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TKGA Level 2 – Passed!

April 17

I am delighted and relieved that I finally passed Level 2 for the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. After knitting (and re-knitting) 24 swatches, answering 19 questions (and I did not get them all right the first time around), writing book reviews and a report, working 2 small project plus a vest (which I chose to design from scratch) it is OVER. Hurray!

If you’d like to perfect your knitting skills, you might want to tackle the Program too.  This level covers seaming, decreases, lace, cables, buttonholes, button bands, stranded knitting, and intarsia. There is a fair amount of pattern writing, preparing you for designing your own patterns and submitting them for publication. There is quite a bit of research involved in this level. I found it very challenging, but it was worth it. My skills improved a lot as a result of completing it.

Here’s my work. The only thing not showing in these photos is the vest. I hope to publish it one of these days. You’ll see it then.

 TKGA Level 2 Level2_7_12 Level2_13_18 Level2_19_24 Level2_Projects

TKGA Meets the Real World

April 17

You may remember I’ve been working on completing Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. It is a detailed and challenging program! Before I started the program I didn’t understand the real-world application of it. Yes, I wanted to learn how to become a better knitter. But I didn’t realize tAll Postshat each level’s notebook becomes a valuable part of my reference library.

Here’s an example of how helpful it is for me to have my Level 2 notebook full of swatches and instructions. I’m making the Forest Weave top designed by Yumiko Alexander. It’s worked sideways, and the sides are bound-off edges. One of the swatches in the seaming section of Level 2 is a horizontal-to-horizontal seam like this.  I’m able to look at my swatch and instructions from my notebook to easily remind myself how work this kind of seam. Very handy!

Knitting and seaming

 Wish me luck. I’m re-submitted the swatches and text I had to re-do on Monday. Let’s hope I pass this time!

TKGA Resubmits Level 2

April 14

You may remember I’ve been working on completing Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. I’m embarrassed to say I received my comments and list of re-do’s last summer, and only now have re-knitted and re-written the things I didn’t do right the first time around.

The committee members who reviewed my work took an incredible amount of time to write detailed and very helpful comments on my strengths and weaknesses. I so appreciate their efforts! They complimented the things I did right, which was encouraging. Their criticism of the things I did wrong, and the kind way they put it, helped me to learn a lot. I got to add new techniques to my skill set that will prevent me from carrying the same old mistakes forward into future knitting.

I sent in my resubmits today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this time I will have passed!

TKGA Intarsia Woes

April 22

I’ve never done intarsia before (except for years ago on an early project which didn’t count because it was so bad I had to felt it to make the holes go away…). One of the purposes of going through the Master Hand Knitting Program is to learn new skills. The problem is, you have to do them well. In teaching myself how to knit the argyle socks that are required for Level 2, I feel like I’m trying to learn how to snowboard and juggle at the same time, with bobbins, wrapping at the color changes and stitch tension all vying for my attention.

My mother used to tell me that when she was in college, she and her friends knit argyle socks as thank-you gifts for their boyfriends after they’d gone to a dance. All I can say is, that must have been some dance!

 Oh, how I wish Mom could teach me how to make these. In the meantime, if you have stories like my mom’s, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section. Were you part of the argyle sock craze? How did you manage all those strands while also juggling text books and taking notes? How long would it take you to make a pair? Did you work the crossed lines in intarsia, or did you duplicate stitch them later?

Mom said the students knit their socks in class. Can you imagine taking this mess to class? Something tells me this is not how it was done!


TKGA Level 2 Cables

April 2

You might remember from a previous post that my friend Cindy and I are slogging working our way through the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program‘s Level 2. I hate to whine, so let’s just say the Greek myth of Sisyphus has been much on my mind lately.  Every time I get through another section of the program I fool myself into thinking I might be getting closer to the end.  Then I realize how much more there is to research and write and knit. The list seems to multiply while I’m not looking.

