Knitting circles were once a popular place to exchange rumors about the area's handsomest fireman, which of the neighboring towns' mayors were secretly left-handed, and the fate of the Crumb brothers. Get your finger on the pulse and some yarn with today's Groupon: for $65, you get a choice of a beginners’ knitting, crochet, sock-knitting, or embroidery course at Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns (up to a $135 value).
Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns fosters a fiber-arts community with a schedule of instructional classes, a slew of supplies, and free events. Three-hour BYOB classes of no more than 10 students convene weekly over a five-week period. The beginners' knitting class includes yarn and needles, while the other classes include a $10 credit toward supplies needed to create a finished piece worthy of a prominent spot on the kitchen fridge or basement broccoli freezer. Beginning knitters employ basic techniques such as purling, working in the round, and ribbing to create a cozy scarf and hat set, while their crochet counterparts learn how to read patterns and chain standard granny squares. The beginning embroidery class instructs pupils in how to create self-made patterns and master different ornamental stitches, ideal for embellishing clothing or monogramming a Cadillac's leather seats. Experienced knitters can learn to wrangle double-pointed and circular needles to stitch two pairs of socks from the cuff down. Sock students are asked to bring their own needles size 0–4 to the first night of class, and receive a $10 credit toward the purchase of materials.
Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns
When you walk into Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns, you won’t find a quiet room simply housing yarns and fabrics. Instead, you’ll walk into a communal space where crafters of all ilks socialize during themed knitting circles, browse handmade crafts from local designers, or further their skills in instructional classes. Something is going on nearly every day of the week. Weeknight classes allow students to learn how to make shawls, mittens, and socks while sipping on BYOB wine, and during the studio’s sci-fi night, the staff screen a movie while guests work on their latest projects. Crafters also can refurnish their stocks of supplies and yarn from the expansive selection, which features a variety of hard-to-find specialty tools. The shop also has a range of vintage products, garnered through its trade-in program, which offers store credit for clients who trade in unused yarn, old tools, and vintage knitting patterns such as booties for claw-foot tubs.