Here is what my previous and current students think:
Helen K says:
I have learned so much from this course. It has been both enjoyable and stimulating and Loraine has been such an encouraging, enthusiastic and inspirational tutor. I initially had doubts about studying a creative subject through distance learning, but my concerns evaporated as I became aware of the high level of support offered by Loraine. The modules are very clearly written, with plenty of visual examples and you will learn a great deal from Loraine's detailed assessments of your work. Any queries you send by email will be dealt with promptly and there are regular opportunities to meet other students at Galleries and workshops. The blog is an invaluable source of information putting you in touch with students from all over the world – you need never feel alone! Like most things, the more effort you are prepared to put into the course, the more you will get out of it and there is the added bonus of forming friendships for life too.
S C says:
I am really enjoying this course. I have learned so much about knitting and design - I've found the colour theory, design and artwork really interesting and fun. It's perfect for me because I can't get to a local college and I have been able to do the course in my own time - fitting it in around family and work commitments. The fact that it is split into modules makes it less daunting and you can pay for one module at a time to spread the cost. Modules are well planned with clear instructions and Loraine gives excellent and thorough feedback.
Even though it is a "distance" course, I don't feel isolated - I feel part of a community of students. Loraine organises regular meetings where I have met other students, got help with coursework, and come away inspired and motivated. I find Loraine's blog very useful - it keeps me up to date with what is going on, with information on meetings, exhibitions, etc, and it is full of helpful ideas, pictures of students' work, and inspiring photos for design ideas. I email if I ever have a question and Loraine always replies straight away. I thoroughly recommend the course.
Email from a student after advice on applying to do a BA / MA in knit design.
One of the major concerns I have had about studying at a college/ university is not having the contact with you. I really like your style of teaching. Your positive and encouraging approach combined with your outstanding knowledge of knit and design has been the inspiration for all the work I have produced so far. Thank you!
J M (Norfolk) says:
I was slightly reluctant to tackle distance learning as I enjoy working in a classroom environment. However there were no classes available so I took the plunge. I needn’t have been concerned as the lesson modules are well written, easy to follow and have plenty of samples of work to view.
I find Loraine's encouragement invaluable and her assessment feedback is very comprehensive. She is a creative, motivated and inspiring tutor, and only an e-mail or phone call away. There is the opportunity to meet other students at the regular meetings and at workshops. I have made some good friends and look forward to catching up with them at these meetings.
The blog brings the group even closer together, giving the chance to view other students' work, get up to date information on websites, exhibitions etc. and contribute with any relevant remarks – the next best thing to actually attending class. I have found that there are advantages over attending a class – the ability to work at whatever time suits me, working at my own pace and not having to pack and unpack materials, work and folders etc. on a weekly basis.
I love the coursework, it is stimulating and enjoyable, with the knowledge that at the end I shall have a recognised qualification and the tools to move on in whatever direction I choose.
H S says:
For me distant learning with City & Guilds is an ideal way of progressing my love of hand knitting to a level of expertise that I could not have gained elsewhere. The course fits around my family and work, and I appreciate not having to travel regularly to a centre.
The essence of Loraine's modular course is the breadth and clarity of her written instructions, backed up by ongoing individual advice and support. Help is only an email away. Personally I am finding great satisfaction in a growing awareness of the elements of design, as well as the technical side of hand knitting. The individual feedback that is part of the course encourages me to build on my successes and meet the challenges that present themselves.
The Knit Design Online blog is an excellent way of connecting to other students. Seeing photos of students' work encourages and inspires, and I am glad to be part of this network. The blog actually does more than this, and I appreciate the interesting links, and being kept up to date with style trends etc.
Several times a year there is the opportunity to meet Loraine and other students. We discuss work and then look for inspiration in a museum or art gallery (e.g. the V&A in London where we were fortunate enough to see some very fine examples of historic knitting). This is not compulsory but I would certainly recommend it.
Expect to work hard if you do this course, and to have to make time for it. Also expect to have fun!
Christine J (Australia) says:
Having studied by distance education before (I completed a degree in Biomedical Science this way), I know it works. It means I can work through the exercises at a time to suit me (whether it's 11am or 11pm). The course fits around my life, and that of my family and my job.
No time limits to completing each module takes the pressure off and makes it an even more enjoyable experience. Although I do find it helps if I schedule in a regular period of time to work on my course.
Loraine is a fabulous teacher. She has a wealth of experience and; knowledge and is just an email away for me. Loraine has responded very quickly to any queries I have had. Even though I'm half a world away, in a different time zone, it almost feels like a one-on-one class.
The ability to pay for each module when I'm ready makes it very affordable.
The exercises are good fun and are making me really think about design, colour, texture, line etc.
The vox blog has been a wonderful addition to the course, I've enjoyed seeing samples of other students work and "hearing" their voices.
City & Guilds has a worldwide reputation so I knew the course would be of an excellent standard.
Lydia A says:
I have found working with you on line very, very helpful. It fits into a busy working life, I can take time and enjoy the work, but because we can speak on the phone and even meet up occasionally I don't think we miss the contact which can be so important and it works perfectly.
Beverley Francis (New Zealand) says:
Loraine is a very inspirational teacher. She is very approachable and I have had no trouble understanding the lessons so far. Working from the written word is easier for some than others, Loraine's blog has made it much easier for me to "see" what is expected and she is never more than a quick email away if I need help.
The course is very comprehensive. I have been knitting for many years and would have called myself an experienced knitter but I am learning so much. I will end up with some very useful tools to use in my work and for teaching.
It is great to do something I have been passionate about for a long time and to do it at a level that far surpasses anything else I have found. It feels like I have "come home" and sharing my passion with others like-minded, even if long distance, is very inspiring.
I work full time and is important to be aware that commitment both in time and effort is needed to get the results. That said, the course is well worth it.
Making a "space" to work and setting a timetable helps. I love the course, the work is easy but challenging. It is certainly stretching me and I am learning heaps about myself, knitting and how I knit, etc
Catherine (Dorset, UK) says:
I successfully completed the C & G Creative Sketchbooks course in 2005. I cannot recommend Loraine highly enough. As well as being a spectacularly accomplished designer herself, she is also an inspirational and insightful teacher.
All learners have unique starting points; Loraine has that rare gift of being able to understand exactly where an individual learner's particular starting point is. I felt that she accompanied me on an exciting journey, giving support and advice where needed, finally encouraging me to take enormous leaps forward over unfamiliar ground.
Without such skilled support, advice and encouragement my life would not have taken the exhilarating turn that it has. The Creative Sketchbooks course really did change the way I see the world and I am happier for it.