One of the fun things about working at a shop that so many people consider their local yarn store, is watching all of the different communities that pop up. There are informal communities such as the regulars at our various Drop-In sessions, employees who join together in impromptu knit-a-longs, weavers who know they can stop by and get some advice from the store’s founder, Barbara, and people who travel from far and wide with a group of friends to shop at the store on a regular basis.
Another community we have happily worked to build here at WEBS is made up of the members of our WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Program. Knitters who join this program are interested in taking their craft to the next level by following a course of 18 classes designed to take them from their current skill level (many are beginners) through confidently designing a sweater from scratch.
All of the classes are taught on-site, here at the store, by a team of wonderful Teachers-in-Residence, as well as by nationally and internationally known Guest Teachers. Each instructor brings a unique perspective to the craft, as well as many tricks and tips! Most classes are open to all customers, but members of the Expert Knitter Certification Program get a head start on registering each season during a special preview period.
After completing the coursework, program participants begin an independent final project, the Capstone Project, designing and knitting a sweater to fit. Once that sweater is completed and reviewed by the Capstone Committee, participants are awarded the WEBS Expert Knitter Certificate during a lovely graduation event! The sweaters created through this process are an inspiration. (We’ll give you a sneak preview of this year’s Capstone Projects in-progress in an upcoming post.)
Beyond the usual course and materials fees for each class, a yearly fee of $50 is the only additional cost for participating in the program.
Knitters join the program for a variety of reasons. Some are looking to take classes that might be a challenge and out of their comfort zone, some friends join together and see it as a great way to spend regular time together sharing a craft they adore, others want to be able to look at a bag of yarn and declare “I know exactly what that will be!” Whatever the reason for joining, all members of the program find they have joined a welcoming community of people who enjoy yarn, and who want to learn as much about fiber crafts as possible while having lots of fun in the process.
If you would like more information about the WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Program, you can download the brochure here (pdf) or contact us using the info on this page. You can also check out our newly formed Ravelry forum and meet some of the current members!