Workshop Dates – 2019

September – December 2019


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Scroll down to find full details of the following courses:

Learn to Knit with Gemma of The Project Bag – Beginners

Steeking:  cutting your knitting on purpose with An Caitin Beag 

Classic Darning inc. Visible Mending Techniques with Tom of Holland

Starter Socks: Learn to knit socks from cuff to toe with TYD. 

Next Steps in Knitting  with Gemma of The Project Bag – Intermediate.

Mandalas – Colour and Design with Linda’s Yarn Therapy

Lace Traditions with Karie Westermann

Design your own Shawl with Karie Westermann

Saturday 21st September – Saturday 19th October – Learn to Knit with Gemma of The Project Bag.

10am – 12pm  21st September, 28th September,  5th October, 19th October

Learn to knit with this fun four-week course, specially designed to take you from casting on, to binding off your first fabulous project.

Class sizes are kept deliberately small to allow you plenty of one-to-one support and the pattern is designed to be differentiated to allow you to learn at a pace that suits you. 

Gemma structures her courses so that there is an hour of tuition, and an hour of supported practice and application time. 

You will:
* receive a copy of the pattern, and materials to create it
* receive one-to-one support
* learn about yarns, tension, casting on, knitting, purling, reading patterns, and binding off
* learn how to rescue dropped stitches and fix mistakes
* create your very own beautiful cowl to wear with pride
* gain the confidence to tackle other projects.

Refreshments are provided.


Praise for the Learn to Knit Course:

“I’ve been doing the beginners knitting course and I love it.  I’m a slow learner so it’s lovely to have the time to sit, meet lovely people, and get lots of support with learning different techniques.”  Jaanki Hargrave

“I have really enjoyed the beginners knitting course, lovely relaxed, friendly atmosphere, great tuition, felt able to ask any question no matter how small.  Highly recommend.”  Sarah Welbourne.

Skill level: beginner

Tutor:  Gemma Mills of The Project Bag

Price:  £85pp for 8 hours small group tuition and all materials.

E-mail to book.

Sunday 22nd September:  Steeking (cutting your knitting on purpose!) with An Caitin Beag

10am – 1pm

Believe it or not, cutting your knitting on purpose is actually a really handy skill to have!  No more to-ing and fro-ing when creating cardigans, or arm-holes, just whizz round in the round (lots of lovely knitting, no purls!) and create stranded colourwork cardigans without having to juggle wrong-side colourwork too, then snip and you’re done!

Marna, the designer, maker and cat-lover behind An Caitin Beag has kindly agreed to come and teach her fabulous steeking workshop here at The Yarn Dispensary.  The shop will be open just for you and she’ll guide you through as you cut you
Marna is the designer of the Sinister Catdigan, and a huge fan of steeking – it’s really not as terrifying as it seems. (it’s actually – sssh! – really easy!) She’s on a one-person mission to persuade everyone to cut their knitting up.

You’ll need to bring:

Two ready-made swatches, each a minimum of 20 stitches by 20 rows, knit in stocking stitch and using a non-superwash wool DK or 4ply yarn. If you have ready-knit swatches it’s fine to use them, although be aware you’ll be cutting them up.  It’s useful (but not essential) to have some of the same yarn you used to swatch.

If you have a WIP (work in progress) that needs steeking, or a steeking project in mind, please bring the knitting or the pattern along and we can look at the best way to go about it.

You’ll also need: needles in the size used to knit the swatch, a crochet hook two sizes smaller than those, a tapestry needle, and a small sharp pair of scissors.


Saturday 5th October: Classic Darning with Tom of Holland.

12 noon – 3pm

Learn to darn with Tom van Deijnen, aka tomofholland. Best known for his Visible Mending Programme, he will teach you two darning techniques (Swiss darning and stocking darning.) Tom will also bring along his darning showcase for plenty of inspiration, and talk about why darning and repairing clothes is important to him. You’ll take home a comprehensive hand-out, two darning needles, and the skills to tackle any holey sock or thinning elbow, and be able to wear a beautiful darn as a badge of honour. All practice materials provided.

