Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Just Not for Me

If you've been reading along you will know that I began the journey to obtain the designation of Master Knitter from The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA).

 -- Just not for me.

You can read for yourself the objectives of the program.  The TKGA site has a very thorough and detailed description of the activities you will be required to submit -- swatches, a hat, answers to questions, a report, a notebook (a 2" notebook, using font size not smaller than 12 and not larger than 14, etc.)

 -- Just not for me.

The TKGA program began in the Fall of 1987.  You can become a member of the Guild for a nominal fee and will receive their magazine Cast On, plus access to the 'members only' section of the web.  Here's what they say about the Master's program.

While the Master Knitter certificate is not a professional certificate, it does enhance any knitting resume. It verifies, among other things that you: 

     • Knit very well 
     • Understand knitting techniques 
     • Can properly prepare designs for submission 
     • Can write reasonably well about knitting 

  -- Just not for me.

Submission 1:  I sent in my swatches, answers, gauge calculations and my hat.
This one didn't get a passing review.
I spaced on using smaller needles for the rib.
TKGA reviewers didn't like the color jogs; they didn't like
the method I used for weaving in the loose ends; they didn't
like the extra trim around the bottom.
"You've knit a nice hat but you didn't follow directions."
I sent in my reports and the pattern for my cable swatch.  TKGA asked for a rewrite of the pattern.  Twice.  I wrote:  K1, P1.  TKGA wants K1, p1.

 -- Just not for me.

After the first review I re-knit the hat, refined my answers to their questions, and expanded the report ("too many bullets" -- so I removed the bullets, among other things.)  Here's Hat 2.
Altogether a much better job and TKGA liked the hat.

After a few days I received a second review.  "Nice hat."  But please rewrite the pattern.  ("Put the pattern name and heading on one line.  Put the pattern source and reference on one line."  Etc.)  All of my knitted items were accepted, but much of the written work needed to be changed, edited, fixed.

 -- Just not for me.

Go back and read those four objectives of the program, because that's what I did.  And I made a wonderfully freeing discovery.  This program is Just Not for Me.

Here's my response after receiving the second review --
Thanks for your thorough review of the second round.  I won't be submitting a third or fourth or fifth time.  Upon reflection I realize the TKGA program is not in alignment with my own goals for knitting -- I have no plans (or dreams) of being a designer or writing patterns; I don't have a desire to be published or edited or become a go-to resource for others.

I enjoy my knitting and I enjoy learning about knitting and will continue to do both.  Frankly, this process came very close to taking all the joy away -- the joy of creating, the pleasure of the process, and the pride in a finished item enjoyed by the friend to whom I gifted the article.

The cost of the program was given to me as a gift when I retired.  I will be donating the balance of the funds, which would otherwise be allocated to the cost of the next levels, to World Vision for their work in securing clean water for those who do not have it.

  (I added the underlining for the benefit of blog readers.)

 -- Just not for me.  You will have to decide for yourself.  


  1. It sounds like you came to the right conclusion for you for the right reasons. Your work always looks beautiful from the pictures you post, the joy in creating is evident.
    Like you, I have no intention to teach or become a designer or publish my patterns. If I create a new pattern, it is most likely an adaptation of an existing one or something I "threw together" and made for me (or someone specific) and may not care if it ever gets made again. I crochet purely for the love of the feel of the yarn in my hands, the peace it gives me and the joy in brings me and those that I gift.
    Sometimes a title is just a title. And I LOVE where you're donating the "extra" funds to.

  2. Becky,

    I do hope that you will continue your blog and the sharing of your beautiful pieces of work. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog and felt I learned so much more about the need to be precise.