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lana
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2002 :  5:45:29 PM  Show Profile Send lana a Private Message
HI.......I READ AND WAS DELIGHTED WITH BESSH JOURNAL.....IF SOMEONE CAN TELL ME WAHT KNITTING SWATCHES IS ALL ABOUT.......LANA

rita l hass
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artsymary
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2002 :  6:46:05 PM  Show Profile Send artsymary a Private Message
I'd really like to do the Master Knitting program - I looked it up on the internet and didn't see a direct place to go! I wonder if I could ask one of you for the address so that I can send away for some information. My friend always calls me a master knitter - she only wants to know how to knit tho and I'm probably a master knitter to her because I also know how to purl!!

Thanks for your help!

Mary

mary
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mornin
New Pal

15 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  06:16:50 AM  Show Profile Send mornin a Private Message
Hi everyone! I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed this topic! I have wondered about the masters program for some time and its nice to hear about it from someone that is actually doing it. I am thinking about doing it later this year. Keep writing and sharing and thanks again! Dawn

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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  07:43:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
On the opening page of www.tkga.com there are option - one is for education, along the left hand colum, and another is just "EMAIL US", towards the right (I think it's tkga@tkga.com, but check) Just e-mail them and tell them you want info on the education, and they'll send it to you!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  5:06:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
Hi Lana,
Welcome! Bess is knitting small squarish pieces of fabric to "test" her knitting skills. The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) has a master knitter's program. They provide you with a list of swatches to knit to have your knitting skills judged. When you pass all of them you are deemed a Master Knitter. Like many here I have toyed with the idea of taking it for several years. I think it may have to wait until there is less confusion in my life for me to give it my best effort.

Keep up the good work Bess, I am just loving it!!!


Alissa
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  04:42:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
April 14 dread day before taxes and I still havenít finished mine. dreamed about them last night. might not get much knitting done today. Figured out what I did wrong with the cable I thought I was copying from Big Book of Knitting - typical bess - looked at the picture but didnít read the instructions. the chart was only the RS rows, over on the side was printed ďon wrong side rows knit the knit stitches and purl the purlĒ. so when I shortened the cable by half the middle stithces were pushed up to form the traveling stitch zigzag. But the swatch is so pretty I think Iíll keep it anyway.

Knitted up swatch #14 - the one that was supposed to be of the same yarn and on the same needles as swatches 1,2,3. After blocking them Iím to measure them, and make up a chart showing the effects on gauge of different stitches - though I think that they should not have had us increase to 25 stitches on two of the swatches but not the other two. Itís going to be a bit hard for me to have any faith in my measuring over such small swatches. Eh. well. I shall just follow the directions.

Weaving in or darning in ends on some of the swatches now. And blocked all the Aurora 8 swatches . oh! my! Do NOT wet this yarn before darning in ends for it completely unspins when wet. Yuck! left one long tail to weave on the seed st. so I can find the upper left corner and itís more like fringe now. Still not altogether 100% satisfied about those purl gutters on the stockinette stitching. But I donít think I will develop a perfect tension in the weeks ahead. thinking less and less of redoing them. In fact, for any other purpose (like wearing or even selling) I would leave this alone. But the concept of perfection is swirling round inside my head all the time and it always leads me back to the spiritual aspect of perfection and manís quest. and I have to remind myself, Bess, this is just knitting!

Whatís left? the two color swatch to do over again in lighter colored yarn. blocking, weaving in ends and answer the questions. And assemble the notebook. All my fellow stationary/office supply store junkies will love this part - like making a scrapbook.

ahh - to the tax table with you now, bess


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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  07:30:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Ack! here I am 3 hours later, playing around on the forums instead of doing my taxes!

BE GONE THOU TEMPTATION OF KNITTERS REIVEW AND LIGHTEN NOT THIS SUFFERER OF HER LOAD OF RESPONSIBILITIES BUT CONTAIN YOURSELF AS REWARD FOR HER OBEDIENCE

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KathyN
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  10:23:50 AM  Show Profile Send KathyN a Private Message
Bess,

Good luck to you! I am glad it is you and not me. As your journal has seemed to motivate others it has not done the same for me. I still have no desire to want to take the Master's Knitters Course. What you have written about ahs confirmed what I already suspected. It is a waste of time and money to be subject to whatever TKGA's idosycrancies are at the time. My suggestion is to take knitting classes at your local yarn shop. After having been taught by some friends that is what I did.

As far as I am concerned I am a damn good knitter without the TKGA's blessing. I have mnay county fair ribbons to prove it along with the words of my knitting instructors. When I hear that well known people (published authors) did not pass the course, it leads me to wonder what the TKGA is critiquing. I do not know if this person ever passed but after hearing that I have no desire to try it.

For those of you who want to go ahead and enjoy. Make sure you label your swatches correctly and put the labels in the correct corner (who cares about that other than TKGA). I have more important things to knit in my spare time than swatches. Unless, they are for a sweater I am making.

