So, I had watched this class before and remembered some of the recipes and a general dislike of the host, but nothing more than that. I decided to watch it again for this review. The review will be a bit shorter, only because I couldn’t watch the whole thing again.
The recipes are solid and the general instruction is competently made. The host does a decent job of presenting the recipes and presenting variations depending on your taste.
I honestly could not stand the host. There’s a distinct Dunning-Kruger vibe from her presentation. She over emphasises high-priced kitchen tools, she presents information in a long winded rambling way that makes it seem like she’s trying to present her knowledge as more expansive than it really is. Granted, I’m not classicly trained, but I don’t think she is either. Her credentials are that she owns a little coffee shop/ bakery (mostly coffee cakes) and that she has written a book. It’s not terribly hard to achieve either of these, not to diminish her accomplishments, but there are other hosts with higher levels of credentials than her and they aren’t nearly as condescending. Her recipes aren’t bad, they are just basic. It’s about the same as you’d expect from any coffee cake cookbook.
The class itself isn’t bad. It’s nothing spectacular and I wouldn’t waste any money on it unless you are SUPER into coffee cakes. The entertainment value is largely diminshed by an air fo elitism from the host who’s own knowledge doesn’t seem to be as deep as it is presented. I would take a pass on this.
So this is another super short “class.” The whole thing runs about 20 minutes and each video has a different project. It seems like Bluprint is learning from the Makeful disaster and generating their own stuff in house. The videos are better put together and actually have projects people would want to do. Now, I didn’t find anything that I particularly liked, but I’m not much of a decor person. I tend to be rather utilitarian when it comes to decor, with the exception of wall hangings. However, I could see the value in the projects, unlike before. There was some thought clearly put into them and most seemed like a nice way to spend a weekend if you want some themed decor for your home.
This series was another “class” that was just a series of project videos from Makeful. Surprisingly enough, these weren’t horrible. None of them fell under the “WTF that’s so stupid” umbrella. Most of them weren’t my taste, but I did manage to find some that I liked and none of them felt like they were reaching too hard. My favorite was one where the host used polymer clay and a leaf to create a nice soap dish. I think it’s worth a look if you already have a Bluprint subscription, but if you don’t they aren’t that spectacular to get one.
This “class” is literally three minutes long. Both videos look like they came from Makeful and neither are very good. One is about making a donut wall….with actual donuts. It looks stupid. The other was about making floral donuts with candied flowers. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t particularly inspired. It kind of reminded me of those baking hacks you see on instagram. Seriously, what is Bluprint even doing? These things from Makeful are terrible.
I couldn’t really get past the host, Elizabeth Andoh. There was something condescending I got from her. Perhaps that’s just me. As much as I love Japanese culture, I have an intolerance for most seafood and soy, which rules out about 90% of recipes. So that was another reason I struggled. If you love Japanese food, this might be up your alley, she does go into a lot of Japanese concepts and doing things the Japanese way. Also, not sure if this matters to you, but she is not Japanese. She married a Japanese man and has lived in Japan for several decades. I’m not saying that she doesn’t know her stuff, but something about a white woman acting as a expert on Japanese cooking just rubs me the wrong way. Also, that really was her only credential, well, that and writing a book, for her expertise in Japanese cuisine. There wasn’t any mention of formal training.
I won’t be following my regular format because I didn’t watch the entire class. The first video is good. Bruce Aidells is really knowledgeable about steaks and the first video really gets into a lot about the different cuts of beef and what they’re best for. The most of the other videos are recipes involving those different steaks and how they are best cooked. You have to be really into steak to enjoy this class. I got bored after the first couple of videos. Also, he strictly focuses on cooking steak medium rare. So you will need to do outside research to find out, using his methods, how to tell if your steak is cooked how you like it. It’s $40 and you get a lot of material for the price, but if you don’t LOVE steak then it’s probably best to use your bluprint unlimited or a youtube video.
Essential Skills for Sweater Knitting by Ann Hanson covers the basics of sweater knitting. The class covers the different types of sweaters, binding off and casting on for sweaters, choosing yarn, and assembling the garment.
Pros: The first few videos are really helpful when learning about the different types of sweaters and how to judge what is right for you. Hanson’s lesson on reading a sweater pattern is fairly extensive and you can really pick up some useful information. She seems knowledgeable about her craft and clearly has a love for knitting.
Cons: This class doesn’t really do anything for the newbie. It’s marketed as a beginner class, but it’s taught very much like someone talking to someone who has at least dipped their toes in the sweater making pool. Hanson’s entire class has an unfortunate tell-don’t-show method ingrained in it. My biggest qualm stems from the fact that she gives you a sweater pattern that is supposed to be the example for the class. Unfortunately, once you get past the pattern section, it’s practically forgotten. She goes through increasing with tiny swatches as she discusses issues to avoid. This just doesn’t work for beginners. Beginners need an in-depth row-by-row look at how to do something. Knit-alongs, in my opinion, are the best ways to learn a new knitting skill and I feel that this class markets that to you in the first lesson, only to fail in the delivery. There are two sections that actually irritated me. In the assemblage portion of the class, rather than use the sweater she uses in the class, she presents a child’s sweater. To add insult to injury, she only talks about sewing the pieces together rather than actually showing anything. And for the final portion of finishing…she grazes over it and she admits that she grazes over it. Her explanation is that there are great classes specifically on finishing…but this is a class on essential skills for sweater making! I would say finishing techniques are pretty damn essential!
Overall: The class isn’t worth your time or money. There are several sweater knitting class on Craftsy which I plan to watch. I can safely say that you will gain more from taking a gamble on those classes that investing any money in this one.