Where did you think the phrase "spinning a yarn" came from?
As any knitter would know, casting and purling your way towards woolly scarf success is always more fun with a friend. Craft circles are a time-honoured tradition, and whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned knitter, everyone can do with a bit of extra inspiration.
If you’re a bit short on craft-buddies, then Melbourne’s yarn emporiums are here for you. Many craft shops host free weekly stitch’n’bitch sessions where you can pick up the sticks, sip tea and chat while you clickity-clack.
Stitch'n'bitch: Sundays, 2-4pm
There’s something about all those yarns of wool – neatly stacked, colour-coordinated, soft and warm – that relaxes you immediately. Aside from their social craft circle, this mother-daughter team also hosts beginner, intermediate and advanced craft classes. Crochet jug cover workshop, anybody? Fitzroy. Free.
Stitch'n'bitch: Tuesdays, 4-6pm
Since opening 30 years ago, Sunspun has gained a reputation for offering beginner and specialist workshops that focus on the fiddliest bits of the craft. Their stitch'n'bitch session is a knitting clinic, where experts can help you master that tricky technique you've been struggling with. You'll also find yarn in a wide variety of textures and colours, as well as designer patterns for inspiration. Canterbury. $20.
Stitch'n'bitch: Thursdays, 2-4pm
Besides having the cutest name for a yarn shop we’ve ever heard, Wool Baa is also a friendly upmarket boutique that runs beginning knitting and crochet classes. At their free weekly knitting club, they’ll provide the tea and stitch tips while you socialise with like-minded knitters. Albert Park. Free.
Stitch'n'bitch: Thursdays, 11am-2pm
Devonshire tea, freshly baked goods and locally-sourced wool: this Keilor East café has been doing all the right things from its opening in January this year. The space was envisaged as a place for craft-lovers to enjoy tasty scones while they browse reams of colourful wool – and it delivers splendidly. Keilor. Free.
Stitch'n'bitch: Sundays, 2-4pm
At this Northcote wool emporium, knitting is far more than a way to pass the time. It’s a valuable skill, it’s an art form and it’s a shared experience. For this reason, owner Sharon Kellock runs social sessions and regular classes, which range from beginner level to more advanced colour work and lace. When you need to stock up on yarn, you’ll find brands including Blue Sky Alpacas, Debbie Bliss, Jo Sharp and Rowan. Northcote. Free.
Stitch'n'bitch: Thursdays, 5-7pm
Apart from stocking everything your crafty self could ever need (wool, yarn, tools and accessories), this CBD emporium also hosts knitting, crochet and patchwork classes ranging from beginner to advanced level. But if you're more interested in joining a less structured social knitting circle, then just pop along to the stitch'n'bitch sessions whenever you feel like it. Melbourne. Free.
Stitch'n'bitch: Last Friday of the month, 6-9pm
Australia's original sewing louge isn't fussed about what kind of craft you're working on. Be it knitting, crochet, sewing or weaving, you're welcome to this monthly craft night. Rumour has it there'll be wine – which you can enjoy while you admire the store's range of vintage and designer collections. Collingwood. $15, or free with a membership.