Monday, April 7, 2014

Lily Chin video review

I recently purchased Lily Chin's new video Join as you Go Crochet at Interweave. Short story: Excellent and recommended!

I decided to get the download version so I could watch it right away and also because it was less expensive. It appeared in my account immediately as two videos, parts 1 and 2, each just over an hour long.
In my account I clicked on the links to watch them before downloading to my computer.

Watching them this way gave me no menu option. The video just plays in recorded order. (It was the same after I downloaded them to my computer.) This was in QuickTime which is the recommended program on the web site. I don't know if this is how it works for everyone, but no elapsed time was shown so if I decided to quit and start again later I would have no idea how far into it I had gone. That was disappointing. 

After I finished watching both videos, I downloaded it to my computer for convenience. I then started the videos to make sure they worked before I got off the web page. My computer started the videos using Windows Media Player and now I could see the elapsed time. Still no menu but at least that was an improvement. Since I don't have the DVDs I don't know for sure if there is a menu option there but I would think there would be.

There is a FAQ for video downloads which can be found here. Although the FAQ says their downloads are mp4 this video saved as a .mov . As noted above, it came in two parts which I downloaded separately to my computer. It took just minutes to download. You can download your purchases as often as you like. They are copyrighted, however, so no sharing.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that you can purchase only Part 1 which is about an hour long for $16.99 here. There is also a brief sample that you can watch if you would like to see before you buy. Part 1 concentrates on using single crochet in the join process.

About the first seventeen minutes of the video demonstrated how to make the swatches. I think I could have made the swatches without this instruction if one had said made 2 identical swatches in sc, hdc, and dc using stripes or whatever. If I'd had a menu I would have skipped that part. However, if you think you would have trouble doing that, Lily Chin gave an excellent demonstration. Although she crochets quickly, she took the time to review the steps and explained what she was doing. I thought the entire video was done that way, very thorough and well explained. 

There was a lot of repetition (which I think is good in a teaching video). For example, she often showed the front and back of the pieces and reiterated that there is a definite front side and back side as the back side shows the join. Here are two pics from the video showing the front and back side of a section joining a piece in the center of two previously made pieces. Now wouldn't you want to know how to do that?


She showed how to tell the right from the wrong side as well, something with which a lot of new crocheters have trouble.

After the swatches, we got to the matter at hand which was "Joining on Every Side" - how to join new pieces in a join as you go manner. She did right side, left side, and top and/or bottom for each stitch (some on part 1, some on part 2). 

She demonstrated joins where both pieces were identical and also those where you were joining pieces that varied in thickness of yarn.

Part 2 begins with how to join a new piece in the middle of two previously made pieces. While it does use techniques previously learned, this was definitely well worth the watch. I can see how this would be quite confusing without the video explanation. I was not working alongside her but just watching the video. I think I would have to refer to this again should I desire to use this method in the future.

Also demonstrated is joining on every side with the hdc and the dc. There are small differences in these methods. I am not patient but I watched each one and there were some small differences in procedure for the different stitches so it is worth a look. The basics remain the same but the details vary.

She also showed how this method could aid in making other things besides joining swatches. Then at the end, she showed how to join as you go using patterns rather than straight lines of stitches. That was very interesting and quite useful, especially if you've finished a piece and found it is not the size you wanted it to be.

The final section considered Tunisian crochet. To me, if you know Tunisian crochet this was the simplest one because the ends of your rows are very evident. There is really no guesswork involved if you're a newbie and cannot find the top of your stitches.

There is a brief section where Lily draws out the stitches as done in symbol crochet. Nicely done!

There were several brief sections with tips and ideas on how to use this method of joining which were interesting.

I thought Lily Chin did an excellent job on this video tutorial. The video showed clear closeups as she worked. She was thorough in her explanations and repeated things to make sure the student got it.

I have to say her nails were lovely too! I wish mine would look so nice. I know, that has nothing to do with crochet. LOL

If I had anything negative to say about it, I just can't get on board with the idea of those tiny strands when making a slip knot. I know this is how Lily does it. I've seen it before and read it in her books. It is not mentioned here specifically, nor are you shown how to finish off the pieces, sewing in the few tails that would remain. I am sure that is because the entire point of this exercise is that you will have minimal sewing to do. I just can't make myself leave short strands. It obviously works for her so kudos. 

I will stick with my 4-6" strands. However, this join method will leave minimal strands to sew in. If you use a variegated yarn rather than changing colors, even fewer! BUT, as she says several times throughout the video, there is a definite front and back of your piece so if you don't like a join that is visible, this video is not for you. If you don't mind that, I recommend it.

Excellent video. Well worth the money if you're interested in this method of joining. I cannot see myself using it for afghans or things where both sides will be visible, but for pillows and garments where the back or inside would not be seen, what a time saver.

If you feel the need for a menu, I would query them as to if the actual dvd has one and then choose accordingly.

Happy crocheting!

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