How to become a Master Knitter

I recently joined The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA), out of a desire to learn more from (and about) the knitting community. The membership comes with various benefits, including the opportunity to take classes at the annual conferences and a subscription to their quarterly magazine, Cast On. And as I was paging through the online brochure, I came across this advertisement:

Test your skills!
Earn Master Knitter Pin and Title

The TKGA Master Knitting Program (c) is a noncompetitive and rewarding achievement program for advanced knitters. You will work hard to earn the coveted “Master Knitter” title and pin.
The program consists of specific written instructions for samples you are to knit, questions you are to answer, and research you will need to report on and document. The Master Knitting Committee will review everything carefully. Portions may be returned for rework according to constructive suggestions for improvement. Each participant’s work is evaluated by objective measures, and criteria for evaluation are applied equally to all.
You must successfully complete each level before ordering and moving on to a higher level.

They had me at the headline. An opportunity to “test my skills”! I was salivating immediately. Oh, I can see the manipulation going on, the appeal to ego (“the coveted title” — and pin, don’t forget there’s a pin!). And the program isn’t cheap: you do all of the knitting, and then you pay to get the chance to have your work reviewed and vetted. But the implied challenge, the structured progression from level to level, the feedback from experts, the chance to effectively grow from journeyman to “master” — I have no ability to resist these things. Bring it on, TKGA!

MASTER LEVEL I, Hand Knitting


  • Sixteen knitted samples: three swatches each of ribbing and basic stitches and gauge, mirrored increases and decreases, yarnovers, cables, and color change.
  • Seventeen questions to research and answer.
  • One hat.
  • Two-page report on blocking and care of knits.

It’s a chance to focus on skills and exercises rather than the products themselves. I’m in heaven, and I haven’t even purchased the kit yet. I’ve attempted each of the items listed at least once already, so it should be within my power to satisfy the requirements (the subsequent levels look much harder, involving techniques I have not yet attempted and original design). Now I just need to find the time.

For some reason, it cracks me up that there is a written report required. I wonder how many submissions they get that were written in LaTeX?

2 of 3 people learned something from this entry.

  1. jim said,

    July 21, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    (Learned something new!)

    :-) :-)

    And how many contributors use CVS (or any version control)?

  2. Kelsey said,

    July 28, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    (Knew it already.)

    I was looking at this just yesterday. I haven’t joined yet, but I have to admit I’m fascinated. I’m not sure I’m ready for a challenge at such a high level but that’s partially because I’ve only been knitting three months. Oh well, who doesn’t appreciate a challenge to strive for mastery.

  3. wkiri said,

    July 28, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    I think a nice thing about the Master’s program is that you can take however long you like to work on the pieces (although you want to have up-to-date instructions prior to submitting your portfolio). So you can putter around and work on pieces as you learn techniques, and let it be a gradual process. I think that’s less intimidating than taking on the whole thing at once!

  4. Michelle said,

    August 14, 2007 at 6:27 am

    (Learned something new!)

    Cool! I wonder if there’s a “Crocheting Guild” out there somewhere too…?

    – Michelle

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