Baby Sweater Craftsy Class

Blogged under Craft Classes,Craft Classes Online,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 19 June 2013 at 9:02 am

One goal of mine during my summer break was to finish another class, and well, I’m close but I go back too soon to finish the baby sweater project in the Beyond the Rectangle class. I will finish in a few weeks probably, but for whatever reason, I have just been too distracted to really enjoy this class like I though I would. And this has nothing to do with the class. I’m learning a lot about garment construction and crochet in general. I think it is just that I don’t really care about this sweater. I may have someone in mind for it, but there is a good chance he is going to be too big for it by the time I’m done. Plus, even though I’m using cotton yarn, it is summer in Florida. We are already hitting 90 degrees most days. Who wants a sweater?

But, I’m so close to finishing that I have to just put my head down and keep going. I have all the parts finished: 2 sleeves, back, 2 fronts. Next I think we block these, stitch them together, add a trim, and also add buttons and button holes. See what I mean about learning a lot? When I finish this thing, I will have the skills to make me a sweater, so this class is well worth my time. I’m not a huge sweater person; again, um, Florida is not a sweater place, but I have my eye on a few light sweater designs. I have only attempted to make a sweater one time, many, many years ago, and it was a total flop. Once I finish this, I may try again, and at least now, I will have some of the basic skills needed.

Baby Sweater Beginnings

Blogged under Craft Classes,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 22 May 2013 at 5:01 pm

While on my summer school break, I plan to get through a few classes, starting with the “Beyond Rectangles” class. This class is taught by Linda Permann, who just happens to be one of my favorite pattern designers. She is often published in Crochet Today, and I have made a number of her designs.

As the title suggests, this class is supposed to be beyond the basics, so I assumed it was an intermediate level class. In the class, you make a baby cardigan as a way to learn garment construction. Pictured is the back of the sweater, and I just started one of the sleeves. So far, I am enjoying this class. I feel like I have already learned enough to justify the cost ($9.99 during one of the company’s sales). I think Linda is a great teacher too, very calm and a little funny too.

At this point, I am on lesson 6, so I am only about half way through the class. A few things I have not enjoyed about the class is that there was an entire lesson spent on the basics like how to hold a hook and do chain stitch. I skipped that part, and I know I’m not perfect and probably could learn a few tips still if I went back and watched it. However, I want to make the sweater and learn more advanced techniques, not how to do a freakin’ chain stitch. So, yes, that kind of irked me a tad. One other issue I have had so far as well is that the pattern for the sweater is not written in the same order as it is demonstrated. The pattern starts with the left front of the cardigan, but she started us first on the back. She did give a reason for this, which I can’t remember now, but it made sense to me at the time. It is just that I’m now used to reading a pattern, and starting on the second page makes it a little confusing when I go back after setting the sweater down for a little while.

Like I said, though, it is a really good class, and I’m excited to think that after I finish it I will (hopefully) be able to make a sweater for myself!

Craftsy Class Sale on Until 12/24/12

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Saturday 22 December 2012 at 10:52 am

Let me say up front that I have no connection to I’m just a big fan of the site and concept. I have taken the free class about wool and purchased the two amigurumi classes taught by Stacey Trock, both of which I haven’t completed yet but hope to do over my holiday break from school. I have also signed up for just about every free class offered on the site as well.

I have to say that the classes are awesome, and heck, I teach English classes on line (composition and technical communications), so I think I have a little knowledge when it comes to web classes. I have even made a lot of videos for my own classes, and the classes are all video based with the inclusion of printed materials lists and patterns/instructions. This provides a mix of text based and visual information, which for a craft class is really important. In addition, each paid for class includes an option to post questions for the instructor, comment on a message board with other students, post your projects and see projects of other students, and make your own notes.

