Reading & Understanding Crochet Patterns with Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby - A NEW Craftsy Crochet Class and Giveaway
You've got your yarn, your hooks, and are ready to sit down and start creating that beautiful piece from the pattern you just purchased. You turn to page 44 and start looking at the pattern... what the heck is HDC? What direction am I supposed to be working? There's something that looks like Egyptian hieroglyphics on the next page... what have I done? GAH!!
Fear not intrepid crocheter! Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby and Craftsy are here to give you all the answers to finding, reading, and understanding crochet patterns.
Yep, Shannon and the folks at Craftsy have been working on another FAB crochet class and this one is all about Reading & Understanding Crochet Patterns. In fact that's what its called, "Reading & Understanding Crochet Patterns" (direct and to the point!).
This course was created to teach new crocheters all the skills you need to read and successfully navigate crochet patterns. This will also be a FAB reference tool for the "I've been reading crochet patterns for fourty years" experienced stitchers. Regardless of your skill level you'll be learning tons about the in's and out's of crochet pattern reading and you'll be able to keep the class as an instant reference tool anytime you need it!
You will learn by watching Shannon complete each stitch, while at the same time seeing the stitch's name, abbreviation, and chart symbols on your screen, so you'll recognize them in multiple formats... That's just the start!
You get to apply what you are learning right away by making the "Modern Sampler Scarf" pattern that comes with the course. Shannon helps you with reading the written pattern AND the chart and how it all translates into actual stitches and rows. Before you know it you'll be piecing together your own sampler scarf with stitches so true they must have been blessed by a Pink Fairy Armadillo (which incidentally is a real animal… GAH!). I'll be there with you every step of the way!
When you’ve completed the entire course, you'll be shocked by how easily you can read through crochet patterns and get to stitching more and more advanced pieces. Don’t worry about forgetting any of the tips and techniques because the BEST part of all Craftsy classes is you can watch them whenever, and wherever you like and you can watch them as often as you like since your purchase never expires! Have a few minutes to watch a segment? Need to go back and see one of our tips & tricks again? Want to watch that technique one more time to get it juuuuust right? You can do ALL that with a Craftsy class because you own it forever!
GIVEAWAY OF MY CRAFTSY CLASS!
To celebrate the release of this new class the FAB folks at Craftsy are giving away a free enrollment to Reading & Understanding Crochet Patterns with Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby to one lucky person. To enter, click on the special link below and be whisked away to register for a chance to win my new class on Craftsy for free!
Yes I said FREE!
The winner will be chosen at random the morning of April 18, 2016 so You need to register to win before it launches April 18th! What are you waiting for? You did read that we're giving this away right? Enter Now! Yes, now… stop reading and enter… We'll wait right here while you enter to win.
ADDED BONUS: As a Craftsy student you have exclusive access to me personally in our virtual Craftsy classroom. If you have questions or want to show off your FAB stitches, you will always know where to find me. I'll be right there to help out and celebrate with you!
We also have a lot of fun in my classes... I mean a LOT of fun… So click that button and get your entries in today!
See you in the Craftsy classroom!
A BIG Thank you to our class sponsors for DFW Fiber Fest 2016
We get to travel and teach a LOT! I mean a WHOLE LOT. That's a good thing because it keeps us connected with the folks who make the patterns we design, and allows us to pass along a little wisdom and occasionally some really cool swag.
Lights and Camera Equipment Sponsors
Notions and Wool Wash Sponsors
We Are Giving Away Free Yarn, An Ottlite Desk Lamp, and Eucalan Wash!
Here's all you have to do:
To enter the Grand Prize Giveaway you'll need to post a photo, video, or other proof that you have purchased the Shibaguyz' new book, Crochet Geometry. That's it... nothing fancy.
- Post a pic of you starting your favorite pattern...
- do a video review of the book...
- take a picture of your favorite pattern and post it on Pinterest…
- or take a book selfie with you and your copy of Crochet Geometry
Anything is fair game here... just post it online then click on the Rafflecopter button below to enter and let us know where you posted it! You will be entered to win both grand prize drawings.
For an extra chance to earn an entry to the Grand Prize Giveaway leave a comment below to let everyone else know where you posted your photo. You can earn entries for every photo you post! Get creative and have fun with this.
