Category Archives: Knitting Books

Capitoline

Welcome to the next in my Dovestone Hills patterns; Capitoline (view on ravelry here). Remember that today is the last day that you can use the coupon code DOVESTONE (either free euro shipping or 20% ravelry sale).

This sweater is knit completely from side to side. You begin at one side of the front, casting on all of the stitches for the complete yoke and body. From there you work from side-to-side, working short rows at the yoke so that the yoke is the correct size.

When you reach the sleeves you cast on the sleeves stitches provisionally, work the bottom of the sleeve then the sleeve and yoke are worked together. When the sleeve is finished you graft the start and end of the sleeve together for an invisible seam. For anyone who hates grafting a standard seam will work just fine as well!

When the sleeve is finished we go back and work the side of the body under the sleeve. this is worked using a simple lace stitch with short rows to create an a-line shape at the side of the body.

Now we make our way around the back of the body, again with short row yoke shaping. We work the second sleeve the same way as the first and finally we finish at the other side of the front. And magic, you’ve got a cardigan :-)

Caelius

The Caelius sweater from Dovestone Hills, travelled a lot with me; it started on the plane ride to Denver…then it made it to TNNA in Phoenix (being knit on the show floor) and finally it came home to Ireland.

I wanted this sweater to be a nice fast knit that was super wearable. It’s got a few key features that I love in an everyday sweater; a warm, easy to wear neckline, a long body with enough room that I can wear layers underneath but enough shape that it was flattering to wear.

The sweater begins with the neckline, you can knit it for as long or short as you like. It’s allowed to fold down into a cowl shape.

The yoke is shaped using raglan shoulder shaping that is worked on either side of double yarnover seam lines. These yarnovers continue into the body where the a-line shaping happens between them.

All the edges are designed to be allowed to casually roll so it ‘s easy to modify for your own length, adding or removing length for the sleeves and body.

I’m actually knitting a version for myself in green (Chevin) and grey (Coal) and I think I might add a little length for a super long body….if I ever get knitting time for me again!

Aventine

Aventine

Let’s take a look at the first pattern from Dovestone Hills, Aventine. This pattern idea started as a gift. Blue Moon Fibers sent me yarn a couple of years ago, a worsted weight ‘Worthy’ . This yarn in the heavier weight wasn’t made as a commercial yarn so I couldn’t use it for a published pattern. It was so wonderfully soft though that I thought it’d be beautiful to make a gift for my mother who adores green.

I began playing with ideas; I never like doing things the ordinary way (top down simple shawl!) so I began this from the bottom. I started with a standard shawl tab, with standard triangular shawl increases at the center and sides. But then when each diagonal of the shawl was as long as I wanted I separated them. From there I began knitting each shawl side separately; first straight and then angled to decrease. I also added a few buttonholes at the very end to allow the shawl to be wrapped around the front and buttoned at the back. (A common complaint of mine with shawls – it’s hard to hold them in place!).

Just because this shawl is buttoned though doesn’t stop you from using it as a standard wrap or scarf, its happy to do whatever you ask :-)

Baa Ram Ewe knit the second version in Dovestone that was a perfect match for my wrap!

Dovestone Hills

The time has come to share my Baa Ram Ewe collaboration with you – last August they told me about a brand new yarn, Dovestone DK, that they were producing and asking if I’d like to do a pattern collection to go with it. Needless to say I jumped at the chance; a great company plus a wonderful new woolly Yorkshire yarn. What’s not to like?
I wasn’t disappointed, I had so much fun with the yarn; it’s bouncy and rustic but not rough. The official yarn launch is in August (come book your place for the launch and my class!) but the yarn can be pre-ordered already.

So I welcome you to Dovestone Hills.

Dovestone Knits

There are 3 different ways to purchase. Plus a few early bird discounts for you special people!

If you want digital only you can purchase in Euro. With code DOVESTONE get 20% off. add to cart
For dollar purchases of the digital/print package get 20% off book cost also with DOVESTONE. add to cart

If you want a signed copy (with a digital code also) you can buy in Euro directly from me here. With code DOVESTONE you’ll have free shipping.

