Friday, August 31, 2012

A Little Learning...

One of the things I LOVE about the craft community is the constant opportunity to learn. I had a high school teacher who told us that the day he stopped learning was the day he would stop teaching. (I bet every HS friend who reads the blog can name the teacher!) I've remembered that throughout my knitting career whenever I felt "bad" or "stupid" for not knowing a technique. The stupid thing would be to think you know it all and never to learn more, right?

Anyway, Craftsy has been a lovely website for continuing craft education. I originally signed up for a sewing class and did learn a lot (and learned I knew a little more about my machine than I thought). I still need to finish up some lessons from that class, but I find I sew more in the fall and winter so that will come with time.

You can watch the classes at your own speed and wherever you want...I took the product photography class while at the pool in Florida! After you pay, you have permanent access to the class. Recently, I decided with some gal pals to knit the sweater Ravi throughout the month of September. We have been emailing each other via FB and the cast on date is this Saturday. As we each prepared to make the sweater, we have been watching the FREE short rows class on Craftsy (offered by Ravi pattern designer, Carol Feller). It has been a great way for us to all participate as a "group" while each being in different locations. And, we have all agreed that all classes should have a teacher with an Irish accent! This free course takes you through four different ways to complete short rows and several ideas for where to use them in your knitting.

I found that for me, my best tension was the one I have been doing the longest (guess that makes sense). But, my purl side "pick ups" were best on the YO method. She mentions in the video that you can combine two methods for different sides. For the Ravi sweater, I plan to use the Japanese short row method to practice this technique. In the class, she uses safety pins for this portion. Years ago I remember my friend T making a sweater and using bobby pins for the holders. Always wanted to give that a go, so that is the Ravi plan for me. (Note that my swatch is unblocked and I don't really think you would notice the short row "stitches" much at all after blocking--the Japanese section is the second from the top.)

I have plans to take other courses online to learn some new things and confirm that I do other things in the best way possible. Sign up for a free Craftsy account and they send out notifications of class discounts on a regular basis (often 50% off). There are all sorts of crafts, not just knitting and crochet. It is also a market for craft products, including independent designers. Check out the Brownie Knits Craftsy store! Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Automatic PDF download upon checkout!

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