Seriously, this program is wonderful for someone like me who loves to learn. I honestly appreciate finding out what I don’t know, so I can add to my skill set. I just finished researching Level 2’s section on cables. Here are the swatches, awaiting their final tags:

 TKGA Hand Knitting Program, cables, TKGA

Next it’s on to buttonholes, stranding, argyle socks……Whew!


The Knitting Guild Association: Check this out for excellent correspondence courses, the fabulous Cast On magazine, and conferences.


May 2

The thought of travelling without a knitting project is enough to strike fear into my heart. I often wait until the last moment to figure out what I’m going to take with me. Eek!

For an upcoming trip last February, I looked to Ravelry KALs to give me inspiration. If you read my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA). So I was delighted to discover they conduct frequent KALs. I found the information on their Ravelry group, but it’s in the membership newsletter as well.

For the February KAL, there were two “prompts”, or guidelines:

1)Eternal love– Return to a favorite by remaking a pattern or using a favorite yarn again.
2)Crush– Throw caution to the wind and impulse knit something you are dying to make.

I chose the second prompt, since I had some Malabrigo Rios handy and was dying to make a project that was simple enough for airplane knitting, yet pretty enough to keep it interesting. The Viriditas shawl by Annie Rowden fit the bill exactly.

The date to cast on was February 1st, with a completion date of February 28th. My goal, however, was to finish the project in time to wear during Stitches West starting on the 23rd.

I did manage to get the shawl knitted and blocked in time to wear it. Whew!


The shawl is an easy knit, and I thought the red and black made for a striking color combination, showing off the sweeping short rows.

I’ll be taking some more long flights soon…I’d better start looking for new projects!

posted under KAL, Projects, Shawls | No Comments »

Lucy Vest Pattern 1

August 21

Lucy Vest

Some of my readers who liked the Lucy Vest that I designed for my TKGA Hand Knitting Program have inquired about the pattern. I’m happy to say it is now available!

The Lucy Vest uses an easy-to-memorize ribbed eyelet stitch pattern.

Lucy Vest

Careful attention to detail includes a V-neck which flows out from the center rib.

AudKnits Lucy Vest

Strategically-placed decreases in the ribbed armhole and neck trim add shaping and cause the ribbing to lie flat.

Lucy Vest trim

The pattern uses the lovely Zara yarn from Filitura di Crosa. It’s the perfect choice for great stitch definition! I also chose it because it comes in a large range of colors. The pattern offers seven sizes, from a finished bust of 30″ to 55.5″. The vest is meant to be worn with 1-3″ ease. It’s available on Ravelry or below through my AudKnits Pattern Store:

Lucy Vest Pattern Cover

Lucy Vest – $4.99

Many thanks to Gale Zucker for the wonderful photography. I just love the top image – it’s perfect for this time of year when we’re all loving the corn from our local vegetable stands!


Filatura di Crosa Zara yarn

Gale Zucker Photography (all images here © galezucker / AudKnits LLC)

The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA): This is a fantastic organization. I have learned so much by being a member, and LOVE their Cast On magazine.

Introducing Lucy

August 7

For me, one of the most fun and challenging parts of Level 2 of The Knitting Guild Association’s (TKGA) Master Hand Knitting Program was the vest project. The requirement was simply to knit a vest, demonstrating our ability to use finishing techniques. We could use an existing pattern as written, modify an existing pattern, or design our own.

You probably know me well enough by now to guess which option I chose. Yes, as if completing Level 2 wasn’t difficult enough, I had to go and design a brand new pattern from scratch. Hence, the Lucy Vest, which I named after my beautiful and talented friend who was kind enough to model it.

knitted vest, Lucy Vest,

What I enjoyed about designing it was incorporating little details that I’ve learned along the way to make a finished garment really attractive. I took a Melissa Leapman workshop one time where she talked about how to design necklines so they flowed out of the center pattern. I like the results here. (Thank you, Melissa!)

