Archived Q&A and Reviews
Related page: Where to Buy Knitting Supplies
I'm looking for a great, patient knitter to help me get back in the swing of things with my knitting. I would call myself an advanced beginner - can do the basics, but want to be able to tackle patterns on my own. Mom is too far away to help out here, and I have 2 children under the age of 2, so I\x92m looking for a patient knitter who can help. I would probably need a dozen or so one-on-one sessions and am flexible with times/days. Would be happy to either barter (cooking, babysitting, petsitting, or another creative idea?) or pay for your help. Also looking for a one-time beginner's knit scarf class to be taught to a group of friends, all first-time knitters. Because of my crazy life, regularly scheduled classes at a shop won't work out. Susan
One option that may work for you is to go to a few of the unstructured classes that are out there. Knitting Basket in Montclair has a class on Wednesdays where you pay for 4 sessions and then just call or sign up for which ones you want to attend. It's a kind of ''pay ahead'' and then go when you can. It's Wednesdays from 6-8pm.
I also wanted to recommend one other knitting store in SF that I did not see mentioned on the website. Our knitting group went there for a ''field trip'' last week, and it was WONDERFUL. It's called Imagi Knit. It's at 3897 18th St. @ Sanchez, website is www.imagiknit.com. It's even open 7 days / wk.
Lastly you might check out the many, many knitting groups that meet informally all over. Look on the web, craigslist, etc. Many welcome new knitters, beginners too, and there is no fee to belong. While you say that you can't do a structured class commitment, you might be able to patch together a set of visits that would get you going.
I'd offer to teach you, but I'm really just an intermediate knitter so would not presume. (Unless you want to do socks. I love socks.)
Good luck! Nancy
Greg Soltys in my knitting circle is a master knitter and has been teaching for some time. He teaches at stores all over the East Bay. His work is featured in Lily Chin's books. He's also funny and I hear he is a great teacher. He charges $12.00/hour per person and can teach up to 8 people. He's worth it.
If you take a beginning class, he prefers not to teach scarves because he thinks it's a waste of your money. You will learn two-color knitting, knitting in the round, and you will most likely knit an actually wearable hat. Moreover, you will have learned enough skills to make a sweater, a vest, or if you really want... a scarf. I'm sure, however, that he'll do the scarf thing if you like.
You can email him to set up a time that is convenient to you at bitterknitter AT earthlink.net. Cash and checks are his preferred currency (not into the barter thing). -- Tsan
Hi--I would be happy to help you get back on track with knitting. I am available evenings and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays anytime, at your home or mine. I would also be pleased to assist your group in a scarf project. We recently taought everyone in our office to knit and all completed scarves--it was a lot of fun!! No reimbursement necessary--just a lot of enthusiasm. Kay
I might be able to help you. I am no master knitter, but have made some more complicated things, like socks, a sweater and some baby blankets. I am also a mom of 2 under 2, so either it would be a perfect match or a terrible disaster *grin*. Email me if you want to see what might work out. Erin
I'd like to know about more yarn shops, knitting classes, online knit shops, as well as knitting groups in the bay area, from east bay to SF and nearby. I've already consulted the archives which mostly mentions Skein Lane repeatedly. The link to Big Sky Studio is broken, if anyone knows of the working URL. What are your favorite yarn shops, classes, workshops, and resources around? Let's make a great lists for all of us fiberarts people! thanks! Padma
I have shopped and taken a class at the Knitting Basket in Montclair. Judy was my instructor and I found her very helpful. I have also taken my mistakes in for assistance on occasion and always found the ladies there willing to help me understand what I did wrong and how to fix them.
I also like Artfibers in San Francisco. They stock all kinds of unusual yarns. I don't buy much there (I knit pretty conventional stuff), but I love to walk around and touch all those beautiful yarns!
Skein Lane is a nice store, although I have found their staff weak on follow- through. Twice, they have offered to look into something for me and I never heard anything back from them.
And I have to mention Stitches West, the knitting convention held Februarys in Oakland. Their marketplace is *torture* in the most pleasant way. There are a myriad of classes offered, although I haven't taken any yet, so I can't comment on quality. Luvs to Knit
Try Article Pract at 5010 Telegraph (near 51st) in Oakland. They sell yarn and supplies, have classes and knitting groups meet there, including the Bay Area Knit and Crochet Guild. The website is www.articlepract.com. Ingrid
Yarn! in alameda on Santa Clara opened a while back and is a great resource for yarn, advice & classes. My favorite class is called a ''project'' class - everyone makes the same item - and you meet monthly for help. In Jan the project is a fabulous jacket. She has great yarns & great teachers. Love to knit
I am REALLY new to knitting and have checked out several stores and am signed up to take several classes. I LOVE the people at Tuscany Yarn in Alameda on the 1900 block of Encinal. I can't remember the exact address or their phone number, but the owner, Chris Anderson, and her staff are SO warm, helpful and just plain nice! They've got some beautiful yarn, and a pretty wide selection as well. Plus, they'll sit with you and help you if you get stuck or just can't figure out something (as with me since I am so new to knitting). I've also really liked the feel inside Yarn! in Alameda on Santa Clara Avenue. Again, I don't have their phone number, but the propriator's name is Janice, and she's really kind and knws her stuff. They've got classes as well, and I think they do some sort of knitter's group once a week in the evenings as well. I'm pretty sure that Tuscany has the same sort of knitter's group too. Yarn! has a wide variety of yarns and a really helpful group of gals there as well. Both are lised with information, which is how I got their phone numbers. Good Luck and happy knitting! Jessica
I haven't knitted for a while, but I took a few classes at the Knitting Basket in Oakland near Park Ave. I can't remember the street name, but I'm sure they are listed. The yarn is a bit more high end than some places, but good quality, and comparable in price to Skein Lane. The knitters there know their stuff!
