If you’ve ever thought about trying a new craft, I’ve got a great suggestion for you: Crochet.
Admittedly I’m a little…okay, a lot partial to crochet. I’ve been at it for over 40 years (that sounds scary, doesn’t it?)
This post contains affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you make a purchase using these links. The price you pay, however, will not be affected. Thank you for supporting To Work with My Hands by using these links when you decide to purchase these products. View my full disclosure here. I received a free copy of Crochet: Basics & Beyond from Craftsy.com in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
I have distinct memories of my 7-year old self, struggling with too-tight stitches. Then too-loose stitches were my specialty. But I loved it and kept working on various projects and through the process, learned to make stitches that were just right.
Since then I’ve crocheted millions of stitches into more projects than I can even remember. It’s a calm, gentle, satisfying craft, and one I love to share.
During the past year and a half I’ve been teaching elementary and middle school students how to crochet at our kids’ co-op classes. The only thing more enjoyable about crochet that actually making projects is watching others learn too.
When I began teaching classes, I started thinking about how I could also share crochet for beginners on the blog. I turned all kinds of ideas over in my head and finally decided there was no reason to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I began looking at what was already available online and when I found Craftsy, I was hopeful I had found exactly what I was looking for.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to crochet, Crochet: Basics & Beyond can get you there! This is a perfect Crochet for Beginners class that will teach you the basics and help you discover if crochet is a craft you’d enjoy pursuing further.
Last month I reviewed Crochet: Basics & Beyond and was highly impressed!
The skills that I learned over months and years of practice were easily broken down, fully-explained, and carefully demonstrated. Even after crocheting for so many years, I learned new tips that I’m excited to add to my skill set.
Here’s why I loved Crochet: Basics & Beyond
- All throughout the class, Kim shares tips that will help you develop habits to make your work look fabulous, like why the direction you yarn over matters, knowing where to insert the hook to make a new stitch, how to make a gorgeous first row (which is always the most challenging), and how to easily identify the type of stitch used in a project.
- As with most crafts, there’s a distinct set of terms for crochet. Taught naturally throughout the class, learning is much easier than providing lists and definitions.
- Troubleshooting has its own entire lesson, covering the most common mistakes, along with detailed instructions on why they happen, and how to fix them.
- Kim shares the simplest explanation I’ve ever encountered on how to make a “magic ring” for crocheting in the round. There’s quite a few approaches for this foundational technique, but this is the one I plan to use in my classes now. It’s simple, straightforward, and works beautifully.
- Included with the class is a full list of crochet abbreviations, which makes learning to read patterns much simpler. Plus, an entire lesson is dedicated to pattern reading – both written and symbol patterns.
Crochet: Basics & Beyond not only teaches basic skills, but provides enough instruction to complete your first project – a granny square blanket. Included with your class is a complete materials list and pattern.
Why I Love Online Classes
If you can’t learn a craft in person from an instructor, an online class is the perfect alternative. I’ve taken quite a few – on a wide range of topics – and here’s why I love them:
- Self-paced – If you don’t have time for regularly-scheduled classes, an online class is ideal since you can work on it anytime, from any location. You have the freedom to cover as little or as much material in each session as you choose.
- Lifetime access – Most online classes provide lifetime access. If you can’t complete a course in a set amount of time, it’s no problem. You can take as long as you like, and always have it available to refer to again and again.
- Ease of repeat – With forever access, you can easily repeat a section, lesson, or the entire class as often and as many times as you choose.
- Additional resources – Many online classes contain additional resources such as downloadable charts, lists, or worksheets. Everything is accessible from one class location.
I keep a list of bookmarked classes in my browser, which keeps them organized and easily accessible. They’re always available with a single click.
The Basics of a Craftsy Online Class:
If you’ve ever taken online classes, you know that there are a variety of layouts, from simple to complex. Here’s the main features of Craftsy classes:
Each class contains Lessons, Materials, Notes, Projects, My Activity, and Discussions tabs across the top.
- Lessons contain a drop-down menu so that you can get a quick overview of what’s contained, or move around the class quickly for review.
- Materials contains downloadable charts, lists, or other information that’s useful for your particular class.
- Notes are one of my favorite features of Craftsy online classes. When you make a note during a lesson, the class compiles them in one handy location. You can easily make notes during lessons by clicking on the “add note” field. When you click to make your note, the video pauses until you click the button to save it. A marker is places on the video’s progress bar, which will open a bubble with your note each time you hover over it. This is fabulous for review! You can find your notes, from every lesson, in the Notes tab of your class. From there, you can easily edit or delete any of them.
- Projects are where you and other class participants can share photos of what you’re learning in the class or working on.
- My Activity logs your interaction with the class. A sliding bar section opens (and closes) on the right of your screen, allowing you to ask a question at any time during a lesson. You can return and find your answer with the linked replies, or find them all in this section.
- Discussions stores all of the questions, answers, and any submitted photos from every lesson. Looking for a specific discussion? The organized lessons and sections make them easy to find.
Finally, there’s also settings, help, and announcement buttons that include operating tips, troubleshooting, and additional information.
Classes are accessible from any device. I love the convenience of being able to access my classes from my tablet or phone when I’m on the go. Plus, the free Craftsy app provides the same full-class experience as access from a laptop or desktop computer.
Money-back guarantee. Craftsy offers a 60-day guarantee on their classes. If a class just doesn’t work for you, you can easily return it for a full refund.
Crochet is my favorite handcraft. It’s simple, portable, requires minimal materials, and is a rewarding way to express your creativity.
From simple coasters and washcloths to cardigans, blankets, and amigurumi dolls, there’s a wide range of projects to fit your ability and tastes. I love the range of projects there are to make and my greatest challenge is limiting myself to just 3 projects at a time!
I’m excited to share and recommend Crochet: Basics & Beyond as a fantastic Crochet for Beginners class. With the skills you’ll learn, you’ll be able to easily complete the 15 Minute Crocheted Wreaths and Easy Pillow Cover patterns here on the blog, plus a wide range of other projects available online.