I’m babbling about Craftsy today because there is a 75% off sale going on now until 12/25/12, and yes, I caved and signed up for two more classes: Spindling: From Fluff to Stuff and Crochet: Beyond Rectangles. Now that I have paid for four classes, I don’t know if I will manage to get through them all on my short break, but at least there is no deadline like there is for real school. I can take them slowly and even wait until the summer, but for 75% off, I couldn’t resist the deal.

New Web Crafting Ventures

Blogged under Around the Web,Craft Classes,Crafting a Career by Tammy on Monday 17 September 2012 at 9:24 am

Crafting continues to be a pretty big business, especially on the Internet where all kinds of start ups are popping up lately. Here are a few new ones I have seen that you might want to explore.

First, there is CraftArtEdu. It is a combination on-line community and educational portal where members can connect with each other and also sign up for web-based craft classes. Right now, the classes are divided up into polymer clay, fiber, jewelry, fine art, and other media. It is free to join, and the cost of classes range from free to in the hundreds of dollars. There are lots and lots of classes, and you can preview a class before purchasing it.

Then I received an email about Creating a Craft Business. This new site is the vision of Clare Yarwood-White, who has run a successful bridal jewelry business for many years. Along with free information available on this new weblog, she also offers workshops in the UK and also provides mentoring services.

Stitch and Sensibility, for Jane Fans

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Wednesday 25 May 2011 at 7:04 am

I am a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). I adore the writing of Jane Austen, and while I am not able to participate any any of the society’s functions, I always look over the brochures it sends out concerning conventions. There is one coming up in Fort Worth, Texas during October 2011, and as I was reading through the list of speakers and sessions that will be going on, I was delighted to see that there will be a few crafting workshops as well.

One is called Stitch and Sensibility and will be taught by a needlework guild member. Participants will stitch a commemorative bookmark. The other is called Scrapbook and Sensibility, and of course, participants will put together a scrapbook of their trip to the convention.

I love to see craft combined with academics!

Help With Double Crochet

Blogged under Craft Classes,Fiber Fun by Tammy on Thursday 7 May 2009 at 7:44 am

Double crochet, aka dc, is one of the most popular crochet stitches you’ll probably ever find. It’s a great stitch that works up very quickly. The afghan pictured was made with almost all double crochet, and in 90 percent of the patterns I have started using (since I’m actually trying to do that versus wing it lately), you will inevitably be required to do at least some double crochet.

While it’s not a very difficult stitch to learn, it does have some quirks. For example, when you turn and start a new row, you are normally asked to do three chain stitches before starting more double crochet. These three chains are supposed to substitute for one double crochet. Personally, I always thought this was weird and I admit to not always doing it depending on what I’m making, but no one could every tell me why there was this three chain rule kind of thing until I saw a wonderful double crochet tutorial over at

This is the “turning chain” which serves the function of raising the hook to the height of the stitches you’ll be making. Since double crochet is a fairly tall stitch, most patterns say to “count the turning chain as the first stitch of the row.” This is because that turning chain takes up about as much space as a double crochet. Since we’re counting it as the first stitch, we work the first actual double crochet into the second stitch of the row, not the first. (If we work it into the first stitch, the edge will bulge out and look wonky.)

Okay, that makes sense to me. I don’t know if I will still follow this rule all the time from now on, but at least I know why the rule exists. Yes, I’m one of those annoying people who have to know “why,” but honestly, the why helps me understand the how, which is why I ask questions like this.

Even if you have mastered this stitch, I recommend looking at the Crochetme tutorial because it has wonderful close-up images, and you will probably learn something you didn’t know before.

Craft Project Brainstorming for Teens

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Saturday 7 March 2009 at 9:47 am

My sis is planning camp craft projects for a group of young women from her church, and she’s looking for ideas. So far, she’s got some jewelry projects planned as well as some simple crochet ideas, but she’s got 40 teenage girls for four days!

Some I ideas I suggested were to use scraps of paper like I did for the little book pictured to make their own little books. A similar ideas is to create altered books were you use old books and alter them into art journals. They can write and paste in visual images from their time at camp.

