Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Own Personal Knitting Teacher

I have a shameful knitting secret.  I hate to ask for help and will only do so when I can absolutely not figure something out on my own.

Arrogant Know-It-All

Yes, that's me...I'm one of those.  Now you know my shame (at least one of them).

You would never catch me dead taking a class at Stitches, VKLive, Madrona or any other fiber-group setting where classes are offered (Men's Knitting Retreats are different...I don't know why, exactly...but they are).  It would be like admitting there was something I didn't know and didn't have the resources to figure out my own damn self.

However, I have just discovered something AWESOME that let's me learn from some of the best teachers, and NOT do so publicly.

Has anyone tried Craftsy video classes yet?

There are over 30 knitting related topics listed out there from notable designers like Deborah Robson, Donna Druchunas, Fiona Ellis and Alasdair Post-Quinn.  And topics ranging from Icelandic Sweaters, Sock Knitting, Writing Knitted Patterns...and the one I opted for, Adventures in Double-Knitting, by Alasdair.

With over four and a half hours of video tutorial, and the ability to review, pause and loop 30 seconds of a video while you practice, these tutorials are amazing.  The quality of the videos is excellent and detailed, with indices and bookmarks to easily find specific sections of the lesson.  Even though I was able to read through Alasdair's book, Extreme Double-Knitting, I am finding I didn't really understand some parts of it, and also found better ways of doing some things by going through his Craftsy course (yes, I grudgingly admit it!).

I wrote to him to thank him and he's made an awesome offer...if anyone would like to take his course on Adventures in Double-Knitting on Craftsy, you can get it for half-prices right now (normally, the full course is  $39.99, but you can get it for $19.99).  But you need to go to a special link to buy it:

Discounted Crafty Course - Adventures in Double-Knitting by Alasdair Post-Quinn

I'd also be interested to hear of any other courses (knitting or other crafts) that folks have taken on Craftsy...I'm hooked!

Current Knitting

I'm totally enjoying my current pullover project...the Icelandic wool pullover.  The yarn is great, the stitch pattern is simple and satisfying, and the result is looking good.

I know it doesn't look like I've done much since Sunday.  Think of it as me savoring this project.

Readers' Comments/Questions

Mrs. Invisible writes, "Hi Jo , I am totally bemused by the fact you are knitting a jumper in the round, do you just keep going round and round until it's the right length? marking each row as you go round.? We usually use straight needles here in the U.K. Also do you use these needles for the sleeves as well?"

Actually, it was someone from the U.K. who taught me I could knit jumpers in the round...Alice Starmore!  But I don't always knit pullovers/jumpers in the round, only when it's more useful.  For this design, I'm planning on knitting in the round until I get to the sleeve opening, and then I'll knit front and back separately (and flat).  I don't anticipate knitting the sleeves in the round...I prefer a seam on the underside of the sleeve rather than decreases..

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