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You Could Win a Craftsy Class!

I’m so pleased to announce another giveaway!

It’s from the fabulous Craftsy.  You could win access to the Knit Lab class for free!

Enter to win a Craftsy class

Knit Lab is the perfect class for:

  • Beginning knitters
  • Knitters who need more confidence
  • Knitters who want to learn more skills, like how to increase, decrease, make a buttonhole, knit lace, block, seam, and read patterns.

Basically, it contains all the essentials to becoming a knitter who can make anything.  And, because it’s a Craftsy class, you’ll be able to watch the videos any time, as many times as you like.  You can pause them and make notes and “bookmarks.”  You can ask the instructor any question, and she’ll answer you.  You’ll have lifetime access to your class, and there are no time limits to learning.

Nice, eh?

All you have to do is click this link to enter.  If you don’t already have a Craftsy account, they’ll ask you to make one.  It’s super easy.

You’ll have until Sunday, March 23rd to enter.  Then, Craftsy will send the lucky winner a link to access the Knit Lab class for free.  (Its regular price is $30.99.)

I’ve already taken a bunch of their classes — Lace Shawl Design with Miriam Felton, Shawlscapes with Stephen West, Sizing Knitwear Patterns with Faina Goberstein, and Knit Lab: Fit Your Knits with Stephanie Japel.  I have thoroughly enjoyed them all.

So, when Craftsy offered me this chance to host a giveaway, I was thrilled to be able to offer you, my fabulous readers, such a nice gift.  Good luck to everyone!  I wish you could all win.

Craftsy class giveaway March 2014 from  Win Knit Lab!  Click to enter.



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Shawls On The Brain

Rock Island close up, using Indigodragonfly Merino Lace Singles in "You Punched the Highlights Out Of Her Hair."

I am veeery slowly working my way through the TKGA Master Knitting course.  Why so slowly?  Well, I keep getting sidetracked.

Take, for instance, yesterday, when I discovered not one, but two Craftsy classes that caught my eye.  Now, I’m a huge fan of Stephen West.  I was a fan of his shawls before I even realized they were all designed by the same guy.  So when I saw that he’s teaching a new class called Shawlscapes, I was in trouble.  How could I not take his class?  I’ve been puzzling over a shawl design that looks great in my head, but was being impossible to sketch.  Maybe he could give me some insight.

So I signed up.

And then I watched every single video in his series last night.

And guess what?  I think I’m on to something with that stubborn shawl idea of mine!  It’s probably not at all what he intended from his lessons, but just listening to him talk about his design process and some what-ifs of design made more wheels start to turn in my brain.  Worth. Every. Penny.

If you’re wondering about taking Stephen’s class, let me just tell you that

1) He’s hilarious

2) He talks a lot about his unconventional shaping methods and how they work.  Think geometry refresher course.

3) He gives great knitting tips throughout the videos — cast ons, selvedges, different bind offs that are great for shawls, colour play, and blocking.  I learned a couple things and picked up some new tips, which is kind of a big deal when you’ve already been reading lots for your Master Knitting program.

4) I’m inspired!  I’m getting ideas!  And they don’t look like his — they look like mine!  Sometimes, all you need is a great teacher.

I watched the whole class — every video — on my Android smartphone.  Craftsy doesn’t have an Android app yet (Come on, Craftsy!), but their mobile site is really nice.  It doesn’t contain all the features — I couldn’t make video notes — but it’s good enough to watch everything through.  So I curled up in my soft, green knitting chair, placed my phone beside me on my knitting table, worked mindlessly on the garter-stitch section of Rock Island, and immersed myself in Shawlscapes.  What a great evening.

Knitting chair.  Rock Island Shawl, unblocked.  Bliss.

I eventually finished all the videos in Stephen’s class, cast off my Rock Island, and started in on the other class I signed up for yesterday:  Miriam Felton’s Lace Shawl Design.

For now, I will say only, I have been looking for someone to explain these things to me.  

I’m looking forward to learning all I can about the flow of lace stitch patterns.  They have always fascinated me.

Are you taking any classes right now?  Are we in the same class?  I’d love to hear from you!


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Knitting Through the Winter Blahs

Does anyone else become slightly brain dead in January?

