Class Review, “Lace Shawl Design”

I recently had a “stay-cation” and treated myself to Miriam Felton’s “Lace Shawl Design” on Crafsty.  Craftsy was running a special that week so I received the class for only $19.99 (discounted from $39.99).  This class was definitely worth every penny.  Below are listed at least 5 reasons why this class was a great value.

  1. Understanding charted patterns:  By learning how to write charted patterns, I obtained a much better understanding of how to read charted lace patterns.  I can now  look at a charted row and understand if it is an increase row or a balanced  row.  I understand how increases and decreases “cancel each other out” in a balance row.  I also understand how increases are used to determine the shawl shape.
  2. Understanding how to design basic shawl shapes: This class includes templates for the basic shawl shapes.  I understand how each of these shapes are created.   I also learned how the rate of increases determines how quickly the shawl gets taller.  For example, a faster rate of increases results in a shallower shawl, or a shawl that gets wider more quickly.  Instead of just following the directions on shawls that I am knitting, I now have a much broader understanding of how the pattern is going to result in the finished product.
  3. Understanding how adjustments in increases are used to balance a lace pattern in a shawl: Miriam gives several charted examples in which she has adjusted the rate of increases from the basic shawl pattern in order to balance her lace patterns better.  For example, she may add 2 extra increase per 10 rows in order to be able to repeat a whole lace panel with her next repeat of that block.   Otherwise, the panel may be cut off partially, resulting in a less pleasing appearance.
  4. Understanding the importance of charting and swatching: If you’re like me, you just want to get knitting on a new design or project.  However, this legwork of charting and swatching is critical and a time saver in the end.  Miriam shows examples in which only in the charting or swatching, did she realize that adjustments needed to be made.
  5. Excellent section on fixing mistakes: My favorite part of this whole class was the section on fixing mistakes.  She reviews how to pull out and reknit a whole repeat.  I was so excited to learn her technique because I will use it for all my knitting.

In summary, this class was fantastic.  I watched the whole class (10 lessons and 3 bonus sections) over a couple of days.  I left the class feeling so excited about not only trying my hand at lace shawl design, but also excited about knitting lace shawls from other designers.  I am certain I will be watching many sections of this class again and with Crafsty, I have this class forever.

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