What a week! Super busy at work, little time left for knitting. I did manage to knit a few inches on a sock (I have second sock syndrome, just a bit). This is the first garment I’ve ever done from looking at a few hundred yards of stash yarn and doing a gauge swatch. I’ve written down everything I did (in my measurements). Once I ‘clean up’ my notes (my handwriting is atrocious… I blame not only my mom who was in the medical field, but also my years spent catching up chart notes as a medical massage therapist) I’ll grade the pattern for range of sizes and write it up. It’ll be a freebie from me to you! Test knitters will be welcome to send me comments or clarifications if I miss something.
Everyone is aware I’m working toward my TKGA Master Knitter designation. As you may remember, I was just finishing up some resubmitted items to send in for evaluation. Well, I did manage to stay on task with that, sent my resubmits off to my co-Chair, and ‘lo and behold — I got the news.
I PASSED LEVEL ONE OF THE TKGA MASTER KNITTER PROGRAM!!!
So, that means, I’ve been advanced on to Level 2. I got myself enrolled in that one this morning, just waiting for the packet to arrive. In the meantime I went to my LYS to share the good news (those gals and guys were rooting for me!) and to pick up a couple reference books I wanted/needed and the swatch yarn for the next level.
If you didn’t know, the Master Knitter program is extremely demanding. The levels generally consist of a research paper, questions to be answered (and they’re pretty much ALL essay questions), swatches, projects and pattern writing.
Now, writing the pattern for level 1 did have its challenges, even though it was technically a pattern for a swatch. It was also a test of knowing how to balance cable patterns horizontally and vertically in the fabric.
The swatches are kind of fun if you just let go and enjoy the process. And that’s a confession: I had always been a “product” knitter instead of a “process” knitter. In other words, more focused on end result instead of the technical details. I had to learn to let go and have fun doing swatches. I never thought I’d say that… I mean, most of the knitters out there hate doing swatches. And in having fun doing the swatches, I learned to relax, my speed increased tremendously, and my tension was greatly improved. So let that be a lesson: Learn to Love Swatches. This time we’re not bitching about gauge — this time it’s about TECHNIQUE.
The research involved in the program is extensive. You must research every technique, every stitch pattern, even methods of forming stitches. DETAIL. DETAIL IS THE KEY. Of course with research comes a massive bibliography — and trust me, you will have a huge bibliography if you work through the program. My personal knitting library (not patterns, but reference works) has gone from 2 books to more than 30 in the past year.
And what program would be complete without a project? I won’t say what the project was (it changes on occasion anyway, when the instructions get updated), but it was fun to work (yay) but also required making decisions on what to do… the pattern you are to work from is INCOMPLETE. ON PURPOSE. This is where all that research will come in handy!
My first run through of the project was OK, but not acceptable. I had to re-do and resubmit it. I’m glad I did. The exercise was not only to test your ability, but also decision-making, and begin to stimulate thinking of the design process.
For some of you out there, your knitting isn’t a year-round obsession. And that’s ok. And for some us, knitting is an all-year thing. But Autumn really is kind of the feeling of the start of “knitting season.” Time to knit those holiday gifts for family and friends. Or knit yourself some pretty (I do!). Just KNIT. The leaves are changing in some parts of the country, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are made for nesting.
What are you knitting this “knitting season”? I would love to know!
Comment with what you’re working on, and any questions you might have — if I can help, I will! Not sure if you’re able to comment with a photo, but if you can, please do! Let’s all ogle our knitting!
‘Til next time, Happy Knitting!