Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Craftsy Class Review! Crochet: Beyond Rectangles

I was excited to sign up for Crochet: Beyond Rectangles with Linda Permann so that I could build upon my crochet skills gleaned from Vicki Howell's Crochet Lab and Stacey Trock's Woodland Animals. Now that I've become comfortable with the basics, I'm ready to take things to the next level. Crochet: Beyond Rectangles uses an easy-to-make baby sweater to help students learn how to shape, sew, and read patterns and crochet charts. All of these skills apply to any garment, but the smaller scale of a baby sweater is the perfect way to move beyond scarves and other beginner-type projects without becoming overwhelmed.

This project-based class features 12 video lessons in all. I found the pattern reading section to be quite helpful, as it covered written instructions, abbreviations, stitch diagrams and how to use schematics. For those that are new to the world of yarn, the lesson on choosing yarn and gauge swatching will help you on your way - not only will Linda give you the scoop on the various yarn weights, she'll also show you each type of yarn up-close and personal. My ears certainly perked up once she began to talk about gauge, so if you feel compelled to skip the beginning part of the lesson which reviews the various types of yarn, be sure you don't miss out on the second half. I guarantee you'll learn something new!

The bonus crochet refresher clocks in at just under 40 minutes and covers everything you'll need to brush up on to successfully make this project: how to hold your yarn and hook, chaining, single and double crochet, half double crochet, and finally, working in the round.

Once you've made all of your preparations, it's time to get hooking. The next four lessons will walk students through each piece, covering essential topics such as starting a foundation chain, working evenly while stitching, increasing, decreasing and how to create a neat fabric edge by using a linked stitch as you work. She also demonstrates how to weave in the yarn ends as you join a new ball of yarn, which is a nifty time-saving trick!

In the three remaining lessons, Linda demonstrates how to block each piece to make seaming a breeze later on. Students will also learn her technique to weave in yarn ends invisibly, which is something I've been struggling with in my finished crochet projects. The sewing section was another lesson I paid particular attention to, as I always feel like my finishing skills are lacking. Linda makes everything look so easy, so I'm looking forward to finishing my project and applying what I've learned while viewing this lesson! The course ends with a lesson on edgings and buttons, followed immediately by a short bonus lesson showing how to use surface slipstitch to personalize your project.

Throughout each video lesson, Linda is knowledgeable and engaging, sharing interesting facts, sage advice, personal stories and other helpful tidbits. In addition to the comprehensive video lessons, you'll also have access to the course materials, which are basically the cliff's notes you'll need to jog your memory if you're working on your project while on-the-go. As always, the Craftsy platform provides students with 24/7 access to the video lessons, the ability to interact with the instructor and fellow students by posting questions along the way, and bookmarking information you want to access easily later on with video notes. This is my favorite way to learn at my own pace with one-on-one instruction that is comprehensive, well-edited and the next best thing to taking a class in person!

Ready to take your crochet skills to the next level? Click here to sign up for Crochet: Beyond Rectangles with Linda Permann!

You should also check out Linda's Blog, which is full of awesome crochet inspiration!

No comments:

Post a Comment