Another good place is Dharma in San Rafael. They also have classes, but I've never taken them, so I can't vouch for the teachers.
Finally, I saw a fancy knitting store in SF near Gough. Looked very pricey, but they had some gorgeous yarn. Sigh. knittin' fool
Lauri Goldman, who's been knitting since childhood, teaches a knitting class Tuesday evening from 7 to 9pm in the fiber studio behind her house in the Rockridge area. She is warm patient and encouraging. There were about 3 other students when I was going, all beginners, but she could teach at any level. Her classes have a 'tea party' quality since she always has a tray of tea and tasty tidbits in the middle of the table. Lauri Goldman- phone# 510/652-0883 stef
While I certainly enjoy rifling through the piles of yarn at Skein Lane, it's not the only game in town. If you like a more subdued place, there's the Knitting Basket in Montclair. The yarn is more organized and the folks are pretty helpful.
Skein Lane and Knitting Basket are your more mainstream knitting places. There are also a couple of funky places in the East Bay. On Telegraph Avenue, there's a cozy knitting place called Article Pract (it's 1/2 block down from 51st). The crowd seems to be quite youngish and they are friendly and nice. Not a huge yarn selection, but you can get information on lessons there. In Kensington, you can find hand dyed yarns at a place called Deep Color. Not for the inquisitive, the owner is nice but does not suffer beginners gladly. A great place for interesting yarn; not so great for lessons or for getting beginner-type questions answered.
Yarn! Alameda in Alameda is a good place for lessons (or was; I don't get out there too often). They have a good selection of yarn and are very kind toward beginners.
In San Francisco, there is a place called Artfibers (they are also on the web). I find that they don't have a lot of sale yarns, but they do offer lessons. Artfibers is particularly good if you happen to want to knit things like wallhangings or other objects d'art.
If you prefer to shop at home, you can order a catalog from PATTERWORKS (you can get to them on the web). The catalog is quite comprehensive and they have good deals and all the mainstream yarns.
For knitting circles, I suggest you check with each yarn store -- they all have them. They are all different and it really depends on your personality and what you want. For instance, I don't go to the ones with beginners at them, because I can't get any knitting done. I prefer the bees with more working folks (rather than stay-at-homers) because I can relate to the conversations better. In the end, many women and men create their own circle, and that's what I would suggest ultimately.
Finally, you may be aware that ''STITCHES WEST'' comes to Oakland every year. I'd mark my calendar for Feb 19-22nd. You can sign up for tons of classes, you can meet bay area knitters, and you will be able to browse through thousands of yarns, including hand-made artisan yarn. Best of luck. Tsan
We knitters have a wealth of resources here in the Bay Area. Most local yarn shops offer classes. Skein Lane in El Cerrito has an updated list of classes on its website, www.skeinlane.com
A new and very friendly yarn store is Article Pract on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, right off 51st St. The inventory keeps improving and you can get on their email list to find out about their monthly offerings of classes.
Big Sky Studio in Lafayette is half yarn shop, half knitting studio.I believe you need to buy a membership to have access to the studio services, i.e. technical assistance. Check the website ( www.bigskystudio.com ) for updated hours and info.
In San Francisco, I really love ArtFibers. It is a one-of-a-kind yarn store which only sells its own brand, yarns originating with ready-to-wear manufacturers. It is a walk-up store located in the 200 block of Sutter Street.The schedule of classes as well as an online catalogue are available on the store's website.
I know of two knitting groups outside of the stores. The East Bay knitters meet every Monday night at the Jack London Square Barnes and Noble store. The East Bay Knitting guild meets one Thursday a month at a member's home. Both groups have set up mailing lists through Yahoo Groups, so it should be easy enough to search for their respective email addys through the YahooGroups site if you want to be notified of meeting dates.