Kathy

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tdunn
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  12:45:49 PM  Show Profile Send tdunn a Private Message
Bess,
I finished Level 1 a year or so ago. It was a good learning experience as I'm not one to follow explicit instructions at times, and I had to look up a few things to find alternate methods available. I didn't have to do anything over, but did receive a comment about not slipping the first stitch as I usually do. If they don't tell you to do something, don't try and read something into their instructions. As I said, I didn't have to re-do any swatches, but I'll be more careful on level 2. It was fun reading your diary, and brought back the fluttery stomach feeling I got when I opened my box after review. Even when you know you are a competent knitter, it really feels good to get unbiased positive feedback. Friends and family always tell you how wonderful your work is.
Good Luck,
Theresa

"If you can't change your life, change your attitude."
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  2:10:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Oh dear, Theresa - I did slip the first stitch on one swatch and did the garter stitch selvedge on several others. Most of them I did just straight though. In fact, it was my dissatisfaction with my straight knit/purl selvedges that prompted me to read about all the different selvedge treatements and try out a few. So I win even if they reject the swatches, because I learned.

It's the discipline of the project that is so good for me. I haven't got a LYS unless you consider 50 miles away local, which I don't. And like you say, friends always say complimentary things and I don't ask my enemies to comment.

good knitting to you - from she who has fulfilled her IRS obligations even if she has not yet finished her TKGA ones.

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tdunn
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2002 :  06:14:25 AM  Show Profile Send tdunn a Private Message
Bess,
I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a group on Yahoo for people working on the TKGA Master Knitting program. It's called masterknit-usa. It's pretty quiet most of the time, but a great source when you have a question, and good moral support when you need a little push. Just thought I'd let you know.
Theresa

"If you can't change your life, change your attitude."
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naomi dagen bloom
New Pal

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2002 :  09:44:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit naomi dagen bloom's Homepage Send naomi dagen bloom a Private Message
why am i reading this? because it is so wonderfully written, so personal in a comfortable way. thanks, bess, keep on sharing--and
maybe you'll consider my obsession, kitchen composting, for some relief. that's how i began to knit worms! naomi dagen bloom, sweeetheart of kitchen composting, now doing a baby bunting in shape of corncob (lion brand online) www.cityworm.com

naomi, composting in manhattan
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4403 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2002 :  10:03:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
I second the vote: Bess is a magnificent writer! I'm so glad you're sharing your journals with us.

I think many of us have toyed with the idea of getting certified. For me (and I suspect you too!), the appeal isn't merely to be able to walk around saying, "Hi, did you know I'm a Master Knitter?"

It's to have a justification and excuse for spending lots of time and energy on our knitting, to experience the feeling of our brain stretching and growing, to feel like we're treating ourselves to an intensive workshop on something we love.

Some great writers say they need an assignment and deadline in order to write, and I think knitting-oriented classes/programs/degrees/certificates could mean as much for some knitters.

Sure, there are politics everywhere. Who knows who'll be judging your swatches, or what s/he will comment on? The important thing is that you put yourself through a great learning/discipline experience.

Perhaps one day I, too, shall consider getting certified. Or better yet, I'll offer a new certification program for Knitter's Review! Like the new categories for member names, I'll have all sorts of certifications depending on what you need. For example, if you're a self-acknowledged obsessive-compulsive knitter, the program will require you to knit sloppily.

Hmmm, this could be fun!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Lorrie Frendling
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2002 :  10:31:34 AM  Show Profile Send Lorrie Frendling a Private Message
Congratulations to you. I decided to try for the Master Knitter certifcation several years ago. (I have been knitting for over 40 years, my grandmother taught me when I was a kid. She was very patient) I would like to encourage everyone to give this course a try. I only completed the first level, but plan to go on when I get a Round Tuit. (everyone knows what that is, right?)

I, too, had to use several of the instruction books you recommend, and learned so much. I never paid any attention to how many ways there are to increase and decrease before, and was I surprised! And choosing a cable to work was fun, but hard, as so many I wanted to try would not fit within the framework requested.

I had to resubmit several of my swatches, but, again, I took it as a learning experience.

I encourage everyone to try this course, even if you are a fairly new knitter. None of the swatches was very hard, and they are so small I didn't mind ripping out. What's the worst that could happen, you have a "Do-Over" and you learn a new technique. The lady who critiqued my work was very pleasant and helpful, while still requiring the techniques to be done correctly.

Now I am anxious to try the next level! Thanks for your posts. (For inspiration, read "No Idle Hands" about knitting history)

Lorrie

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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  04:18:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
I know Southwest flies into Richmond and maybe Dulles which would be a little closer. Getting from airport to Syria VA would be a little harder but one of us living around either of those airports could pick up a flyer and give a lift I bet.

About husbands - hmmm. Depends on the husband. Every spring I go to Graves Mt. Lodge to a Library Directors meeting and I always think "I should have brought DH". A few directors do bring their SO's who always seem to have a good time and are interesting dinner companions. I never do, because of course, we get emmersed in professional talk and don't want to feel like dh needs tender attentions. so I think "I'll bring him back for a visit sometime but we haven't yet done it. If your SO is the type to enjoy hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing (absolutely gorgeous stream meanders at the foot of the mt.) or knitting, for that matter, or just vegging out with a good book, and no phones or TV's I see no problem with his joining. I still don't know if I'd bring along my own DH. He's coming with me to Md. Sheep & Wool - i think it's his sort of event, sort of a fair, with animals and food and outdoors and all. I doubt very seriously he'd join me at Stitches East which is all classes and terribly expensive. this thing I'm imagining at gmt is sort of in between.

