Thursday, June 23, 2011

A ramble about the Master Knitting course

After I posted yesterday, I discovered that I have received my First Comment!!!
(I threw a first comment party in my living room and I'm not ashamed to admit it here. I am kind of ashamed that I discovered that cartwheels are no longer as easy to do as they were when I was 12, but I digress)
Abby asked for more information about The Master Knitter's course and I thought rather than messaging her privately (mostly because I don't think I know how to do that) I'd post information here for ALL my readers! Of which I have a million, I know. (I'm very popular.)

So on to the good stuff!
The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) has a plethora of resources on their site. Knitting is utterly serious and professional to them and I love it. Imagine going to one of their guild meetings and being entirely surrounded by people who know what you're talking about when you say your buttonholes always look like crap. Surrounded by people who knit in public and don't care what people think. Surronded by people who- even though they're older, younger, smarter, funnier, dumber, whiter, darker, whateverer- are kindred spirits. I have wanted to join this guild since I heard of it in 2009.

I haven't joined.
Reason: It costs money.
It's not really pricy to be a member. A year membership for an individual in the US is only $30. And more than half of that goes to your four-issue subscription of their incredibly helpful magazine Cast On.

Of course, I haven't read their magazine because like I said I'm not a member. But I've looked at the preview on their website about a billion times and the articles are incredible. The patterns are lovely, too, but I think the real benefit is the articles. They are written by masters! These are the Yodas of the knitting world, and I want to be them.

Just as an example, they have a "Fashion Framework" lesson series, and in each issue you learn something about a different type of garment. Let's pretend it's a raglan. They would show you wonderful pictures and explain it thoughouly and include a pattern to work from as you learn. Their "Fashion Framework" example is mittens.

I looked up the author, Adrenda Holladay (she's a real live master!!!)and found an article called "On your way to the Masters: by Hand" and stole this bit:
The Master Hand Knitting Program was announced in the Fall 1987 issue of Cast On as a way for members of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) to have their knitting evaluated using specific criteria and guidelines. It was designed as an educational process, not a competition or contest. Although the program has evolved over the years, at its core it hasn’t changed much. Knitters work through three levels, each building on techniques demonstrated in the previous level. Each level is completed independently, and evaluated by the Master Hand Knitting Committee, before the knitter goes to the next level."

So basically it's a correspondance course. Which I think is really cool because I love getting mail.
So they send you big packet containing the Rules.
Actually, first you send them like $90. (which i say is totally worth it for all the personalized help and experience you gain. my family thinks i'm crazy but I'm totally doing it one day.)
Actually, first you become a member. So that's $30 first.
Then $90
Then the packet.
Then it begins.

Level 1 is like 16 swatches, each focused on a different skill. Say, cables or mirrored decreases. Each swatch has to be labeled with what size needles, what yarn you used, and what technique you're displaying.
In addition to the swatches you have questions to answer, a report about blocking to write, and a completed project to turn in. I think for level 1 it's a hat in the round.

Level 2 is more complicated swatches with like seams and lace and stuff. Projects included are a Fair Isle mitten, a vest and an argyle sock! AH!! argyle scares me! Again you have questions to answer. This time your report is on the history of knitting, and you also have to do 4 book reviews.

Level 3 is even harder, with swatches worked from charts. Again there is book work: a report on Aran and fair isle knitting. Craziest bit? Self-designed and knit aran or fair isle hat and sweater!!!

It's all complete craziness of course, but I'm still going to give it a try. Maybe when I'm thirty.

I did read many blogs of women who gave up the course. They said it wasn't worth the stress, since knitting is supposed to be relaxing for them. I read of a lady who was reduced to tears in her LYS after recieving her second rejection letter. But then, I also read of people who redid their swatches multiple times and eventually passed with pride.

I think it's really cool. I mean, a lot of people think they're really good at knitting or that they know practically everything already but me? I know my limits, I know my problem areas, and I know my knowledge is full of gaps. So it would be excellent to have help fixing my issues, and one day I'll totally do it. I swear hereupon holy blogitude.

Also, holy crap no pictures!?
What a boring blog.
Here, have a picture of my kid. He's a pirate.

And a badass.
So....tune in tomorrow for my brutally honest post that includes all my WIPs and why I abandoned them.
That means today is for rummaging, digging, and picture-taking. What FUN!!!

1 comment:

  1. thats so interesting! and stressful. BOOK REPORTS? wow. and yay for first comment partying!
    that's a really good idea about a UFO/WIP abandonment post. I have way too many, I think I've even lost some in the shame...*cough* Looking forward to seeing yours!


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