Love at first ‘Click’

In keeping with my knitting journey from yesterday, I wanted to tell y’all about my other saving grace, Craftsy! You may not be familiar with this website as it is relatively new. And, if you already know Craftsy, then you know what I’m talking about! I really feel no one can say it better than Craftsy,

We’re Craftsy.
We Learn.
We take online courses together from amazing instructors.
We strive to be better at what we do,
and to learn new techniques we haven’t tried.
We Inspire.
We share our projects and take pride in what we make.
We Help.
We share suggestions,
tips & tricks – helping other Craftsy members complete projects.
We Create.
We Knit.
We Quilt.
We Crochet.
We Make Jewelry.
We Sew.
We Decorate.
We’re Creative.
We’re Unique.

With this amazing website, not only can you take online courses (that your access NEVER expires to), find fellow crafters, find free patterns or pay-for patterns by a designer you may have never found, post your own projects, patterns, etc. While, yes, you do pay for these courses. More often than not, and especially in the case of new members you can get courses for 50% off. Although, when it comes down to it, even if you pay full price ($30-$60), you are getting the knowledge for next to nothing because you have access to it for the rest of your life. No lie.

I was able to get my first course for 50% off. To be honest though, even being half way through, I would have though full price was like stealing! That’s how good these instructors are. I say instructors because these are big names in they’re particular niche. Take Diana Rupp, for instance, her beginners sewing book, SEW: Sew Everything Workshop. This book is solely responsible for getting me sewing. It was the very first sewing book I ever bought, and I still have it. So, as you can see, these aren’t just some random people that don’t know what they’re talking about uploading crappy videos to youtube.

My course that I’m currently (and forever) taking is Knit Lab with Stefanie Japel. With every course at Craftsy, you get a course broken up into several lessons and printable course materials. To give you a good idea of what to expect, with Knit Lab, I have a total of 16 lessons. Their run times go from 4 mins to over an hour, but most are 30 mins. My printable course materials included was 20+ pages. It gives me a table of contents, course overview, pattern for what you will be making with the instructor, two additional patterns, knitting glossary, and list of resources available. She also does include other patterns to try with what you will have learned with this course.

Something very big I want to point out as well is that during every lesson there is a comments/question section right below the video. In that section, if you have any questions for the instructor, Stefanie will actually comment back to you answering your question. And the same goes for the other courses as well. With this course, I’m knitting a lacy keyhole scarf. I’m no where near done, but I would love to show some pictures of what I have done so far. The first part is 60 rows of garter stitch (which means you just keep knitting the same stitch over and over).

And, then my purl ridge section. A ‘purl’ is a stitch in knitting. The funny part is there are actually only two stitches, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Funnier still, the purl stitch is when you simply reverse the knit stitch. So truthfully, every time you ‘knit’ a stitch, if you flip it over you will see a ‘purl’ stitch. If you get into knitting you will hear of “stitches” such as garter stitch (you just keep doing the knit stitch over and over), stockinette stitch (you knit 1 row, you purl the 2nd row, repeat), seed stitch (within the same row you knit 1, purl 1, repeat), basket stitch (when a row consists of a few knit stitches then same number of purl stitches), etc. Once you get the hang of knitting and purling, you can only get faster and better! Here’s a close up the the purl ridge section I’ve done. The ‘purl’ is the little ‘bumps’. If you can see the little ‘v’ shapes that is a knit stitch. Hope all this helps and get over to Craftsy!

Sew keep it up!
Lizzy Marie

Knitting Nixes Anxiety

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have some form of anxiety in our lives. Although, in my case, its full-blown anxiety. Usually, I’m pretty calm and cool, but major stress points in my life have caused MAJOR panic attacks. In the last 3-4 weeks, I really have been put under some serious meltdown scenarios. The husband got a major promotion which is fantastic, but one problem…we have to move from AL to NC. Now that’s not bad because we previously lived in NC and just fell in love. Problem is we had to live in two different states these past 3-4 weeks. As anyone knows, spouses in different states is usually financially straining. So, there’s another problem.

I think what really got to me was in the middle of all this fun was my husband’s birthday which is September 11. Not only was it the 10 year anniversary of a day I will NEVER forget for the rest of my life, but he had to spend it completely alone. That’s pretty crappy, if you ask me. With our meager budget, the hubs already pointed out that yet again, no birthday present. Timing is never in his favor. So, I suddenly got an ‘Einstein moment’ and went “Eureka!” Some of his favorite things are the hand-crocheted hats his grandmother made for him. And it just so happened that in high school, I learned to knit for a short bit. My task became to re-learn to knit, knit a new beanie for him, and it be complete before he saw it (I was taking into account that I would be knitting slower than Christmas.)

With a limited budget, I needed to find some self-teach knitting books. For less than $25, I used the “Used” area on Amazon to purchase these three Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook, The Chicks with Sticks: Guide to Knitting, and The Knitting Answer Book These books provide a huge wealth of knowledge and modern patterns.

From the Stitch ‘N Bitch book, I located an easy beanie pattern that didn’t involve knitting in the round (a more advanced technique.) It was quite nice to notice that the book author was not also the author/designer of the patterns in the book. Almost every pattern had a different designer. The one I went with was by Alex Zorn and called ‘Hot Head’. In this particular pattern, it made a ‘fire-motif’. I knew my husband would not be pleased with that so I used a Michael’s 50% off an item coupon and bought size US 10 1/2 (6.5mm) Clover Takumi Bamboo knitting needles. They ended up only costing $2.10 with the coupon. I will say that I’ve used metal knitting needles in the past, while they make your knitting faster. They scream disaster for a newbie. They’re too slippy-slidey. After using the Clover needles, I really feel that it will be all I ever use. They are lightweight, strong but flexible, your yarn glides only as much as you need it to. So, you don’t end up dropping stitches. Also, I had another coupon for Hobby Lobby for 40% of to buy the yarn. Here’s the yarn I bought. The pattern called for 4 different skeins, but I forgot that it was the lame fire pattern. It really didn’t even take a full on of those skeins to make the large.

Knitting this for my husband made me quickly realize that the more I knit, the less stressed I was. It gave my hands and mind something to concentrate on. Plus, its human nature to enjoy making things with your bare hands. Of course, you’ll want to see the finished product!

Throughout this whole process, I actually came to find out that physicians will actually prescribe knitting for people who have high stress jobs, have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, etc. So, there is actual medical proof that knitting nixes anxiety! Interesting, huh? Now, I can include hand-knitted items into my designs! Exciting!

Lizzy Marie

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