For example, Allison posted her's HERE
Enter today to get your name in the drawing for a full garment's supply of yarn, Ottlite desk lamp and full bottle of Eucalan. Then enter again... You have until April 2, 2016 to get your entries in. We'll select a winners on April 3, 2016. We'd like that winner to be YOU!
Enter To Win One Of These FAB Grand Prizes Today!
Week 3 of National Craft Month: Enter to Win A Free Sewing Course on Craftsy.com, Eucanan Gift Pack, and LED Mini FLIP Lite from Ottlite!
Sewing Woes No More!
What You Can Win This Week!
An LED Mini Flip Lite.
The Shibaguyz really love our LED Mini Flip Lites. Jason uses his most every day when he's sewing, weaving and even for throwing a little light onto a project he's photographing. It's the perfect size for carrying but throws a TON of light!
We can't say enough good things about Eucalan. Their product is tailor-made for the crochet and knitting handcrafter... although quilters and sewers swear by this cleaning product as well. This set of 5 bottles of Eucalan is neatly packaged in a clear re-usable zip bag in each of their scents: Natural, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Jasmine.
Check out their Washing Basics page HERE for tips on using their product.
How to Win
But don't wait! This contest runs through Midnight PT on March 20, 2016.
Week 2 Giveaway: Craftsy Class, Ottlite, and Eucalan Wash
For Week 2 of National Craft Month you can enter to win:
- A Free Download of Shannon's Newest Craftsy Course: Crochet Toolkit: Designer Tips & Tricks
- An LED Mini-Flip Light from Ottlite
- A Gift Pack of 5 Bottles of Rinse Free Wash from Eucalan
That's a LOT of swag my friends! Here's the full rundown.
Crochet Toolkit from Craftsy.com
Folks who follow our escapades on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram know Shannon took a little trip to Denver, Colorado back in December. If you were watching closely, you even noticed him posting a photo like this.
Yup… that's Shannon on set in front of THE Craftsy logo!
(Note the inclusion of garments from our last two books… hehehe…)
Everything you learn here you'll be able to apply right away! You get techniques and stitches we use in real life, every day.
For more info about this class including a promo video where Shannon tells you all about it, click on the button below.
Ottlite Mini LED Flip Light
- Ottlite will send you a MiniLED flip-lite to pack in your bag or carry in a pocket so you always have clear bright light with you. We recently used ours at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Show on the show floor to better see the colors of yarn perfectly without having to go outside.
With OttLite you’ll see more clearly and comfortably, which makes everything you love to do – from sewing and scrapbooking to reading and computer work to crafts and crossword puzzles – easier and more enjoyable. It’s like natural daylight indoors! Click here to learn more.
Gift Set from Eucalan
Check out their Washing Basics page HERE for tips on using their product.
How to Enter The Week 2 Giveaway!
Click the button below to register with Rafflecopter for this giveaway and good luck to you all!
GRAND PRIZE RULES
To enter the Grand Prize you'll need to post a photo, video, or other proof that you have purchased the Shibaguyz' new book, Crochet Geometry. Post a pic of you starting your favorite pattern... do a video review of the book... take a picture of your favorite pattern and post it on Pinterest… or take a book selfie with you and your copy of Crochet Geometry.
Don't have your copy of Crochet Geometry yet? Just go to CrochetGeometry.com by clicking on the button below and you'll see a video and more photos from the book as well as links for where you can buy your book online!
Crochet Geometry Official Book Launch
Crochet Geometry, is available today online and in stores. WOOHOO!! We are over the moon about this second book from Sterling Publishing & Lark Crafts and wanted to give you all a look at the designs from Crochet Geometry featuring the gorgeous photos of Shibaguyz Photography. Watch this video then check out more photos and read what early reviewers are saying about Crochet Geometry at http://CrochetGeometry.com Then use the links to go online or visit your favorite bookseller to get your copy of Crochet Geometry TODAY!
Introducing our FAB sponsors for our 2016 National Craft Month celebration!
Read on, visit our sponsor sites, and support them as they support our design studios and National Craft Month.
F&W Media - Craft University Online
Online craft classes, courses, & workshops from expert instructors in quilting, sewing, needlework, knitting, mixed media, crochet, spinning, weaving and more!