Note: These codes are valid until the end of July only.

I’ve recently joined (well actually started using!) Instagram and it’s a lovely way to start sharing a new project. You can find me here as feller.carol.
Over the coming days I’m going to share each of the projects individually with you but for now here’s a glance at all 7 in one go.

Review: Beaded Lace Knitting

I’ve been send a new book, Beaded Lace Knitting by Anniken Allis to review. (The book is also available in Amazon in the US and UK). Anniken is one of the most prolific (she had nearly 400 patterns!) current designers out there, originally from Norway she now lives in the UK. While Anniken has a wide ranging design style she is best know for her lace knitting especially her shawls. So it does seem fitting that her first book is on lace knitting.

Digging into the book the first part that struck me was the clear and very extensive technique section. Its all illustrated with photos and it contains several cast-ons and bind offs including Provisional Cast-On, Invisible Cast-On, multiple circular cast-ons, Russian Bind-Off and sewn Bind-Off. Basically if you want to improve your lace knitting skills there should be enough in the book to give you a good boost.

In addition to this each of the projects has a skill rating, with the skill level moving from 1 to 3 through the book. These move from basic lace and beads through to more complex all-over lace with extensive beading. Remember as well though that beads are always optional so most of the knitting in the book can probably be done with or without beads.

Now a quick look at the projects. There are 25 projects in total, ranging from lace shawl and lace garments through to lace accessories. Projects in the book have both charted and written instructions so it’s accessible to a wider audience.

I’ve run through the book picking my favourites from each of the levels, although when I did this I realised that often my choices are determined by colour as much as pattern!

From level 1 I love Alexia. A shallow triangular shawl it’s designed to be easily modified for different yarn amounts. It’s worked in 2 halves so all you need to do is weigh  your yarn before you start and then work half to the widest point and the other half to the end.

Alexia

From Level 2, Helena I think is just beautiful. Worked from the centre out, I love the swirling central lace motif. The edge is finished with a knitted on beaded edging. It would take a while but I think it’s pretty enough to justify the hours worked on it :-)

Finally for level 3; Josephine. This pattern is a delicate crescent shaped shawl worked from the bottom up. It’s got lace worked on both the right and wrong side row along the bottom as well as beading. The body of the shawl uses decreases and short rows to create the crescent shape.

Josephine

Now for the giveaway! Post your favourite project in the comments below and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday (28th June) to send a copy of the book to. I’m afraid that the publisher will only send to the US though, so only US postal address :-(

Kate Oates ‘Knits for Boys’

As I watch Kate’s family of boys grow I’ve been amazed at how much she’s been able to do while they were still all so small. Her family has had such a big influence on her design career; with a large number of her designs for little boys I wanted to pick her brain about knitting for boys. My own 4 fall in and out of love with knitwear as their personal tastes and style change and I wanted to get her perspective on knitting for boys.

Her newest book ‘Knits for Boys, 27 Patterns for Little Men + Grow-with-Me Tips & Tricks’ is beautifully laid out, the tutorials are clear and easy to follow, a new-to-me method of installing a zip was included. The first chapter also has tips on knitting for children, how to allow for growth. The patterns come in a range of sizes from ages 4-12 with a big variety of styles.

Caden Vest

Caden Vest

I think that the Caden Vest is my personal favorite but my youngest I think would go for the T. Rex Graphic Pullover!

T-Rex Graphic Pullover

So now for a few questions for Kate:

1.     What is your own experience of sizing for children? How much extra growing room do you include for your children? Any tips to ensure that they don’t just look over-sized?

This is sort of the basis for the Grow-With-Me section of the book!  I really am not a fan of giant over-sized look so that’s what led me to start exploring and learning about how to get extra wear time but in a better way.  I learned that children tend to grow up much more quickly than they grow out so you’ll be surprised at the bonus longevity you can get out of a garment if you can manage to add some length.

