Life With Yarn

Wannabe mistress of knitting

Posted on: March 1, 2013

About 3/4 years ago, not long after I discovered Ravelry and turned a hobby into an obsession, I learnt about the TKGA Masters Program for Hand Knitting organised by The Knitting Guild of America. Over time, I’ve come back to the website quite often and wondered about it. I consider myself an intermediate to advanced knitter but I know I don’t know everything and would definitely like to expand my knitting skills. But no matter how many times I looked at it, I never signed up because I just can’t justify spending that amount of money on something in one go. Obviously (slightly depressingly) if I added up all the yarn I’d bought in the last 12 months it undoubtedly comes to more than the price of all 3 levels of the TKGA course ($375 for all 3 levels), but that was in bits and pieces (except all the fun at Woolfest). So it’s always been something that seems like a good idea, that I’d definitely get some enjoyment from but is very much pie in the sky.

But last week, I was reading a thread on a designers group on Ravelry which talked about doing the program and the very talented Alex Tinsley linked to a blog post she’d written back in 2008 when she’d considered doing the TGKA program. Instead of signing up for the course, she wrote a list of the things she wanted to learn how to do and decided to try and do it herself. Now, she admits she didn’t get very far down that list but I liked the idea. So last night, I sat down and wrote down what I’d like to learn and boy, oh, boy, do I know nothing about knitting. I mean, I know a bit, but once I’d written this list down, I felt like I knew nothing. 

I thought I’d post the list here, with the links I’ve found so far to help me out, and hopefully it’ll mean I come back to it once in a while and gives me something else to blog about. So here it is:

Different cast ons: Knitting Help tutorialsPurlwise 

Casting off: Knitting help, Interlock bind off 

Decreases: Knitting help 

Increases: Knitting help 
grafting: Purlwise

Magic loop 
Two at a time socks
afterthought heel
fleegle heel
padded sweet tomato heel (have done a regular sweet tomato heel a while ago)
reinforced heels
other different heels – Knitty, Sock knitters 
different toes
Short row toe (toe up socks)
Easy toes (toe up socks) 
unconventional constructions – These are all Ravelry patterns with different constructions for socks: double helix, skew, perpendicular (or similar, don’t have this book), entrelac socks, mitered windowpane, stripe tease, hunger games extreme socks, outside in, hub of fashion, grun ist die hoffnung

Double knitting – signed up for a craftsy class & have a couple of patterns already chosen
Illusion knitting
Japanese short rows 
jogless stripes 
reversible cables – palindrome
Slip stitch/mosaic knitting – Barbara walker books
reverse knitting 
Knitting back 
Norweigan purl 
Joining yarn techniques 
one row buttonhole 
Diagonal knitting

KnitPurlHunter and TechKnitter both have lots of info & video tutorials to look at.

I’d also like to do a lot of swatches of stitches from my stitch dictionaries. I’ve drawn up a list on paper but I’m not going to list them all here. Some of them are about new techniques but plenty of them are stitches that I like the look of and want to use at some point so I figure if I swatch them out now, I can get a better idea of how I want to use them and will have some reference points for future ideas.


Now, I don’t believe for one minute that learning all of this will make me the world’s most awesome knitter, or even close to being so, but I do think that in the long run, if I want to keep on getting ideas down as designs, I need a wider knowledge of some things. Plus all those swatches will be great for using up random leftover balls of yarn.

Alongside this, this month will see me knitting my new cardigan pattern and hopefully getting it tested and looked over by a tech editor. I have another 3 patterns to write up and another couple of ideas to sketch and swatch out – quite a lot really, so I’m not sure it’ll all get done unless I start planning my time a whole lot better and maybe give up some sleeping (never going to happen!)



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2 Responses to "Wannabe mistress of knitting"

Amazing! But a very good exercise! At least you know what you want to know! I am such a novice I don’t even yet know what I want to know…

You are me – in the sense that I’ve often thought of the TKGA program but never could “justify” the expense. What a great idea to create a ‘masters’ program of your own. I’m going to go make my own list! Thanks!

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