Today I received the packet for Master Hand Knitter’s program Level I via email. It contains instructions on how to prepare my samples, reports and how to package my submission when complete.
I have to prove that I can follow and write patterns, research knitting techniques, do the basic stitches, increase and decrease properly, make cables and yarnovers, change yarn colors, weave in ends, block and care for knits, and knit in the round.
As to the physical materials that I will need to submit, it looks like there are 16 swatches, about 20 questions, a 2-page report with references, and a hat.
They provide the pattern for the hat, and it is knit in the round with ribbing at the bottom and color changes are required. However, although the instructions call for shaping on the top, it looks gathered on the crown in the picture. The picture also has it finished with i-cord loops, although the instructions say it may be finished with a pom-pom or tassel instead. From the picture, I have to say that it isn’t a very attractive hat.
It should be noted that they do change or update their requirements occasionally, my packet for level one seems to have been last revised on 4/2/07.
The cost of this portion of the adventure was $119 for a 1 year membership to TKGA ($29, which includes a subscription/4 issues of Cast-On magazine, and access to a lot of members-only articles on the website) and $90 for the Master Level I program (which will apparently cover shipping my package from judge to judge, and the privilege of having expert eyes on my work).
I’m eager to begin, but I haven’t actually bought my light colored wool yarn yet, and I promised myself I would finish a few important projects before I really start going with these swatches.