Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Knitting with Craftsy

For years, I didn't think I could knit.  I did try in the winter of 2009 and even though I thought it was fun, it was SO slow going and I just wasn't that good at it.  Sadie was born in the fall of 2009 and I completely set is aside until last fall when I decided to try again (read the background here).

I started out by knitting dishcloth after dishcloth...then scarves and then I learned to knit hats in the round on circular needles and I was in LOVE with knitting.  I made a lot of hats....so easy just knit, knit, knit and then decrease and you're done.  I found that I really don't like knitting on straight needles and knit everything using circular needles.  I just love them.

a cowl scarf I knit

one of many dishcloths I made
I think this might be the last thing I knit on straight needles.

 For Christmas, my parents got me two knitting classes from Craftsy.com.  I had asked for a gift certificate to get a Craftsy class.  Right after my mother ordered it they came out with a buy one get one free deal and they let her add a course to her order so I got two knitting classes. I got Knit Lab and Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways.  Both courses are taught by Stefanie Japel and I think they are fantastic.  In the Knit Lab, course I learned many of the basics of knitting and did my first lace project which was a keyhole scarf which I just love.  I have made several of them now.  I also made a long scarf with a variety of stitches mostly different basket weave patterns.  I wore this scarf so much this winter and I am so glad that I made this one too.

2 of the keyhole scarves I made.  Love this pattern!

This scarf pattern is called Cambridge.
 A feather and fan lace dishcloth.
Taking this course helped me so much.  I really became confident in my knitting and learned so much by making these scarves. (The dishcloth wasn't part of the course but I did get a link to the pattern through the course.  I think it is on Ravelry though.)

Here is a course overview where Stefanie Japel tells about the course and how the courses work at Craftsy.

With the Craftsy courses you get patterns and course materials to download (they are pdf documents). Access to the courses never expire.  You also can ask question in a message board format and get answers from the teacher and/or from others taking the course.  It's really a lot of fun.  You can also post pictures of your projects (in progress or finished.) You can go here to see sample previews and a break down of what is included in the course.

After I finished the Knit Lab course it was getting closer to the end of winter so I didn't really want to make any more hats.  So I haven't knit the hats in the Hats Four Ways class yet but I have watched the whole course.  Stefanie is a lot of fun to learn from. :)

 I get the Craftsy newsletter in my email and one week Laura Nelkin's Mastering Lace Shawls class was on sale so I bought that.  I L.O.V.E knitting lace.  Here is the shawl I made in just 3 weeks while taking the Mastering Lace Shawls class.

The shawl being blocked
Me wearing the shawl

The back of the shawl.
 You can get this pattern by taking Mastering Lace Shawls (watch the previews and see what is included too) or you can just purchase this pattern from Laura Nelkin. (The name of it is Skywalker.) I am definitely going to make another one of these in a lace weight yarn.  I love it.

I am currently working on the second lace shawl in this course called Clarus.  I am enjoying making this as well.  One thing I have learned in taking this course is that I love to knit with a charted pattern rather than one that is written out.  At first I didn't think I would like it but now I just think it is so much easier to read a chart than try to keep track of stitches that are written out.  Laura is a great teacher and it's great to be able to interact with her through the Craftsy platform.

I am signed up for her new course, Knitting with Beads.  I haven't made anything from it yet but I have watched it.  I will start on the projects in that class either when I finish Clarus or when I get supplies for it.  I like to have more than one project going at a time anyway.  (I'm working on a worsted weight shawl that is very simple and I can work on it in the car or on the go without have to think about it.)

This is a quick preview of the course:

Craftsy.com has all kinds of craft classes....crochet, knit, quilting, sewing, baking and more. Check them all out here.  I would recommend signing up for the newsletter and watching for a sale. I've never paid more than $30 for a course.  If you'd like to see what the classes are like you can sign up for the Block a Month course which is free right now.


Laura Nelkin said...

What a great post about your knitting experiences both with Craftsy and on your own! Your shawl looks fabulous! Great job!

Karen said...

Thanks for stopping by Laura. I am working on my transition rows for Clarus. I can't wait to finish and post my pictures. :)

Teri said...

Congrats on successfully learning to knit. I am thinking about taking Stefanie's course, but I don't know that anything would work for me. I even had a one-hour private lesson a few years ago and couldn't do either method and the instructor finally gave up on me. So I'm not sure why this would be different. I am a very experienced and passionate crocheter, so I mostly feel I will be fine just staying with what I know and love (see my blog at teri360.blogspot.com) yet it bugs me that I can NOT get knitting when so many millions can do it.

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