Spitting in class is encouraged

Imagine two-and-a-half hours on a Monday morning dedicated to knitting and felting, enjoying a leisurely cup of tea with fresh-baked cakes or cookies and the gentle instruction of the master milliner, Anna Shoub, the “Hat Junkie” of Lunenburg.

The necessary supplies are all provided: hand dyed yarns; shiny bronze knitting markers; a cat and dog; examples of Anna’s beautiful creations; fleece, embroidery needles, drawer liner and salad spinner and towels to wipe up the spills.

This is not just a knitting class, although I learned plenty about that. 

First, all heads are not alike, so measurement and style and colour to suit your face is the starting point.

Jumping ahead, on the third class, we learned how to felt our knitted pieces by swishing and sloshing, kneading and sculpting our heavy, water-soaked, now-unrecognisable knitting.

Selecting bright colours of hand-dyed fleece, learning to gently pull and layer the wispy fibres, we learned to make felt. The same felt was cut and embroidered to our finished beret for just that extra flair.

Anna is not only an accomplished milliner, but she is a patient and encouraging teacher. She recognized that not all of us were accomplished knitters.

When I frantically sent an email with the subject “the dog ate my homework AND needles,” I was provided a special tutorial class along with a cup of tea.

Anna recognizes individual skills and can balance the instruction to keep everyone active and engaged. She is eager to share her “tricks of the trade,” hence, “spitting in class is encouraged”.

Four weeks later, ten hours of instruction and I am now the proud owner of a beautiful hand knit, felted, and decorated beret.

No beret is alike! There are 4 unique and colourful interpretations of Anna’s beret pattern in Lunenburg County. 

Keep your eyes open for them, and consider taking a class from the “Hat Junkie”.


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