[UPDATE] Invitation to Bluprint & Craftsy Students

UPDATE 1 July 2020: Bluprint classes have been acquired by TN Marketing, which is an online platform for video classes. The announcement indicates that students will retain access to their classes, and I believe that instructors will continue to be compensated for their work. Details are forthcoming. For now, the key news is that though the Bluprint platform will be closing this summer, classes will be moved to a new platform and students will retain access. You are, of course, still more than welcome (indeed, encouraged!) to join me in my self-hosted crochet class, using the discount code, below. This code will remain until the end of July, 2020.

An email to instructors today, 1 July, from TN Marketing said: “For existing subscribers to Bluprint, and past buyers of individual classes from Bluprint/Craftsy, those customers will continue to have access to their content on the Bluprint site, at www.mybluprint.com. As noted above, this Bluprint site is expected to be open and accessible for past customers through August 2020. After that, the new TN Marketing site will migrate that customer access to our platform. Any classes they purchased, and their subscriber benefits, will be available into the future, through their online accounts.”

Last week, Bluprint announced that its parent company, NBCUniversal, will be closing down the crafty/foodie online learning platform beginning in late July. It’s very difficult news for the nearly 140 people who will be losing their jobs, and for the many hundreds of instructors who created outstanding classes and were paid royalties for every class sold or minute streamed.

I have four crochet classes on the platform, and each one of them was a joy to create and film with folks who really knew their stuff and put students at the heart of every production. I’m proud of these classes, which I created with the company starting in 2014, when it was called Craftsy, before NBCUniversal acquired it.

I will not be given these classes when the platform folds, and that is fair. It’s business. I own my own teaching approach, projects and skill, but I never owned the production of these classes. I’m disappointed to lose these incredible resources for students, but I am still able to teach and connect and help, and that is exactly what I’m doing.

Several weeks ago, I started to teach a crochet class on my own platform, in response to our collective experience and stress of spending far more time at home in these pandemic times. In answer to my own stress, I found I wanted to work on a project that is comforting, engaging and meaningful, and teaching crochet is all three. Making crochet is many of those things to crocheters, too.

Crochet for Challenging Times is starting out bare bones as far as class content goes, but over time it will grow into a compendium of all of my crochet knowledge. Every week or two I’m filming new lessons to add to the class. My home-based production isn’t as slick as when I filmed my Craftsy/Bluprint classes in a dedicated studio with professional hair and makeup, production, videographers and editors, but crochet needn’t be schmancy. I bring the same heart and approach to teaching when I film on my dining room table in fits and spurts around my son’s remote schooling as I do when I’m in a big studio.

Students who enroll in my class are invited to join a private class forum, where I answer questions and they can get to know each other and show off their creations. And in coming weeks I will begin to hold occasional live office hours by video chat, so I can offer help in a way I never could for my Craftsy or Bluprint students.

I would love to welcome all of my Craftsy/Bluprint students to join me in Crochet for Challenging Times, at a discounted one-time registration fee that includes everything I mentioned above, including all the new lessons I’ll be adding over time. Use the code STUDENTLOVE40 for 40% off when you sign up.

Yup, this is on the honour system; I have no good way to check that students using the code are also students of mine on Bluprint, and that’s okay. If folks who haven’t taken my classes before sign up with the discount, I’ll be just as happy to teach them and get to know them, so please do feel free to share this offer with friends and family, or on your own blog or social media.

Tech platforms come and go, but craft is forever. I hope to continue making things with you long into the future.

Make It Mighty Ugly in 2020!

Start off 2020 the Mighty Ugly way – book club/workshop!

It’s a new year coming up – heck, it’ll be a new decade! – and there’s no better way to start fresh than to do it by embracing the imperfection and occasional downright ugliness that comes along with doing creative things.

Join me from January 6 – February 7th, 2020, and together we’ll work through my book Make It Mighty Ugly.

Through guided discussion, prompts and live chats, we’ll fight our creative demons and kick the new year off with a focus on prioritizing the meaningful creative projects that make us happy so we can spend the rest of the year making and learning and not worrying about it all ending up perfect. Because perfect is boring and imperfect is fascinating.