Lucy Vest neckline

I added details into the instructions that I think help make for a nice fitting and polished looking vest. Ribbing along the sides makes the vest flattering to wear. On the neck and armhole trim, I used what I learned in the TKGA program to place strategic decreases to make the ribbing lie flat.

Lucy Vest back

 All in all, I’m happy with the Lucy Vest. I’ll be offering it as a pattern soon.

As always, I want to thank TKGA for providing so much education!

Oh, BTW….Don’t forget to leave a comment on the blog post for my Wild West eBooks Giveaway for a chance to win all five of Stephannie Tallent’s Wild West eBooks!


Vest Obsessed

July 16

For the longest time I’ve had my eye on Arenda Holladay’s pattern, “Woman’s Cable Vest”. I like its simplicity, with the cables adding just the right amount of interest. (Plus, I’ll use any excuse to knit with Rowan’s Felted Tweed!)

knitting vest

The red color (“Rage”) married with the tweed texture will be just right when Fall rolls around.

knitting vest


Woman’s Cable Vest by Arenda Holladay, in the Members’ section of the TKGA website

Rowan Felted Tweed DK

posted under Projects, Vest | No Comments »

Gaugefy App

February 27

You may remember I’ve been working on the second level of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. I’m learning to be a stickler for gauge (oh dear, I’ve become one of those people). In Level 2, we have to write instructions for our swatches, including gauge.

A tool that I’m finding to be helpful is the Gaugefy app for Apple devices. It’s very easy to calculate gauge, since it lets you enter any measurement for your swatch – you’re not stuck with 4″ x 4″ for example. It then takes the stitches and rows in your swatch and calculates stitches per inch.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

You can then hit the “Create” button to go to a page that allows you to to use your stitches-per-inch calculation in a number of ways. I like using it to get the 4″ gauge to put into the gauge section of my patterns. Or you can you can estimate the measurements that you’ll get using a certain number of repeats. Or go the other way and figure out how many repeats you’ll get in a given measurement.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

This handy app has a free version which I use all the time. For $1.99 you can get a version with even more features. It will store your gauges for you for future reference.  As a designer, this is really handy. I can have at my fingertips the gauges for yarns I use in design work, or gauges for specific stitch patterns.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

Gaugefy seems like such a simple little app, yet is very handy!  You can check it out for free in iTunes and upgrade to the paid (but still really inexpensive) version if you’d like to be able to save the results of your swatches, including yarn and needle size.

Here it Comes, Zanesville!

May 1
TKGA, Master Hand Knitting, Level 2

Into the capable hands of UPS


24 swatches, all carefully knit and researched.

19 questions researched, answered and referenced.

4 book reviews.

A paper on the History of Knitting, all researched and referenced.

A cute little Fair Isle wristlet – knit three times until I thought it might be acceptable.

An argyle sock – which left me in disbelief that it was actually a popular thing to make at one time.

A vest, which didn’t have to be designed from scratch, but which I designed from scratch anyway. (I can’t wait to show it to you, because I like it!)

…all this, squashed into one notebook and a baggie for shipment to TKGA headquarters in Zanesville.

This is the next step for Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program, sending it in for review! I’ve worked on it intensely for at least six months. The review committee will evaluate it, then send it back to me with requests to re-do any parts that don’t live up to their standards. Then I’ll re-submit whatever they don’t like the first time around and hope like heck they pass me.

For Level 1, I had to re-submit the hat project and three questions. I wonder what I’ll have to re-do this time around? I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I actually woke up in a sweat at 3:00 one morning having had a nightmare that they sent back the entire notebook, saying I had to re-submit everything. Now, that’s obsessed!

Tulip Time

April 16

I’ve been remiss in posting lately. I’ve been so busy on the TKGA Level 2 project, I haven’t had time for anything else. So here’s a photo from my garden which I hope you’ll like. Not a bad substitute for knitting-related posts, I hope!

Orange Tuilip 2013

posted under Nature | No Comments »
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