Once you're ready to start any of the courses described below, place your order by mail or online - or reference the TKGA Catalog for course details.
For New and Intermediate Knitters
You can learn to knit or expand your stitching repertoire through these courses by mail from The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA).
When you graduate (except the Learn to Knit Course), your name appears in Cast On magazine!
See testimonials from happy students about their experiences expanding their knitting knowledge in TKGA courses.
Learn to Knit Course
In this self-study introduction to hand knitting, written instructions and illustrations help you learn - and can be kept for handy reference for years to come. Once you’ve practiced and gained some confidence, send your swatches to the Learn to Knit Committee for review. (Furnish your own knitting supplies. Course communication is limited to English only.)
- Knitting Tools and Common Abbreviations
- Casting On and Holding the Yarn
- English/American Style and German/Continental Style
- Knit Stitch, Purl Stitch, Stockinette Stitch, Seed Stitch, Ribbing, Twisted Stitches, and Correcting Dropped Stitches
- Increases (Bar Increase, Make One (M1), Lifted Increase)
- Decreases (Knit Two Together (k2tog); Slip, Slip, Knit (ssk); Slip One, Knit One, Pass Slipped Stitch Over (sl 1, k1, psso); Yarn Over (yo)
- Useful Tips (Joining a New Ball of Yarn, Yarn Tails, Blocking)
- Instructions for Making Swatches for Committee Review.
Basics, Basics, Basics (Hand Knitting)
Three Lesson Course by Arenda Holladay. This excellent course taught by Arenda Holladay (originally authored by Barbara Scott) can serve as a preview for the Master Knitter Program. It teaches the proper knitting techniques and basic format you will need to know as a Master Knitting Program enrollee. Even if you do not enroll in the Masters Program, you will gain valuable knitting knowledge and skill. By working small swatches, you will experiment with various types of edges, increases and decreases. You will become aware of the importance of gauge and how it varies with different stitches. At course completion you should understand basic techniques and their uses. Requirements to complete the course include written materials and several knitted swatches.
- One: covers casting on, increasing and binding off.
- Two: concentrates on decreases.
- Three: focuses on gauge and stitch pattern writing.
Understanding Gauge (Hand Knitting)
Three Lesson Course by Arenda Holladay. The goal of this course is to help you understand the concept of gauge and how you can use it to knit garments that fit.
You will learn how to:
- Properly knit a gauge swatch.
- Measure and calculate gauge for different stitch patterns.
- Compare your gauge to the gauge specified in patterns.
- Adjust your gauge to achieve the gauge specified in patterns.
- Use your gauge information to adapt an existing pattern.
- Use gauge information to create a design.
Mosaic Knitting (Hand Knitting)
Five Lesson Course by Suzanne Bryan. Mosaic patterns involve two or more colors, using one color in each row. This course takes you from charts and swatches through a finished garment.
Professional Finishing Techniques (Hand Knitting)
- One: understanding Mosaic charts; working Mosaic patterns in stockinette, garter and the two stitches combined; and understanding how Mosaic patterns affect stitch and row gauge.
- Two: how to create an original Mosaic stitch pattern; Mosaic stitch flat and in the round; working with variegated or hand painted yarn; working with more than two colors.
- Three: increasing and decreasing with a Mosaic pattern; how shaping affects Mosaic patterns; starting the Mosaic Sweater plan – choosing a stitch design.
- Four: swatching for the sweater; planning the sweater design – working with gauge, body measurements and schematic plans; working with the sweater pattern technique.
- Five: final sweater and pattern.
Four Lesson Course by Arenda Holladay (originally developed by Dixie Berryman). Garment "finishing” is the mark of a good knitter and a quality garment. Learn scores of hints and tips while you work with a number of finishing techniques. The techniques covered in this course are the same ones tested in Level 2 of the Masters Program.
- Planning for finishing
- Seams: vertical seams for different stitch patterns, horizontal seams, stair step seams, combined, Kitchener stitch and three-needle bind off.
- Bands: picking up stitches on a vertical edge, picking up stitches on a horizontal edge, picking up stitches on a curved edge, and ratios for picking up stitches.
- Buttonholes: how to space buttonholes, and working eyelet, horizontal and vertical buttonholes.
Each lesson includes a reference section and instructions for sample swatches which illustrate the techniques covered in the lesson. A sweater is required for the fourth lesson to demonstrate that the knitter can apply the skills learned in the course. A pattern is provided for a doll sweater but any sweater which meets the criteria may be submitted.
(As long as the current instructor is in place, there is no time limit to complete the course.)
Swatch to Sweater (Hand Knitting)Certification for Knitting JudgesBy Carol Singletary (originally developed by Janet Johnson Stephens).
A Guided Work-and-Learn Course by Arenda Holladay (originally developed by Barbara Scott). Do you have a wonderful idea for a sweater but aren’t sure how to bring it to fruition? Perhaps you’ve seen a sweater in a magazine or book that you would like to adapt to a different yarn weight or size. In this course you can learn to draft that pattern – starting with an evaluated swatch and measurements and working through the process of: accurately measuring gauge, plugging numbers into a schematic drawing, and incorporating good design elements.
Once you begin work on the sweater, you will be asked to submit your knitting at various critical stages for review and guidance. At the end of the course you will have a one-of-a-kind garment designed by and for you! Best of all, you’ll have gained the knowledge to create more!
(Not for novice knitters. And note that while this course may help one develop skills that will be useful in Masters Level 3, the lesson sweater from this course may not be used in Master Level 3.)
Develop the skills required to become a successful knitting judge. Syllabus includes learning the criteria for judging knitting while studying different types of competitions and how judging methods vary. Two-year time limit to complete the course (extensions may be requested).
- Learn how to develop and use a critique sheet when evaluating knitted items.
- Gain insight on how to organize a competitive needle arts event, and understand what is expected from people administering, entering and judging such events.
Fee includes The Blue Ribbon Manual of Competitive Needlearts Events
by Stephens and Poduska.Photo: Janet Johnson Stephens (L) with first student to graduate from the course, Carol Singletary.
Carol has been a successful knitting competition participant and is now also a respected judge for knitting events in New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere.
Machine Knitting - Getting Started
By Jennie Merritt. Become familiar and comfortable with your knitting machine by becoming more knowledgeable about it.
- Learn how to effectively use your machine as you complete the required number of swatches, including: casting on, binding off, and knitting in between, as well as increases, decreases and short rows.
- Your swatches and projects are reviewed, then returned to you with a helpful written evaluation.
This is a low-key, enjoyable learning experience, where you can play with the machine, turn the knobs, change the needle positions and look at the results. (Primarily for Japanese machines; Bond machines will be able to work through the course. Not for Passap machines.)