What’s in the Masters Program - Hand Knitting - Level
In this program you will research knitting
techniques, knit swatches and write about knitting topics. Specifically, this
level of the Master Hand Knitting Program tests your abilities to:
- Look critically at your own work
- Research different
- Accurately follow directions and patterns
- Accurately measure gauge
- Understand the importance of
- Knit garter, rib, stockinette, seed, and reverse stockinette
stitch patterns with even tension
- Space increases evenly
- Mirror increases
- Mirror decreases
- Knit simple cables
- Change colors
- Weave in yarn tails properly
- Write a simple pattern
- Knit a
simple hat in the round
- Properly block swatches
blocking techniques and care of knitted items
The program requires that
you organize your work in a notebook containing both knitted and written work.
The committee evaluates the contents of this notebook. The written work for the
program is as important as the knitted work. Take time to put your notebook
together. It can be an invaluable reference for you once you have completed the
level. Notebook Requirements
This section provides
specific information about the required elements of the notebook. Please read
this section very carefully before beginning. The Master Hand Knitting Program
Level 1 requires a three-ring binder (no wider than 2") that contains the
• Cover Letter
• Answers to Questions
A detailed discussion of
the requirements of each section follows: Cover letter
Include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if
applicable), and the date you received the instruction packet. Provide a brief
history of your knitting experience. You may also include any additional
information you would like the committee to know, for example if you are
left-handed or use a particular style of knitting. (See the Special Instructions
for Knitters Using Non-traditional Styles section at the end of this document.)
The committee cannot tell how you knit unless you provide this information.
Include a copy of your Level 1
instructions (in one page protector), which shows the revision date. You have
one year from the date of receiving your initial instructions to complete that
version of the instructions. If you have not submitted your work within a year,
go online and check the password-protected Masters Program page under the
"Education” link on the TKGA Web site to determine if your instructions are
still current; if an updated version is available, you must obtain and complete
those updated instructions instead of your original version. There is no charge
for these updates. (Note that there is no time limit in which to
complete a particular level.)
Place each of the 16 required swatches in an individual,
top-loading page protector (available at office supply stores or some discount
stores). Each swatch should be placed in the protector along with a sheet of
paper which has the specific information required by the directions for that
swatch. It should be placed in the protector so that the written work can be
read without removing the paper. The swatches should demonstrate your mastery of
the techniques evaluated in this level. Please put as much effort into the
swatches as into the projects. The following instructions apply to all swatches.
Use only smooth, light-colored yarn of the
appropriate weight. Heathered, tweed, speckled, variegated, fluffy, nubby, fuzzy
or any type of novelty yarns is NOT ACCEPTED. Use the weight of yarn specified
in the swatch instructions. Level 1 submissions use only Medium–4 (worsted
weight). Yarns are identified by the categories in the Standard Yarn Weight
system of the Craft Yarn Council of America. If you do not have a current copy
of the Craft Yarn Council of America’s "Standards and Guidelines for Crocheting
and Knitting” for reference, you can download a copy at http://www.yarnstandards.com/
. Cast On/Bind
Please use the long tail cast on and the basic bind off
techniques for all swatches. Selvedges:
Swatches are to
be knit in the pattern stitch indicated without additional borders or selvedge
edges. Many knitters slip the first stitch of each row, which provides a neater
selvedge. This is not acceptable for the Master’s swatches. Special selvedge
treatments can disguise tension problems. Stitch
Always work the TRADITIONAL form of the pattern stitches
indicated in the swatch instructions. Unless specified otherwise, twisted forms
of the stitch are not accepted. Measurements:
instructions for each swatch specify its measurements. Do not include the cast
on and bind off edges or selvedge stitches in the measurements. When you are
measuring your work, do not include the stitches on the needle. Accurate
measurements in the swatches are as important as they are in any knitting
Good, consistent tension is an
important goal for all knitters. It is one of the things evaluated closely in
Level 1. There are several possible areas of concern in these swatches. Look
carefully at your swatches as you work them and ask yourself the following
questions. Is your stockinette stitch even, with all stitches the same size and
shape? Are there gutters between the rows on reverse stockinette? Are the edge
stitches the same size as the stitches next to them? Are the knit stitches in
ribbing distorted and/or oversized? Is the seed stitch a dense fabric with no
holes? Check your cable swatches. Are the transitional knit stitches to the
right of the cable the same size as those on the left? Are the sizes of increase
and decrease stitches the same size as those around them? Even tension is
expected in all of the swatches. Yarn Tails:
all yarn tails unless otherwise instructed. Yarn tails should not pull through
to or be visible on the right side of the work, nor should they restrict the
elasticity of the piece when stretched. Do not work the tails into the cast on
or bind off edges. The duplicate stitch method is recommended. If you go to the
Members Only section of the TKGA website, you can access archived "On Your Way
to the Masters” articles. There is one on weaving in yarn tails. You can also
find this information in the Fall 2006 issue of Knitty.com. The address for this
article is: www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATfall04TT.html
. Blocking: All
swatches must be hand-knit and clean. Each swatch should be blocked flat with no
curled edges using the appropriate technique for the yarn. The swatches should
be "squared off”. This means that each side should be the same length. Do not
overblock the swatches. The stitches should not be flattened. Do not block your
swatches until after you have completed the Blocking Report. This helps assure
that you have researched the proper way to block your swatches.
