Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: New Directions in Lace - Hats

It's been a while since I've written a review of a Craftsy class; to be honest, it's been a while since I've logged in and watched any of the 17 (!) classes I'm registered for! However, when I was offered the change to review a new class by Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley of Kelbourne Woolens, I couldn't say no. I'm a huge fan of their patterns, of which I have purchased and knit several, plus I own both of their books, Vintage Modern Knits and November Knits, and I'm pretty obsessed with The Fibre Company yarns, which Kelbourne Woolens distributes. Calling me a fan girl is probably putting it mildly.

My Spiral Lace Hat
Their new class is called New Directions in Lace: Hats, and it includes 3 great patterns:
  • Spiral Lace Hat - a bottom-up basic lace hat that is super-easy and fast to knit
  • Medallion Crown Hat - a top-down hat wit ha more intricate lace chart
  • True Lace hat - a bottom-up lace hat which includes patterning on every round
Even for experienced knitters, there are plenty of new and useful tips and tricks to be gleaned from the 7 concise lessons (the total course length clocks in just shy of 3 hours). My personal favorite was an awesome trick for guesstimating enough yarn to do a long-tail cast on near the beginning of the class. I have been successfully using it non-stop ever since! Another interesting lesson demonstrated an invisible cast on for the top-down hat which I admit I am still in the process of mastering. 
My True Lace Hat (Still Drying!)

In particular, the charts are really well explained - not just what you do, but the how and the why. There is a thoroughness in general to the patterns, which include written instructions plus charts. In one instance, there are a few different versions of the same chart to demonstrate a few different approaches to both making and reading charts. They also cover how to modify lace patterns to suit your own taste. I found the instructions on how to use the gauge swatch to modify even the more difficult patterns to be very helpful.

The course closes with a really good discussion about finishing your projects: weaving in ends (and how to hide those ends), fixing the float from joining to knit in the round, and blocking in general were covered in great detail.

I would definitely recommend this course for intermediate and advanced knitters who are looking to refine their lace knitting skills and pick up new ones along the way!

Click here to register for New Directions in Lace: Hats on!

You may like to know: I was given a free course in exchange for this review; I am also a Craftsy affiliate and your course registration using my affiliate links help to power this blog. 

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