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 $25, you get a learn-to-knit class at Yarndogs in Los Gatos (a $50 value).
In small, cozy classes of no more than six students, purling pedagogues teach nascent knitters how to click needles with style. Helmed by shop owner Deborah Panighetti, beginner seminars consist of two 2-hour sessions that cover knitting basics, including purling, binding off, reading yarn labels, and cajoling dropped stitches back into place with subtle flattery. Pupils collect insider tips and tricks as they work to craft a scarf, which can later be used to dress up a dull outfit or warm a nervous date's clammy clavicle. Starter stitchers can bring their own yarn and needles in size 8, 9, or 10, or they can use their Groupon to receive a 10% discount in Yarndogs’ store on the day of their visit. In May, the two-part class will be offered on May 19 and May 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Check Yarndogs' website for future class times and dates.
Yarndogs' friendly, welcoming atmosphere is bolstered by Otis and Purl, the shop's sage pups who eschew the traditional canine pastime of poker in favor of the meditative act of counting stitches. Yarndogs invites students to bring their own pawed pals to the studio during class, so long as they're well-mannered and willing to help with climate control via fast-wagging tails.