Update: Craftsy has become Bluprint. Same quality classes with lots of new features, the option to subscribe rather than purchase individual classes, and you keep all Craftsy classes previously purchased.
You can’t be involved in the crafts world at all without hearing some buzz about Craftsy. I know I’ve been getting some targeted emails. I also see cool patterns popping up on some of the social networking sites, and increasingly see this exchange:
That is SO COOL! Where did you get the pattern?” ….
So I knew they offered patterns. I saw one on Facebook that I just had to have, and that’s when I signed up for Craftsy. There is a basic form to fill out for membership- name, email and password kind of thing, no credit cards involved. It comes in handy later, because anything you purchase at Craftsy stays on your home page for easy access anytime, forever. Now I always know where to find that pattern if I need it, and any classes I’ve purchased are listed on my home page so I can watch them over and over.
I knew Craftsy offered online classes as well as patterns. The emails were usually telling me about a free class or a half price deal on classes. It took me a few months to try actually taking a class, though. I tend to be really cautious about spending money online when I don’t have any idea what I’ll be getting for my money. Even at half price, you know? Why spend money when you can learn just about anything off YouTube videos that don’t cost anything at all? I’ve made a few YouTube videos on spinning myself.
Well, I decided to spring for one class that caught my eye, and I AM IMPRESSED! I’ll give a review of that class (Online Spinning Class) on another page, but I want to tell you what I’ve learned about Craftsy this week.
First: They are a really cool company. I like the attitude they seem to have, about sharing knowledge, about being a community, and about being an active and happy group of people all round. They were started by four young men (and yes, I was surprised. I guess I expected the CEOs to look like … you know… that crafty Martha person we used to hear so much about.) They wanted to create an online learning atmosphere that was like really being in a workshop or class, and they have done a great job with that platform.
Next: These are QUALITY productions. Carefully written and edited, the classes I’ve viewed so far give lots more information than just what is promised in the headline. Tips and hints for general improvement of your skills are sprinkled liberally throughout the classes. There aren’t any moments of the instructor saying “um… um…” and trying to reach for a missing thought. They’ve been edited and directed to make clean, easy to watch productions. I’ve watched some YouTube vids that had me ready to tear my hair out waiting for real information to come. You get what you pay for sometimes, I guess.
Finally: These classes are a great value. In the olden days we used to purchase VCR tapes to watch classes again and again. I think I still have some that I can’t watch anymore, because I don’t have a VCR player on my smart tv. They were usually $30 to $50, even back in the dark ages. And they were not interactive. At Craftsy, you can buy once and view it again and again.
You can stop and start, or do a 30 second loop to repeat something while you try it out at home. Ask questions in the forum and get answers from the instructor, as well as other people who want to participate in the conversation. You can purchase kits of the materials from the class, and post pictures to brag about it once you finish a project. And I haven’t seen a class yet that’s over $30. That’s value.
Conclusion: Craftsy gets an all thumbs up from me. I’ll be signing up for more classes in the near future, and promise to give reviews here on SlowYarn.com of each class I take.
If you’ve taken any classes on Craftsy, or purchased patterns or materials from them, please comment below! We’re all about sharing knowledge here.