Before I started The Knitting Guild Association’s Master Hand Knitting Program I didn’t really have a clear picture of what I was getting in to. The TKGA website gave a very short synopsis of each of the three levels, not really enough for me to get a feel for how much work was involved. Ravelry had just launched and even if there already was a TKGA group on it, I had no clue how to tap in to that wonderful resource! So, tonight I decided I would do a little overview of the ‘swatch’ part of the program in case any of you are interested in participating in the TKGA Hand Knitting Program.
If you have started doing some mental math then you have figured out that I have had Level 1 for many years. I’ve started this level twice only to set it aside both times because either life got in the way or I wasn’t mentally prepared to pour myself into it. It does take lots of time. I was ready to try again in August bound and determined to finish it within a six month time frame. I’m really glad I did. I have learned much and it has been well worth the journey. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Today I finished up the sixteen swatches in this level. They have been blocked, labeled, photographed and inserted into plastic sleeves and put into the binder. Most of the swatches have been re-knit more than a couple times and I am still not happy with a couple of them. I fully expect some to be returned to me by the review committee with comments on how they can be improved. I’m actually looking forward to that part of the review even if it means resubmitting my work.
- Knit ribbing, garter, stockinette with even tension
- Place increases evenly and unobtrusively in the last row of ribbing
- Accurately measure the gauge of different stitch patterns
Swatches 4-6 demonstrated the type of increase I might use at the selvedge edges of a sleeve. They tested my ability to:
- Accurately produce Bar, M1 and Lifted Increases
- Correctly place the increases
- Properly mirror the increases
- Identify the bumpy and smooth of cast on edges
- Write instructions for a technique
Swatches 7-9 demonstrate the type of decrease you might use at the selvedge edges of a neckline or sleeve cap.
They tested my ability to:
- ~ Accurately produce K2tog, SKP, KSP and SSK decreases
- ~ Correctly place the decreases
- ~ Properly mirror the decreases
- ~ Write instructions for a technique
Yarnovers and decreases are the basic stitches used in eyelet and lace patterns.
Swatches 10-12 tested my ability to:
- Correctly form yarnovers
- Accurately make K2tog, SKP and SSK decreases
- Follow a simple pattern to create eyelet patterns
- Knit cable patterns with even tension
- Select an appropriate cable for Swatch 15
- Accurately write a pattern for a cable which contains all the required information
Swatch 16 – Color Work
- Successfully avoid bi-colored purl stitches in ribbing
- Smoothly change colors at the beginning of row
- Change yarn in the middle of a row
- Unobtrusively weave in yarn tails so that they do not pull loose or alter the elasticity of the swatch
- Bind off with a WS row
What else do I need to do before I am finished?
- Write a pattern for Swatch 15.(partially done)
- Finish the research questions corresponding to all the swatches. (almost done)
- Write a 2-page report on blocking.
- Bibliography of all books used in research
- Level 1 Project – Colorwork Mitten
Onward! Onward! Keeping focused. The finish line is in sight. Thinking one more week.