Craft U is Sponsoring the WEEK 1 Giveaway: iCan Click - Jason's course on photographing handmade items with your smartphone. Enter by March 5th to Win! Do it now...
The Shibaguyz are Ottlite Ambassadors! We use their lamps daily and LOVE THEM.
With OttLite you’ll see more clearly and comfortably, which makes everything you love to do – from sewing and scrapbooking to reading and computer work to crafts and crossword puzzles – easier and more enjoyable. It’s like natural daylight indoors! Click here to learn more.
Ottlite will be sponsoring multiple giveaways of the FAB LED Mini Flip Lite (seriously folks, you really will want one of these) and a special lamp for one of our Grand Prize winners. This lamp is so exclusive even WE haven't seen it yet!
Schacht Spindle Company
From weaving looms to spinning wheels; winding and warping tools to books and videos, Schacht is a trusted name in the craft industry. Take some time to check out everything they have to offer.
Speaking of offering... they are sponsoring a giveaway of their amazing Zoom Loom. Schacht's version of the pin loom had Jason weaving perfect squares in about 15 minutes and one lucky person will get one free this month!
If you are familiar with our books it will come as no surprise that Cascade Yarns is one of "THE" yarns we use in our studio. Reliable, accessible, and coming in an incredible array of colors, they have a yarn to fit every need.
The fine folks at Cascade Yarns have generously agreed to providing one of you with a full garment's worth of yarn to make one of the patterns from Crochet Geometry... more details on this later in March.
Crystal Palace Yarns
Crystal Palace Yarns is a family-owned, San Francisco Bay Area-based wholesaler of yarns, and other craft supplies. They design their own boutique yarns carefully with the artist and craftsperson in mind, with a strong emphasis on fiber and color. You'll see their FAB yarns featured in a number of our patterns including our NEW book Crochet Geometry.
Crystal Palace has agreed to give to one lucky entry, a full supply of Crystal Palace Panda Silk
to make your size of the Wrap Front Shrug from Crochet Geometry. Look for more details on this giveaway later in March!
Eucalan Delicate Wash
The Shibaguyz, like a lot of people, love Eucalan!
Eucalan is a no-rinse wash for delicate and woolen products. We use it all the time in the studio when blocking garments and take their Getaway Gang Pack (including single use pods and stain wipes) whenever we travel.
You'll see that a few of The Shibaguyz' National Craft Month giveaways will include Eucalan products!
Welcome to National Craft Month 2016!!
Lets start off this month with a bang! We're going to give one of you lucky readers an enrollment to Jason's brand new class on how to take FAB photos of your handmade items using your smartphone or tablet.
This Nation Craft Month Week #1 prize is provided by our friends at F&W Media in association with their Craft Online University. This class officially goes live March 15, and one of you lucky folks gets to take this course free!
I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control… forgive that Pointer Sister’s moment.
In all honesty this is a class I’ve always wanted to teach. It’s about you taking great photos with just a smartphone or tablet. I KNOW… RIGHT? Where has this class been hiding?
Well it’s hiding no more. Below is brief outline of some of the things you'll learn in this 8 week course.
If you want to take better photos of your handmade items, and have a mobile device you owe it to yourself to enter this contest for a chance to win this course free.
UPDATE: March 7, 2016 WINNER ANNOUNCED
Drum roll please... Linda K.
I've sent an email off to Lynda with information on how to register for Jason's class.
Be sure to check back often this month and register for our other weekly giveaways as well as our Grand Prize. Directions for entering the grand prize are in all subsequent weekly giveaway posts all month.
Good Luck and Stitch On!
iCan Click – Professional Quality Photographs of Handmade Items Using Smartphones and Tablet
Recently I had the pleasure of filming a class for F&W media for their Craft U, online courses. Let me tell you, those folks are great to work with! I had a ball filming and think you'll love this course.
I was asked to present a class based on using cell phone and tablet cameras to photograph handmade works. We wanted to focus on makers and crafters who specialize in crochet, knitting, weaving, and beading... but anyone who uses a cell phone or wants to take great photos with that magical device in their pocket will get a lot of GREAT information to use.
Here's a little bit about my class and who should take it…
It’s time to pull out your phone… Your smartphone camera is the ideal tool for taking that perfect shot of your handiwork; compact, powerful, and almost always found in your front pocket. It’s capable of capturing any special moment. You only need to learn to harness its full potential.
