Thursday, December 09, 2010

Teacher, teacher

This fall I've been a busy, busy knitter, although you wouldn't know it based on my lack of blog posts! Much of what I've been knitting has been samples for my January to April-ish (and beyond) classes at Needlework Unlimited, which I will post more about in a couple of days. (If you're local and you can't wait for that, at least some of my upcoming classes can be seen on the Needlework Unlimited class schedule here, or if you stop by the shop, Marcy has been busy putting up the samples on the wall.) Karen's first grandbaby arrives this spring, so we have lots of baby-centric project classes planned. I will offer additional classes in the late spring, but those can't get posted until I finish the samples and get my course descriptions written!

In the midst of my sample knitting, I was asked to become an instructor at CraftEDU, which is a website devoted to teaching all sorts of crafts, particularly at more advanced levels. The project classes at CraftEDU will all be my own designs. In the past, I've tended toward custom design for one-off projects and have rarely written up the patterns. I'm looking forward to building my portfolio of pattern designs as well as teaching these projects. My classes will provide the opportunity to expand my students' technique repertoire as well as demonstrate how to fix mistakes common to the specific project (I am well-familiar with any mistakes that can be made, because I make them myself. And then I fix them!). I will also offer pointers on adapting the techniques for students' own designs.

The classes are structured as "broadcasts," which combine photos and tutorials on the techniques used in the class, along with more detailed audio explanations for the information covered on each page of the broadcast (think of it as sort of a PowerPoint on steroids). I have the ability to embed video, too, when that works better than photos. When students buy a class, they get 12 views of the class or access for 12 months, whichever comes first, so they can work on the project and review it at their own pace. So whether you can only watch on weekends or at 2 am or you live in Australia or the U.K., you can take the class. They'll get downloadable PDFs of the class screen shots, plus a copy of the pattern. There are free previews of each class that allow you to hear/see more information about the class, the materials required and the techniques that will be taught. I'm really excited about this!

You can join the CraftEDU community here. Once you are a member, you can join my online classroom here. You can post comments, ask questions, find a link to my classes, amongst other things. As a member of my classroom, you'll get notified when I post new classes. I hope you'll join me!

My first class at CraftEDU will be the Reversibly Cabled Scarf I introduced a couple years ago. I taught it at NU several times. Needlework sells the pattern as well. Monika's Quilt and Yarn Shop, in Park Rapids, MN carries it, too, and it can also be purchased as a PDF download on Ravelry.

I'm always interested in hearing what my students would like to learn. If you have ideas, whether it's for a class you'd like to see me teach at NU or a class you'd like to see on CraftEDU, please let me know!