Friday, October 07, 2011

Beyond Rectangles Cardigan for Isobel

Untitled-1 copy
Have you heard of Craftsy yet? Craftsy offers online courses about all of your favorite crafty topics and each course is taught by an acclaimed instructor. Take a look at their course catalog to see all of the classes that they offer.

In June, I signed up for Linda Permann's crochet class called Beyond Rectangles. My friend, Sarah, from my knitting group was pregnant and we were going to throw her a baby shower. We wanted to shower her new baby girl with knitted and crocheted gifts. This was the perfect timing for me to take the class.

I have crocheted baby sweaters before, but it was always seamless or in the round in one piece. This class was intriguing to me because I have never made a sweater that was completely pieced together. What better way to try that technique than on a baby sweater? You don't have to invest too much time on it like an adult sweater and it's always guaranteed to fit a baby.
Beyond Rectangles Cardigan
The pieces were pretty fast to crochet. There is a video for every part of the sweater. I was very impressed with HD (high definition) videos. Linda walks you through everything. She even shows you where to insert the crochet hook for certain stitches. As a self-taught crocheter, I found that extremely helpful.

When it came time to block, Linda shows you how to block the pieces to the measurements. The class includes a PDF file of the pattern and schematics, so you can refer to that when you are blocking. Blocking the pieces to the measurements is key for all the pieces to fit together.
Beyond Rectangles Cardigan
Linda's seaming video made it look so simple to seam the cardigan together and it was! I was pretty excited to see how all the pieces fit together. It was hard not to feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I was done.

I can't stress enough on how detailed the videos are. After the pieces are seamed together, Linda teaches you how to crochet the border around the cardigan and even shows you how she sews on the buttons. I always find buttons a bit of a pain to sew, so I was grateful for Linda's tips.
The original Beyond Rectangles Cardigan is made with one main color and a accent color for the trim. Since I made my cardigan in one color with no accent trim color, I added my own embellishment. Btw, the sweater is made with 1 skein of Brooks Farm Willow. It's a wool and bamboo yarn perfect for a Summer baby.
Beyond Rectangles Cardigan
The flower is made with a hole in the center so it can pop over the button like a cover.
I love the bright spot of color it added to the cardigan. Sarah is not into girly colors and one of her favorite colors is green. The pink flower added just a touch of girlishness to the cardigan. And if she didn't like it, its' removable. (BTW, everyone at the baby shower loved the flower, including Sarah.)
I also put a little safety pin on the back so that Sarah can use it as a broach for the cardigan.

I had the chance to meet Linda at TNNA this year and we had such a fun time chatting. I told her that I took her class and planned to write about it on my blog because I liked it so much. She generously offered a discount to my blog readers. Thank you so much, Linda! Beyond Rectangles is regularly priced at $39.99 (a bargain if you ask me). Click through this link to register for the class at $29.99. If you have ever wanted to learn how to crochet a baby sweater, I highly recommend this class.

Did I mention that the courses are available to you anytime you want, for as long as you want. Craftsy courses have no scheduled class times, so you can enjoy them entirely on your own schedule. Your access never expires.


CelticCastOn said...

This is so cute! I`ve only really done crochet in a line or in a circle... and it took a while for me to get my head around the circle properly.
I love the flower that goes right over the button. Beautiful addition to the showering :)

grandmastatus said...

i'm on craftsy currently taking the class "fit your knits" with stephanie japel. i love that you can get on whenever you want. i have been eyeing this class, too, and might sign up for it since i'm trying to learn to crochet. thanks for blogging about it :D

LaBean said...

I'd always been reluctant to crochet any garments that weren't just squares sewn together or a hat. For a long time I could rarely get the edges even on a square! What baby sweaters I *did* make were either a bunch of squares or some sideways type of thing. I might have to look into this because that sweater is too cute!

Hannahbelle said...

I have this class set up for myself as well, but I haven't taken it yet -- I hate having less time than I'd like! But your cardigan looks great!!!

Linda P said...

Thanks for the kind review Angela--Your sweater turned out so cute!

Muddling Through said...

What a great job you've done on that sweater. And the flower button cover/brooch is just the perfect accent! I love it.

Hannah said...

Love the simplicity of this piece! I never thought you could crochet a sweater flat, either.

Anne-Marie said...

Adorable! Very few crochet garments I like, but this is sweet as can be.

caiming said...

crocheting beyond blankets and borders is still daunting to me! your sweater is beautifully crafted and i love the option of the flower accessory

Yarny Days said...

That sweater is cute. Cant wait to see Isobel in it!

MelB said...

This looks good - will sign up for it!! Thanks