In my course you will learn the basics of how Smartphone cameras work, find the right light for photographing any handmade project, create a professional environment for taking your photos, explore a few downloadable apps to assist you in your quest for the perfect photo, and I’ll give you one sure-fire tip that is certain to take your photos from drab to FAB.
I’ve spent the past 10 years learning how to take breathtaking photographs of handmade items on any camera. Come and learn the simple techniques you can use to get professional quality photos of your handmade projects with your Smartphone.
The class runs from March 15th – May 9th 2016, and covers topics such as:
- Intro to Smartphone Use
- Get to Know Your Smartphone Camera
- How to Manage Light & Other Useful Tools
- Composition, Creativity, & Personal Style
- Lightboxes, Swoops, & Backgrounds
- Editing Your Photos
- File Types, Sizing, Compression, & Storage
- Final Thoughts from a Professional Photographer
To make learning simple and because we know you're going to want to practice each technique before going on to the next, only one segment will be released weekly. You'll never feel pressured to sit down and try to absorb everything one evening. You can register anytime during these weeks but I recommend you register now to take full advantage of the time available to re-watch previous lessons. Here's an added bonus... I'll be monitoring the forum/gallery, answering your questions and giving feedback to all your posted projects.
- Makers who want to show off their work through professional looking photography without breaking the bank.
- Independent professional designers who need to take great photos of their work for websites and online sales.
- Artists who are unhappy with paying big fees for so-so photos that don't show their work in the best light possible.
- Anyone with a cell phone or tablet camera who wants to take professional looking photos at home but is afraid of the cost, space, and time commitment.
Come see Shibaguyz LIVE classes at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
and Creative Arts Festival
March 4-6, 2016
We're going to be sharing the skillz with you folks in Pittsburgh and we are very excited about our line up of classes. We're covering everything from specialty crochet stitches like crochet cables to design classes for crochet and knit garments. And Jason is going to be teaching his best selling class on photographing your handmade projects. If you sell your products online, submit your handmade items for juried festivals or competitions, or if you are a maker who just wants to show your handiwork in a better light, you won't want this opportunity to work one-on-one with Jason (assisted by Shannon).
Head on over to our post by clicking the link below to find out more info about our classes and how to register today!
Crochet Toolkit - Designer Tips & Tricks is Shannon's third Craftsy crochet class and we can't wait for you all to dig into this material. These are the skills and techniques we use in the Shibaguyz Designz studio every day to create our FAB garments, accessories, and home decor. From how to read crochet charts, to some of our easy math tricks for making sure patterns fit, to making FAB crochet fabrics; you'll get a designer's insight on how to take your crochet skills from good to GREAT!
This class includes our designer tips for how to make linked stitches, 6 types of ribbing, how to create crochet fabrics that drape and move beautifully, and how to make our very own Non-Stick Lace stitch. We'll also get into how to invisibly carry your yarn up the side of your work with changing colors or working with hand-dyed or variegated yarn. And, for the first time, we're going to share with you how we make crochet i-cords and Romanian cords AND how to make them as attached as-you-go borders! Y'all are NOT going to want to miss this class!
So don't wait! Click on our special link below to get $10 off the price of enrollment and get started on your new crochet skills today!
(There's also a pretty cool introduction video… so be sure to check that out!)
Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show
Classes with The Shibaguyz
March 4-6, 2016
Our schedule at this year's festival include classes for crochet cable techniques, design classes for crocheters and knitters, garment making class for crochet and knitting, and our photography class that will encompass ALL of your projects from crochet & knitting, to quilting, painting, and spinning.
In addition, we've partnered up with the FAB folks at Furls Crochet Hooks and they will be sponsoring a joint Furls and Shibaguyz Designz booth. You're not going to want to miss THAT team up! If you haven't check out our friends at Furls Crochet Hooks, just click HERE and treat yourself… you deserve it.
Registration is LIVE as of Monday, November 30, 2016 so don't wait! Check out our list of class offerings below then click on the class and you will be taken to the festival website for that class. Once you are there, you can read a description of the class then click on the REGISTER NOW button at the bottom of the page to register electronically.
Classes fill up quickly so get your schedule together and register today! We can't wait to see y'all in Pittsburgh and share the skillz!