I think maybe it’s the busyness of Christmas that does me in.  Follow me along on this tangent:  I’m an introvert.  I’ve been reading about introversion and what it means.  I’ve read The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, and it blew my mind.  Now, I’m reading Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh, and again — mind blown.  So my theory is that after all the extroverting necessary to make it through the month of December, I am in such desperate need of solitude that my brain shuts down.

I’ve actually struggled with depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder over the years, and January has always been the worst.  But now I’m wondering if it’s been exacerbated by exhaustion.

What does this have to do with knitting?  Now that my brief tangent is over, let me say this:  I usually can’t knit anything more complicated than a garter stitch blanket come New Year’s.  And yet, my goal is to be more faithful and consistent in blogging, designing, and general creativity.


But something has happened, and I am surprising myself.  I’ve been reading Introverts in the Church at just the right time, it seems, to realize that maybe I’m not depressed and brain dead… maybe I’m just tired.  Maybe I just need a break.  Maybe I just need some solitude.

So, I’ve been seeking it out.  And I’m not apologizing for it, either.  I’m carving out breaks, I’m taking naps, and I’m staying home from church.  I have been saying no to just about every new group or outing that comes up, except the ones that will recharge me.  And it’s working!  In mid-January, my brain is switching back on, and it’s not even spring time yet.

This is unprecedented.

I’m even doing a little designing of my own again.  And I spent the afternoon knitting and taking an online class about spreadsheets & knitting pattern sizing.  (From Craftsy.  It’s awesome.)

I think I’ll keep up this pattern of [enjoy life, take a nap], repeat.

What do you do to survive the winter blahs?



For the curious, here is the class I’m taking:

Online Knitting Class



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Diving into Craftsy

I’ve just signed up for a Craftsy class!  I noticed that they’re having a sale this weekend for Black Friday, where you can sign up for courses for half price.  (Thanks, Twitter!)  So, I followed the link to see what they offered.

Well, what do you know?  They had a class that looked like it would answer some of my questions.  I’d love to start designing sweaters, but I was feeling under qualified.  I don’t want to design garments that won’t fit everyone, but how could I possibly test knit every single sweater size before publishing a pattern?  As much as I love knitting, I don’t have the time or the yarn budget.  But I also refuse to publish patterns that I’m not proud of.

Amazingly, there’s a class currently being offered called Sizing Knitwear Patterns.  How perfect is that?!?  So, I signed up.

There are lots of other interesting knitting classes being offered, as well.  As far as I can tell, all of them are online video courses, in which you can ask the instructor as many questions as you want.  Your video links never expire, so you can take your time watching them.  There are discussion forums for your class.  You can even make video notes.

(I’m not sure what that means yet, but I’ll find out soon.  I think it means I can bookmark bits of video that I want to go back to later and make notes about them.  Sounds neat, eh?)

While I was there, I figured I’d also look into the Craftsy Affiliate Program.  Now that aknitica is self hosted, I can add links to sites I find useful in my knitting life so I can share them with everyone.  As a happy bonus, I get a bit of commission from them occasionally, which should help fund my yarn sample purchases and website fees.  It turns out that Craftsy has a really incredible user-friendly program for affiliates.  (You’ll notice I have some banner ads at the side and bottom of the site now.  I added the ones I found most interesting, although right now, they’re all in their Holiday mode!)  If you have your own website, you can Join Craftsy’s Affiliate Program Today too, if you like.

I was surprised to get an added bonus from them when I got my approval email.  I get to sign up for one of their classes, for free!  haha

But I think what I’ll do is sign up for the Sizing Knitwear Patterns‘ sister course, the Pattern Writing for Knitters Online Knitting Class.  Maybe it will help me take my patterns to a whole new level of awesomeness.  That’s always a good thing.

And here’s another one that would be perfect for my Knitting Guild, since our annual knitting challenge’s theme is shawls this year.  There’s actually a Knit Shawls Class that promises to help you master lace techniques.  Darn it, now I wish I could take it, too.  Too much to do, too little time.  I so completely love taking knitting classes.

Online Knitting Class

Now, to carve out some quiet minutes to watch my videos.   In a house full of homeschooled children.  It’s a good thing there’s no time limit!  (And hey, maybe they’ll learn something.  Mwahaha….)

Have you every taken an online class?  How did it go?

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[box]Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. But I only talk about things that actually interest me, that I hope could benefit my readers, as well.  Regardless of whether or not I make money from them.[/box]