Today I tackled my biggest knitting bugbear – the dreaded making up! I finally learned how to knit a perfect neckline, sew a perfect side seam, and graft a perfect shoulder join. These revelations took place at Twist, a fabulous yarn shop in Suffolk where I attended one of Jane Crowfoot‘s finishing techniques workshops. It was about time! Up to now, unless I could cajole my nan into sewing up my projects for me (something that happened on a regular basis in my youth!) I would consistently ruin them with jagged necklines, lumpy seams and gaping buttonholes. No wonder I’ve developed a phobia of anything knitted flat.
But after today I have no more need to be afraid! Having been shown the neatest and most effective way to do each of these things I’ve tried them for myself and none of them are beyond me! I must admit in most cases it took more than one go to get it right, and that’s the beauty of a workshop – having someone on hand to spot your error and set you on the right path. Jane was the most clear and patient of tutors, carefully demystifying each skill so that we all felt comfortable with it, even brave sole Sian who had only been knitting for four weeks.
My favourite part was the demonstration of mattress stitch; I knew the principle – the grafting of two edges together, done flat with both right sides facing up – but I’d never troubled to learn how to do it properly. Jane showed us how to carefully select the right ‘ladder’ to sew into, and then, having laced the two panels loosely together, the moment when she pulled the stitches closed to create the most conceivably perfect invisible join caused a ripple of wonder through the room. That be magic, surely!
The atmosphere of the workshop was a congenial one of friendly banter and homemade cake, and lots of lovely Rowan cotton to mess around with. What more could you ask for?
A word about Twist – I’ve never been to Woodbridge before so I was very excited to discover this lovely yarn shop, full of delights including (swoons!) a whole wall of Jamieson’s Spindrift – over 100 colours! Woodbridge is about 45 minutes from where I live – definitely not too far to travel for some yarn-based indulgence.