2.     In the 80s the style for children was really wide and short. Fortunately children’s knitting patterns seem to be in more realistic sizes now! With adult garments the amount of ease depends on both the style and personal preference. What amount of ease do you think works well for children’s clothes?

My personal preference is between 2-4 inches and this does depend on the age of the child. A baby’s chest circumference is much smaller than a 10 year old’s…so 2 inches works a lot better proportionally.  If its too huge, it’s hard for them to move.  I lean more towards 3 inches as they get older.

3.     Do your boys get much of a chance to wear the knits in everyday wear? If they do, what do they enjoy wearing every day? When you were designing the book did they have some input (helpful or otherwise!).

Ugh. My kids LOVE wearing handknits.  Unfortunately we kind of have the cobbler’s kids thing going on right now in my household.  You would think they own closets full of knits but sadly, so much of what I knit now goes to trunk shows that they don’t often get new stuff.  This summer though I have decided they are getting some new stuff.  However, for the 1-2 items they do each have, they pretty much wear it at every opportunity.  It’s quite hot where we live most of the year, so that’s one reason why I have designed some knits that work for warmer weather too.  With regards to their input, YES they love giving me direction!  They can be brutally honest about colors or fit.

4.     Somewhat tied to the last question, they go for colors or texture?

Both!  My oldest is more into color and kid number two is extremely tactile and loves a squishy texture pattern. Fortunately for them, I love working both cables and colorwork so I’m happy to do both of these techniques!

5.     In my experience children love comfort in their clothes. Any hint of scratch and they’ll refuse to put it on, even if it’s a badly inserted clothes tag. How do you suggest knitters choose children’s yarn so it’s both comfortable and durable for children?

I totally agree with this. There are so many nice and cozy yarns out there right now, so many options that my kids are pleased with. I was really picky about the yarns I used in the book and highly recommend all of them for wearabilty.  To really get an idea for how the finished project is going to turn out, work up a swatch and wash it the finished piece will be laundered.  Then, see how nice and soft it is!  A lot of yarns will soften up a bit after blocking.

6.     I love your colorwork designs for children, they’re bright and fun and feel like they’re made for living. Do you have some favourite color combinations that you used for this book?

Orange is one of my favorite colors.  I really had fun with the entire Imagination Sweater, using tons of different combos.  I love Navy and Orange and also Purple and Orange (though I admit this could be influenced by my alma mater, Clemson University). The other thing I really like doing is putting unexpected colors together.  I like putting shades of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel together, like blue and green or orange and yellow.  I don’t think it always has to be high contrast.

Imagination Sweater

7.     When knitting sweaters do you have a construction type that works best for kids? Is it easy to modify for different children shapes?

I think a top down raglan is probably the easiest.  It’s easy to add an extra increase just in the sleeves if a child has larger arms or just wants more room there. And it’s also very easy to add length anywhere it is necessary.

8.     You’ve got a great size range for the knits in the book from 4-12 years. You’ve opted to not include smaller sizes, was the baby/toddler sizing range has a different number of design considerations?

This is a great question that I don’t think I have answered yet!  There were definitely design considerations–I find that baby sizes often need to include instructions for buttoned necklines because the head proportion to the body is a bit different. Also in a lot of my super extended size range patterns, there are lots of “baby sizes only” or “child sizes only” instructions that are separated out.  Since the book really was geared to BOY rather than BABY, I chose to keep the instructions more simplified and really focus on the book’s main audience, who I tend to think is underrepresented compared to baby boy.

9.     When knitting the book what design did you enjoy knitting the most? And what one did the kids not want to hand back!!

Oh gosh there are a few of these.  Probably my favorite to knit was the Imagination Sweater.  A friend of mine actually worked up the Jesse Half-Zip sweater sample, otherwise that probably would be up there also.  I love cables. Oh and the Houndstooth Vest, loved that one also.  As for the kids, The T-Rex Graphic Pullover, Imagination Sweater and Jesse Half-Zip are all favorites…they must take after me.  We seem to share favorites!

