I really enjoyed watching the new BBC 4 series, “Fabric of Britain”, which started on Wednesday and looks at Britain’s relationship with fabric over the course of 3 episodes.

This week, they explored our nations obsession with knitting, starting with the 1930’s, through to the revival of knitting that we are now experiencing.

I am a very amateur knitter. I was taught by a lovely lady called Alice when I was a 16 year old girl in my first job. Over lunch breaks, Alice who was our tea lady and used to come round twice a day with a tea urn on a trolley, bizarre as it sounds now, taught me how to cast on and create a simple pattern. Unfortunately, she  never got round to teaching me to cast off before I had handed my notice in and moved on, so that was the end of my love affair with knitting.

I really wish now, I had carried on with the craft as I love seeing things that have been hand knitted by other people. When my friend had her little boy Jack, he was the best dressed baby for miles due to the talents of his grandma Jean.

Luckily due to the new interest in knitting and all things crafty, there are quite a few knitting groups that run on a regular, often weekly basis where you can learn basic knitting skills whilst having a chat with like minded people. Some of the courses below are run in and around Manchester but there are loads more all over the country.

Black Sheep Wools, shop, school & cafe in Warrington

http://www.blacksheepwools.com/

Regular courses are run at Purl City Yarns in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

http://purlcityyarns.com/store/

After discovering knitting patterns dating back 100 years, in Manchester’s archives, the cities museums are running a selection of knitting sessions on every fourth Saturday of each month, throughout the year. A full list of workshops and venues, can be downloaded from the Close Knit Manchester website. 

http://closeknitmanchester.wordpress.com/about/

A little further afield, but still within an hour of Manchester, is the South Pennines Making & Doing Festival which runs over the weekend of 5th & 6th October, throughout the towns and villages of the South pennines. Activities you can take part in include, sewing, knitting, crochet & felting. For full details of events checkout there website.

http://southpennines.co.uk/creative/save-the-date/