Gratitude Journal, Day Twenty One

Monday, October 28, 2013

My positive thought - and appreciation - for today is learning. I've always loved learning, and I'm so grateful that I still do. I originally moved to the UK with the vague thought that I'd pursue further studies in my genre of choice -- Fairy Tales and Feminism -- but the university fee structure changed so drastically when I got here that it just wasn't an option. Instead, I opted for more practical learning.

I started off with baking.

And then, I progressed on to all manner of stitchery: crochet, initially, then cross-stitch, embroidery and finally knitting.

And then, I started inking, painting, drawing, stamping and screen-printing.

And then, I started sewing real things. Things like shirts, and patchwork quilts.

And now, I'm enjoying lazy long-distance learning with Craftsy. They provide an online learning platform made up of videos and interactive course material and discussion forums. You buy a class, and then you have access to the videos "for life" along with feedback from the tutor if you need help or assistance.

They have an assortment of free mini courses, so you can "try before you buy" - but I've bought two sewing classes so far and I've really enjoyed them. They're very... thorough. I like that you can watch them whenever you want and go back anytime, and that you can also ask the tutor if you're not sure about something. There's also an online community of thousands of students for each class, and they all help each other out.

The very best thing is that you can wrap up warmly on your day off work, snuggled up with a blanket, a hot cup of tea, and some knitting, and you can catch up on the latest lesson. No need to brave trains in hurricanes!

This month, I'm making my way through Meg McElwee's class Sewing with Knits (in the pic above) which comes with five knit patterns to try out. I really like Meg's designs (Sew Liberated) so I bought this class when it went on sale. Her lessons are quite intense, each of them individual lectures, but they're wonderful. Lectures and sewing. It's my happy space.

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