Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Craftsy "Knit Lab" Course Review

I recently became a Craftsy affiliate. While I received this course for free from Craftsy, my opinions are 100% my own. If you're a blogger interested in becoming an affiliate, click here. This post contains affiliate links.

When I became a Craftsy affiliate, they gave me a free class! They have a ton of options, but I ultimately settled on Knit Lab. I had attempted to learn knitting a few years ago using an instructional book, but after knitting a few little swatches, I gave up. I had a hard time knowing when I was working my stitches correctly based on the illustrations in the book. This is where an online video class was most helpful!

Craftsy has a number of classes you can sign up for at no cost, even if you're not an affiliate. Click here to see the free classes they offer. I'm also taking Piece, Patch, Quilt: Basic Quiltmaking Skills.

I signed up for Knit Lab, pulled out a skein of bulky yarn and my metal knitting needles and got to work.

As soon as I watched the first lesson, I was hooked (no pun intended). Craftsy classes provide great resources, so along with the video lessons, you also get printable class materials (knitting patterns), access to other students' questions and answers, and a place to share your projects. The instructor, Stefanie Japel, does a great job of explaining the different types of needles and yarns you can use in knitting. By lesson three, you're casting on!

One important thing I realized as soon as I started knitting was that I needed to switch up my needles. I had purchased metal needles when I first tried to learn on my own, but Stefanie explains the difference between needle types. As soon as she said that wooden needles are slower, I knew that's what I needed. Metal needles are slippery and I kept dropping stitches inadvertently. Once I switched to wooden needles, that problem was solved! It was also helpful to learn to match up my needle gauge and yarn weight. I got some bamboo needles and some worsted weight yarn and I was knitting!

My favorite thing about Knit Lab is that instead of knitting little swatches, once you learn how to cast on, knit, and purl, you are working on your first project: a scarf!

By the end of Lesson 9, your scarf is finished, but the course isn't. You still have seven more lessons to learn increases, decreases, seed and basket weave, reading patterns, etc. You can watch any part of any lesson at any time, and they are organized so well that it's easy to quickly find what you're looking for.

I've only completed through lesson 9, then I watched a section about the "slip-slip-knit" stitch so that I could start on another free pattern from Craftsy -- the Winter Flame Scarf.

It's a very thorough class and is a great introduction to knitting. After more practice, I am looking forward to signing up for Knit Lab: In the Round.

Have you taken any classes from Craftsy? I'd love to hear about your experience!

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