not very long ago, i blogged about preparing for and traveling to denver to visit friends and film a new craftsy class. a small group of super people formed a team and worked for weeks beforehand to help make it happen.
our darling friend cherie worked like a demon to knit most of the stepouts i needed for my class—more on that later, as i got several queries about what step outs actually are (silly me, i didn’t think when i used that word in passing).
evan, my producer and our scriptwriter kim, met with me weekly from the beginning of january to the middle of february to put together a class packed with wonderful, animated material.
they took scribblings like these and worked with the graphic designers to make them into animated illustrations to highlight the lessons. they also helped me distill a book’s worth of talking points into the most important and precise instructional text.
and you—because where would we be without you??—the questions and concerns you write and post about, the feedback that you give me, and the challenges you want to take on, are all resources for choosing material to include in my classes.
and today this new class goes live! (click here for a specially-priced instructor offer). this class a compendium of some favorite knitting tips and techniques—those foundation principles and methods that i use over and over in my own work because they’ve proven to serve me so well—not that this is a definitive compendium of every technique; these are my favorite ways of doing things, the ones i reach for nearly every time. if you like the way my knitting looks, this class shows how i get those results.
the craftsy platform provides a special learning environment, perfect for those who cannot access live classes easily, have trouble learning in a distracting environment, or whose work/home life throws up obstacles to traditional classes. the ability to use the platform on any device, to log in at any time, and to the use material over and over—even in slow motion!—is like having a walking, talking encyclopedia at our fingertips.
just yesterday i was emailing with an artist who wrote me, wanting to know if she could learn to knit on her own—and of course i recommended the craftsy platform, even thought i haven’t yet taught a beginning knitting class for them (though i’d like to; i just love teaching beginners). i really believe they offer top-notch visual support for learning; i am always surprised and pleased at the precise filming when i see a new class.
(our accountant doug has been making noise about learning to knit recently and keep hoping he’ll try it; maybe if you all leave a comment to encourage him, he’ll see how much support he has!).
but i’ve digressed . . .
this class moves through a series of technique-based lessons, beginning with better basics—understanding some fundamentals in a little more depth to build on with other skills. this section is great for newer knitters, covering topics such as universal techniques for better castons and bindoffs, reading your knitted fabric, using the pattern as a resource, and making yarn work for you.
those famous step outs make their entrance right away to support each lesson—they are the knitted pieces i use to demonstrate techniques and concepts throughout the class. knitting step outs is a special talent and i can’t be grateful enough that our friend cherie has accepted the assignment of creating them for several of my craftsy classes now.
many of them need to be knit several times (or seemingly a million times; i’m sure cherie doesn’t even want to hear the phrase “split leaf lace”) in order to show a series of steps; the pieces are then traded in and out of the on-camera frame to show progress. it takes an incredible amount of planning to think weeks ahead about every last demonstration piece we’ll need, not to mention the patience of job to knit them. plus the knitter has to think through the little things almost as much as i do—using the same color yarn holder or stitch marker for each identical piece, so that to the viewer, it appears to be the same one. a few weeks of work to be sure and not even a real FO to show for it (except for this class, haha).
following right behind the basics are some techniques that build on that foundation—for those who avoid provisional castons, knit-on edgings, fixing mistakes on the needles, and the like—this is where you can boost your confidence and take the bull by the horns. with copious illustration and precise camera work, my techniques for performing these maneuvers are dissected and passed on to you in detail. the only danger here is that you’ll wear out a key or two replaying that video over and over—but no one will be there to tattle about it.
the final lessons focus on shaping your project into a real, live FO—something to wear and show off with pride. after all, isn’t that what a lot of us worry about, that all of our hours of enjoyment will fall a little in our eyes when the final project hits the light of day? we want the world to see what WE envision as we knit through the hours, right? believe me, you can make it happen.
and i’ll be there to hold your hand.
because that’s the other cool thing about these classes—not only is the instruction clear, precise, and well documented, but the ability to interact and ask questions of the instructor is invaluable. i check my instructor dashboard every morning (or nearly, if i’m traveling) to answer questions posted during the class. your questions are my breakfast, haha; and you know that’s the most important meal of the day . . .
i hope you’ll take this opportunity to use this special instructor pricing link to purchase my new class (a bargain at half off). because frankly, your support of my classes through craftsy is one of the ways we keep the blog, our ravelry groups, and other educational projects going; we really appreciate your support to keep that work going!
by the way, if you’ve been wondering where the heck i’ve been lately, i pack dup a bunch of stuff and holed up in NYC for a bit write a group of patterns for our spring ensemble collection. i have been keeping my nose to the grindstone but i’m nearly done—i return home on wednesday and will tell you ALL about it.
and finally, a special note to my friend sam—happy pi day sam!