Tag Archives: craftsy

Expand Your Crochet and Knitting Skills with Craftsy Classes

Every year, I try to boost my own crafting skills by taking classes, reading books, and challenging myself to learn new things. It’s easy to make the same projects over and over, but sometimes that causes us to lose our passion for the crafts that we love.


This post contains affiliate links.

I’m lucky enough to live in New York City, so I have access to many amazing yarn shops, teachers, and events. But not everyone has so many crochet and knitting resources at their fingertips, and even I struggle with finding the time for it all.

Enter Craftsy. In addition to being a marketplace for patterns and crafting supplies, Craftsy also offers an incredible array of online classes in crochet, knitting, sewing, baking, photography, and pretty much every other craft imaginable. You can keep your skills fresh by taking classes on your schedule.

Expand Your #Crochet and #Knitting Skills with Craftsy Classes on Underground CrafterNow, some people may worry about taking classes online, but I’ve taken several Craftsy classes myself, and I’ve even shared class reviews and interviews with several Craftsy instructors before:

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter

My review of Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet, taught by Dora Ohrenstein. Image © Craftsy.

Everything you ever needed to know about tapestry needles and new Seaming Crochet Craftsy class - guest post by Lindsey Stephens on Underground Crafter

Guest post by Lindsey Stephens, teacher of Seaming Crochet. Image © Craftsy.

Interview with Beth Graham, teacher of Fun & Fantastic Textured Crochet Stitches, on the Crochet Guild of America blog.

Interview with Beth Graham, teacher of Fun & Fantastic Textured Crochet Stitches, on the Crochet Guild of America blog.

I have my eye on some other classes, too.

Craftsy

Have you ever wondered what Craftsy classes other people are taking?

Not only have I taken Craftsy classes and enjoyed them, but so have other Underground Crafter readers. Recently, Craftsy shared a list with me of all the classes Underground Crafter readers have bought through my affiliate links, and today I’m sharing that list with you!

Most-Purchased Crochet Classes by Underground Crafter Readers

  1. Quick & Easy Crochet Cowls, taught by Tamara Kelly (read my interview with Tamara here),
  2. Crocheting in the Round: Mix & Match Hats, taught by Stacey Trock (read my interview with Stacey here),
  3. Improve Your Crochet: Essential Techniques, taught by Edie Eckman,
  4. Mastering Foundation Crochet Stitches, taught by Marty Miller,
  5. Save Our Stitches: Fixing Crochet Mistakes, taught by Andi Smith,
  6. Professional Finishing for Perfect Crochet, taught by Linda Permann,
  7. Crochet: Beyond Rectangles, taught by Linda Permann,
  8. See It, Crochet It: Reading Diagrams, taught by Charles Voth (read my interview with Charles here), and
  9. Crochet Mittens & Fingerless Gloves, taught by Brenda K.B. Anderson.

Most-Purchased Knitting Classes by Underground Crafter Readers

  1. Stranded Colorwork: The Basics and Beyond, taught by Sunne Meyer,
  2. Estonian Lace Explained, taught by Nancy Bush,
  3. Knit This: Mastering Lace Shawls, taught by Laura Nelkin,
  4. Knitting with Beads, taught by Laura Nelkin,
  5. Lace From the Inside Out: Advancing Lace Techniques, taught by Laura Nelkin,
  6. Improve Your Knitting: Alternative Methods and Styles , taught by Patty Lyons,
  7. Explorations in Cables, taught by Patty Lyons,
  8. Lace Knitting: Basics and Beyond, taught by Eunny Jang,
  9. Knit Lab: In the Round, taught by Stefanie Japel,
  10. Essential Techniques Every Knitter Should Know, taught by Sally Melville,
  11. Color Patterning With Hand-Dyed Yarns, taught by Laura Bryant,
  12. Twined Knitting, taught by Beth Brown Reinsel,
  13. Knit Original Toe-Up Socks, taught by Donna Druchunas,
  14. Next Steps in Fair Isle: Mittens & Hat, taught by Donna Druchunas,
  15. Celtic Cables, taught by Carol Feller,
  16. Essential Short Row Techniques, taught by Carol Feller,
  17. Perfect Knits Every Time: Understanding Knitting Patterns, taught by Kate Atherley,
  18. My First Infinity Scarf, taught by Vicki Square,
  19. My First Sweater, taught by Amy Ross,
  20. Mittens and Gloves Galore, taught by Marly Bird, and
  21. Knit Faster with Portugese Knitting, taught by Andrea Wong.

