WIP Wednesday: April 29, 2015

I’m home from India, but continuing to work on the same two projects!  I’m also starting to work on the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1.

Super Secret Shawl

I’ve now completed 3 repeats of the pattern.

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Splash Socks

I hoped to finish these while traveling, but while in India I spent most of my knitting time on the shawl, leaving these socks for the flights.  The trip home involved 20+ hours actually on planes, with little to no time on layovers.  I dozed off and on throughout the trip home, leaving less time for knitting than I had planned.  Still, I got 5 stripes done on the trip home.  Since I hadn’t brought appropriate waste yarn to mark the heels, I just kept knitting.  I’m going to steek for heels — the first time I’ve ever done that!

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TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1

I purchased the Master Hand Knitting Level 1 at the end of February and blogged about it in mid-March.  When I discovered that we were going to India, I decided I wouldn’t work on the program until I returned.  However, before we left, I did make myself a detailed checklist, breaking down each step of the project.  Now that I’m back from the trip, I want to focus on finishing Level 1.  I have an extremely ambitious goal: mail off the Level 1 binder by the first week of June.  The reason for this ambitious goal is that I will be attending the TKGA Conference in San Diego July 21-26.  If I can get Level 1 mailed off by the first week in June, it’s possible (though tight) that I might get the reviewed binder back before I go to the conference.  Since I’m attending the Master’s Day program on July 21 and taking a workshop with Arenda Holladay, I’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions I have regarding necessary corrections for Level 1.

My personal approach to Level 1 is to research all the questions relevant to a swatch and write draft answers prior to knitting the swatch.  Then I knit and block the swatch and edit the answer based on the experience of knitting and blocking.  Yesterday, I did the research for the blocking report and wrote a draft that includes all the information other than how I blocked the swatches.  Today I did the research for the first question and wrote a draft answer.  As I write, I am compiling the References sheet that is one component of the binder.  Every time I use a new source, I add it to the References section immediately.  I expect to take significant time to edit the written work after all the swatching is complete.  Proceeding in the manner I described makes that easier because I won’t have to switch back and forth between writing and editing.  Switching back and forth slows me down considerably!

My single biggest worry about the swatches is that there will be cat hair all over them.  The directions specifically say that the swatches should be free of pet hair.  This seems like an impossible standard in my house.  We’ve got three very cuddly cats in varying colors that mean no matter what you are wearing, the cat hair stands out from a mile away.  Since we got back from India, they are even more cuddly than usual.  They were well cared for while we were away, but they obviously missed us!

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Master Knitter

A couple weeks ago, I paid for The Knitting Guild Association‘s Master Hand Knitting Level 1 course.  I’ve been a dues paying member of The Knitting Guild Association for a year and a half.  When I first joined, I did it because I wanted to do the Master Hand Knitting course, but when I read the requirements, it just seemed like too much work to fit into my life at that time.  I hadn’t really thought about it since, but I was catching up on podcasts yesterday, including Mastering the Knits (website, Ravelry group, iTunes), a podcast in which the two hosts discuss their progress on the Master Hand Knitting course.  The podcast reminded me that I wanted to do this, so I signed up!  I now have a year to complete the Level 1 course.  Well, technically, I can take as long as I want; if I take longer than a year and the instructions change in the interim, I have to use the updated instructions rather than the set that I currently have.

The Master Hand Knitting program consists of 3 levels.  For each level, you prepare a binder of materials and submit it for review.  You can not move on to the next level until your binder has been reviewed and approved.  The Level 1 binder has 7 sections: Cover Letter, a copy of the instructions, a report on blocking (2 to 4 single-spaced pages), 17 swatches with information sheets, answers to questions about the various techniques used in creating the swatches, a pair of mittens knit to specifications provided in the instructions, and a list of the references used in preparing all the other sections.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve read the entire instruction packet, making notes as I went.  I selected the yarn I will be using for the swatches.  I did not have appropriate yarn in my stash (light-colored, worsted, 100% wool), so I ordered some from my LYS.  I’ve collected several references for the blocking report — I already owned several books with relevant information — and watched the Craftsy class Blocking Handknits with Kate Atherley (Affiliate link), which I purchased specifically so that I could use it as a reference in my report.  Today I put together the binder, printed a clean copy of the instructions, and put it in place.

I plan to do the research for the blocking report and write the first part of it by the end of this month.  I can’t write the entire blocking report until I finish the swatches, because the report must include a description of my methodology for blocking them.  However, I can write the general part of the report, covering the various techniques and purposes of blocking.  I’ll start the swatches in April.  I’m not sure how long it will take me to work through the entire Level 1 instructions.  I already possess all the knitting skills required for Level 1; there’s nothing in here that I have to learn just to do the course.  I’d like to move through this level as quickly as possible because of that.  I know I don’t currently possess all the knitting skills required in Levels 2 and 3, so expect those to take me longer to complete since I will learn as I go.  Level 1 is really just a matter of prioritizing the work.  I will, of course, write regular updates regarding my progress and the things I learn along the way!  I’ll use the tags Master Knitter and Master Knitter Level 1 on these posts.