Beer & Knitting Classes…

People have been baffled by my idea of combining beer and knitting into a book. Well, it’s time to take them to the next level of baffle-dom. I’ve decided to teach Beer & Knitting Classes.They will take place at Yarns…at the Adobe on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 2-5pm beginning in November. Here’s the lineup:

  • Nov 8th… American Wheat Beers & Dishcloths
  • Dec 13th… Christmas Beers & Knitted Ornaments
  • Jan 10th… Finishing (finishing touches on your beer and your knitting)
  • Feb 14th… Fruit Beers & Knitted Hearts
  • Mar 14th… Stout & Mitered Square Afghan
  • Apr 11th… North Coast Brewing Co & Pattern Design

We’ll discuss the beers and start tasting at the start of the class, and then get our knitting going while we finish our beer discussion. I plan to focus primarily on three different beers at each class. The knitting side will be fun projects and/or a couple of key techniques.

The other advantage of the classes is that the research I do for each class will help my book progress a bit faster. These should be fun and are already generating some enthusiasm.

-Jenne Hiigel

Porter, Writers’ Conference and Classes…

Homebrewing continues. I’ve made a second batch of the Fuller’s London Porter clone recipe, which was quite timely as I only have one bottle left of the previous batch. This new batch will be ready to drink in about a month. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the Alaskan Smoked Porter clone recipe that I brewed. Now that I’m satisified with my Porter brewing, I’ll be moving on to another beer style. I’m thinking either wheat or extra hops. We’ll soon see which recipe grabs my interest next.

I still want to move on from extract/grain brewing into all-grain brewing, but I have to wait until I save enough money to buy a mash tun, lauter tun and sparging equipment. Hopefully I’ll have the funds set aside by early next year. I’m working on scheduling a few Beer & Knitting classes, so that may help with my homebrew equipment goals.

I was chatting with Anne at Yarns…at the Adobe recently and trying to come up with some knitting class ideas. Classes are always challenging, because people regularly ask for them but don’t always sign up when they’re finally scheduled. So I was trying to come up with some ideas that might spark a little more enthusiasm. That’s when I decided on Beer & Knitting classes. In these classes we’ll discuss and sample a specific group of beers, and knit a complementary project and/or learn a specific knitting technique. Here are the classes I’ve come up with so far:

  • American Wheat Beer & Dishcloths
  • Christmas Beers & Knitted Ornaments
  • Finishing (proper presentation of the beer and finishing techniques in knitting)
  • Fruit Beers & Knitted Hearts (this class is on Valentine’s Day)
  • Stout & Mitered Square Afghan
  • North Coast Brewing Company & Pattern Design

The first class will take place in November and they’ll continue monthly through April. We’ll soon see how people like the Beer & Knitting class idea.

We recently wrapped up this year’s Cuesta College Writers’ Conference. It went very well and, once again, got me inspired to work on my writing more diligently. Last year the message I got from the conference presenters was to make time to write and that the early morning hours tend to be the most productive. I gave it a try and found out that they were absolutely right. If I can get myself out of bed an hour earlier I can make significant progress with my writing. It’s the getting out of bed that is the hard part, though!

The message I got this year from the conference was to write what I know AND write what I’m passionate about. That seemed to confirm to me that I am on the right track with my book about beer and knitting. Enthusiasm for the combination of crafts continues to grow, which is pretty cool. Anne (at Yarns…at the Adobe) says she now gets people in her shop wanting to find out more about the Beer & Knitting group.

At our last Beer & Knitting gathering at Woodstone Market in Avila Beach we had a reporter from the New Times come out and interview our group. There were about 16 of us in attendance that day and it was a beautiful day on their patio overlooking the creek while we knitted and enjoyed our beer and lunch. In the not-too-distant future there should be an article about us appearing in that newspaper. I’ll keep you posted!

-Jenne Hiigel