And, since I said I wanted to do more sewing in 2016,

Most-Purchased Sewing Classes by Underground Crafter Readers

  1. Building Better Bags: Interfacing & Structure, taught by Sara Lawson,
  2. Serger Solutions: Troubleshooting Techniques, taught by Sara Snuggerud,
  3. Zip It Up: Easy Techniques for Zippered Bags, taught by Joan Hawley,
  4. Sewing Designer Details with Simplicty, taught by Joy Macdonell.

What Craftsy classes have you taken? Which ones are on your wish list?

Interview with crochet designer, Maria Isabel, and free crochet pattern roundup

Interview with #crochet designer, Maria Isabel from Chabe Patterns and crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter #HispanicHeritageMonth #HHMI’m sharing the fifth interview in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month series with Maria Isabel from Chabe Patterns (formerly ChabeGS). Maria Isabel is a Mexican crochet designer. I’ll also be including a roundup of my 5 favorite free crochet patterns from her collection!

This post contains affiliate links.

Maria can be found online on her website and blog, as well as on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter. All images are used with permission and are copyright Chabe Patterns.

Interview with #crochet designer, Maria Isabel from Chabe Patterns and crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter #HispanicHeritageMonth #HHMUnderground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?

Maria Isabel: I learned as a young girl, around 13-14 years old, I don’t remember exactly. My mom loves crafts and she always shared that joy with my sister and I, so before crocheting I took painting, ceramics and fabric doll making lessons among others. I saw her knitting or crocheting since being little but I guess my hands were not prepared, I just couldn’t get the hang of it. So, as a teenager when I finally learned it was a big accomplishment for me.

Mille Colori Cowl, free crochet pattern by Maria Isabel, in English, Spanish, and with photo tutorial.

Mille Colori Cowl, free crochet pattern by Maria Isabel, in English, Spanish, and with photo tutorial.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Maria Isabel: As I took crochet and knitting more seriously, I started buying books and magazines and realized there were people around the world that actually worked as knit/crochet designers. I had made some designs of my own and shared with family or friends but never had published or done it as a more formal occupation. The possibility of becoming one of those designers and sharing my ideas with more people inspired me to take this craft to the next level.

ILC October 2015 squareUC: Although you have a lot of variety in your patterns, you definitely have a lot of bags. What do you enjoy about designing bags?

Maria Isabel: I love bags, they are so useful and fashionable at the same time. I see them as a great canvas for simple crochet stitches and experimenting with different materials and techniques. I also like they can be more flexible in terms of sizing because it’s not an actual garment that requires a very specific fitting.

Bracelet with Chain, free crochet pattern with photo tutorial in English and Spanish by Maria Isabel.

Bracelet with Chain, free crochet pattern with photo tutorial in English and Spanish by Maria Isabel.

UC: Your designs are entirely self-published. What do you enjoy about the self-publishing process?

Maria Isabel: The fact that I can showcase my work without waiting for anyone to do it for me is great. I enjoy having direct contact with customers and followers and I constantly learn about digital platforms so it also keeps me busy and updated. 

CraftsyUC: All of your patterns are available in both English and Spanish. What do you see as the challenges and benefits of writing bilingual patterns?

Maria Isabel: The main benefit is that I can reach a wider audience. I can speak my own language with people form Latin America and Spain but also reach people from Russia, Indonesia, Italy,  Australia, UK, USA, etc. The main challenge is to communicate as clear as possible in both languages, choosing the right words for an instruction, even when I’m writing in Spanish can take some time.

Flower Necklace, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish by Maria Isabel. Including a photo tutorial for assembly.

