Monday, February 18, 2013

Craftsy Class Review: Mittens & Gloves Galore

Click here for 50% off your class registration!
This review is long overdue; I was originally hoping to post it last December, but holiday gift knitting and crocheting took over all of my brain power, and it became my white whale on my blogging to-do list. Honestly, I have to thank my husband for finally getting me back in the class review swing of things - if he hadn't needed a new pair of gloves because his current gloves (knit in 2008, mind you) kept springing holes, I might still be procrastinating.

I've taken several Craftsy classes in the last year, but I still watched the introduction, even though I feel well-versed in all of the bells and whistles the Craftsy platform provides. It's always nice to get to know the instructor (although in this case, I've had the pleasure of getting to know Marly at trade shows and other knitting events), plus she outlines what the class will cover and shows each of the projects that will be made along the way. I'm very excited to learn how to do thrummed mittens!
I give this class 2 thumbs up while wearing one of my class
projects, the Warm in Here thrummed mittens!

After the introduction, Marly shares some of her favorite supplies and products that aid in successful mitten-making, then then moves on to discussing measurements and sizing in great detail - for example, taking fingernail length into consideration when choosing what type and size of mittens or gloves to make.

The first project covered is the 5 in 1 Adventure, which is a universal pattern written for worsted-weight yarn with five styles to choose from: fingerless mitts, mittesn, convertible fingerless mittens, fingerless gloves, and gloves.  It's also sized from children's sizes to adult men's sizes, making it the perfect go-to for quick gifts or knitting emergencies. I made Tyler's gloves in under a week!

Marly shares lots of great tips along the way that beginners will find especially useful; for my friends who are new to the world of knitting and intimidated by working in the round on DPNs, I would wholeheartedly recommend this class because Marly covers everything completely, from cast-on to bind-off. Speaking of which, she demonstrates the long-tail cast on in great detail with Crafty's signature close-up shots to show you exactly what you need to be doing. This is one of my favorite cast-ons because because it provides a nice, stretchy edge for mittens, gloves, and socks. There is also a very cool demo to show you how to cast on stitches to multiple DPNs. Slick!

I think this is the first time I've seen various comments and questions from classmates that have really caught my eye; for example, someone commented w/ instructions to do and "endless tail" long-tail cast-on using both ends of the ball. It sounds pretty crazy, but it certainly would prevent the annoying issue of running out of yarn before you've completed your cast-on, which has happened to me on many occasions. I might have to give that a try!

My Class Project: Faux Fair-Isle Mittens
After finishing all of the options in the 5 in 1 Adventure, Marly kicks it up a notch with the remaining projects and lessons:

  • Lace Arrow Mittswhich demonstrates a few ways to cast on provisonally, pick up stitches, work from a chart and incorporate short rows for a better fit.
  • Tanglewood Cabled Mittswhich demonstrates how to knit in the round with two circular needles, a gusseted thumb, yarnover increases, and how to cable. 
  • Thrummed Mittens, which uses spinning fiber and hand-dyed yarn from Lorna's Laces. Marly demonstrates how to make thrums, then shares her tips for successfully incorporating them into your project.
  • Faux Fair Isle Mittenswhich begins by picking out contrasting colors and discussing gauge with colorwork, then moves on to demonstrate a two-color cast-on, corrugated rib cuff, and reading a fair isle chart.
  • Bonus Lessons: Duplicate Stitch and Adding a lining to Mittens or Gloves.

The overall emphasis of each lesson is trying something new and not being afraid to customize for your personal preference; each lesson also builds on the next, adding new skills to your toolbox. By the end of this class, you'll be a mitten and glove-knitting superstar!

To start your own adventure, click here to sign up for Mittens & Gloves Galore on Craftsy.com for 50% off your course registration. Happy knitting!

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