Techniques taught: Swiss Darning, stocking darning, Scottish darning

Materials supplied: practice swatches, a large variety of threads and yarns

Take-home: each student gets to take home two different needles and a comprehensive hand-out about the techniques learnt

Skill level and prep work: no previous darning or knitting experience is necessary. Students are encouraged to bring some things that need fixing

Topics discussed: introduction to The Visible Mending Programme with examples, hints and tips for repair and care of knitwear, darning techniques and their advantages and disadvantages, discussion of repair approach for items brought in by students, demonstration of the Speedweve (a vintage darning gadget)

Saturday 19th October:  Starter Socks with Gemma of The Project Bag.


1.30 – 4.30pm
£45 pp

Join our very own Gemma to start your sock knitting adventures in this fun course.  You’ll learn about the structure of a sock, discuss yarn choices, and knit your very own mini-sock from cuff to toe.  You’ll also have the opportunity to try four different methods of knitting in the round, to find the needles and technique that works best for you, before setting off on your own sock.

You will need to have some 4-ply sock yarn ahead of the course, which you can of course purchase in store before the class starts, should you wish. If you have 2.5mm needles in DPN or circular form (1 x 80cm length, or 2 x 40cm length) these are also useful to bring, as well as a note book and pen.  You may also find stitch markers useful.

Saturday 26th October – Saturday 30th November:  Next Steps in Knitting with Gemma of The Project Bag.

Tickets to be announced.

Join Gemma for the exciting and challenging follow up to the popular Learn to Knit Course.  You will need to be able to cast on, knit, and purl to take this course.

This six week programme will guide you through the stages to create your very own sampler cushion from The Project Bag Designs and the lessons include:

You will need:

Saturday 9th and 16th November – Mandalas with Linda’s Yarn Therapy 

Saturday 9th and 16th November 2-4pm
£60pp (total cost not per session)


We are pleased to welcome back Linda’s Yarn Therapy for another fabulous course.
Designed just for us, Linda’s Mandala course consists of two two-hour sessions in which you will learn about crocheting circles, cover a range of stitches, and design your own mandalas, finding out what you can do with them afterwards too!

Saturday 7th December – Lace Traditions with Karie Westermann

Full day (11am – 4pm)

Lace Traditions: together with the students, Karie takes a look at lace traditions from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Estonia and Russia before the students try their hand at knitting either a small sample hap shawl (intermediate) or a Faroese shawl (intermediate/expert ).

Sunday 8th December – Design your own shawl with Karie Westermann

10am – 1pm

Learn how shawl construction works and how to move beyond the basics.  Explore how to insert stitch patterns, design stitch transitions, and how to calculate stitch numbers.  Students will also look at lace charts and how to remix stitch patterns.  Ideal for intermediate / expert knitters.

Our Tutor Biographies.

Here you will find a little about the tutors who visit and teach at The Yarn Dispensary.

Marna – An Caitin Beag

Marna is the designer of the Sinister Catdigan, and a huge fan of steeking.  It’s really not as terrifying as it seems and she is on a one woman mission to get everyone to cut their knitting up!

Marna is also a silversmith and artist.  Her range of stitch markers, project bags and notebooks are both practical and beautiful and we are pleased to be stocking a range of her designs and “cat-tat” as she affectionately calls it, in store.

Maddie Harvey

Maddie Harvey is a workshop tutor and knitwear designer, living and working in Edinburgh, UK. A former primary school teacher, she loves investigating colour combinations and textures in her design work. Maddie is a strong advocate of experimenting with knitting and using the process of swatching as a way to investigate stitches, and free-up the knitting process.
Maddie’s clients include Amirisu Magazine, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, Knit Now Magazine, and Pom Pom Quarterly.

