Have you always wanted to design your own knitted lace shawls? Now you can with Miriam Felton in Online Knitting Class“>the Lace Shawl Design Class on Craftsy!
If you’re not already familiar with Craftsy, you should check it out. It’s basically an online classroom. For a once off payment, you get unlimited access to your chosen course. The courses are all divided into themed video lessons, and generally include bonus materials; in the case of knitting classes it’s usually pattern downloads. There’s an online classroom where you can chat with your fellow students or ask for help from your teacher.
There’s a ton of knitting courses on there (besides a whole lot of other things we don’t talk about here!). I gave Miriam Felton’s Lace Shawl Design a go as I wanted to get more serious about trying to design my own shawls and this class had come highly recommended. It did not disappoint.
Note: I don’t actually have a finished shawl to show for my efforts just yet. I did a lot of drawing and swatching but life (a new baby and a house move) got in the way to actually carrying through the project. I will eventually though!
Miriam Felton is an accomplished designer of lace shawls; check out her designer page on Ravelry. She really knows her stuff and it shows.
Miram does seem a little bit uncomfortable with talking to the camera at times, but that doesn’t get in the way of giving very clear and concise explanations of the entire process. You’re following along with her as she goes through the process of designing a lace shawl.
Quite a large part of the lessons is dedicated to knitting maths. This might not appeal to everyone, but I really enjoyed it. If you want to design your own knitwear, you’re going to have to face this stuff sooner or later. I had been blindly wading through the maths involved in the past. I’m not bad at maths, but I do need things explained to me properly as I’m not clever enough at this stuff to figure it out on my own. Miriam does a wonderful job at explaining the concepts involved. She sets you up to applying the necessary maths to your own designs.
Stitches, patterns & Charts
Much of the class is about how to pick a stitch patterns and adapt them into the shawl shape of choice. Miriam’s explanations really shine here. Things I’d been struggling with, trying to figure them out on my own for ages became clear in an instant. It turns out there’s a few easy tricks and standard ways of doing things that, once you master them, really help to get you going.
The class taught me a lot about how stitches behave and how they affect the shape of the fabric. Knowing how knitting stitches actually work has made me a lot better at looking at charted knitting patterns and visualising accurately what the finished fabric might look like.
Speaking of charts, please note that all the work is done using those, so if you’re not already comfortable using these this class is probably not for you.
One of the best features of the class is actually in the bonus materials. There’s a nearly 40 minute video on fixing mistakes, which was just incredibly helpful. She shows how you can go back and fix even complicated errors in complex lace patterns. I use some of those tricks all the time now.
I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to dabble in designing shawls (lace or otherwise) but doesn’t quite know where to begin.
You could teach yourself most, if not all of the things that are covered in this class. Much of what Miriam explained I had already stumbled on by myself and more or less figured out how to work with it. But that’s just the thing. More or less does not equal really understanding what I was doing. Now I do. After following this class so many things have neatly clicked into place and I feel I’m much closer now to really working out lace shawl designs of my own.