Ok everyone, now that you’re drooling over all the little boys knits, what would you knit for your son (or daughter?) first? Give your choice in the comments and I’ll pick a winner of the giveaway on Monday 30th March. (US residents only I’m afraid on this giveaway.)

Book review – Toasty

Rachel Coopey has just released a new book, Toasty. This is her third book (previous books are A Knitted Sock Society and Coop Knits Socks).This book is a little different, it’s her first break away from sock books so I wanted to ask her a little about the experience. As Rachel is a wonderful sock designer I was very excited to see what she would do with a different canvas to work on. This book was done in conjunction with Baa Ram Ewe using their locally created yarn, Titus, it’s not a yarn I’ve worked with yet (although they’ve done some beautiful samples of a few of my patterns using it for Akoya, Huevos and Autumn Whispers) so I really wanted to hear what the yarn was like to work with.

toasty

Rachel you’re probably sick of being asked about this but I’m going to go ahead and ask it anyway :-)
Up to this point you have focused primarily on sock design, however in this book ‘Toasty’ there isn’t a sock to be seen. What inspired you to branch out in another direction?

I wear a lot of hats and I wanted to design some!
I really wanted to change direction a little bit for a while, I met Verity from Baa Ram Ewe last year at TNNA (with you!) and I wanted to use their lovely yarn. I think there are similarities in my approach to these designs and my sock designs but it really was nice to expand my horizons a bit!

What did you find challenging about this change of direction?

Balancing the different types of accessories, making sure it wasn’t all hats or all mittens – that isn’t something you have to worry about with a sock book!

aiskew

What did you enjoy about it?

The increased stitch count! When I’m designing socks I’m limited to a much smaller canvas than hats or cowls or scarves. It was nice to do something different, think about things in different ways, a change is as good as a rest!

melmerby

‘Titus’ yarn is used throughout this book. Did you enjoy working on an entire book in a single yarn? Did it give you a chance to explore it in different ways?

I did! The thing i enjoyed the most was that the palette was already in place and it was so well put together and beautiful. Putting colours together can take a long time and a lot of thinking so it was really nice to have that already in place. Working with the same yarn at different gauges is interesting too, it’s definitely something I would like to do again!

northeallerton

Can you tell us a little about what makes Titus special?

It is a lovely yarn! It has the halo from the alpaca, the silkiness from the Wensleydale and the woolliness of the BFL, it’s spun in Yorkshire using British fibre, I think it’s important to support the fibre industry locally.

What is it like to knit with?

Really nice, I like knitting with wool more than any other fibre and this is a wool-lovers yarn! The drape for looser gauges is fantastic and the definition for cables and twisted stitches is great.

In ‘Toasty’ you’ve got some amazing names for the patterns. Where did they come from?

They are names of places around where my mum lived in North Yorkshire when she was growing up, she lived there until she got married and some of my extended family still live there, I have made many trips there over the years. As the yarn comes from Yorkshire I thought I would name the patterns for MY Yorkshire.

Do you have a favourite item in the book, one that suits your personal style?

bedale

I think the Bedale hat is my favourite, it was the first pattern I made a second version of so I could wear it, I made the larger size because I like to wear slouchy hats, thats kind of theme for the hats in this book! They all have more that one size and information on how to make a less (or more) slouchy hat if slouch isn’t your thing!

There is a wide variety of knitting techniques used in this book; several stranded projects, plus a few with cables and lace. Do you have a favourite knitting technique?

I really like working with cables but I think for this book the stranded pieces were my favourites, the colour combinations were so much fun to come up with and yarn works so well in colourwork. I think stranded knitting seems to grow quicker than other techniques, it’s difficult to stop once you see the pattern forming!

Thank you so much Rachel for answering all my questions, I hope the book does really well for you. And now for my favourite, I think it would have to be Ripon, I love the cables and the colour is one of my all time favourites :-)

ripon

Note images shown here are courtesy of Rachel Coopey and Verity Brition.