Kate Atherley

Kate Atherley is an expert teacher, with more than 12 years’ experience teaching at local yarn shops, guild gatherings, retreats and large-scale events. All classes include high-quality handouts. Technique classes are a lively mix of discussion, demonstration and hands-on practice, with individual attention and guidance provided.

Renée Callahan – East London Knit

I’m an ex-pat relocated from sunny Seattle to sunny East London. I love knitting and designing and strive to create hand knit patterns that are enjoyable to knit and remain wearable for years to come.

After studying fashion design with knitwear at Central Saint Martins college, I began to hoard yarn and a range of knitting machines. I love textiles and technical challenge of knitting. There is real joy in producing something both useful and beautiful.

Karie Westermann – Karie Bookish Knits
Karie Westermann does many things with wool and words. She is a full-time knitwear designer, teacher, translator and technical editor.
Karie lives in Glasgow and is originally from Denmark which informs a lot of her creative work.

Anna Maltz

Anna Maltz is an avid sweaterspotter and knit detective who sees the world through yarn-tinted spectacles. She is an independent knitting pattern designer with a background in Fine Art. She writes a regular column (and the occasional pattern) for Pom Pom Quarterly. She has published two books, Penguin: A Knit Collection, and Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting, as well as contributing to other publications such as A Stash of One’s Own, compiled by Clara Parkes and Making Magazine. She lives in London and teaches all over the world.

Anna Nikipirowicz

Anna Nikipirowicz is a designer, author and tutor. Her client list includes the Country Living Fair, The Creative Sanctuary, Rowan, John Lewis and other lovely, local yarn shops like us.
 Her work is regularly featured in The Knitter, Inside Crochet and Simply Homemade.
We are thrilled that Anna can work with us and know you will have great fun whilst learning with her. 


Linda Evans

Linda is a fabulous local crochet teacher and designer.  Her warm nature and patient approach makes learning with her a joy.  Linda designs the projects for her courses herself, so they are specifically created with learning in mind. We are very pleased that she is able to work with us and we are looking forward to bringing you more fabulous courses soon. 


Gemma Mills

Our own manager, Gemma, is also a designer and tutor.  She has designed a range of courses suited to beginner and intermediate knitters and crocheters that she delivered under her company: The Project Bag.  These were very successful and we are pleased to be able to offer them at The Yarn Dispensary.   Gemma has been knitting for 27 years and crocheting for 16 years, having been taught by her grandmother (a local yarn shop owner). 


Ros Wilson


Advance booking is essential.
Spaces for classes are on a first come, first served basis by ticket purchase.
Tickets are available via e-mail.  Simply e-mail to book and we will send you an invoice.
Tickets are valid only for the class purchased.
Contact details will be noted at the time of booking to allow us to notify of any changes to the published schedule. These details will be used for this purpose only.

By us:
Classes may be cancelled the week before if there are insufficient numbers to reasonably justify going ahead.
If we regrettably have to cancel the class for this, or any other reason, you will receive a full refund or transfer to another workshop if feasible.
We will contact you as soon as possible if cancellation is likely.
By you:
If you are unable to attend your chosen course and can let us know in advance, then we will try our best to resell your place so that you can be given a refund.  However, if we cannot fill your place then we will be unable to issue a refund.  Thank you for your understanding.

You will find a notebook and pen useful.
Please do check the course details on the website or your invoice to ensure you know what to bring with you as some classes require a little homework to be completed ahead of time.

Tea/coffee and biscuits are provided for you – we do have milk alternatives and decaffeinated options too; just let us know ahead of your visit.

Refreshments tray and biscuits

Fridge and microwave available for lunch break use

We are happy to share our beautiful workshop room with others.
If you have something you’d like to do but need some space…your own class, a meeting, photo shoot, large table to cut fabric…come in, have a look and discuss your requirements. Maybe we’ve got what you need.

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