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I can’t be alone here: in the winter, all I want to do is huddle on the couch and knit. I wish I could bring my sewing machine to the sofa, but that would get… uncomfortable!

double pointed kneedlesI’ve had lots of good reason to knit in the past month or so; among other things, I’m on my third prayer shawl, the latest one for my mother who has been ill. After knitting the same thing over and over again, I’ve been itching to learn something new on my needles. So I set out to learn how to knit a hat by the end of my winter vacation. It took all week, but I’ve done it!

my first hatI purchased Craftsy’s class “Circular Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways” while it was still on sale for $9.99. I had my eye on this class for awhile, but all my knitting friends assured me I didn’t need a class to learn how to join in the round or make a hat. I didn’t feel as confident either going it alone or learning from a book, so I signed up.

Sadly, despite the class, the first four times I cast on and tried knitting the hat, I didn’t have a lot of luck (or skill, really). This is why, whenever anyone asks me whether I knit, I say that I’m not a knitter. Because yes, I can knit. But I’m not very good at it. Here’s how my frustration looked on Twitter:

photoSo I put the knitting aside and picked it up another day. I get the feeling that this knitting-in-the-round thing gets better with patience and practice. And, it’s critical to use rubber bands to stop your yarn from falling off double-pointed needles while decreasing:

photo(5)Rubber bands. Who knew they could eliminate such massive frustration. Anyway, I ended up with a finished Sweet Pea hat and a new, completed skill under my belt for 2013 — one I plan to practice, practice, and practice some more. Don’t worry though, I’m still not “a knitter,” and I spent a good half of my crafting time this holiday sitting at a sewing machine (more to come about that)!

Here’s how the top and back of the hat look:

top of hatAnd since the pug got a shout out, here’s the best photo I could get with the other pup (who won’t sit still) and the hat:

photo(3)Last but not least, do I recommend this Craftsy class? I’ve had a lot of commenters lately asking my opinion on such things. I don’t have sponsors, and thus I’m in a decent spot to be completely unbiased. At the same time, generally I think that the crafting community is an all-positive thing, good or bad, and I want to support it. But ultimately, the question is, should you spend your money on this? Crafting isn’t cheap, and it’s a very good question. So, I’m going to try to answer it a lot more in the coming year.

Recommend It?

I recommend Craftsy’s “Hats Four Ways” course, but only if you’ve been knitting for some time. You need to already have a grasp of the basics (cast on, knit, purl) as well as an understanding of the lingo and the supplies necessary to knit (needle sizes and types, yarn weight and how to purchase the right yarn for the project). Given that this class is regularly priced at $19.99, and you learn how to knit hats in four different ways, it is a good deal — provided you come to the class with a sturdy base of knitting knowledge. If you don’t feel confident in knitting, I strongly recommend finding a local course to learn knitting in the round. Though I’m happy with my hat, I think I would have eliminated a lot of headache if I’d just sat down with one of my knitting teacher-friends and learned in person.