HOW MANY KNITTERS ARE IN THE PROGRAM?
As of the postings through the February 2013 issue of Cast On magazine, there are 268 TKGA Master Knitters in hand knitting and 17 in machine knitting. The Master® title, certificate and pin are awarded only to those knitters who have completed all three levels of the TKGA Master Knitting Program. A list of those who have completed the course since the program began in 1987 is posted at http://www.tkga.com/?page=MastersGraduates.
From October 2001 (when The Knitting Guild Association staff began entering program details into a database) to the end of December 2012, 1905 knitters had submitted their Level One, Two or Three workbooks and projects to the Masters Knitting Committee for review. How many of these passed their program level before the end of December 2012? A whopping 1478! The rest are considered "pending" and are highly likely to finish.
Those who have completed part or all of the program include knitters from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and Thailand. Note that the program is only offered in English and those who participate must be fluent in English.
NUMBER OF STUDENTS COMPLETING EACH LEVEL IN 2012:
55 Masters Hand Knitting Level One
15 Masters Hand Knitting Level Two
17 Masters Hand Knitting Level Three
IF YOU'RE ALREADY ENROLLED IN THE
You can participate in an online Masters Group:
If you're already enrolled in The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) Master Knitting Program©, you can go to the appropriate Masters Hand Knitting Group or Masters Machine Knitting Group in the site menu and request permission to join. The Group is where you will not only be able to add your voice to the Forum, but you can also find resources you need (dates of the newest version of the program materials, bibliography,where to find the On Your Way to the Masters archive, etc.)
For permission to join the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Group, go to the MASTERS PROGRAM tab and then the sub-tab MASTERS HAND KNITTING GROUP. At the top of the page, click on the Request link and click OK to submit the request. Approval is not immediate, and may take a work day to process (longer if you apply over the weekend). Note that if you are not already enrolled in the Master Hand Knitting Program you will be denied.
For permission to join the TKGA Master Machine Knitting Group, go to the MASTERS PROGRAM tab and then the sub-tab MASTERS MACHINE KNITTING GROUP. At the top of the page, click on the Request link and click OK to submit the request. Approval is not immediate, and may take a work day to process (longer if you apply over the weekend). Note that if you are not already enrolled in the Master Machine Knitting Program you will be denied.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Always be sure to login. Some features on this web site are not visible to non-members of TKGA.
If you've never logged in on the web site before, click here for instructions.
IF YOU'RE NOT YET ENROLLED
you are not enrolled and are ready to test your skills, this may be the
program for you.The TKGA Master Knitting Program© is a non-competitive
and rewarding achievement program for advanced knitters. Program
completion culminates in the presentation of the coveted TKGA Master
Knitter® title and pin.
You must successfully complete each Masters Program level before ordering the next higher level.
from three separate TKGA Masters Programs: Hand Knitting, Machine
Knitting or Passap Machine Knitting. A pin is awarded upon completion
of any of these three programs.
When you are ready to take your hand knitting to the next level, learn more about the Masters Program in Hand Knitting.The Program's Goals
The Master Hand Knitting Program was announced in the Fall 1987 issue of Cast On
as a way for members of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) to have
their knitting evaluated using specific criteria and guidelines. It was
designed as an educational process, not a competition or contest. While
it is an educational program, it is not for new knitters. If you want
help learning to knit, please consider enrolling in the Learn to Knit or
the Basics, Basics, Basics correspondence courses offered by TKGA.
Although the program has evolved over the years, at its core it hasn’t
changed much. Knitters work through three levels, each building on
techniques demonstrated in the previous level. Each level is completed
independently, and evaluated by the Master Hand Knitting Committee,
before the knitter goes to the next level.
This program requires you to research the technique as you work the swatches and
projects. This program emphasizes independent and involved learning on the part
of the knitter. You may not have some of these skills when you begin the
program, but through research and practice you can acquire them. It is not
enough to demonstrate that you can perform a technique. To pass a level, you
must go beyond basic ability to perform techniques to a mastery of those
Experienced knitters may require less practice to master a
technique while less experienced knitters may need to rework a swatch many
times. Both can become Master Knitters. By the time you finish the program you
should have a complete mastery of knitting techniques. You will have a knowledge
of knitting-related topics such as care of knitwear, the history of knitting,
and knitting traditions. You will have experience in design and writing your own
patterns and instructions. But more importantly you will have the confidence in
your own abilities. Where this confidence takes you is up to you.
the Master Knitter certificate is not a professional certificate, it does
enhance any knitting resume. It verifies, among other things that
- Knit very well
- Understand knitting
- Can properly prepare designs for submission
write reasonably well about knitting
Because of your proven knitting
expertise, you may find yourself using the Master Knitting title to teach and
knit for local shops, guilds and more; write articles or submit patterns for
publication; or even work with yarn companies on original designs.
standards of the program are very high. The swatches and written work are
evaluated with very specific criteria. The instructions for each swatch and
report state the criteria by which members of the Master Hand Knitting committee
evaluate the work.