Friday, March 4, 2016 Classes
Saturday, March 5, 2016 Classes
Sunday, March 6, 2016 Class
Dallas Fort Worth Fiber Festival
Classes With The Shibaguyz
April 1-3, 2016
The Shibaguyz are thrilled to be returning to the Dallas Fort Worth Fiber Festival as a team in 2016 and we're offering a VERY exciting lineup of classes for you all including classes for crochet and knitting, photography, and our special Saturday workshop for designing crochet and knit garments. And check it out… you have TWO chances to catch Jason's class on Photographing Your Fibers. You do NOT want to miss any of these exciting classes so make sure you get your registration in right now!
Registration is LIVE as of Saturday, November 14, 2016 at 10am Central Time. Don't wait! Check out our list of class offerings below then click on the REGISTER NOW button and get your class reservations in before all the seats are filled!
See you in Texas!
Friday, April 1, 2016
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Crochet and Knit Garment Design Classes with Shannon & Jason Mullett-Bowlsby at the 2015 New York State Sheep and Wool Festival
One of our most requested class subjects is in the area of designing crochet and knit garments. Unfortunately, there are quite a few folks out there who believe we can just write this up in a tutorial like teaching a new stitch or a technique. That just simply isn't the case.
Designing crochet and knit garments takes an in-depth knowledge of yarn content and construction, textile design, stitching techniques, and garment construction. There is a certain level of "design eye" that a person must have as well in order to create garments that people want to make and wear.
While we can't fit all of this into a three or even a six hour class, we do have a unique opportunity to present a big chunk of the skills it takes to design crochet and knit garments at the upcoming New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.
On Thursday and Friday at the 2015 New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, we are presenting two classes, Fashion, Fit, Form & Function and Design It! These classes can be taken separately or, as some folks are doing, as a two day course to give them the tools they need to start designing crochet and knit garments.
We'll kick off things on Thursday, October 15, 2015 with Fashion, Fit, Form & Function. This all-day class is designed to help you alter existing crochet and knit patterns to fit your body and your style. Whether the pattern needs a little better fit or you like the silhouette of the garment but want to use a different yarn and a different stitch pattern, we'll give you the tools you need to make good choices and then alter patterns to better fit YOU… in every way. Proper body measurements, stitch patterns, yarn choices, and garment functionality are all covered in this six-hour class.
Then, on Friday, October 16, 2015, we'll dive into our Design It! class. This all-day class covers everything from body measurements through fabric design and making a pattern schematic. You will leave with a working knowledge of crochet and knit garment design and will have the tools you need to delve into your own design work. Whether you are designing just for yourself and your friends and family or if you have always thought you had some of that "design eye" it takes to be a professional designer, this class is the place to start.
Again, these are two very strong stand-alone classes with very distinct goals. So you will take away a ton of great information and skills whether you take one or both. Fashion, Fit, Form & Function focuses on fitting existing patterns to your body and your life. Design It! is focused on starting from scratch and creating your own designs. Both good classes to take on their own and are very appropriate for the hobby stitcher or professional design students.
However, if you have ever had ambitions of being a full-on crochet and knit garment pattern designer, you should consider taking the two classes together. Between the two classes, you will have a very strong foundation for developing your design skills and even becoming a professional designer… if that's what you want.
Either way, together or separate, you will leave these classes with a clearer view of how crochet and knit garment patterns are created and how to make them work for you.
For more information and our fun intro video about our classes at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, jump on over to our page by clicking this link:
Classes with the Shibaguyz at New York State Sheep and Wool Festival 2015
And make sure you get registered today to reserve your seat. Space is limited!
And we'll see YOU in the classroom!
In The Classroom With The Shibaguyz
Join us for an exciting full-day workshop at
So Much Yarn in Seattle!
Join us for what is sure to be a FAB fun-filled Saturday on September 26th from 10am – 6pm.
This one is for crocheters AND knitters and will apply to men's AND women's styles… so EVERYONE is welcome!
Check out the details below about this one-of-a-kind workshop. Space for this workshop is limited so call today to reserve your seat!
If this is your first time visiting these FAB folks, So Much Yarn is located right in the Pike Place Market shops on 1st Avenue in Seattle. We've included a map below just in case.
