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When I check my email, I'm always getting offers to join a new club, take a new knitting class, etc., and honestly, it seems like every time I try these things, they are underwhelming and I end up cancelling after just a couple of months.
So when Craftsy starting sending me their offers, I did the free week, downloaded a few of their free classes and patterns, but couldn't justify the price. Then Bluprint merged with Craftsy, and the price came down. I got some great offers, but still didn't join. Well, the price came down more and after a week free preview, an offer for a free knitting kit, I said to my husband I'm going to try it out. I paid the yearly fee up front (saving some money there) and picked out my kit from their list. I chose the LaMott Wrap Knitting Kit by Erika Flory featuring Cloudborn Highland Sport in the Santa Fe colorway. Within 2 days from the time I signed up, my kit was in hand! I was impressed with the quality of the Cloudborn wool as well as the pattern instructions. The kit retails for almost $47 - over half of what I paid for my yearly membership ($79.99)
The classes are well done and very professional looking. Yes, you can probably find videos that cover some, if not all, the topics on YouTube, but I can tell you, I've spent a lot of time trying to find exactly what I needed and weeding through a lot to finally find it, and sometimes the information that is given is not correct. Provided with the classes are downloadable materials. They may include patterns and/or other helpful information.
Another perk from the Bluprint membership is 12 keep forever classes that you choose. If you decided not to renew your membership, those classes will always be available to you to watch - as well as all the class materials that come with them. You get the codes for 3 of them every 3 months.
Included with the membership is free shipping on any order from Bluprint's shop. I didn't think I'd use it really, because the prices I viewed as a non-member seemed a bit high. Well, I got a surprise with that! Members get 15% off, which is ok, but the real savings comes from their coupons. For example, I found a 60% off coupon code on my member page off one item. I used it on a wool sweater kit. I chose the largest size I could buy so that I was sure I'd definitely have enough yarn. This kit also has a class that goes with it, so not only am I trying a new technique, but I have a class to explain everything about this sweater. The cost? $33 including shipping! I got a lovely wool cardigan kit for the cost of what I would have spent on acrylic yarn to make the exact same sweater!
I have made a couple of other purchases since I've been a member, and believe me, the savings alone has more than paid for my membership! Everything is shipped by FedEx and I usually have the items in hand in 2 days. (This time frame could be different, depending on where you are located).
Right after I became a member of Bluprint, I received a free month trial from Creative Bug. I wanted to compare both to see which was more useful and a better deal for me. Creative Bug offered me a membership for $7.99 a month and I couldn't find any place to pay for a year upfront.
With that membership came the video classes, class materials, patterns and CBTV. Currently, they are offering a $10 JoAnn gift certificate when you become a member. I didn't find any other perks besides the videos, classes and Creative Bug TV.
The videos that I viewed didn't seem to have the same professional quality that Bluprint's has. Now, to be fair, it could only be the ones I chose and may not be that way with all the videos. It's possible they were older ones. The class materials were decent. I downloaded a couple of patterns and they were well written and easy to follow. One nice thing I came across on the videos I watched, was the opportunity to download a transcript of the class. It appears you had to download one for each segment, but still, it's nice to be able to have it in print instead of trying to find what you need in the video.
Which Is The Best?
So which is the best for you? It depends what you are looking for. With Creative Bug, you don't have to make along term commitment, since you pay monthly, you can cancel at any time, however, I could find no option to pay quarterly or yearly, so I found discounts on that price. I do know they run specials from time to time, so you may want to sign up for the newsletter to see when their offers become available. If I remember correctly, there was an offer for half price off of their normal price. Currently a year of Creative Bug runs $95.88 (12 x 7.99)
For me, Bluprint was the better deal. With free shipping, a free kit, amazing coupons and sales, lots of free patterns and nicely done classes/videos, I am thrilled with my membership!! My yearly membership was $79.99. I've seen Bluprint have other sales and membership has been lower. I've also seen quite a few nice offers of gift certificates. I'd suggest getting the Bluprint newsletter and checking the offers for yourself.
My only regret is not joining Bluprint sooner!
***Please note - I paid for the membership out of my own money. I was not given anything or asked by either company to do a review. This if from my own experience and sharing to help others decide if they want to try either/both companies out.