Knitting in winter not only makes a great rainy day activity but thrills your friends and family with handmade labors of love, some destined to become heirlooms. Anybody can take a knitting class and learn the craft. Shops and libraries offer camaraderie, workshops, socializing, private classes and materials. Stay cozy and warm this winter with all kinds of soft, colorful wares including fingerless gloves, mittens, scarves, sweaters, socks, baby blankets and dog accessories.
293 State St.
Los Altos, CA 94022
Uncommon Threads offers a wide selection of yarns, tools, patterns and classes for knitters and crocheters of all skill levels. From fine yarns for knitting lace to basic wools, cottons and synthetics and splashy novelties to trendy and colorful bulky yarns, you can find the right yarn for every project. Come get inspired by Uncommon Threads’ sweaters, hats, scarves and cowls — kids can even try finger knitting. Owner Stephanie Hein taught herself to knit in college and got serious after her kids were born. Her prize creation is a Fair Isle sweater for her daughter.
Nine Rubies Knitting
28 E. 3rd Ave., #100
San Mateo, CA 94401
Nine Rubies Knitting started as a mother/daughter business by Saloni Howard-Sarin and Sudha Sarin. The store sells yarns and supplies for knitting, crocheting and weaving with late knit nights on Wednesdays. The Sarins offer knitting and crochet classes and private lessons for all levels plus free workshops, kids’ classes and knitting socials. Nine Rubies provides translation sheets for knitting and crochet terms in Hindi, Spanish and French and they are available on the website. If you have a small project you need help with, bring it into Nine Rubies for help. Class sizes are limited to six students so each gets plenty of personal attention.
Princeton Yarns & Gallery
270 Capistrano Road, #20
Princeton-By-The-Sea, CA 94019
Princeton Yarns & Gallery, a mother/son endeavor, specializes in scarves and spectacular coastal photography. Mom Chris Overfelt teaches one-on-one or just a couple of students at a time and is happy to start beginners off with a scarf and hat to learn the stitches. It’s a small and friendly shop north of Half Moon Bay, just off the Pacific Coast Highway. If you like surfing, lighthouses or sunsets over the beach, her son Brian jet skis at Mavericks Beach to photograph the coastal panorama. Surf his website gallery.
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Pacifica Sanchez Library’s Knit Night
1111 Terra Nova Blvd.
Pacifica, CA 94044
The Pacifica Sanchez Library hosts a monthly knit night and the San Carlos branch of the San Mateo County Libraries offers weekly classes, with camaraderie for all levels. The Sanchez Library welcomes men, women and children. Participants get a sense of community and the knit night is free. With hundreds of years of experience in one room, there’s endless help available with projects. Share your creations and stories and see the handiwork of others. Plus you get to visit the library in Pacifica’s Sun Valley, an oasis of sunlight in the fog. Visit the enclosed garden area with a vegetable patch, from which volunteers gave 350 pounds of food to the Pacifica Resource Center.
607 W. Orange Ave.
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Cottage Yarns offers the biggest selection of yarns in the San Francisco Bay Area with over 600 brands. Owner Kathryn Mulgrew sells over 2,000 books and 5,000 patterns for everything imagineable from cardigans, afghans, menswear, booties, babywear, eveningwear, hats and handwarmers to dog sweaters. Check out the buttons, from shell to silver to toggles. She’s the third owner and the store has operated continuously since 1966. Cottage Yarns offers a semi-annual sale and sells patterns, needles and magazines.
Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for Examiner.com via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on Examiner.com.