Call 206-443-0727 today to reserve your seat and we'll see you in the classroom!!
Crochet and Knit
Men and Women
Advanced Newbie through Advanced Not-So-Newbie
Must know how to read a written pattern and should have a basic understanding of how a garment is put together (i.e. A garment is made up of separate parts that are put together to make one finished wearable.)
Who should take this class?
Men, women, crocheters, and knitters… this class covers you all. If you have ever wanted to make your very own custom garment, you should be in this class. If you have every wanted to understand the basics of how a garment is designed and patterned and try it for yourself, you should be in this class.
What's it all about?
The thought of making your first custom garment is a task so daunting and, seemingly, insurmountable that it can send the sturdiest stitcher into a vortex of fear and self-doubt. But fear not intrepid ones! We will stand by you and take the fear and doubt out of garment making so all you are left with is the knowledge to create a FAB finished project that will have you hooked on making your own fashionable wearables.
This class applies equally to crocheters AND knitters as well as men's AND women's styles. We use the versatile silhouette of the classic cardi to build your knowledge base for making your very own custom garment. We’ll start from scratch and design a custom made cardi just for you! Pick the stitch, the fit and the drape, apply your own measurements and… Voila! You’ll go home with the perfect pattern for the perfect multi-functional garment that will remain a classic in your wardrobe longer than those parachute pants from 1985. What?? Just me??
We will set you on the track to create your perfect cardi… whatever that might mean to you! Do you favor the luxe and stylish look of the waterfall or drape front cardi or prefer a more tailored, sharp look? Do you like long and luxurious or short and sassy? Do you see yourself in a lightweight cardi for layering or big and snuggly for getting cozy on those chilly winter days? Maybe all of the above! YOU decide and we'll help you get there!
- Basic understanding of the design of a cardigan pattern and how to adapt that base cardigan pattern to fit YOUR needs and YOUR body
- How to take correct measurements
- Making a schematic based on your body measurements
- Matching the swatch to your schematic and filling in the numbers
- Leave with the ability to finish your custom pattern
10x10” BLOCKED crochet or knit swatch in the stitch pattern and yarn you want to make your cardi in (if you can’t decide, bring two… or three…).
Supplies To Bring To Class
• Crochet or Knit kit with yarn needle and scissors
• Writing utensil
• Small amount of scrap yarn (a few yards should be fine)… nothing fancy here. We're going to be using it as a measuring tool.
• Tailor’s measuring tape (soft, non-metalic measuring tape)
Materials Fees: $5.00 – Includes pattern template with measurement and sizing charts; calculation worksheet.
Crochet and Design Workshops by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby at Annie's Craft Festival - October 30 – November 1, 2015
Shannon will be teaching six classes focused on crochet skills, stitches, and design that range from beginning to intermediate levels. Whether you are looking for new crochet stitching skills, FAB finishing techniques for a professional looking project, or you want to start digging in to altering and designing garments yourself, you'll find it in this set of six classes.
"Some of my first published designs were for Crochet!, Crochet World, and Creative Knitting magazines and I've been honored with five covers for Crochet! magazine. Teaching at this first Annie's Craft Festival is an honor for me and I can't wait to meet all the folks in person who I've been able to share my designs with over the years through Annie's publications."
If you have any questions about classes, don't hesitate to get ahold of us through our contact form and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible! See you at Annie's Craft Festival!
"And we're live in 3... 2... 1... GO!"
We are thrilled to announce that you can now have unlimited access to my new Craftsy crochet class: Crochet Technique Toolkit. This class is full of tips and techniques you can use daily to make your crochet totally AH-MAY-ZING!
My goal with this class was to pack into it as much of the information I wish I had when I was first starting out as well as the skills and techniques we have developed for use every day right here in the Shibaguyz Designz studio. I present techniques like getting started without using a slipknot, 4 different Foundation Stitches (including our Foundation Slip Stitch) to make your starting rows arrow straight, 9 types of decreasing (count them... NINE), ways to make your colorwork look sharp and crisp, and finishing up with with a little world class finishing and seaming. There are sections on evaluating patterns too, and even a step-by-step worksheet for how to estimate yarn amounts.
