Learn Colorwork The No-Stress, No-Fuss, Easy Way

Hey knitters! Read to the end of this post for a special 50% off Craftsy offer just for you! 

The affordable, no-futz, no-stress, no-tears way to learn colorwork knitting techniques.

Throughout my long and uneventful storied knitting lifespan, I have, with the exception of a single man-hat that incorporated very simple stripes in the most boring way possible (with color jogs at the joins, no less), never knit a project that required more than colorway. I just haven’t. It hasn’t been my way.

I have always picked one single yarn in one single color and knit my project. It’s worked for me. I’ve never been bored, I’ve liked how (most) of my projects have turned out, and it hasn’t stressed me out.

More and more often, I come upon a pattern that catches my eye and (gasp!) requires more than one colorway. Sometimes it’s socks. Sometime’s it’s a toddler sweater that I really want to knit for Reed. Sometimes it’s a project that grabs me on Pinterest, where I confess to spend an inordinate amount of time these days.

Lucky for me, this one time, the Universe aligned and everything fell into place. This may never happen again in my lifetime.

I will sum it up in one word: Craftsy.

I feel Pretty Darn Good about formally and officially announcing (trumpets! confetti! kazoos!) my new affiliation with Craftsy. I am not interested in putting my scarce energy into something I don’t fully and completely feel good about supporting. Life is too fleeting to goof around. I will admit, until recently I have been a 100% Ravelry girl. There’s no shame in that, and Ravelry will always be core to my knit-universe. More and more, I see there are so many additional resources available online for knitters, Craftsy among them.

As a new Craftsy affiliate*, I wanted to try out one of their online courses (oodles to choose from). Staying true to my mission for the year, I opted for Colorwork Made Easy with Melissa Leapman (although I almost took one taught by Anne Berk instead).

Learn colorwork the easy way. No stress. No futz.

This was the first time I took an online course of any sort (unless you count the online driving school they make you take after getting a speeding ticket, but we won’t talk about that…).

First, the course was SUBSTANTIAL with nearly two hours of instruction. For less than $20. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Because I live in a rural area and cannot yet stream videos online without a significant expense, I waited to take my class until I was in Civilization where online streaming was possible.

Learn colorwork the easy way. No stress. No futz.

Here’s what I liked about my class:

  • Melissa Leapman’s voice. They world would be a much better if Apple would replace Siri’s voice with Melissa’s. Seriously.
  • It felt pretty fun to be taking a class for the first time in ages. I regretted that I didn’t have a sparkly new notebook and fancy gel pens. And sticky notes.
  • I would say it is more appropriate to say taking a Craftsy class is like taking a course, composed of independent lessons linked through a theme. The course menu (think: syllabus) is organized so you can watch your lessons in order, or, like me, go back and re-watch the ones that convey techniques you most want to master.

Before taking my class (course), I went rooting around my scrap piles and found a bunch of Sublime yarn bits that I knit with quite a bit back in the day when it was well stocked in my LYS. The scraps seemed like they might work together and I hoped (fingers cross) there’s enough to manifest that toddler scarf for Reed that he requested.

I ended up watching the whole class (course) through in one sitting, even though I didn’t mean to. I kind of just got hooked. At first, I just figured I would watch a lesson or two one night…work on my specified swatch. (There’s actually course materials you can download and print…Pretty schwanky, if you ask me!) Then go back and watch another one the following week and work on a different swatch. You can actually download the whole course at once (handy for those of us with spotty video stream options), or you can rewatch specific segments whenever you want. Once you buy the course, it’s yours to watch again and again and again. In case your Netflix queue gets sparse.

I started off with the first lesson…simple striping, although I found the bits on how to carry colors up without have to cut and weave in ends very valuable. But I made the fatal and novice error of working stockinette, so my edges curled. I hate curling edges.

I unraveled and continued onto the second lesson. Slipped stitch colorwork, wising up with a ribbed edge on each side of the scarf. Plus my stripes looked a bit jazzier with the slipped stitch action going on. I was foiled again, and the scarf just curled on the inside edge of the ribbing. This perhaps would have been resolved with blocking, but I didn’t want to risk it.

On my third try, I went with the linen stitch colorwork option, which I was particularly interested in. I love the linen stitch, in part because it predictably does not roll or curl or do anything it is not supposed to do.

Learn colorwork the easy way. No stress. No futz.

I’m liking Reed’s scrappy linen stitch toddler scarf so far. I showed it to him, and he seemed quite pleased. Although he demonstrates an equal level of satisfaction when presented with a box of raisins, so who knows.

This whole experience has helped me realize there are really two aspects of colorwor knitting. One: technique, which the class (course!) I took emphasizes. And, two: good taste. There is definitely an art to selecting colors that will work well together. It’s like getting dressed in the morning, but more complicated (especially if you are like me and frequently go with black on black….very slimming.)

Learn colorwork the easy way. No stress. No futz.

 

I truly got a lot out of my colorwork class, and I would sincerely recommend it to anyone interested in pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, even if I wasn’t an affiliate. I plan on circling back to the stranded colorwork lesson in particular when I clear some space on the knitting agenda to try some new multi-color projects.

All in good time.

Until then, I am so excited to be able to offer you a special limited-time opportunity to take this class at 50% off the standard rate. Just click here for 50% off Colorwork Made Easy. This offer is only good through March 21, 2016, so don’t miss out.

*This means that if you, Dear Reader, are kind enough to make a purchase of one of Crafty’s fabulous classes, kits, or supplies via a link I promote from my site, I will receive a small amount of dinero. Thank you for being you! Knit on!

Joining the Yarn Along with Ginny!

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