Flower Necklace, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish by Maria Isabel. Including a photo tutorial for assembly.

UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

Maria Isabel: I think nature, people and fashion are my three main sources. For example, my Leaves Backpack was inspired by autumn colors and a friend with two small kids. Once I saw her using a pretty and feminine bag that let her two hands free to hold her children. I thought it would be nice to design one in crochet.
UC: What was the crochet scene like in Mexico when you were growing up?

Maria Isabel: Well, I think it was a bit more traditionalist than today. What I mean is that it was very common to see mothers or grandmothers crocheting but not too many young people, it was somewhat seen as an activity for elders.

Flower Necklace 2, free crochet pattern in English, Spanish, and stitch symbols by Maria Isabel.

Flower Necklace 2, free crochet pattern in English, Spanish, and stitch symbols by Maria Isabel.

UC: How does that compare to the crochet/yarn crafts scene in Mexico today?

Maria Isabel: It has been evolving, I would say mainly because it has been a worldwide trend to bring these crafts to the scene again and make them available and fun for young people as well. I think the real value of crafting has been spread and we can now see more crochet/knit stores, publications, big events and yarn brands in my country.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

Maria Isabel: Sure it does, for example, the designs in which I crochet wrapping thick cords were inspired by the wide basket weaving tradition in Mexico. They are so beautiful and colorful. I had always loved them and the technique just seemed so interesting so when I discovered tapestry crochet I found the perfect way to connect my designs to that influence. 

Chain Necklace, free crochet pattern and photo tutorial in English and Spanish by Maria Isabel.

Chain Necklace, free crochet pattern and photo tutorial in English and Spanish by Maria Isabel.

UC: What is your favorite crochet book in your collection?

Maria Isabel: It’s actually a collection of 10 books my grandma gave me and my mom. It’s a complete craft encyclopedia so there’s full chapters for crochet, knitting, weaving, sewing. It’s from 1979 and it is so full of beautiful projects and tutorials, also a bit of history of each craft.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crochet/crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Interview with #crochet designer, Maria Isabel from Chabe Patterns and crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter #HispanicHeritageMonth #HHM

Dino Backpack, crochet pattern by Maria Isabel, in English and Spanish. For sale on Ravelry.

UC: Tell us about your latest projects.

Maria Isabel: I recently releasing a series of patterns for kids’ backpacks. It’s the first time I’m designing patterns for children and so far it has been so fun and exciting. I still stay within the bags idea but with a more playful approach to colors and shapes. The backpacks display the animal’s texture/print in the main body and include the head to use as a decorative and fun lid. So far, I have released the Giraffe Backpack, the Hippo Backpack, the Dino Backpack, and the Pig Backpack patterns.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Maria Isabel, and sharing your work with us! What’s your favorite pattern by Chabe Patterns? You can find a full listing of her designs on Ravelry.

Guest Post: Lindsey Stephens Tells All About Tapestry Needles and Her New Craftsy Class, Seaming Crochet!

I’m excited to share a guest post today from Lindsey Stephens, the crochet designer and tech editor behind Poetry in Yarn. Lindsey has recently added “Craftsy instructor” to her credentials, so I asked her to share a guest post with us today about finishing.

This post contains affiliate links.

Lindsey can be found online at Poetry in Yarn, as well as on Facebook, G+, Pinterest, Ravelry, Twitter, and YouTube. And, of course, you can find her through her new Craftsy class, Seaming Crochet. I’ve known Lindsey online for several years, and if you’d like to get to know more about her, you may want to read this interview I did with her a few years back. I also interviewed her on my audio podcast for yarn-industry business owners about her time management skills!

All photos are from Lindsey’s Craftsy class and are used with permission.

Guest Post: Lindsey Stephens Tells All About Tapestry Needles and Her New Craftsy Class, Seaming Crochet

Lindsey Stephens on set at Craftsy.

Lindsey Stephens on set at Craftsy.