Attach tie-on tags (no pins or safety pins
please) to the bind off row in the upper left-hand corner of each swatch. This
enables the committee members to see if you can "read” your knitting (tell the
difference between the cast on and bind off edges). One side of the tag should
include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if applicable).
The other side of the tag should include the swatch name and number.
Swatch Information Sheet:
Each swatch, should be
accompanied by a sheet of paper in the page protector which provides the
following information for the swatch:
The following is a sample
of the type of information to include on the sheet: Swatch #4
- Yarn used for the swatch
(include fiber content from the yarn band)
- Needle size–US and metric
- Reference(s) for the technique demonstrated in the swatch.
Since the notebook includes a complete
- bibliography of your sources,
you can abbreviate this reference.
- Any other applicable information
you wish the committee members to have while reviewing the swatch.
This is not required.
- Some swatches require you to write instructions
for the technique the swatch demonstrates. Another knitter
- should be
able to use the instructions to perform the technique. The instructions should
be on the Swatch
- Information Sheet.
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian Highland Wool)
Needle Size: US 7 (4.50
Technique: Bar Increase. Stanley, pg. 112.
Note: I struggled with
making the increases and not creating a small hole at the bottom of the
increase. I tried working the increases on the needle tips, which reduced the
size of the hole. I did not know this increase before the program
pattern replaces the Swatch Information Sheet for Swatch 15. The instructions
for this swatch provide the requirements for the pattern.
Providing Your Answers to Level 1 Questions
Provide just the answers and references for your answer. The
reference can be abbreviated but page numbers should be provided. Answers should
provide complete information about the topic but they should be in your own
words. This enables the committee members to see if you understand a topic.
Copying information doesn’t guarantee understanding. Some questions require your
opinion of a specific technique. References are not needed for questions of this
You do not need to repeat the questions. Do not place each answer
on a separate sheet. The answers should be in page protectors and positioned
back-to-back so they do not need to be removed from the page protector to be
Please check for spelling and typographical errors. A spell check
program is not enough. It would accept "pearl” for "purl.” You may want to have
another knitter review your written work. Report
The report should be long enough to adequately cover the topic. It should
not exceed 4 pages. Do not double space or use a font larger than 14pt.
Likewise, do not use a font smaller than 12pt. Provide references. As with the
answers to questions, use your own words rather than copy information from
sources. Again, please check for spelling and typographical errors.
It is expected that you will
research all techniques covered in the materials. Even if you are familiar with
a topic, you may find out additional information through research, which
improves your skills. This section of the notebook should provide a standard
bibliography of the references you used. Books, magazines, videos, classes, and
websites are all acceptable sources. Complete information is expected. A sample
of a suggested format follows:
Author’s Last Name, First
Name. Book Title. City of Publication: Publishing Company, publication date.
Stanley, Montse. Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook. Pleasantville, N.Y.:
Reader's Digest Association, 2001.
Name, First Name, "Article Title.” Periodical Title vol # and Date: inclusive
Marchant, Nancy. "Brioche Stitch.” Interweave Knits Spring 2005:
Author’s Last Name, First Name (if available).
"Title of Work.” Title of Site, Project or Database. Editor (if available).
Electronic publication information (Date of publication or of the latest update,
and name of any sponsoring institution or organization). Date you accessed the
site < full URL >.
If you cannot find some of the information, use
what is available.