Early-bird registration, with special pricing, is open through December 20, 2019. To register, click to join the group and follow the steps.

If you’re a supporting member at the $5-or-up level, be sure to enter your discount code.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll gain immediate access to this group, and you’re welcome to get to know your fellow adventurers before the workshop begins.

Be sure to grab a copy of the book before January 6th! (And please do feel free to request a copy from your local library. We love libraries!)

New Class! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner’s Guide to Ripples and Waves

I have never been excited about a new class like I’m excited about this one! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner’s Guide to Ripples & Waves is all about my absolute favourite kind of project to crochet. (Uh, obviously, zigzags, ripples, waves, chevrons – whatever you call them.) Come learn how to bend stripes into cool shapes, from spiky chevrons to gentle waves. With texture or lace, and always with colour!

New Class! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner's Guide to Ripples and Waves

I designed the class around a baby-blanket pattern made in machine-washable yarn (as every baby blanket should be), and I walk you through the project from beginning to end.

New Class! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner's Guide to Ripples and Waves

There’s loads more in class, too! Learn how to use a zigzag pattern to make a project of any size, from a scarf to a king-size blanket. Explore how yarn weight and gauge affect the size of your projects, play with loads of colour, and learn how to handle all the pesky ends you have to deal with when you work in stripes. Discover how to make a wide variety of patterns, including the feather and fan pattern I’m using to make this epic scarf, and learn how to introduce variations into patterns so you can alter the way they look.

New Class! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner's Guide to Ripples and Waves

Mighty Ugly for Valentine’s Day at the Chattanooga Public Library

A couple of months ago, I got a Twitter mention from the Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee, about a Mighty Ugly workshop they were going to host for Valentine’s Day. And I nearly fell out of my chair. I mean, how perfect is that?! It’s totally perfect. So of course I told the librarian how excited I was, and I sent her a signed book to give away, and I recorded a wee video intro for the event.

Here’s the video (in which I explain why Mighty Ugly and Valentine’s Day are a perfect match, natch) and some tweets from the event that made my heart sing. (If you’re a librarian who thinks this idea is swell, or you’re just an average person like me and you’d like to ask your friendly neighbourhood librarian to host a Mighty Ugly event, check out this link with loads of info to help!)

5 Reasons to Do a Year of Making (+ Free Worksheet!)

I’m still finding my way around Periscope, and one of the things I love most about it is that people can comment as you record, so you can respond to what they say or ask. I just love it. Anyway, as I’ve been experimenting with the platform, I find I’ve been chatting with people more and more about daily making and Year of Making, so I did a scope highlighting five reasons to do a Year of Making. The video of my five reasons is below, as is the link to get the free worksheet I promised in the scope!

Scope Notes

{The app that let me embed a Periscope video here went kaput! I’ll try to dig up the original and will post it when I find it!}

5 Reasons to do a Year of Making, plus FREE project-tracker worksheet!

Joy and Neighbourliness and Books All Over the World

I went to the postal depot at the end of my street today, and over tea, which Sal, the owner, insisted on making me, I sent a signed copy of my book to a reader in Latvia, and another to a library in Oregon that’s in desperate need of a new roof and can’t afford it without a massive fundraiser, of which my book will play a very small part.

While I paid Sal, we chatted about the holidays, and assimilation. I didn’t realize his family is Muslim – they do such a great job of spreading holiday cheer at this time of year. Of course, “holiday cheer” is totally Christmas. So we talked about raising our non-Christian kids (and grandkids, in his case), and how they love Santa and singing Christmas songs at school, and sharing their own identity and practices with their friends, and how we all love seeing family at this time of year because most of our relatives are off work. I realized last week that of course my Christmas-birthday kid will never have to work on his birthday (unless he decides to become a doctor or nurse, or do some other kind of work that non-Christmas-celebrators do on Christmas so Christmas celebrators can celebrate). What a gift.

Sal handed me some biscotti to go with my tea. We wished each other well, and I left with a smile and a wave.

What a lovely errand to run this morning.