By Anne Jones
Anthropologie has teamed up with designer Wenlan Chia to debut some of her new designs and launch her new book, Twinkle’s Big City Knits. The book is filled with totally fashionable knitwear that would be cute and cozy additions to your winter wardrobe. The best part is that any knitter can make these beautiful creations thanks to the step-by-step directions in the back pages.
To celebrate the collabo, the Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center hosted a fabulous knitting party, starring Wenlan herself, to not only show off her fabulous designs, but to help recreate them. Space was limited for this exclusive affair, but don’t worry, there’s one more*.
Honestly, I was not quite sure what to expect when it came to the whole learning experience. I had never knitted and have the patience of a five-year-old waiting for Christmas morn, but was graciously reassured via email that we would be split up into groups based on our experience, mine being absolutely none. Upon arrival we were each handed an adorable handbag filled with luxurious yarn and knitting needles (to take home!) and were informed that the beginners group was to make the Garter Knit Scarf. Instructors were at our disposable to help on a whim. I began to panic when the other girls confidently picked up their needles and starting knitting away while I sat flustered, counting down the minutes until it was time for the light hors d’ourves, beverages (hopefully “adult”) and shopping hour. Alas, when this time arrived, I happily sipped spiked cider and enjoyed petite sandwiches and oversized desserts (a concept that should be adopted more often). Anthropologie generously offered us “knitters” a 15% discount that evening so rather than knit my own masterpiece I bought one of Whelan’s gorgeous frocks. Instant gratification!
After our break, and feeling a tad more relaxed, I decided I would give the needles one more go- I came here to do this and I want to be a knitter, not a quitter, by God. I dutifully picked up my needles and with the help of a professional I received a patient and attentive lesson, and a solid start on my scarf. I get the basics now and can actually see myself enjoying this whole knitting thing, especially knowing that it can produce such lovely results. I can just imagine someone complimenting my chunky knit tunic this winter and asking where I got such a lovely piece, while nonchalantly replying, “Oh, this? I whipped it up last week.” Brilliant!
*Get in on the next class while you can (knit holiday ornament!), they fill up fast. Contact or visit the Rockefeller Anthropologie store for more info and to pick up Wenlan’s book.