There is no time limit for participation at any level
in the Masters Programs.
But if your
instructions are more than a year old, you must order (at no additional cost)
the most current instruction version for your level. Your completed lessons must
comply with that current version.
The Program is for Individual Work
TKGA Does Not Offer or Sanction "Masters Classes”
Because the TKGA Masters Program is an evaluation of individual skills and knowledge, TKGA does not authorize "TKGA Masters Classes” in shops or guilds, etc. TKGA does not authorize anyone to teach the materials as a course. Each knitter must enroll in the TKGA Masters Program directly through TKGA, do their own research and knitted projects, and turn in their own portfolio. Each portfolio will be reviewed on its own merits by the official TKGA Masters Committee. There is no other way to earn the TKGA Master Knitter title.
Masters Support Groups and Online Groups
There are online groups and small groups who do gather to work on projects together and encourage one another. This can be a good experience as each knitter works hard to learn and do their work individually. Do take care, however, because part of the learning process of the program is to broaden the knitter's expertise and understanding of techniques, including the "why" as well as the "how". Working in a group can inadvertently lower knitting skill expectations to the level of the group and can tend to cause people to parrot common answers that they may or may not actually understand personally. This devalues the learning experience and one's overall qualification for the master title. The TKGA group on Ravelry is very active and is monitored by several of the TKGA Masters Committee members. And you can always ask TKGA@TKGA.com if you have specific questions that need an "official” answer. You can be sure that someone will get back to you shortly with a reply.
BEGINNING TKGA MASTER KNITTING PROGRAM – STARTING WITH THE "COMPULSORIES”
If you’ve been knitting for years, have well-developed skills and have a good grasp of the verbal and written aspects of this wonderful discipline, you may be interested in "certifying” what you know as part of the TKGA Master Knitting Program. The Master Knitting Program offers a TKGA certification which tells the world that you have demonstrated excellent knitting skills, the ability to write clearly on the broader scope of knitting subjects and the ability to prepare patterns for publication. Those who successfully complete the program are listed on the TKGA web site for reference by potential employers and publishers – and as a point of personal satisfaction for all program graduates.
The program begins with basic "compulsory” material and works up to complex skills and details. In the Olympics even if an ice skater might be able to perform flawless triple toe loops, they for years had to first qualify in the compulsories – those basic skills of being able to cut perfect circles or trace figure eights. This seemingly unnecessary requirement showed the judges that the skater hadn’t skipped steps – and that their advanced skills were based on a solid foundation of proper training. Compulsories were required. Sloppy compulsories could disqualify those who might otherwise be exceptional skaters. It is true that many skaters who did not qualify or earn a gold medal sometimes still went on to become successful performers in the commercial world. But they did not have the special recognition that the Olympics afforded. The same is true of knitters enrolled in the TKGA Masters Program. The judges will be scrutinizing the basics and compliance with various instructions in Master Level One and Two before the knitter begins the final Level Three performance where they can really shine! In the world of knitting (unlike skating), something as simple as carefully following instructions can make a difference if you are submitting patterns for publication (publishers have their own unique template or requirements for submission). Properly tagging swatches can show the Masters Committee if you are able to "read” your swatch – front and back and cast on or bind off edges. Writing reports and showing your sources makes it plain that you are able to research techniques and history – and discern which resources (there are a lot of them out there these days online!) may be in error or misleading. And, of course, Masters have mastered tension and always
work to gauge.
TKGA realizes that the TKGA Master Knitting Program is not for everyone and knows that there are many other ways to build and evaluate one’s skills – such as TKGA Correspondence Courses or conference classes with knowledgeable instructors. But for those wishing to earn the coveted title of TKGA Master Knitter, the program offers a wonderful opportunity!
To encourage enrollees, the program has no deadline. You can work at your own pace, allowing you time and giving you suggestions for perfecting any questionable technique or written report that the reviewers might pinpoint. Reviewer suggestions are not meant as blunt criticism but as opportunities to resubmit until you have fully satisfied the requirement.
Start your early "compulsories”, today, with Level One of the TKGA Master Knitting Program. And in no time you’ll be moving up to Levels Two and Three – and well on your way to earning a certificate and a TKGA Master Knitting pin!