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.


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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?

New Patterns in February 2015 Issue of I Like Crochet!

I’m excited to share two new crochet pattern releases!

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Both are in the February, 2015 issue of I Like Crochet, a relatively new digital crochet magazine that is available for your desktop or iPad. New issues are released every two months.

February2015Cover

My first pattern in the issue is the Scrappy Shells Blanket.

Scrappy Shells Blanket, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter
Image (c) ILikeCrochet.com.

Although you could definitely make a scrappy stashbusting project with this pattern, I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in seven colors for the sample.

Scrappy Shells Blanket, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

I love the way it turned out! As you may have noticed, I love asymmetry, and I’ve included an asymmetrical edging on just one side of the blanket.

Scrappy Shells Blanket, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

My second pattern is the Shimmery Valentine Bangles.

Shimmery Valentine Bangles, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter.
Image (c) ILikeCrochet.com

These are super quick and easy to make and are a fun project for teens. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Glamour in 3 colors to add some bling for my samples.

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One of the things I love about I Like Crochet is how many patterns are included in each issue (more than 30). My favorites from this issue are Nazanin Fard‘s Berry Sherbet Shawl, Beth Graham‘s Scraptastic Log Cabin Blanket, Olivia Kent‘s Cherry Tart Cowl, Patti Notestine‘s Forever in Love Slippers (available in 3 sizes), Dora Ohrenstein‘s Plum Raspberry Pullover (available in 4 sizes), and Suzanne Visch‘s Lime-Trimmed Cardigan (available in 5 infant and toddler sizes).

There’s also a great tutorial for the spike cluster stitch along with a pattern for the Spike Cluster Clutch (also by Dora Ohrenstein).

You can find the table of contents for the February, 2015 issue here. What’s your favorite pattern in the issue?

Review: Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet on Craftsy

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

This post contains affiliate links. Although I’m a Craftsy affiliate, and I earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when you click through the links I share to Craftsy and make a purchase, I paid to take this course and, as always, the review is based entirely on my honest opinions.

This must be Tunisian crochet week on my blog! (Check out my mini interview with Sharon Silverman about her new book, Tunisian Crochet for Baby, here.)

I recently completed Dora Ohrenstein’s Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet class on Craftsy. In the past, I’ve interviewed Dora on my blog here and shared reviews of two of her books, Custom Crocheted Sweaters (review here) and The New Tunisian Crochet (review here). She let me know back in May when the class was first available, but I didn’t have time to sit down and watch it until recently.

The class includes 7 lessons:

Lesson 1: Tunisian Basics (29:32 minutes) provides a refresher of two basic Tunisian crochet stitches (Tunisian knit and Tunisian simple stitches), increasing, decreasing, counting rows, starting a base row, the standard return pass, and the slip stitch bind off. I enjoyed learning more about Dora’s method for decreasing, and actually incorporated the technique into one of my own designs.

The video in this section alternates between close ups and more conversational views of Dora talking.

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter
Dora providing a refresher of basic Tunisian crochet stitches.

Lesson 2: Tunisian Tools (13:43 minutes) includes an overview of different yarns and hooks for Tunisian crochet. Dora emphasizes choosing tools for the best drape. She also talks about gauge and provides some tips for getting the right gauge in this section.

Lesson 3: Measuring for a Perfect Fit (23:12 minutes) applies to any type of handmade garment measuring.

Dora Ohrenstein's Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class reviewed by Underground Crafter
Dora demonstrating proper measurement techniques.

Dora shows the correct way to take measurements from a body, her dress form Claudette, and existing garments. This section is very helpful, especially for those of us that haven’t had a lot of experience with doing measurements and want to create the great fit. You can see Dora wearing the vest project for this class in the picture above. You can buy a kit for the vest here, and the pattern is only available through the class.

Lesson 4: Adjusting the Pattern (23:04 minutes) is a detailed walk through of the pattern. The video in this section usually focuses on the pattern itself, with relevant areas highlighted or enlarged while Dora talks about that component. While this is obviously specifically about the vest pattern, Dora shares a lot of information about fitting, pattern alternations, and understanding schematics that could apply to any pattern you may work with in the future.

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

In Lesson 5: Custom-Fit Calculations: Bust & Shoulder (35:53 minutes) and Lesson 6: Custom Fit Considerations: Waist & Hip (18:40 minutes), Dora goes into further detail about how to customize the pattern to fit your body (or the body of someone you are gifting or selling the finished project to). In these section, she talks about ease, measurements, how to adjust increases, decreases, and stitch counts, and (don’t be afraid, Americans) provides a review of the math necessary. She shows her math equations on screen (as well as the times she counts on her fingers) so that even those who are uncomfortable with math should be able to use these lessons to alter the pattern.

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

In Lesson 7: Finishing Details (35:02), Dora goes over everything required to make your finished vest look “professional” – blocking, seaming, edging, cleaning, and so on.

At $29.99 with just under 3 hours of video, this class is a great value. In addition to the video lessons, the vest pattern, and some additional handouts, you have the opportunity to interact with fellow students and ask Dora questions. Unlike a face-to-face class, you can return to the videos again and again over time.

Although the class is focused on the vest pattern, Dora shares a lot of general information about gauge, fitting, measurements, altering patterns, and finishing that can apply to any project. She has a very calm voice and shares her sense of humor with the class on several occasions.

The only changes I’d like to see in the class are consistent with what I would like to see changed in Craftsy classes in general. I wish they would edit the videos into shorter segments, or break them up with music or visuals more often. Yes, of course, I can pause at any time, but as someone with an increasingly short video attention span (thanks a lot, YouTube!), I found the segments pretty long for watching straight through. I also wish there was more variety in the actual filming. The class basically alternates between watching Dora behind a desk, over the shoulder close ups (of her hands, the pattern being annotated, etc.) and Dora standing to take measurements. I wish there was more variety in backgrounds and use of illustrations or animation. These aren’t deal breakers – as I said, it is consistent with the way Craftsy classes are filmed. They tend to look like public television craft shows filmed on a static set, rather than funky videos you might find elsewhere online.

Overall, I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to go beyond the basics in Tunisian crochet; crocheters who struggle with (or fear) custom fitting, measurements, and the math behind alterations; and fans of Dora’s work who haven’t had a chance to take a class with her. You can sign up for Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet (with Dora Ohrenstein) here!