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Knitting in London: Wool and the gang

The social knitwork

A look at London's coolest knitting group: Wool and the Gang

By Elizabeth Darke

It’s been a few years since knitting in London made it on to the map of hip pastimes, along with getting a purple rinse and anything else your nan does. Nonetheless its popularity with London’s nu-craft crew is yet to wane, so the capital is abundant with clubs and classes. The coolest knitters on the block are Wool and the Gang who, as well as running an online store of sustainable yarn-based garments, host an array of knitting ‘parties’. 

So, conscious of the onset of autumn and wanting a piece of the ‘purl one’ action, I have signed up to one of WATG’s ‘Get Your Knit On: Snood Operator’ events. As the queen of cackhandedness, I’m hoping their teaching skills are on a par with their punning talent. 

wool and the gang

All necessary materials are supplied, including a pair of rosewood needles; a ball of natural Peruvian yarn; and a WATG pin for the finishing touch (and to serve as proof that your snood’s not from the M&S accessories department). To start things off, the WATG team talk us through three knitting patterns and explain how to ‘cast on’. Despite opting for the beginner’s option, I’m floundering. A knitter in a twist, I’m dropping stitches, even needles, all over the shop. Luckily the lovely and exceptionally patient WATG ladies are on hand to untangle my mess and get me back on track. 

Eventually I find the knitting therapeutic and actually produce something. Sure, it’s not quite a snood yet, but I do have a very neat-looking woolly square. At the end of the two-hour class, all partygoers receive a video tutorial to help them finish off the piece and to recap the basics. Who knows how my snood will turn out? But at the very least my coffee mug will have a cosy coaster in time for winter. 

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