Have you heard? Knitting isn’t just for old ladies. In fact, it’s not just elderly- OR lady-specific. Young guys and girls (yoof) are embracing the seasonally appropriate pastime with cable knit sweater-clad arms wide open, leaving cool craft and knitting groups popping up all over Australia.
It’s not hard to see why either, with one look at etsy proving that you can make a whole heap of cool shit out of a ball of wool. June 14 was Worldwide Knitting in Public Day, calling for all closet crafters to show their creativity with pride, and if it’s a hobby good enough for the lovely Christina Hendricks (who knits between scenes on the set of Mad Men), it’s certainly good enough for us. With the cold weather setting in, it can be all too tempting to trade nights out for a date with your sofa and a vat of hot chocolate – why not add to your evening by making your own winter woollies. To help you out, we’ve compiled a guide to classes and workshops that embrace the craft trend in Sydney.
Swap your couch for a seat at the Beach Road Hotel, and your cuppa for a glass of vino, and you’ve got yourself a party. Knitty Gritty at Beach Road Bondi is a weekly social gathering where both new and experienced knitters are invited to brave the cold to meet up and weave some winter warmers. Basically a good excuse to socialise while brushing up on those needle skills, Knitty Gritty is as much about conversation as it is craft. Needles, wool and instructions will be available, and there’ll be a couple of experts on hand to show you how it’s done. Gents are encouraged to have a crack at working the wool, and nothing says sexy like a guy rocking a man cardi that he made himself. The best part about Knitty Gritty? All knits are to be donated to Open Family Australia, raising awareness, funds, and supporting homeless youths.
Miss Death’s Knitting Group:
Miss Death’s Knitting Group at the Mu-Meson archives in Annandale is something like the equivalent of the eccentric Aunt of Knitty Gritty. Not only can you learn to knit and crochet like a boss, Miss Death offers her expert advice on any craft - even vajazzling. And it’s expert advice worth listening to, with Miss D a woman of many creative talents, including DJing (renowned for knitting between tracks), painting the weird and wonderful (think carnival banners and freaks of nature) and work as a celebrated seamstress with a special line in wedding gowns. Her knitting group is another opportunity to get social, with boys welcome as long as they do a craft or ‘something useful’ and free participation with a plate of food.
Morris & Sons:
Morris & Sons offers up a more formal avenue for learning creative skills, with classes and workshops in crocheting, lace knitting, Amigurumi and embellishment (to name just a few). With these iconic stores stocked with the largest inventory of knitting, crochet and needlecraft supplies, there’s no shortage of creative inspiration either. While their diverse tutorials cater to both beginners and more advanced students, Morris & Sons clinics are available to anyone needing help, hints or tricks to improve their work. ‘Like a doctor’s appointment for your craft project’, talented experts are on hand to help with your craft conundrums, whether you’re struggling to understand a pattern, or have dropped a stitch or two and have no idea how to save your scarf. With no need to book for clinics, you can rock up, pay the clinic fee and stay for as little or as long as you need.
So, you feel you’ve mastered the needles, and now the world needs to know what you can do with a ball of wool? Brown Owls, ‘a crafty club for rad peeps’, is a blog dedicated to spreading the word on craft and knitting events across Australia. They tell you where and when, and all that’s left to do is join like-minded locals to chat, compare projects, sell, buy, learn or do whatever the particular event calls for. Future gatherings include a casual BYOer on June 26 at cute Melbourne venue Madame Brussels, where the only cost to craft and converse will be the purchase of a cheeky drink or two from the Madame Brussels menu.
If you’ve hit up the Brown Owls blog and nothing’s taken your fancy, DO NOT PANIC. There’s always Stitchnbitch.org
, a website where you can search social knitting and crocheting groups in your area (all Stitch ‘n’ Bitch meetings are open to the public and free of charge), or even find a step-by-step guide to starting your own.
IMAGE: Meet Me At Mikes