Learn to knit yourself something cozy and beautiful for the winter
Go from ball of wool to handmade sweaters in no time with these knitting classes and stores around BC
Remember the 100-Mile Diet? Almost overnight, buying bulk was out, and buying local was in. The allure of hand-produced, one-of-a-kind things didn’t stop at radishes, though. In the past few years, alongside British Columbian consumers’ shift from supermarkets to farmers’ markets, handmade crafts have also surged in popularity.
It’s not just buying handmade that’s in vogue; people want to create things themselves, and one of the most direct routes to DIY prowess (and to looking effortlessly chic in your custom-made cozy scarf and chunky toque) is to learn how to knit.
Interested, but never knit before? Or do you want to improve your skills to the point where you can make more than rectangles? Whether you’ve got grand plans of "yarn bombing" that fire hydrant on the corner or simply want to try something new, knitting is a fun and fulfilling hobby and these experts can help, whatever your current skill level.
Knitting Stores in Vancouver
Offers diverse classes with fees on a sliding scale, from knitting basics to a tutorial on "How to Photograph Your Knitting" for those whose crafts are worth documenting. Also provides instruction in felting, spinning, crocheting, and solar dying.
Located at 2667 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
From beginner to beyond, with a boot camp or two on the schedule for fall 2012. UY offers special children’s classes, a mother-and-daughter evening, a ladies' "stitch 'n' bitch" night, as well as private lessons.
Two locations: 4437 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver, BC, and 3111 Highland Boulevard in North Vancouver, BC
Wet Coast Wools
Vancouver’s newest knitting store (WCW opened in June 2012) provides instruction for beginners and more advanced knitters with classes on cabled hats, socks, and a "Finishing Workshop" that will help you make your handmade projects look more professional.
Located at 2923 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Gina Brown’s Yarn
A few times a year, Gina Brown’s offers small group classes that cover the basics, plus specialty offerings like "Lace and Beads," and "Magical Mittens." Check website for dates.
Located at 3424 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC
Three Bags Full
Ongoing classes for all ages and all skill levels, with groups limited to 6 or 7 students to ensure the instructor can make the rounds. Special classes on Cowichan-inspired and Fair Isle sweaters. Private lessons are also available.
Located at 4458 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
Lower Mainland Knitting Stores
Provides "Learn to Knit!" classes for first-timers aged 8 and up, myriad sock-related classes, and an introductory class on lace-making. The "Oooops!" class looks especially good: it teaches how to fix mistakes like dropped stitches, purling when you should have knit, and the like. Private lessons are also available.
Located at #602 – 21183 – 88th Avenue, Langley, BC
Birkeland Bros. Wool
With instruction in knitting, purling, spinning, carding, felting, and weaving, Birkeland Brothers has classes ranging in skill level from beginner to advanced, and even offers a few classes in Coast Salish spinning and weaving techniques taught by award-winning Aboriginal artist, Debrah Sparrow.
Located at 33739 Essendene Avenue, Abbotsford, BC
Once Upon a Sheep
Several classes for beginner knitters, including an introduction to sock knitting, are on the docket for autumn 2012. Every Tuesday night, the shop is open to knitters of all levels. (Note: Part of the Shepherd’s Heart Society, Once Upon a Sheep is a non-profit shop and all proceeds go to the Salvation Army.)
Located at 22188 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge, BC
The Knit-n-Stitch Shoppe
Lessons for adults and kids, plus the option of purchasing an annual membership that provides access to various how-tos.
Located at 2460 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC
Wool and Wicker
Beginner and intermediate classes limited to 8-10 students. Wool and Wicker also offers special workshops throughout the year, like the “Knitted Fairies to Cherish and Charm” class they held in April 2012. Check the website for upcoming classes.
Located at 120 – 12051 2nd Avenue, Richmond, BC
Elsewhere in BC
Beehive Wool Shop
Each season, Beehive offers more than a dozen classes for knitters of all skill levels, plus private lessons. This fall, there are classes for would-be knitters 18 and under, lessons in mittens and loops scarves, knitted lace, and even an intermediate class on making felted Christmas stockings. Beehive also runs a Thursday morning charity knit group that produces blankets for the Victoria Hospice Society.
Located at 1700 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC
Mad About Ewe Fine Yarns
Holds classes and workshops in the fall and spring, as well as a couple during the summer months. The offerings change depending on demand, but there are always beginner options available. This autumn, the focus is Fair Isle.
Located at #7-321 Wesley Street, Nanaimo, BC
Unwind Knit and Fibre Lounge
Classes for beginner, intermediate, and expert knitters, plus Tuesday Social Knits and "Fibre Fridays."
Located at 8 – 1161 Sunshine Coast Highway, Gibsons, BC