Last Thursday, my mom and I started a class (taught by my awesome friend Lynn here) at the Studio: the Jolly Roger shawl, which has been a bucket list item of my mom’s for a while now. “But Emma,” I hear “you also teach at the Studio, surely you didn’t need to take this class to make this shawl,” and that’s right. I don’t need to, but it’s more fun. I’ll be a better knitter by taking it, too.
I’m going to pop up on my soap box for just a bit, because I’ve seen a really disturbing trend that’s been inching around in the yarn world for a while: “I would never take a (insert yarncraft here) class, you can learn everything there is on Youtube.”
Let me start by saying Youtube is fabulous resource. I relearned to knit using it. I send my own students to videos if they need help on days between classes. However, to say you’ll know everything there ever is to know about yarncraft from Youtube is offensive to me. It implies that there are finite things to learn, which just isn’t true.
Recently, I looked up how to do increases in double knitting, and sure enough I turned to Youtube. The most recommended video advertised “Increasing in Double Knitting with Make ones.” So I viewed the video. She wasn’t showing make ones, she was showing lifted increases. While your stitch count should be correct, it gives you a completely different looking fabric. Now if you have access to other learning resources, such as a book or a teacher, then you can figure that out, but if Youtube is your only resource, then you’re probably going to have a little trouble down the line.
Mom doesn’t even use Youtube, and she always complained that her SSKs never looked as nice as mine. She took a class and her teacher discovered she’d been slipping her stitches the wrong way. Now her SSKs form a straight line like the best of them.
Plus, there are a variety of things I think you can’t pick up from Youtube, but rather from your knitting community. I have taken three different beginner sock classes. I picked up great tricks at every single one of them, such as how to make a perfectly fitted heel flap without counting rows, never mind different kinds of heels and what situations they’re good for, and a couple of methods to make more rounded toes. Tips and tricks like these are how I became as good a crafter as I have, I know it. I didn’t pick them all up from taking classes either. I picked a lot of them up at knitting groups, and even a few from customers and students at the Studio.
I’ve already picked up one from our Jolly Roger class. I know how to do a Russian join (Youtube can show you that), but Lynn showed me how to position it for a smooth color change at the end of a row.
So please, use Youtube, but also realize that there’s always more to learn. You don’t have to be able to swing an $80 Stitches class either. Take a class at your LYS, purchase books about techniques you want to learn (or borrow some from your local library), or even just go to a knitting group. The return on your investment, be it money or time, will be well worth it.
* Hops down off soap box *