Class Review: Stefanie Japel's Online Class, Design Your Own Shawl

As promised, here is finally a review of Stefanie Japel's Online Knitting Class: Design Your Own Shawl!

So, I am going to start out by saying that this is the first ever online class I have ever taken. And, other than a couple classes at Sock Summit last year, I am totally new to the whole knitting class thing in general.
I regularly read Stefanie's blog, and I had been keeping up with some of the other things she had been doing in these online classes (making a fitted raglan shawl class comes to mind). It seemed like a cool idea for an online class, so when the new ones were available, I signed up.

And, for $60, it was so totally worth it.
Stefanie was totally there for the group, working through issues, chatting with us, and providing videos and handouts about designing a shawl. Her website for the class allows for live chat, and forums, as well as the ability to upload pictures directly to the site. All of these tools really made me feel like she was there along the way willing to help. It's like she was right here in my house in Northern IL checking out my work!

Over the course of the class, we covered picking out stitch patterns, swatching, doing all that pesky math to 'get the shawl to work,' and charting. These last two items were the main reason I signed up for the class. Sure, I have knit quite a few lace shawls, but getting that math to magically work out can be a pain. That was the main thing stopping me from designing shawls. I knew I wanted to do it, but the math gave me a headache (and as a girl with a chemistry degree and a math minor, that is saying a lot. I mean, c'mon, I made it through multivariable calculus and physical chemistry, but shawl math is a whole different story....but I digress). Stefanie explained all these things in a way that was easy to understand and made me feel confident that I could actually do it.

The other part that I really liked was seeing exactly how Stefanie's process for shawl design goes. Of course, everyone is going to have their own way of doing it, but I really liked having an inside view of how a super successful designer does it.

While towards the end of the class Stefanie's participation in the class lessened (as people were getting their shawls going and she was preparing for her new little bundle of joy), Stefanie even went above and beyond by lengthening the time we had access to the website so we could continue to help each other out (and she was available, just on a more limited basis). I don't know that a lot of other people would have done that. She really wanted us all to have a successful class and that at the end of it we were getting all we could out of the class.

So, would I recommend you take an online class with Stefanie Japel? Why, yes, yes I would. :) The price is so reasonable and I swear the handouts alone were worth the cost. And, I loved having the ability to work at my own pace. It's one of those things where I feel that you are going to get out of the class what you put into it. I worked hard during those three weeks to really challenge myself to get a shawl going. I wasn't working 8 hours a day on it or anything, but I was very committed to that project and didn't work on a lot of other things. So, I would say if you are going to take one of her classes (and I think everyone should), just keep that in mind.

You can get more details about Stefanie Japel's online knitting classes on her new website, http://stefaniejapel.com/. You can check out her blog here (you should read it, it's good!).

Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I paid for this class myself. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

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