Online Classes: Our Recommendations

Project by Craftsy user ModNeedlepoint.
Project by Craftsy user ModNeedlepoint.

Someone once told me what is supposedly an old Irish saying: “It kills the craft not to learn it.” I have no idea if the source of the proverb is accurate, but the meaning stuck with me anyway.

As people who knit, weave, spin, or are generally interested in making things by hand, we sometimes forget that what seems like just a fun hobby is in fact something much more important.

By learning to crochet, by teaching a friend how to spin, or by starting a monthly crafting group with friends, we are doing much more than just having fun while making things, we’re ensuring that the crafts we enjoy continue to thrive as their knowledge is passed between people and generations. That’s why you’ll always find us promoting classes, books, and other tools to help you keep learning and exploring.

What will you learn today?
What will you learn today?

It might seem like the decidedly lo-tech fiberarts world would have trouble fitting into the age of hi-tech gadgets, but I find quite the opposite – it’s exciting to see how interest is growing thanks to so many more digital and online resources. One of our favorite online learning outlets is Craftsy.

Many people have probably heard of Craftsy by now, but if you haven’t, it’s definitely time to check it out. Craftsy offers a wide selection of online video crafting classes – from knitting and weaving all the way to gardening and cake decorating – from the best instructors from around the world.

Once you sign up for a class you can watch the lessons at your own pace, from anywhere with an internet connection, as many times as you want. I love this level of accessibility – no matter where you live or how far you are from a local yarn shop, you can still take great classes from quality instructors. And you can take them in the middle of the night while wearing pajamas if you want to! You can become a Craftsy member to browse the course offerings, try out one of their free lessons, or just stay up-to-date on new classes and sale offerings.

Here’s a quick preview of some things Craftsy students have made recently:

From left to right: Craftsy user Nancy Merchant's scarf from the Knit Lab: Fit Your Knits class, Craftsy user Janet Dawson's woven pillow from the Floor Loom Weaving class, and Craftsy user knitwit41's handspun yarn from the Spinning Dyed Fibers class.
From left to right: Craftsy user Athena K’s scarf from the Explorations in Brioche Knitting class, Craftsy user jollyjeanne’s woven pillow from the Floor Loom Weaving class, and Craftsy user knitwit41’s handspun yarn from the Spinning Dyed Fibers class.

Though knitting and crochet are always popular favorites, we especially love how many weaving classes are offered on Craftsy. The rigid-heddle loom has done amazing things for the popularity and accessibility of weaving over the past few years, and Craftsy is hip to the trend. If you’ve ever thought about learning to weave, the Rigid Heddle Weaving class with Angela Tong class is a perfect primer for these awesome little looms.

Click for a video preview of Rigid Heddle Weaving: Beyond the Basics
Expand your rigid heddle knowledge with Deborah Jarchow’s Beyond the Basics class.

For those already using a rigid-heddle loom, we recommend the Rigid Heddle Weaving: Beyond the Basics class taught by Deborah Jarchow. It’s a great source of inspiration and intermediate techniques to take you far beyond basic plain weave. Throughout the nine video lessons in Deborah’s class you’ll learn:

  • Weaving techniques including color and weave, leno, Brooks bouquet, warp pick-up and weft pick-up
  • Selvage management for a clean edge
  • Finishing methods, including how to remove fabric from the loom, fringed and knotted trims and blocking
  • How to add knitted and crocheted trims
  • Design considerations

Best of all? The Rigid Heddle Weaving: Beyond the Basics class is currently on sale for just $29.99! To get more class info, watch a preview video, and sign up, click here.

If you’re looking for even more project inspiration, check out the rigid-heddle kits available on our website – all the yarn you need for some of our favorite patterns pre-measured in a beautiful selection of colors!

However and wherever you find it, we hope you never stop seeking out inspiration and education for your favorite hobbies, and sharing what you know with the next future knitter, weaver, or spinner! And as always, we love to see what you make and would welcome your finished project photos in the show and tell thread in our Ravelry group!

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