The most challenging aspect of knitwear design, for myself at least, is sizing. Resources for grading patterns are not easy to find, so I try to absorb all the information I can from all the sources I can find.
With this in mind, I signed up for Sizing Knitwear Patterns taught by Faina Goberstein on Craftsy. The class contains all the information you need to grade a woman's sweater in a wide range of sizes.
Course VideosIn the video lessons that take up the majority of the class, Faina takes us through the grading of a sweater step-by-step. It starts with a basic guide to taking measurements or using standard measurements, moves on to teaching the basic Excel formulas used in the spreadsheet, and then the spreadsheet gets filled in row by row. All sections of a woman's sweater, knit flat in pieces and seamed, are covered - and the principles can easily be applied to knitting in the round seamlessly as well.
I found the teacher a reasonably clear speaker most of the time, though not quite as engaging as some of the other Craftsy classes I've taken... on the other hand, it is really difficult to make spreadsheets exciting :)
Some sections of the videos could have used a second take - mistakes or stumbles which slow things down. However, it's not very often and doesn't interfere with the understanding of the class.
Course MaterialsThe course worksheets are bundled together in one big PDF. They're nicely presented, with an attractive Craftsy-branded layout. The worksheets include: a measurement diagram with space to record your own measurements, a table of standard measurements, a copy of the table Faina works through in the class, and some formulas for calculating shaping.
The standard measurements table is a real gem - it includes women's sizing for 32"-64" busts in 2" increments, and includes vertical measurements as well - which I have had a lot of trouble finding. This table manages to be both thorough and fit on a single page. I'd say this is the most valuable piece of information in the course, and I think I will find myself referring to it often.
It would have been nice to include the spreadsheet in Excel format rather than as a PDF. That way, not only would it be a lot easier to copy and paste, but the Excel formulas from the class would already be filled in.
In ConclusionThere are other Excel grading tutorials available on the web, but this one is especially good if you want a step-by-step guide through every part of the process. Besides going through the grading spreadsheet step-by-step, Faina also shares tidbits of other helpful designing information every so often - like working shortrows when a buttonband row gauge doesn't match the main stitch gauge.
Between the video and the written materials, I have found this course quite valuable. I can see myself referring to the measurements table and other information from the course again & again over the course of designing a garment.
Disclosure: This class was provided to me by Craftsy for review purposes.