Here's the great part: Because Crochet Technique Toolkit is a reference class, it is presented in a way that you can find and go directly to any section you want to watch without having to fast forward through other material. Finishing a garment and want to see how we do the Locking Mattress Stitch to give our samples a polished seam? How about our special End Cap Finishing Stitch for invisible finishing? Just click on that section in the class video menu and away you go. In addition, you also receive written instructions for techniques and patterns for the swatches I use in class so you can practice your new skills!
Added Bonus - You have exclusive access to me personally in our virtual Craftsy classroom anytime you need me. If you have questions or want to show off your FAB stitches, you will always know where to find me. I'll be right there to help out and celebrate with you. Just send me a message or question or upload a photo of your project and I'll answer you and help you out!
Here's the link: Crochet Technique Toolkit - the new Craftsy crochet class by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
See you in the Craftsy classroom!
Y'all know I have long been a fan of Craftsy, having taken classes from such greats as Shirley Paden, Gwen Bortner, Carol Feller, and Faina Goberstein. And, as of this year, I am more than a little proud to be counted amongst those world-class instructors as a Craftsy instructor.
And now I am proud to announce that I HAVE A BRAND-SPANKIN’ NEW CRAFTSY CLASS. So, without further delay, here is the official announcement that my second Craftsy crochet class, Crochet Technique Toolkit, is going live, July 6th... in just a few days.
AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! I'm more excited than a Pointer Sister!
Time to Register NOW
Our classes with the New York Sheep and Wool Festival are now open for registration. WOOHOO! Over the course of 4 days we will be teaching 6 amazing classes.
The New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck is one of the premier yarn and wool events in the country. These classes will sell out quickly. I can't stress that enough...
Click on the photo below for a description of the class and to register.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from past students.
This class changed my crochet forever
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! You made this so easy to understand!
Way to go. I came in not knowing what half the buttons on my camera did, and now I'm taking photos like a pro.
I've been lost for years and you come along and teach me everything I wanted to know in a few hours.
If you did not guess it from my cryptic clue, we’re going to be chatting with Marly Bird on her Yarn Thing Podcast on Blog Talk Radio live and in person Tuesday, April 28th at 9:00am Pacific Time.
You can expect to hear some great conversation and a whole lotta laughs too.
If you listen live and want to call in to ask a question of Marly & Me, (the show-host and myself, not the book…I SO cried when… wait, back on topic) the listener dial-in number is: (347) 539-5589. You can also join us LIVE in the chat room… that's always a hoot too!
Can’t make it to the live broadcast? No worries! You can catch the re-broadcast anytime after Tuesday on iTunes.
Click on the banner below to be taken to the Yarn Thing Podcast page on Blog Talk Radio where you can set a reminder to listen in!
Don't miss this… you never know what's going to happen we Marly and the Shibaguyz get together!
So what do you have to look forward to with this book? (Well, besides 32 freakin’ awesome patterns!) We packed as much information as possible:
Stitch Charts? CHECK!
Photo Tutorials on Foundation Stitches, Zippers, and Setting in Sleeves? CHECK!
Designer insights on choosing a pattern and yarn? Double CHECK!
Everything we thought you might need to be successful in your endeavor to create beautiful crocheted garments, we made sure was there for you.
We worked over a year on getting this book to publication. From the initial stages of drawing concept sketches to swatching… from sending out patterns to our AMAZING group of contractors, to sleepless nights sewing seams together before the photo shoot day… More than once we wondered whether or not we were crazy to take on this project. I mean c’mon, 32 patterns in a full range of 8 sizes??? Small through 5X; Who does that? The answer: WE DO!
We really believe you will love this book as much as we do… and we love it a lot. Designer Crochet: 32 patterns to elevate your style is available at book stores and yarn shops around the country, including online at Barnes and Noble, where it’s currently on sale for $14.85… Under $15.00 for 32 patterns…? That’s less than $.50 per pattern!
Moral of the story, Buy the book, folks!
Here are all the patterns you’ll get.
Photographing in Natural Window Light For Great Shots
- a guest post by Jason Mullett-Bowlsby, owner of Shibaguyz Photography
Shannon's been busy doing designer stuff and asked me to come up with a post that you would find enlightening. So I took that suggestion to heart and decided upon taking a look at... light.
Very specifically, the light coming in your windows.