Stranded Knits

Time seems to be moving very quickly for me and I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one who feels this way! Back in 2011 I taught in London for Knit Nation and my good friend Ann Kingstone took two of my classes; Short rows and Seamless Sweater Construction. She checked with me before the class that I was ok with her being there but I must admit that having a friend and fellow designer in the class was a little intimidating! (Plus by the time I was teaching my last class I had almost lost my voice…)

At that time Ann felt like a sponge, absorbing and thinking about knitting techniques and constructions and figuring out the way she liked to put her garments together. That’s what makes her books interesting; she takes standard construction methods and tweaks them until she is happy with how they fit together. This innovative approach to construction as well as her prolific rate of design over the last year (Stranded Knits, Born & Bred and A Time to Knit) really leaves me in awe of her.

Note: All photos in this post are copyright Verity Britton.

In this blog post I’m taking a look at Ann’s newest book, Stranded Knits, which she has produced in conjunction with Rowan Yarns. As the name would suggest this is a book of stranded knits, 16 designs in total; 8 garments for women, 1 for men and 2 for children as well as 5 smaller projects. The first 47 pages of this book are devoted to techniques; including stranded colourwork, steeking, splicing, increases, short rows, applied I-cord and grafting. These techniques are nicely laid out with big illustrations with easy step-by-step descriptions.

So I decided to dig into the garment construction a little bit to see how Ann’s mind ticks.

I’m primarily going to look at some of her shoulder construction, there are 4 different shoulder constructions used in the book; set-in sleeves, raglan, circular yoke and modified saddle shoulder.

In the seamless class I teach I discuss top down set-in sleeves. The body is worked first, using short rows to slope the shoulders, then when the body is finished sleeve stitches are picked up around the sleeve opening and the sleeve cap is shaped using short rows from the top down.

In the class I discuss a little about how this type of sleeve construction as suggested by Barbara Walker (Knitting From the Top) is an approximation for the standard set-in bell shaped sleeve cap. It works because knitting is inherently flexible and moulds itself to the shape desired.

Rosebud

Ann used this construction method for Rosebud, Skipper and Snowstar. However to create a truer ‘bell curve’ at the armhole she has modified the short rows sleeve shape.

Skipper

From Ann: “I wanted to emulate the curve at the top of a seamed set-in sleeve. In a standard top-down sleeve cap the ‘increase rate’ (ie the rate at which picked up stitches from the armhole are joined in) remains the same throughout the sleeve cap, starting with approximately a third of the armhole stitches and adding one more armhole stitch at the end of each short row. I’ve noticed that this can result in a visible bump in the sleeve cap where the short rows begin. However, in a traditional sleeve cap, ie one that is worked flat from the cuff up, towards the top of the sleeve cap the decrease rate increases, creating a gentle transition between the more steeply inclined sleeve cap edges and the final straight edge at the top. To create a similar look when working top-down using short rows, the ‘increase rate’ (the rate at which picked up stitches are worked into the sleeve cap) must be greater in the first few rows. So my sleeve caps begin with approximately a quarter of the armhole stitches (which is close to the number of stitches in the final cast-off of a traditional sleeve), and take in two armhole stitches at the end of each row until the number of stitches in play is approximately equivalent to a third of the total armhole stitches. Then I switch to taking in just 1 armhole stitch at the end of each short row.”

Snowstar

I also personally love using short rows to shape knits; if you want to see this method of sloping shoulders and creating set-in sleeves in action go take a look at my free Craftsy Short Row Class that walks you through it.

As with me Ann also likes to use short rows in her garments:

“I’ve used short rows in some way in most of the garments, for shoulder shaping, scooping front necks, and for top down set-in sleeves.”

Ann has full tutorials for both the ‘wrap and turn method” as well as “Japanese Short Rows”.

In fact I suspect that the Japanese short rows are her favorite as she’s described them being use in most of the book patterns!

The next construction method I’m curious about is Ann’s modified Saddle Shoulder Construction. I first came across this with Elizabeth Zimmermann (Knitting Workshop) and I’ve used it a couple of times in Knockmore and Woodburne. I’ve made some modifications when I’ve used it so that the yoke depth, sleeve size and neck size are all what I want them to be.

