Since I’ve been retired, I’ve gone to many quilt shows and taken more than a few surface design classes. What fun they all were, especially the BIG ones! The teachers were superb, the exhibits were spectacular and the vendors … oh! the vendors. You see, I’ve always been a pretty darn good sewer. But my knitting? Not so much and not so often. Consequently, I haven’t been to a big knitting show. If I am honest, the expense of the travel and the hotels and the food and the impulse shopping always seemed to be a little extravagant for a so-so knitter like me. Recently, however, a friend told me about Knit Stars.

For the past six-years, Knit Stars has been providing superb teachers, sourced internationally, in a video format sent to your own home. The inspiration, the guidance, the instruction and tips of super-knitters and teachers are yours. You buy the videos and you own them forever. Kaffe Fassett, Stephen West, Yumiko Alexander, Manos del Uruguay and Martha Wissing are just a few of the past Knit Stars. High-quality videos of the teachers are filmed in their own studios and homes and then sent to the season’s subscribers. The videos, one to two hours each, are sent one at a time, so you can breathe and practice in between.

Here are a few of the past topics: Garment fitting, understanding fibers, finishing techniques, gauge and sizing, mending, modular knitting, one piece garment knitting, ergonomics, ethical knitting, all different kinds of colorwork, edges, steeking, yarn dyeing and hundreds of professional tips. As a bonus, many of the designers include new patterns and handouts in a .pdf format. Some of the designers also offer one-of-a-kind yarns from amazing Indie dyers at special prices. There is a lot to love here.

So, what are the downsides? First, you don’t get to choose individual classes. This is not a menu to order from, it’s a package. The sixth and most recent season has 11 teachers, and you get them all. There will probably be a few that appeal to you less that the others. And there will most likely be a couple of techniques or stitches or designs that you will never use. It’s like buying a knitting magazine with 20 patterns in it. Truthfully, how many of those patterns will flourish on your needles?

Another difference between Knit Stars and an in-person experience is that you don’t have multitudes of vendors. You cannot touch and pet all of the luscious yarns, look at the beautifully made square wooden needles, and find out about all the new, amazing notions that you so desperately need. And you won’t be coming back to SaddleBrooke with a suitcase full of yarn to show to your KnitWit buddies.

Knit Stars is something to think about. The hassle and expense of travel and hotel rooms and crowds are gone. It’s just you in your home: play, rewind, play again, no interruptions. And what fun to receive your classes, one at a time, like gifts. You can show off your projects at KnitWit meetings as well. Why not go to the website and join the waitlist for Season 7.

KnitWits. Come join us! We meet every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the HOA-1 Arts and Crafts Center, Room 4. We talk, we laugh, we create.

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