Finally, once a year a fantastic yarn market and convention rolls into town, to the Oakland Convention Center. The event, Stitches West,is sponsored by Knitters' Magazine and offers exceptional opportunities to take classes with superlative teachers. No affiliation,I am just a devoted fan! The event includes a huge, almost overwhelming market and daily free Learn to Knit classes. Next year's Stitches Event will take place Feb.19-22. Online registration for classes just started this week. More info at www.knittinguniverse.com
Back to my needles, Laura
Hi there, I am so interested in learning how to knit and want to learn in a fun social environment with other women. I want a weekly outing (with out kids) where I can learn something new and meet new people. Any suggestions? Roxanne
Why don't you try Skein Lane on Fairmount in El Cerrito? www.skeinlane.com J12
Try Piedmont Adult School. Teri Barr teaches a Knitting Class Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. A seven-meeting class started on March 24. Phone: 510-594-8173 or email: adult [at] piedmont.k12.ca.us Carol
My best friend and I joined a knitting class for the exact same reasons almost 3 years ago and have been going ever since. We go to Skein Lane on Fairmount Ave. in El Cerrito (near El Cerrito Plaza), #525-1828. I believe they offer classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. The groups are very friendly, the staff helpful, and the yarn selection is better than any other shop I've visited. Good luck! maya
Their is a place in Oakland called Article Pract on 5010 Telegraph Ave, 510-652-7435. I've been inside once to buy yarn and I think they offer classes. I am a beginner myself and I contemplated taking lessons once or twice. You might want to call and see what they offer. Maybe they can point you towards a knitting group as well. Carla
Most knitting stores offer classes. I have taken classes at three places- Dharma in San Rafael, Skein Lane in El Cerrito, and the Knitting Basket in Oakland. My favorite were the Knitting Basket classes, and I know they fill up fast, so you may want to check with them and see when the next class is available. I adore knitting, and have found it to be very soothing and creative. Have fun releasing your inner knitter! Kelly
Skein Lane in El Cerrito has knitting classes which sound like what you are looking for.I just started one and it's relaxing and nice. anon
Can anyone recommend a great place for knitting classes for adults in the Lamorinda area? I used to take classes in SF when I lived there, but I don't know of any places out here (I'm in Walnut Creek). Thanks! Lori
There is a knitting store in Lafayette, Big Sky Studio & Gallery, 961 'C' Moraga Road. Their website is www.bigskystudio.com
Also, I work at a yarn store in Oakland, very near to Highway 24 and Children's Hospital (so it's not as far a schlep through the tunnel as SF). The name of the store is Article Pract and the address is 5010 Telegraph Avenue (at 51st) and the website is www.articlepract.com Sonya
There is a place in Montclair (I know you asked for Lamorinda, but if you don't find any place...) right in the village. I think it's called the knitting basket. It is right across the Starbucks. I took lessons there a few years ago. They also have beautiful yarns and always still help me when I get stuck on a project. Good Luck Diana
Hi, I am interested in joining a knitting class in the East Bay and would appreciate any information on such a class (for beginners). Many thanks. dominic
Try Skein Lane in El Cerrito. Also, sometimes Albany Adult School has knitting classes. me
There is a new knitting store on Telegraph Ave. at 51st St. in Oakland next to Dona Tomas/across from Walgreens. It's called Article Pract and they offer knitting classes various evenings for different levels. I don't have the schedule, but you could drop by for more info. It's a great store! Jennifer C
There's a knitting store on the east side of Telegraph just south of 51st in Oakland called Article Pract. They have knitting lessons there. Call the knitting store closest to you, they usually have lessons. stephani l
I recently learned to knit with some friends at work, then discovered I live very near the wonderful Skein Lane in El Cerrito and signed up for their group. It is the best!! The woman who owns and runs the place, Carolyn, is a wonderful teacher and very nice person. I highly recommend learning to knit at Skein Lane, where they will help you through every aspect of the process and make it lots of fun, as well! Kate
Try Skein Lane at 7512 Fairmount Avenue in El Cerrito. I do not have the phone number on hand, but the website is www.skeinlane.com. I have never taken lessons there, but whenever I go to check out the yarns, I always see congregations of knitters working at the spacious tables. They seem to range from super-beginner to advanced. I have also noticed schedules for lessons at the front counter, so it must be pretty well-organized. Happy Knitting! Miki
Anyone has suggestions for knitting classes. My 15 year old daughter wants to take lessons. Daniele
The Knitting Basket in Montclair has summer knitting classes. Try Skein Lane in El Cerrito as well. They may have summer classes for teens. - Rubetwoshoes
Try the knitting store Skein Lane on Fairmount Ave. in El Cerrito (across from Fat Apple's). I took my daughter there a year ago or so. We bought some yarn and needles and the owner got her started with a quick lesson on the spot. I believe they also have regular classes. The store had a nice friendly atmosphere, with several people sitting around knitting sociably as we browsed. -Bea
Skein Lane, a needlework store located on Fairmount Avenue in El Cerrito, right across from Fat Apple restaurant, offers knitting classes, either individually or in small groups. The phone number is 525-1828. Laura