Hi! *waves to the monitor*

First I want to give a huge thank you to Marie for letting me stop by and mention my new Craftsy class, Seaming Crochet. I’m so excited to be able to teach this class and interact with students in the virtual classroom. My class covers more than 7 types of seaming with variations. Some are sewn seams that are made with a tapestry needle and others are crocheted seams that use a hook. I thought I’d use this opportunity to discuss tapestry needle options and some of my favorites.

ILC October 2015 squareMaterial

Today you can find tapestry needles made out of everything from plastic to metal and even wood. I’ve seen some lovely handcrafted wooden needles at fairs and craft shows. They tend to be a bit larger- the kind you would use for worsted or bulky yarn. Most of the tapestry needles I own are either plastic or metal. I own A LOT. Tapestry needles are kind of like socks in my house and tend to go missing on a regular basis. I like the metal needles best as they stick to magnets in my tool tins and are slightly less likely to disappear.

From Seaming Crochet by Lindsey Stephens

Tips

Tapestry needles with bent tips have become really popular lately among knitters. They are great for when you have to lift up a strand to get underneath for duplicate stitch in knitting. For crochet though, I prefer your standard straight tip. This way I can run my needle straight through several stitches in one shot (useful for weaving in ends and certain seaming techniques). Oh, and what else is special about ALL tapestry needle tips? They should be blunt. This way you can seam without splitting the yarn or catching the wrong strands like you would on a pointy tip. Keep your sharp needles for sewing, not seaming.

CraftsySizes

Tapestry needles come in all different sizes, though the labeling on packaging can sometimes make it tough to tell what you’re getting. Since they are relatively inexpensive, I recommend just picking up a variety at the store so you’ll be prepared for anything. One of the reasons I love my Clover Chibi is because it comes with 3 different sizes of tapestry needle.

Everything you ever needed to know about tapestry needles and new Seaming Crochet Craftsy class - guest post by Lindsey Stephens on Underground Crafter

It’s a lot to think about with just tapestry needles, which is a bit ironic as most of us don’t typically think that there’s a lot to seaming. I think that’s partially because of our experience with written patterns. If you’ve ever crocheted from a pattern, you probably aren’t surprised to find 4 pages of crocheting instructions but only one mention of seaming. It’s usually at the end of the pattern and something along the lines of “seam pieces together.” Some patterns may get really fancy and actually specify the order to seam the pieces together or maybe say to use a whip stitch or to slip stitch the pieces together. Still, I think the lack of page space makes it seem like there isn’t all that much to seaming together crocheted fabric.

Interweave StoreThe truth is there is A LOT to know and consider when it comes to seaming crochet. (It was a struggle to keep my Craftsy class down to the time limits!) There are different methods as well as considerations for color work, Tunisian crochet, and Broomstick. Of all of the seaming methods I cover in my class, I was really happy to be able to share the connect and weave method – this is how I seam crochet lace pieces and hands-down gets me the most compliments on my crochet. Lace work is one of the things people love most about crochet, but a lot of times people use the same seaming techniques that are really meant for solid fabrics. It’s not that those methods don’t work- they just don’t work as well for lace.

Everything you ever needed to know about tapestry needles and new Seaming Crochet Craftsy class - guest post by Lindsey Stephens on Underground CrafterThat’s also why I talk about how to choose the perfect seaming technique for your project. Once you have these seaming techniques in your finishing repertoire, you’re going to have to make decisions. Precisely because most patterns DON’T specify a seaming technique, it’s really up to you. To help with that, I provide a handy chart to help you pick the best technique as well as walking you through the thought process I use to evaluate which seam I want to use. I’ve even had some students ask on the Craftsy platform for my advice on choosing a seam, and I’m always happy to help.

Well, thanks for the visit! You can keep in touch with me in my Ravelry group, through my blog, or online in the Craftsy class.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing seaming tips with us, Lindsey!

Don’t forget to check out Lindsey’s class, Seaming Crochet, on Craftsy. By the way…

Everything you ever needed to know about tapestry needles and new Seaming Crochet Craftsy class - guest post by Lindsey Stephens on Underground Crafter

I recently won a pass to the class, so I’ll be reviewing it here soon!