But, the more ideas the better, so I’m opening this up to the crafting blogosphere. If you have an idea, either post it here in the comments or post it on her blog where she is also soliciting for ideas. Think easy and cheap. Her funds for supplies is very limited, and very few of the girls have done much crafting, so this might even be a first time craft experience for many of them.

Craft Bloggers Unite 01/10/09

Blogged under CFEs/Contests,Craft Classes,My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 10 January 2009 at 11:38 am

The crafty blog gang is full steam ahead already in 2009 with lots of free patterns, tutorials, and crafting ideas.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Check out super cute pair of camo baby booties I knit from a pattern in the book Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting.

About Family Crafts
Over the years I have learned some trick when it some to storing craft supplies and staying organized, and I am happy to share these with you.

Aileen’s Musings
Download some freebie Cabinet Cards from Aileen’s Musings this week, and check out her gouache paint and altered cabinet card tutorial.

Cross Stitch at
Be the first to stitch and submit a photo of Connie’s free BGB Gizmo Pattern and have your photo featured as the stitched model. Get your 15 minutes of Cross Stitch fame!

The Impatient Crafter
If you’re attending the Tucson Gem Show or CHA, Madge would love to meet you! Check out her schedule and come take a class or get a signed copy of one of her new books!

Layers Upon Layers
Fabulous artwork by a very motivated distance learner 🙂

The Crochet Dude

Drew kicks off the New Year with a free pattern. Check out his “Cafe Couture”!

Cathie Filian
Cathie Filian has a fun tutorial on recycling jeans into fashion cuffs with personalized patches.

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess asks: Are you a tweaker or a tried and true crafty type?

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Kicking off the new year Craftside will theme each week with a letter from the alphabet and give away a book a week to a lucky commentor. This week there is ATC art, a free antler graphic from Design Parts Sourcebook: Romantic, photos from an appearance by Patti Medaris Culea with doll and altered book pocket design, and a sneak peek at some of the cool pages from Essential Fashion Illustration-Men.

Take a Bedazzling Craft Class at CHA and Tuscon

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Friday 9 January 2009 at 8:52 am

Are you one of the lucky dogs going to the Craft and Hobby Association show this month? If so, then Margot Potter, the Impatient Crafter, has a deal for you and lots of sparkling goodness with her CRYSTALLIZED™ Recycled Denim Flower Bracelet/Pin class held on the morning of January 25th.

According to Margot, you can expect lost of swag, glitter, glue, and fun and the class is only twenty-five ($25), which for your average class at a show like this is a bargain.

You’ll also find Margot in Tuscon this February hanging out with the Swarovski crystal gang.

You can get more information about both classes and events at the Impatient Crafter weblog.

Working Craft Vacation in Puerto Vallarta

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Tuesday 28 October 2008 at 2:53 pm

Beautiful, no? Yes! And you can learn the tricks of using color with metals in a beautiful location as well, Puerto Vallarta. I recently received an email from Debra Weld about this work shop planned for March. Here’s some of the info, but you can find all the details on her web site:

Drench yourself in color, design & ideas with a new innovative product called BronzClay. An experience of a lifetime with a renown teacher for an intensive & fun 4 day workshop amid the beautiful tropical surroundings at the Hacienda Mosaico.

The long awaited BronzClay made its premier in July and now is being offered to you in this ultimate 4 day workshop. You will learn the basics of working with this NEW exciting metal clay that remains flexible when it is dry, which allows you a wide range of forming and sculpting techniques.

BronzClay has some incredible results of patina color during the firing process that will be discussed and demonstrated in class. Each piece will have its own color and characteristics and no two will be alike.

You will also learn the similarities of PMC and BronzClay and how they are different as we will combine the two.

We will explore different textures such as tear away sheets, rubber stamps, working with molds, carving, etc. You will also do a hollow form construction as well as gem setting.

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