Another thing I've been thinking about is the structure of the weekend. I'll post my ideas over the weekend.



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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  04:21:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Well, good grief! the above post was supposed to be in the Knitting Vacations forum. Please forgive.

here's today's installment - and a great big thank you to all of your input. You've way more than doubled the fun I've been having doing this certification project.


april 17 married 28 years today. taking day off to play with DH. going on a ramble. The busy part of April is crashing in on me. my students should be doing decreases on Saturday so had to knit the little cap up to the decreases last night. This is the biggest class Iíve had yet and the most diverse. only 2 are on schedule, though the other times iíve taught this class everybody stayed pretty much on track. 4 other students are really a week behind. I think itís this hot weather. itís just so hard to think about woolies when itís 94 outside. Have only one inch of ribbing on 2 color sample for tkga. Blocking the decrease swatches I find Iíve mis-measured the 2nd. one. Will have to knit again. Maybe get to it Friday since tomorrow must give lecture on Villiage Novels. sometime this week I got to the toe on Opal sock.

The worst swatches for guttering were done on Brown Sheep yarn which is a little thinner than the other two I used. I think they would have looked better knit on #6 needles. The blocked swatches are very pretty. Paperwork left to do - most of it fairly straightforward. Must write a 1 page report on blocking. Canvassed several KR regulars about their blocking experiences. Very little info in the books about blocking fibers other than wool. Of course I have my own opinions on blocking already. besides, itís a sort of laundry issue too and at my age I have lots of experience with laundry!


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gaelle
New Pal

Canada
16 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  10:50:03 AM  Show Profile Send gaelle a Private Message
Bess, thanks for your journal. I had never even heard of the TKGA until I stumbled across it. I don't teach knitting (still have lots to learn), but you have inspired me to start working on some swatches of my own. I have the Big Book of Knitting, and it seems to me I could profitably work my way through the swatches in that and learn lots, instead of just doing things the one way I know. I recently made a sampler afghan with squares in different Aran knit stitches. I did a lot of fiddling and ripping back, but I learned a lot too and the finished product is beautiful. I also learned through this project that I am a lot more interested in texture than colour.
Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. I don't need the piece of paper, but I do need the learning. Good luck on your certification process.

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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  3:10:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
I just ordered my certification packet on Friday. I met a lot of people who are working on the TKGA Master's program at the convention. I was so anxious to get started right after the convention, but family matters too precedence. Anything that will help me become a more knowledgable knitter and help me pass that on to my students is wonderful. I met a few knitters who hadn't completed Level 1 yet because they hadn't finished their report on blocking. Procrastination, I'm the queen of procrastination!

erica :)

Life is like knitting sometimes it's smooth, sometimes it's bumpy and sometimes it's the ultimate frustration.
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knitfanatic
Chatty Knitter

Canada
160 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  5:31:41 PM  Show Profile Send knitfanatic a Private Message
Clara, that would be great if Knitter's Review came up with some type of certification program. I know I would be interested in it.
Bess, keep up the great work. I'm hoping to sign up this weekend myself at a Needlework Festival. I don't think I could even come close to your writings though --REALLY GREAT. I look forward to reading more.
Kelly

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yarngrrrl
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2002 :  1:40:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit yarngrrrl's Homepage Send yarngrrrl a Private Message
Hi, Bess and all - this topic has motivated me to sign up so I could post a response!

I finished the first level of the Master Knitter program about a month ago, and I totally relate with the stress\enjoyment of deciding the "right" way to do things. I learned a LOT, and now I am desperately waiting for the results. In fact, I already ordered and received the instructions for level 2, but have been busy knitting up samples for the design I recently sold to a publication, helping teach a beginner class, and knitting up gift socks - so no level 2 work has gotten done yet.

Bess, I want to second the other posters' comment that they do not want you to knit selvedges on any of the swatches, but that you will probably be okay. I would suggest that you include a note with your written answers to the effect that you knit those selvedge swatches before you realized that they wanted you to knit the swatches as if they were part of a sweater to be sewn up.

Also, you keep fretting over the uneven stitches in your samples. Try not to be so self-critical in this department! From what I've heard, they will probably make a comment about it, but it is not something that would disqualify your work. I would encourage anyone interested in this program to look up the masterknitter-usa group on groups.yahoo.com because there is quite an archive of questions and answers that went a long way towards satisfying my curiousity.

Also, as an FYI - the second level includes making a vest and an argyle sock; and the third level includes designing a fair isle or aran sweater and a hat in whichever technique you didn't use in the sweater. All three levels include writing reports and/or reviews of knitting publications. This is a great way to grow your skills! For those of you who are thinking you're not good enough yet, Level 1 is a perfect way to solidify your basic skills.

Keep knitting!

Shelly in Minneapolis

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