Becker, Paula. "Knitting for Victory -- World War
II." HistoryLink.Org. 19 Aug. 2004. History Ink. 9 Jan. 2007
Name, First Name. "Pattern Name.” Pattern Book Name. City of Publication:
Publishing Company, Date of publication.
Drysdale, Rosemary. "Golden
Age Pullover.” Book Smart. Tweed Collection 3rd ed. Fall/Winter Collection.
Ridgewood, NY: Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc., 2009
Last Name, First Name. "Name of the Class.” Sponsoring Organization. Location of
the Class (include Venue, City and State). Date of the class.
Margaret. "Advanced Finishing.” The Knit & Crochet Show. Radisson
Hotel,Manchester, NH. July 8, 2010.
Sender’s Last Name, First Name. "Email title”. Message to Your Name. Date
email was received. E-mail.
Holladay, Arenda. "Level 3 Doily." Message
to Mary Smith. 8 July 2008. E-mail.
Sender’s Last Name,
First Name. "Title of letter.” Letter to Your Name. Date of letter.
Holladay, Arenda. "Level 3 Doily." Letter to Mary Smith. 8 July 2008.
The project for Level 1 is a hat (pattern
provided). If the hat fits into the page protector, you may include it in the
notebook. If not, place it in a zip lock bag or tissue paper. Include a page in
this section that provides information about the yarn and needle size you used
to complete the project. Also indicate the hat size made.
Packaging & Mailing
When you have finished the
requirements, complete the Checklist included with the materials. Package
everything in an appropriately sized box that does not exceed 18" x 12" x 14".
Try to keep the weight under 5 lbs. Do not use a bubble wrap envelope. These
requirements are important since your submission will be sent around the country
to various committee members for review. The packaging must be adequately strong
and the cost needs to be as low as possible.
The Knitting Guild Association
1100-H Brandywine Blvd,
Zanesville, OH 43701-7303
resubmissions are accepted at any time. All materials will be returned to the
owner after completion of the committee reviews. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for the
Level 1 reviews. Insurance for Valuables
those involved with the program will take all reasonable care with your
submission items while they are in our possession; please note, however, that
because the items are shipped many times, there is occasion for loss or damage.
Items are usually shipped via UPS Ground or Priority Mail with Delivery
Confirmation. In most cases, because of the nature of the items and the
difficulty of properly valuing them, items are not insured for shipping by TKGA
or by the committee members reviewing them. If you have concern regarding any
valuable(s) you submit, we greatly encourage you to take out personal insurance
on these items, against loss or damage. Special Instructions for Non-United States
The US Customary System is the measurement
system used in the instructions. The metric system may be used instead for your
gauge calculations. If Medium–4 weight of yarn is not easily available where you
live, you may substitute Light–3 (DK) for your swatches. All program
correspondence must be in English.
Instructions for Knitters Using Non-traditional Styles
increased popularity of knitting and the simultaneous shrinking of the knitting
world due to the Internet and other factors, more and more people are learning
to knit using a style other than the "standard” right-to-left, leading leg sits
in front of needle (western) method. If you prefer a different style of
knitting–knitting from left to right, or back and forth, or combined, or
eastern–you are welcome to continue using that technique for the program, with
one large caveat: your swatches should look no different than swatches knit by a
western-style knitter. This will require you to intelligently interpret the
directions. For example, if you knit backwards instead of purling back, and you
are working a swatch that calls for increases every right side row, you should
only work the increases every other right side row. If the instructions call for
a C4F but your C4F looks like a western C4B, you would work a different cable to
get the appropriate results. The many photos of swatches submitted by users on
Ravelry.com may be of help to you if you are unsure what a given swatch should
look like. Be aware that not all the photos show correctly-worked swatches,
however! The link for this site is:
The patterns should be written so that a western-style knitter could
knit them with no changes and achieve your results. Questions about decreases
and increases should be answered with a western-style knitter in mind, but you
may also comment on how the answer would be different with your knitting style.
Noting your knitting style in the cover letter will allow the committee to more
intelligently comment on your knitting.
Level II Vest Example
Here is the Master Level Two "Snowflake Eyelet Vest" submitted by Suzanne Bryan. The Vest pattern appears in Cast On
Aug-Oct 2009 page 50.
There is no time limit for participation at any level in the
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.Are you ready to
Are you ready to begin? See the TKGA
for a description of the program and go to
to place your