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Learn how to sew, knit and even forge at these workshops

If learning a new crafting skill is one of your New Year’s resolutions, three maker spaces in Salt Lake County are ready to help.

These three spaces welcome even the greenest of beginners and offer classes on blacksmithing, knitting and crocheting, or sewing.

And if you’re already an accomplished crafter and don’t think you need to add to your repertoire, think again. Being a “jack of all trades” can make you more creative in the long run, said Matt Danielson, owner and lead instructor at Wasatch Forge in Salt Lake City.

“Each additional skill that you’re able to learn helps refine all of your additional skills and makes everything move significantly smoother,” he said. “So being a blacksmith helps with being a carpenter, helps with being a potter. … The more skills, the more crafts you have.”

Wasatch Forge

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Matt Danielson, owner of Wasatch Forge in West Jordan, shapes steel on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Danielson offers both one-time classes to “scratch that itch” or become more proficient in the art of blacksmithing.

At Wasatch Forge in Salt Lake City, Danielson says his emphasis is on creating skilled blacksmiths — not just helping people churn out forged objects.

“You get a lot of blacksmith shops who are a ‘make-a-thing shop’ — come in and scratch the itch a little bit,” Danielson said. “But we bang on the drum that we try to make a blacksmith, not have an amateur make a thing.”

Wasatch Forge offers about eight classes every week, providing all the education an aspiring blacksmith would need to feel confident around a forge and anvil.

The “Junior Smith” class accepts students as young as 11 with adult supervision. And if your idea of adult blacksmiths is burly men with beards, think again — blacksmith Megan Done said women who are interested in learning the craft should know “you’re stronger than you think.”

“I think a lot of people underestimate their own abilities,” Done later said. “And this is a place where you come to expand your abilities.”

Danielson said Wasatch Forge’s “bread and butter” is introductory blacksmithing, where the main goal is for someone to feel confident working on their own. In that class, students make an S-hook and a bottle opener.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A handmade sword is shown at Wasatch Forge in West Jordan on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

After completing that class, a blacksmith in training can choose whether they’d like to focus on making tools or making knives. From there, the Wasatch Forge team can help you work on special advanced projects, like making your own katana.

Knife specialist and veteran Steven Moon, who was medically retired after serving in the U.S. Army for eight years, said blacksmithing is a “life-saving” outlet for him as he copes with PTSD.

“Once you figure out the whole process, you can lose yourself in it,” he said. “And anything that allows that, it’s therapeutic and it’s life-changing.”

Wasatch Forge is located at 150 W. 1400 South in Salt Lake City. To view a complete list of classes, visit WasatchForge.com. Follow the forge on Instagram at @wasatchforge.

Willow Hill Yarn Company

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Julie Nelson takes a crochet class with the help of instructor Ginamarie Freebairn at Willow Hills Yarn Company on Friday Nov. 25, 2022, located inside Gardner Village in West Jordan.

If knitting and crocheting leaves you tied up in knots, Emily Dern with Willow Hill Yarn Company can get you untangled and on your way.

“If you have trouble and you need help, just come on by and we’ll help you,” Dern said.

The cozy store, which is tucked in the historic Gardner Village in West Jordan, is a yarn lover’s dream. Knitters, crocheters and weavers will find yarns of every type and color, much of it dyed by local makers, Dern said.

Upstairs is a welcoming space with a table, chairs and couches that’s home to Willow Hill’s weekly Knit Night, held almost every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring a project to work on, settle in, and knit or crochet, all while meeting fellow creators — and sometimes watching a movie together.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Willow Hills Yarn Company at Garndner Village in West Jordan, pictured on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, offers supplies and classes to learn knitting/crochet.

If you’re a total beginner, getting signed up for a class is your best bet, Dern said, as well as working with a thicker yarn and a larger crochet hook or knitting needles.

In the beginning knitting class, you’ll learn how to knit and purl like a pro. In the beginning crochet class, you’ll learn how to hold your hook and make basic crochet stitches, as well as learn about yarns, patterns and hooks.

In the classes, you’ll work on projects like fingerless gloves, scarves, dishcloths, hats, slippers and even tiny knitted animals.

Class participants can be as young as 8, but must be accompanied by an adult if they’re under the age of 12.

Willow Hill Yarn Company is located at 1100 W. 7800 South, No. 6, in West Jordan, inside Gardner Village. To view a complete list of classes and the Knit Night schedule, visit WillowHillYarnCompany.com. Follow the store on Instagram at @willowhillyarncompany.

Salt Lake Sewciety

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Delaney Dangerfield teaches a sewing class at Salt Lake Sewciety on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. At right is Andrea Carrizo.

Salt Lake Sewciety is a purveyor of garment-quality fabrics (think silk, tweed and denim) — as well as a sewing school.

It’s unique for two reasons, owner Delaney Dangerfield said: its emphasis on sewing clothing, not quilts (like most fabric stores), and its strong sense of community.

Knowing your own skill level is important when choosing which class to take. The schedule is divided into categories like “nervous beginner,” “ambitious beginner” and “shaky intermediate.”

If you’ll need help every step of the way, it’s best to start with sewing something simple, like an apron. If you want to dive in head first, then making a craft case might be the challenge you’re seeking.

Maybe you own a sewing machine but forgot how to thread it? Then you may want to take “Sewing Machine 101″ before making a beanie.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mari Hanson in a sewing class at Salt Lake Sewciety on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

No matter which class you go with, all can be tailored to be easier or harder, based on the fabric you pick and if you decide to add modifications, like pockets.

Classes are typically held in the evening, and if you don’t have your own sewing machine, you can rent one for $5 a day.

Not only does Dangerfield teach an ever-revolving schedule of classes at Salt Lake Sewciety, but she also holds “sewcial” events every month designed to bring local sewists together.

Each August, Salt Lake Sewciety also hosts a pool party, where people can wear swimsuits they’ve sewn. Other nights, students will get together to have wine and cheese while they sew lingerie, or swap fabric. The most special occasion though is SLC Frocktails, which is held each February as an opportunity to get dressed up in something you’ve made and show it off.

“The most satisfying part about running this business is just seeing customers come back and befriend each other,” Dangerfield said.

She said it’s important to learn how to sew because making your own clothes “really allows you to connect with the item of clothing that you’re making.”

“And then you end up with something that fits you, that’s really good quality from eco-friendly fibers, and something that you’ll really cherish,” she continued.

Salt Lake Sewciety is located at 1597 S. 1100 East, Unit B, in Salt Lake City. To view a complete list of classes, visit SaltLakeSewciety.com. Follow the “sewciety” on Instagram at @saltlakesewciety.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Delaney Dangerfield teaches a sewing class at Salt Lake Sewciety on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.




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