The basics of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s construction method are as follows:

You work the body and sleeves from the bottom up to the underarm. Here they are joined in one piece for the yoke, and then every round you’ll decrease each end of the body stitches until the body reaches the width of the shoulder. Next the sleeve stitches are decreased every round until you have 8% of the body stitches for the sleeve. Now finally you begin decreasing the body stitches for 10 more rounds.

The final step works each of the shoulders in turn back and forth using short rows and decreasing/consuming the body stitches until you have only neck stitches and top of saddle stitches remaining.

I think this is a very elegant construction method but I like to tweak it for a few reasons, I want to control the yoke depth by fitting the decrease rounds in the way I want them to fit and I also want to make sure that my saddle shoulder width and depth are where I want them to be.

Field Study

In Stranded Knits Ann has used this method for Field Study and Sylvia. Both designs are worked from the bottom up and then joined for the yoke. Ann has worked full raglan yoke decreases at the underarm area, first every round and then every other round. Then she works sleeve cap decreases first every round and then every other round. Now finally Ann works the Saddle Shoulder shaping but rather than completing one shoulder at a time she works back and forth on each side within the round.

Sylvia

From Ann: “In Elizabeth Zimmermann’s saddle method (which is a bottom-up method) for half the width of the shoulder the body and saddle shoulders are worked together with decreases ‘eating up’ body stitches as you go. Worked this way each row adds height to the body so that the shoulder slopes upwards. Then for the second half of the shoulder width each shoulder is worked separately, still eating body stitches, but without otherwise working across the front and back stitches. Thus the second half of the shoulder width is flat – it does not slope upwards.

In a bottom-up ‘contiguous’ shoulder the body stitches are worked in every row throughout, with body stitches decreased in every row throughout. There is one row of shoulder width for every row in the body. This adds a lot of height to the shoulder, creating a more steeply inclined shoulder than is usual in sweaters with set-in sleeves.

My method adds three rows to the shoulder for every row in the body, so covering the shoulder width with far fewer rows added to the body. After working each saddle you turn and purl back across the saddle, then turn and knit back across it again before continuing across the body stitches. Decreases eat a body stitch at the beginning and end of the first pass across the saddle, then at the end of each of the ensuing two passes across it. Thus each full row (including six shoulder rows – three at each shoulder) eats 8 body stitches in total. This creates a much more standard shoulder slope than either the Elizabeth Zimmermann or the contiguous method. The slope is continuous across the full width of the shoulder, yet has a gentle incline.

I’ve referred to it as a sort of ‘hybrid’ of the contiguous method and the Elizabeth Zimmermann method because it uses a saddle (like EZ), but has a continuous slope (like contiguous).

I’ve worked this method bottom-up in Field Study and Sylvia, but the method can be adapted for working top-down by working increases instead of decreases next to the saddle.”

I’m always curious about designers choices so I wanted to find out from Ann why she wanted to combine and modify these two methods:

“I’ve seen many comments from knitters on Ravelry saying that sweaters with a set-in sleeve construction suit their body type much better than raglan constructions. I believe this partly relates to the steep level of incline in a raglan construction. The contiguous shoulder is essentially an adaptation of a raglan shoulder construction, with an increase rate (top-down) or decrease rate (bottom up) of 8 stitches every 2 rounds. So it replicates one of the problems that irks knitters who dislike raglan constructions. I wanted to create a seamless sweater construction that more truly reflects the shoulder slope in a traditional set-in sleeve sweater – a continuous shoulder slope with a gentle incline. The Elizabeth Zimmermann saddle shoulder method isn’t continuous, and contiguous shoulders are too steep.”

Just in case you have forgotten that this book’s primary topic is colourwork rather than garment construction:

“The primary motivation for creating a better seamless shoulder construction was to do as little purled colourwork as possible in sweaters with set-in sleeves. I needed a method that I could combine with a simultaneous set-in sleeve for sweaters with colourwork sleeves. I used top-down short row sleevecap method in the set-in sleeve sweaters that only have colourwork in the body (Snowstar, Skipper, and Rosebud).

