Learn to knit, dance, bake and taste wine at these D.C.-area classes

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As 2022 draws to a close, embrace the “new year, new you” mantra by picking up a hobby. Here are seven classes in January where you can learn something new, whether it involves creative writing, wine tasting, knitting or bonsai pruning.

Jan. 3-25: Introduction to Knitting at Fibre Space: Show up to Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria as an absolute beginner who doesn’t know a knit stitch from a purl stitch, and by the end of three weeks of classes, you’ll be on your way to knitting a scarf. The weekly workshops last an hour and a half, and you’ll want to purchase the $55 “intro knit kit” or go shopping in the store beforehand for the necessary needles and yarn. 7 p.m. $75.

Jan. 10-Feb. 7: ‘Write Into Art’ with Smithsonian Associates: Is 2023 the year that you write a novel? Find inspiration to put pen to paper during an online workshop with Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the Writing Salon at the National Gallery of Art. Works by artists including Edward Hopper, Suzanne Valadon and Kenjiro Nomura serve as powerful prompts to spark your imagination as you practice creative writing techniques, such as multiple narratives or experimenting with a timeline. Students can drop into one virtual Smithsonian Associates class or sign up for all five workshops. 10 to 11:30 a.m. $40-$45 per class or $175-$185 for the full course of classes.

Jan. 12: ‘Bake & Take: Challah Edition’ at Mess Hall: The founders of D.C.’s homemade chicken soup company Prescription Chicken demo all the steps for braiding and baking challah bread during a two-hour class at culinary incubator Mess Hall. A bowl of soup is included in the hands-on workshop, and you’ll leave with freshly baked challah and more dough to freeze for later. 6 p.m. $75.

Jan. 12-Feb. 2: Tango lessons at the Embassy of Uruguay: This series of four weekly classes fulfills two resolutions in one: Not only are you learning new dance steps, but you’re expanding your cultural knowledge, as lessons are held at the Embassy of Uruguay, and organizers promise that students will “learn about the history of tango to better understand the dance.” Neither a partner nor experience with tango is required to take the class with instructor Luis Angel. 6 to 7 p.m. $75 for all four classes.

Jan. 20: Boozy Bonsai at PlantHouse: Alexandria’s PlantHouse is a shop devoted to indoor greenery, complete with a bar stocked with wine and beer as well as event space for workshops. Check it out during a “Boozy Bonsai” class, where you’ll pot and prune a tiny juniper tree to take home. (Fair warning: This workshop is for ages 16 and older, and alcohol isn’t included in the ticket price.) 6:30 to 8 p.m. $40.

Jan. 21: Tea Blending Workshop at Atlas Brew Works: The urban farmers behind community garden organization Cultivate the City are taking over Atlas Brew Works for a Saturday afternoon tea party. Using dried, garden-grown herbs such as lavender and lemongrass, you’ll learn how to create your own personal blend of flavored tea. 1 to 2 p.m. $30.

Jan. 26: ‘How to Blind Taste Wine Like a Pro’ at Hill Center: Sommelier Michael Scaffidi shares his tricks of the trade in this class at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill. You’ll try four unidentified wines from four different grapes and four different wine-growing regions, and the hope is that by the end of the evening, you’ll be ready with plenty of adjectives to describe vino other than “jammy.” 5:30 to 7 p.m. $68.

Fritz Hahn contributed to this report.


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