Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Be Your Own Master

Ever since I heard about The Knitting Guild Association's Masters Program I've been strangely drawn to it. The idea of pushing myself to learn a bunch of new techniques, and to have an organized collection of beautiful swatches lying around to help guide my designs is extremely attractive.

...However, mama didn't raise no fool. In no lifetime will I spend $300 to be given the privilege of learning a bunch of techniques on my own, with my own materials, just so I can have someone else judge them and give me a pin. A pin! They claim, of course, that it will help business (if you're in the business of designing or teaching knitting, etc.) and while I think it's true that the things you LEARN will certainly help, I can honestly say I've never been more or less swayed to use a pattern or listen to an experienced knitter's advice based on their pin-winning.

For those who can afford the program...good for you. I understand that it's nice to have some impetus to learn these things. For the rest of us, I present to you:

Alex's Super-Comprehensive, Mostly-Free-Pattern-Based, Tailor-it-to-your-needs "Masters Program"! Or as I like to call it, "Stashbusting the Educational Way"

In any case, here's the plan... I'm taking some time off of designing and production to edumacate myself, so you'll be seeing more of this stuff, probably. The simple stuff may come first, but for the most part, I'll be doing it in whatever order is fun and convenient

Most techniques will include a swatching as well as some patterns to help me get the hang of it and make nice stuff while I'm at it (I'll be adding more patterns and techniques as I get find them,) but first, the basics:

Swatch the following:
-Cast ons: All the ones on Knittinghelp.com, plus Eunny's tubular cast on. More if I can find them... I'll be scouring Knitty later
-Bind offs: Same as above
-Decreases: All on knittinghelp
-Increases: All on knittinghelp

Then the fun:

Swatch Stich Patterns that interest me:
- experiment with numbers, styles, etc.
-Slipped stitch (not mosaic), again experiment
-Linen stitch, trinity stitch, and anything else I can find in my stitch dictionary that I think is cool or involves an unusual technique. If you're a new knitter, swatch the basics, but I'm too lazy for that and pretty confident in my stockinette ability.
-This stitch pattern. I'll probably just make the gloves, because I like them.
-A few from Knitting New Mittens & Gloves, hereafter referred to as KNMG
-linen stitches
-loop stitches (KNMG)

Short Rows
Veronik Avery's Short Row hat Careful, pdf.
Amelia Earhart
Short row thumb from KNMG

Diagonal Knitting
I'm going to skip this because I've done quite enough of it, but I recommend The Multidirectional Scarf or Diagonal Striped Scarf

Spirals (of sorts)
Spiral hat
Leethal's wavy spiral short row hat and thanks to her for recommending some of these :-P

-2 strand
-3 strand (braid)
-5 strand
-reversible: Palindrome
-traveling: Celtic Cable- four strands, travelling
-closed loop (still trying to find some good stuff on this one. Links coming.)
-tree (there's one on knitty but I'm looking for a simpler one.)
-twisted tiny stuff: Bayerische
-stuff from KNMG
-"other", textural stuff: Cap Karma
-another useful link: Eunny's Unventing a Cable

-Shirred Hat

Stranded Colorwork
- 2 color, flat Intricate Stag Bag (pdf)
- 2 color, round (I'm going to skip this because I've done a lot of it)
- Multicolor, flat
- Multicolor, round Floral Fairisle Gloves (pdf)

Sock Techniques

- short row heels
- turned heels
- peasant heels (I know I can do these, so skip)
- toe-up cast ons, etc.
- unconventional Francie. Not free, but so cool.

-Razor Cami
-Do everything Eunny says again.
I'm a wimp and I hardly like lace, so I went a bit easy on this portion for now. By all means, do something more challenging with it.

Embellishments (I'll have to look up some resources for these)
- applied Icord of all sorts
- knitted braids (like this one: Inga)
- beading (haven't found a project I like yet... I'll scrape up some how-to links later.) - possible projects from KNMG
- other fun stuff out of my Interweave finishing book
- applied icord
-i cord knots (KNMG), coiled icord

Finishing (again, we'll talk more links later.)
-hems (picot?)
-steeks: Do everything Eunny says.

-flat (I know how but a small project to refresh: Quant)
-round: Entrelac hat- also deals with shaping a bit

-Smocked gauntlets
-Smocked Hat
-Smocked cuff from KNMG

Tuck Stitch
(I'll probably just make up my own thing, but there are tutorials floating around, like this one here and this one.

Raglan Shaping
-top down
-bottom up
(possibly Glampyre's Raglan from the top down or the Anthropologie-inspired capelet

-Argyle: Socks, Pillow
-Other Mario Villains

Illusion Knitting
Counterpoint Scarf - Formerly on Magknits, now only on Ravelry. Sorry.
- chart my own.

Vertigo, also only on Ravelry.

Double Knitting

-Brioche Stitches (a seriously awesome site.)
-single color
-increase and decreases
-Pecan pie

Bat-wing Shape
-from the lacers in KNMG

box pleats, KNMG

Some neat stuff from "Knitting New Scarves"
-"three prong" knitting
- wavy things
- the zig zaggy ones
- the linked ones
- drifting pleats
- labrynth & hourglass (just for fun mostly)
- carumboa (or rather, just the knitting-through bit)

That'll do, for the moment. ;-)

(I'll show YOU masters....)


  1. Thanks a lot for the programm... I think I'll follow you and don't spend 300 $ for a pin. I'd prefer to put this money on yarn ! By the way, your pictures are always so esthetics !!! It's always nice to see your knitting and your "mise en scène".

  2. Thanks :-) I'm trying to get artsier with the pictures. I used to be really into photography but I've gotten lazy...

  3. Hey! just ran across your etsy shop, which brought me to your blog. love your stuff! There's a hat that you have up...its first in the store....can you tell me what yarn that is? I absolutey love that variegated color!!!! Feel free to check out my blog! It links to my etsy too, although its not that impressive! Just recently started selling, and my pics aren't that great! Have an awesome day!

  4. also- Congrats on having a featured product!

  5. The rainbow-ish one? It's Noro Kureyon, two different skeins with different colorways (I'm afraid I have no idea WHICH colorways, I don't know if they make those exact ones anymore but they have a ton and they're usually gorgeous.)

    And thanks for letting me know I had something featured, haha. They don't notify us or anything and I wish they did.

  6. That's the DIY spirit! Great idea. I may do the same someday when deadlines stop breathing down my neck. So rude!


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