Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mastering knitting

No felting update yet.. we're going to do the felting tonight, so I'll share pictures tomrrow. For a little distraction, here's an update on what a huge knitting geek I am.

I'm going to be in a guild! You know, because I need more knitting groups.

Last month, 10 knitters gathered to kick off an honest to goodness knitting guild for the south bay area. Our tentative name is Santa Clara Valley Knitting Guild. So far, we have read the TKGA rules for being a knitting guild and elected officers. I got to be secretary (yay?) and set up the Yahoo! group. We don't yet have a web page, I think that might also be me.

November 21 is our next meeting and I'm supposed to present everything I know abut the TKGA Master Hand Knitting program. Which is very little. So this week I'm doing some research and working on my own Master Knitter course. I've had the materials for Level 1 for some time, but now the heat is on to actually do the work.

The Master Knitter program is designed to encourage knitters to improve their technique and really _know_ the craft. At each level, you make some stuff, write some stuff and get certified by TKGA. Level 1 (Advanced Beginner) is pretty easy. The idea is to knit 16 swatches, write answers to 14 questions, and write up instructions to knit a cable swatch of your choosing. Then you mail the whole shebang off to the reviewers who judge the knitting and written answers. Then you're allowed to start work on Level 2.

Given that I'll need props to talk about at the guild meeting on the 21st, I've been working pretty steadily on my swatches. Saturday: #1 & 2. Wednesday: #3 (at noon-time knitting at work). That was the basics. On to increases.. Wednesday evening #4 at Knitting Meetup. That's how far I was when spouse-o took this photo for me...


while I knit up swatches #5 and #6. By Thursday, I was working on the decrease swatches and completed #7. Then a very long conference call today gave me time to knock off #8.

I've been completely avoiding the written part so far, but I have definitely learned a few things doing this little exercise. I learned that my way of doing M1 increases looks better on the left edge than on the right edge of a knitted piece (the slant is better matched to the edge that way) and that I should really get over it and use both M1's. I learned that I really love the lifted increase.

Has anyone else in my knitting circle-of-friends done or considered doing this program? Anyone want to compare notes on work-in-progress? I'm really enjoying my work so far but I know this is uber-geeky and not all knitters will dig talking about it. So I'm looking for conversation partners. For anyone who finished.. How did you package up your swatches? For anyone in progress.. has anyone posted an editable version of the questions? I'd hate to waste my time typing in the questions before I write my answers!


Anonymous Tiffany said...

Hi - I have considered doing the course but I have never had the courage to actually try it ;) You will have to let me know how it goes.

November 04, 2005 3:17 PM  
Anonymous jeni said...

While watching you knit your swatches at the Meetup Wed, I'll admit I was a little dubious about why anyone would do it. Why would you want someone judging your knitting? But you've explained it well. Makes me want to look into it more. I can see why one might benefit from the program. Thanks. :)

Btw, you should be able to just send them the url to your blog. Anyone can see from your FOs that you're a master knitter of the highest order ;)

November 06, 2005 7:56 AM  
Blogger Bogie said...

A new knitting group, plus the Master Knitters program? Okay, did you retire and not tell me? lol

Actually I think it's wonderful.

Although as much as I want to improve my knitting skills (and I do, I really do), I'm not ready for a panel to judge my knitting. Maybe some day, but not now.

So after you complete level 1, are you considered a Master Knitter? Is it title you can officially put on your business card? That would be awesome.

November 06, 2005 11:49 AM  
Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

Well, maybe in five years when I really feel like I've mastered it, but not yet! (Are there any design choice or color-matching questions? I could rock at those!)

By the way, loved your felted tote and Mom's when I saw them yesterday. I think they both look beautiful, and they insipired me to get felting on my own!

November 07, 2005 1:47 PM  
Blogger spinnity said...

Thanks for the comments, gang! Jeni, you are too kind. Bogie, I won't be a master knitter until I finish level 3, which is a long way away for me. And I don't think knuknitter's color & design skills will be properly appreciated through this program, which is much more about technical mastery than design eye. Even at that level, I'm a bit nervous about the "rowing out" in some of my swatches, :-(

November 08, 2005 3:30 PM  

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