Purled colourwork is very difficult for all kinds of reasons! :o)”

So in conclusion, I want to thank Ann for thinking and unventing for all of our benefits!

To get your hands on the book:

In the UK Stranded Knits  costs £17.50 – look for ISBN i978-0-9569405-6-8

Stranded Knits is available from Rowan stockists, which will also include US Rowan stockists by the end of the month.

Book is available for purchase online from McA Direct.

Knit Notes

Last week this pretty arrived in the post…

(Disclaimer: This journal was sent to me for review purposes by the publisher)

It is called Knit Notes Journal and is designed for knitwear designers to keep details of their projects in.  I do think it would make a great journal for any knitters also who tend to make a lot of modifications to patterns, this would be a good place to keep all those details in one place.

As a designer I often find myself sketching and calculating on any available paper.  If that happens to be in the car I’ll grab envelopes and waste paper or anything I can find.  That works fine until I try to find those notes when I’m writing up the pattern!  I think that keeping this journal in my handbag might be a lifesaver.  There are pages for swatches/notes/charts:

Extra pages at the end if you need larger graph paper

And even some standard measurement charts for designing on the go.

My only problem is that the journal is so pretty that I’m almost afraid to actually begin writing in it!  Pattern writing has a tendency to be messy so it will very quickly have a ‘lived in’ look.

Artemisia Sweater blog tour

A few months ago Mercedes launched a new Craftsy class, designed as a KAL for her Artemisia sweater. The sweater immediately caught my eye, it’s got great lines and lovely delicate details. When she was looking for stops on her class blog tour I volunteered and asked if she’d write a little bit about her class so here she is:

This summer, Craftsy.com, an online learning platform, asked me to teach a knitalong class with one of my original sweater designs. Craftsy is an online learning community that hosts expert instructors teaching fun, innovative classes. I filmed a series of short videos over the course of 3 days, which were edited into easy-to-access lessons that my students can stream anytime. You can fit in your learning time on your schedule, and once you enroll in the class, you always have access, your enrollment never expires! The site has cool features such as a personal notes section, where you can take notes on the class and your project, and 30 second replay, so you can watch my hands on instruction on repeat until it clicks with you.

I designed a class that would have fun new techniques to try, but not be too overwhelming for a newer knitter. The Seamless Artemisia Sweater class is now going strong, with more than 2,000 students knitting away on their sweater projects. Craftsy is an excellent, cost-effective way to learn new skills and meet other crafters, while getting expert help on your project. Many of you may be familiar with the Craftsy learning platform if you’ve taken Carol’s Celtic Cables or short row classes! I answer students individually several times a week, often every day, helping them as they get stuck, have questions, or want advice. Many times, they just check in to let me know how they’re doing, since the videos are designed to be as thorough as possible.

I love interacting with my students in the class space online. It’s been much more like teaching in a real life classroom than I would have thought! Whenever students have questions while watching the video content, they can bookmark that spot to ask me a question, sort of like getting my attention during a troublesome spot in class. Then I can answer the student’s question individually, and like a real classroom, other students can read the answer, so they can benefit from it, too. If a student has a question about their sweater in progress, I can have them upload a photo to the class space so that I can “diagnose” the trouble, and then advise them how to fix it, or make a change. Once they’ve completed their projects at their own pace, they can post photos to the projects section to show off their great work to the group!

Like Carol, I love to design flattering, feminine sweaters. Artemisia is a relaxed fit sweater, designed with a leaf lace panel, set-in, top-down sleeves, seamless construction and hourglass shaping, and knit-in pockets. Many students are modifying their projects to alter sleeve length and detailing, changing shaping for a custom fit, and modifying the length and pockets. What could seem like an intimidating sweater project is broken down into baby steps with lots of guidance and wiggle room, so my students have been able to approach the sweater one technique at a time. You’ll be able to watch and knit from cast on to finishing, right along with me and your fellow students!

I’d love to see you in The Seamless Artemisia Sweater class! Sign up today for discounted enrollment.