Natural light has made a comeback, not only for amateurs but for pros as well. I love it. It’s warm, it’s easy to manipulate, and it’s free! Natural light is the new look for portraits of newborns to seniors, and it’s popping up more and more in fashion photography. With minimal equipment anyone with a basic camera (even a camera phone) can take exceptional indoor images utilizing nothing more than a window. So, how do you nail it?
The key to great fiber photography with window light is as simple as using your eyes. Look at what’s in front of you, decide if you like it. If not adjust it to suit your taste. It’s that easy! Let's do it.
The direction of it does not matter. Many photographers insist on having a northern or eastern exposure, but I find any direction will work. The trick is you have to wait for the moment when the light is right. You should have bright light without direct light hitting your subject. For my living room shots, this generally happens between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Because I live in Seattle where we have a lot of cloudy days, my shooting schedule can be augmented depending on if the clouds keep the sun in check.
One important note… I recommend you turn off all interior lights if possible. They may cause a color balance shift making your garment’s color look off.
It should be obvious, but I’ll say it nonetheless, you can’t move the window, so you’ll need to move your subject to control where the light hits. Positioning your subject directly in front of the window will give you’ll get flat, even light with little shadow, but you can run into problems if the shadow from you or your camera falls on the subject, and sometimes because the light is flat you lose texture. A better option is to position your subject so that the window is just to one side of it on an angle. This is called Side Lighting
What did you see? The massive majority of images show side lighting. It's flattering to almost every subject. This kind of side lighting set-up will help accentuate any soft lighting streaming across the fabric of your subject which is perfect for enhancing the texture in crochet and knit items. Side lighting is also ideal if you decide to use any kind of a light modifier like bounces and diffusers. Bounces are positioned on the opposite side of the light source, (i.e. further inside the room) bouncing light back to the shadowed side of your subject. They help lighten any strong shadows, acting like a miniature light source.
You don’t need to go broke buying professional bounces to get the “perfect shot”. You can easily get impressive results with a few of sheets of basic card stock, aka "poster board" (available from an office supply store or any store with a craft section). I always carry one plain white piece and another covered in aluminum foil for bouncing light where I want more. Occasionally I’ll use a black piece for intensifying shadows. That’s it… just pieces of thick paper.
Moving your subject closer to or further away from the window is going to change the “contrast” in the lighting. Contrast is the difference between the dark and light portions of your photo. Being closer to the window increases contrast, thus increasing the difference between the lit side and the shadow side of the subject. Moving it away is going to reduce the effect. Be careful here. If you move too far away there is a chance your subject will look dull and flat. The sweet spot is usually a couple feet away depending on how bright it is outside.
NOTE: Pay attention to the sun. Just because we’re inside doesn’t mean we can ignore it. Remember as the sun moves the positive effects of window light will go down the tubes if harsh sunlight starts pouring in. You want light, but not at a direct angle. If the sun is raging in you’re going to have over-exposed highlights and hard ugly shadows on your subject. It’s easy to see when that occurs. If that happens, you have three options:
1. Place a soft curtain or otherwise gauzy piece of fabric over the window to lessen the effect of the hard light (this is called diffusing). Diffusers are placed between the light and the subject to help scatter harsh direct light into softer light with reduced shadows. Think of how sheer curtains in a window soften hard light scattering it.
2. Wait for the hard light to move out of the window.
3. Go to another window that faces another direction. The sun can’t be on all four sides of the house at once!
Focus on your subject and adjust the exposure and focus on the garment. Placing yourself so the window is in your photo will sometimes over-expose that part of the photo, which is a justifiable style choice. I recommend you move around taking your photo from different placements. If you don’t like the composition, move yourself again or move your subject until it looks perfect. Be sure to check your photos in your camera and on a computer before you break down your set.
Want to see more of Jason's work? Check out his website at ShibaguyzPhotography.com.
Want more training with Jason? You got it! He has two webinars available online from F&W Media and the Interweave Store. Together these two webinars are a FAB starter pack for anyone wanting to take better photos of their projects… or just better photos in general! Here are the links:
How to Create a DIY Photo Studio: Get Professional Results at Home!
Photographing Your Projects Like a Pro
All the details about the classes are at the links.
Thanks for stopping by another Technique Tuesday Tutorial! We love sharing the skillz with our community and hope you all enjoy adding new skillz to your toolbox.
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