I announced back in April, 2010 in THIS post that I was tackling the Master Hand Knitting Program again. I started by doing swatch #3 a few times until it was acceptable, then, I put the entire project aside. By "aside" I don't mean in a closet somewhere, or stored away out of sight... what I mean is the project materials sit right next to my desk where I do my knitting, internet surfing, blogging and working. The materials stare at me and taunt me that I haven't been acting on this project at ALL.
Since I'm discovering places to add knitting in my life even with a heavy professional work load, I am revisiting the idea of progressing on the Master Hand Knitting Program Level I. The other day I picked it back up and reviewed swatch #1 that had been napping on my needles. With only about 2" of garter stitch left to do on this swatch (which looked really good) it made sense to at the very least complete it! After about 1" of knitting I came upon the knitter's flat tire; a manufacturer's knot in the yarn (ugh!) and decided that instead of weaving in ends on my swatch for a program such as this that I should just start the swatch over. (After all, the submitted materials are supposed to represent my "best" work!)
What I didn't do was re-wind the entire skein of yarn to be sure that there were no other knots present. It's a bit like knitting Russian Roulette, but I feel as though the chances are low that there would be more knots (and if there ARE more knots, making a swatch isn't THAT difficult)!
So this morning I'm finishing up swatch #1 and making notes about the references for the techniques used in it's fabrication. The program requires not only knitting the swatches but also providing references for the cast on, ribbing, increase, bind off, etc. used. It feels good to make progress even if I'm not promising myself a certain quantity of swatches a day, or week, or month. I know this process is going to take a while and instead of focusing on the daunting tasks ahead I'm going to see how it feels to just focus on one swatch. It's like knitting a major project; if we focus on the few stitches in front of us and do a little at a time, we will soon be able to look back over our progress and see how far we have come!
Like what you see? Click the "like" Facebook button or share this post on Twitter with your friends. Thanks!
Master Hand Knitting Program Level I
A number of years ago, I enrolled in level I of the Master Hand Knitting Program offered by the TKGA. It's a 3 level program that allows knitters to become "certified" Master Knitters. It's not easy; that's for sure, and it requires a HUGE level of dedication. I have spent a few years looking at the program and only a week or so ago decided that it was time for me to start working on it. There is no deadline for completing the program. This is what makes some of us enroll, then wait.
Level I offers the opportunity to research stitch, cast-on and bind off techniques as well as writing a report on how to block knitting. Most of us think we know how to do these things, but when it gets down to the "knitty gritty" (pun intended), a lot of us just do what we were shown without ever having spent some effort to see if what we have been doing is the correct methods. Basically, we are instructed to knit swatches, answer some questions, and write a report. We also knit a striped hat. All easy stuff... the caveat being that we are to follow the directions. If they specify to decrease 3 stitches in, that means 3 stitches in. When it's time to be graded, they will be counting. Everything.
I'm not saying that there's a "wrong" way to knit. Actually, I'm suggesting that there are many ways that ARE correct... and that we should understand WHY we knit a certain way. THIS is what the Master Hand Knitting Program will help me understand.
SO, with that in mind, I am announcing that I am going to be working my way through the program. Level I at least, and I started with swatch #3; seed stitch. Basically I'm going to follow the directions, and guide myself through this process. I'll be chiming in from time to time on here to let you know how I'm doing.
Want to join me? The course is currently $90 and requires a membership to TKGA ($30). Visit their website for more information. I also have it listed on my ravelry projects page if you're there... feel free to add it as a favorite.
This program looks like a lot of work, and it is... but if I have learned anything in my life it's that good things come to those who dedicate some time on long-term projects. THAT's how I ran a marathon and got my degree... one step at a time... with a basic plan in mind, and keeping the end reward in my thoughts.
Happy Knitting, all!