A New Kind of Knitting Education

Filed in Skill Building by on February 14, 2014 1 Comment

If you don’t know that Kellie and I are avid believers in knitting education you are either new here or just haven’t been paying attention.

Kellie and GWen

Kellie (L) and Gwen (R)

But even as knitting instructors, knitting education is not just our job – it is a way of life, a way of thinking. Just for fun I looked to see how many posts had the tag – teaching. It was 68. And that doesn’t include the tags that are related, like classes, class prep, teachers, etc. When we think of knitting, we also think of education. It is one of the fundamental ways that we are the same!

Even so, our early knitting education was not in the formal environment of a class setting. I learned from my mother and if I remember correctly, Kellie taught herself from books (I still find people who can do that fascinating). Despite learning at home, both of us recognized the value of a supportive community of knitters to help us hone, develop and grow our skills.

When Kellie and I were first starting to knit, yarn shops, knitting guilds and 1 or 2 convention-like events were almost the exclusive method for finding this community. But since the age of the Internet, these communities form virtually – around the world, all the time – and focus on a wide variety of topics. The popularity of Ravelry (3 million strong) is the ultimate testament to this fact.

But there is a down-side.

In the world of the internet, everyone can present themselves as an expert; so finding well-presented, accurate information from reliable sources can be a challenge.

Although there are some great online resources that qualify their experts like Craftsy, Interweave and Annie’s Attic, the sense of community is not quite there. Also, as a student, you have to take what is given to you with little to no ability to provide insight into what you want to learn.

Do any of these statements ring true for you?

  • Learning about knitting and gaining new insights is almost as fun (sometimes even more fun) than the knitting itself.
  • I love the community of Ravelry, but I am never sure where to ask my questions, who is going to respond or if I am going to feel stupid for asking.
  • Knitting classes are great, but I don’t get to take nearly as many as I would like because of (time, money, schedule, location, etc.) constraints.
  • Building confidence and skills as a knitter is one of my primary goals.
  • I would love to find a community of like-minded knitters, focused on learning new information, a willingness to share and being supportive of one-another.

Here’s what happened…

We were at a Stitches event discussing our students (who we love) and some of their frustrations that they share with us. Even though we look at the industry from a slightly different point of view, we both completely relate to the challenges our students face.

When we have a knitting question, we have access to some of the smartest people in the industry – but not everyone does. We didn’t always have this kind of access, it is just one of the perks of our job. But what if we could help provide access to those experts and their knowledge?

As we pondered that question, here is what we discovered:

  • Like you, we find the joy of knitting not only in the projects and the yarn, but the way it continues to challenge us to expand our skills and grow as knitters.
  • We believe the only way to learn is to ask questions; but more importantly, we know from experience that providing options instead of absolutes helps build confidence and encourages knitters to grow in their craft.
  • We would love to spend time with each and every one of you in person (and have enjoyed that with many of you), but we also know that is just not practical, so leveraging technology is our best answer.
  • Our greatest satisfaction is in helping knitters take their knitting to the next level.
  • We can’t (and don’t want to) duplicate what has already been done. We want to try a new and different approach.

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, then our new membership site launching on March 7th is right up your alley. Each month we will focus on a general knitting topic with new, exclusive, member-only, educational content being added each week in the following categories:

  • Week #1 – The Geeky Basics – We will start out each month with foundational information about the selected topic, focusing on basic, technical knowledge.
  • Week #2 – Two Perspectives – We will explore our monthly topic from two points of view (whether they belong to Gwen and Kellie or to other experts in our industry).
  • Week #3 – Fascinating & Fabulous – Sometimes new, but always interesting: we will look at the products, books, resources and other aspects we find particularly interesting about our topic.
  • Week #4 – Expert Interview – From one expert to many, we discuss the ins-and-outs associated with our monthly focus with our friends and associates within the industry.
  • Week #5 (for the months that have 5 weeks) – Fifth Friday Free Pattern – An exclusive pattern from Gwen & Kellie that won’t be sold to the public until 30 days after its release.

In addition there will be online forums, invitation-only communities and the ability to help mold and develop this new offering to meet your knitting education needs.

Ready to jump on board?

Pre-launch sign-ups will begin early next week. Our faithful subscribers (you have to be signed up on one of our lists) will get the first notification in their inbox, next will be a post on the blog, followed by folks who see us at Stitches West and then finally we will do some advertising on Ravelry.

But here is the deal: only a limited number of our initial members will be given an AMAZING discount of 50% off our introductory price. After that, we will still offer a great discount of 25% off our introductory price for anyone who joins through launch week (March 7th) and then our introductory price (which is still a deal) will go into effect.

Memberships can be purchased monthly or yearly. The bonus – your membership fee will never change as long as your membership stays in effect.

So how much are we talking about?

Hold on to your needles….our introductory price is just $10 a month or $100 for a full year! Yes…that is the FULL introductory price; the discounts listed above come off of this amazingly low price!

But you can’t sign up yet.

I know, it is crazy to tease you this way, but we have a bit more fine-tuning to do. We also want to give everyone a reasonable opportunity to get signed up at the same time since the 50% deal is limited. So the newsletter (sent to your inbox) is your best bet.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our e-mail list and you will be the first to be notified when membership opens. That way you won’t miss out on the super-special discount.

Got questions?

Feel free to either send us an email or leave us a question in the comments below.

And don’t forget to share the news with your knitting friends. We are super excited about what we have in store for you and the community that we have built. We hope you are excited, too!

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