When I first learned about The Knitting Guild’ Association’s Master Hand Knitting Program, I thought, “oh, yeah, I might have a few things to learn, but I’d love to have that title, it won’t be that hard, I can do it”.
I must tell you from the start that my plan was to be done in one year. Wanting to start working in the design and teaching realm of knitting, I had big motivation to get through this as quickly as possible, but of course enjoy it, and well, learn a few things along the way.
So, I received level I, it looked simple enough, then I started analyzing what I thought was perfect stockinette, well, okay, maybe I needed a little improvement. Increases, well, I guess I didn’t really understand what the difference between a M1R and a M1L was. There were actually several techniques I learned, or learned to work correctly.
Then I got my level I box back. There were 3 swatches to redo. Oh, my seed stitch wasn’t as dense as it should have been. I was such a loose knitter that what I did do seemed like an improvement. And, a couple of “duh” mistakes. Fixed these and some paperwork issues and passed.
So excited, I moved right on to level II, okay, I thought, that only took 3 months, I’ll get through this one, but maybe not quite as fast. This level had a lot more challenges to it. Stranding, that I thought for sure I was so good at, was my nemesis. Like several redos sort of nemesis. But, eventually I did pass. The paperwork was also no easy task.
Well, I had to think about whether I wanted to move on, this was much tougher than I thought, but I still wanted that title of Master Knitter. Yeah, I decided to go ahead, full steam ahead. So I received level III. Now along the way I had several designs published, and would have yet more designs and a couple of articles published while working through level III. It wasn’t like I had to finish the program, but it was helpful in getting published. I even managed to get into Interweave Knits and a SoHo publication, they are not out until Spring 2013 though. So, I had met the goal as to where I wanted to be published, and of having an experienced level cardigan (soon to be) published.
Anyway, I decided to finished the master’s program. This was some major undertaking, I did not take this one quickly. After all, finishing levels 1 and 2 took 9 months, and I knew this would take a lot of work from what others have said.
Well, it was a tremendous amount of work. Thankfully, I was already designing, so that was less of a task, but still challenging to design the sweater you see above. But, I enjoyed the task and designed based on what details made me the most excited to put together. I wasn’t one who started designing from somewhere in level II. It was what I wanted to do at the time, but based on sound principles, I wasn’t going to go too far out on a limb.
When I did receive my box back, I of course had some redos. I laid it aside for a while, I just couldn’t make myself do any more. But after a few months, I mustered up some enthusiasm and finished the redos.
Soon after, I didn’t get my master’s certificate – I earned my master’s certificate. Yes, there is an important distinction there. And, yes, I learned a lot. And, no it wasn’t spoon fed to me, I had to research it out just like all the other master knitters. And, yes it would not have been possible without the committee members who volunteer their time.
So, if you feel up for the challenge of earning the Master Knitter status, go for it, it is possible, but you will have to work very hard to get there.
To see my designs, go to