makes knitting sounds like a perverse, niche pastime I know!
I'm looking forward to the next 9 weeks of learning and to many more hours spent in a basement discussing knitting
Oh sorry, are you trying to photograph this?