My friend Linda Permann of Lindamade, Crochet Adorned, and Little Crochet fame, among many other things (remember Adorn magazine?) invited me to take her online Crochet Embellishments class at craftsy.com and let you all know what I think of it.
Well, first let me say, hooray Linda!! I was so thrilled to get her invitation, that I pretty much blew off everything I had to do that night and watched the first several lessons.
Next let me also say that I haven’t yet finished the class. I was away for a few days, and the hotel internet was spotty when it came to watching videos. I eventually gave up and started a project from Crochet Adorned (which I will show you soon). I will finish the class for sure, but I didn’t want to wait to tell you about it.
Over the years I have learned that when it comes to any kind of needlework, I am a very visual learner. Try as I might, I just can’t pick up the nuances of stitching from books. So this video class has been perfect for me.
The class is really geared towards people who have at least a small amount of crochet experience, but I have had no problem keeping up. The class starts off with a review of the basic stitches: chain, single crochet, half double crochet, and double crochet. I found the instructions very clear, and it was easy to duplicate the stitches after watching Linda demonstrate them.
I had some difficulty when it came to crocheting into the foundation chain. I tried a few times, ended up with a tangled mess, and then put it aside for a while to watch the next few lessons. That turned out to be a good idea.
If there was one thing I learned from watching Linda apply decorative edgings to a fleece blanket, a pillowcase, or a hand towel, it’s that crocheting isn’t too difficult when you are crocheting into big, regularly-spaced holes. That foundation chain difficulty I had was probably due to the fact that I didn’t make a particularly even chain to start with, and wasn’t familiar enough with the stitches to know what it was supposed to look like, or where my hook was supposed to go. The edgings, although I didn’t try any of them, looked so much easier to me.
So I made the decision not to worry about crocheting into chains for the time being. After all, my main motivation for taking this class was to be able to finish off Granny’s squares. I was more interested in motifs than in making a solid fabric.
The next lesson was for an embellished cardigan, and that was the one that spurred me into action. I watched it in its entirety, turned off the computer, and then tried my hand at a multi-colored flower. Not bad for a first try, eh? Very encouraging. I made a bunch more after that, which I’ve already shown you.
The next lesson, which I haven’t finished watching, is for sculptural flowers, aka flower motifs with a 3D element. Following that are crocheted earrings, embellished flip-flops, and leaves. I’ll be all over those as soon as time permits.
The craftsy.com class environment is pretty nifty. I haven’t used it to its full potential at all, but if I wanted to, I could:
- bookmark a particular point in a lesson so that I could easily find it again
- take notes, also tied to a particular point in the lesson
- ask Linda questions, get answers, read other questions/answers
- upload photos of my progress on the projects
- access the lessons forever, whenever I like, at a pace that works for me
I am finding this class to be so empowering. To the point of wondering why I’d waited so long to try this! I do think that crocheting a sweater, for example, is an entirely different monster than crocheting small embellishments, but that’s one reason why I like this class so much. Embellishments, if you already have some needlework experience (or maybe even if you don’t), are pretty easy to grasp, and about as instant-gratification as you can get with a yarn-based project. And there are so many things you can do without ever mastering the ability to crochet a dense fabric.
In a nutshell
Highly recommended, if you enjoy making little decorative thingamabobs
If my math is correct, you get more than five hours of instruction, downloadable pdf class materials including patterns and diagrams, and the interactive classroom features for $60 (currently on sale for $35!). Well worth it, in my book.
[Update: the class has been listed at $14.99 for some time now!]
For more info, or to sign up: Crafty Crochet Embellishments
(Thanks, Linda, for the chance to try this out – I am quite literally hooked!)