If you've haven't been following the story, I set myself a deadline of three weeks to complete Level 1 of the TKGA Masters in Hand Knitting. I completed it just under the wire and mailed it out the following day. My completed binder, filled with swatches, my report, answers, final project and a lot of hope then took a very slow boat trip across the Atlantic. I was just starting to worry that the binder had been lost in transit when thankfully I received a confirmation that the binder had arrived safely in Zanesville, Ohio - an excruciating 9 weeks later! What a relief!
I was hoping to get my binder back before my one month trip to the U.S., but as my departure date approached I resolved myself to a month long wait before knowing one way or the other if I had passed. Extremely jet lagged (imagine one parent, international flight, two small children, no naps) I got the girls tucked into bed at Grandma's house and checked my email to discover the precious binder and I had crossed somewhere over the Atlantic and it was making it's way back to the Netherlands. The committee chair who reviewed my notebook was considerate of the mail delays and very kindly emailed my review.
The news was good. All of my swatches passed, some with flying colors. Some with notes. One of the things I need to focus on in future levels is that my cast on can be too loose. I guess that says a little something about overcompensating!
I've got a feeling my hat passed with more than a good helping of generosity from the reviewers. I may decide to reknit it or perhaps work the ends in again to address the notes.
My report passed! My answers to the questions were accepted bar two. For some unknown reason I started calling the lifted increase a lifted bar increase. Who knows why. Easy fix. I also somehow lost parts b, c, and d to question 8! Lost perhaps when Microsoft Word crashed and I reopened the "recovered" document. Luckily, I had good photos of the swatches online and could answer the missing parts to the question without waiting to have the notebook and swatches in my hands. Grandma bribed the girls with Hershey's Kisses to play upstairs and give me a few hours to complete the questions and resubmit.
I heard back within a day that my resubmitted questions had been accepted and I've officially passed Level 1! WHhheeee! Now on to Level 2. I've ordered the materials and started reading. Level 2 is intimidating. There are more swatches, more projects, more difficult techniques, more written work, and reports. Argyle socks! Fair Isle Mittens! Advanced techniques... I'm just going to take it one step and a time. When it's broken down to it's smallest component steps, each piece can't be THAT hard. It's just a matter of taking it one little step at a time until it's done.
Not quite. I sent my Level 1 TKGA Master Knitters binder via first class air mail on January 24th. It arrived 8 weeks later. What an epic mail fail! I knew that deliveries were a bit delayed due to extra precautions stateside, but boy! I think some folks have their binder returned within 8 weeks, mine just barely arrived!
I find it funny that it took me 3 weeks to complete the work and more than twice that time to send it! Well, not so much funny as perhaps bitterly ironic.
Regardless, I'm focusing on the positive. The binder arrived! Woohoo! And now the real nail biting waiting begins as my binder certainly is in the hands of the committee now!
Other news, I finished and sent off my first garment for publication. In all honesty, it's really lovely. What I find really interesting about the process is that it gave me an entirely new level of scrutiny for my work. Not to mention a few mishaps along the way. Since I may not be alone in my unlucky or distracted ways, I'll post the disasters and solutions for the unfortunate souls. If you're unlucky, click on read more. If you live a charmed life, go back to your knitting. You would never snip the wrong thread.
I sent in my complete TKGA Level 1 binder weeks ago, and I hear there are serious delays in packages being sent from Europe to the U.S. I may have a long wait on my hands before my binder makes it's return journey. To kill the time, I thought I'd post a photo gallery of my submission swatches.
Disclaimer: None of these swatches have been through the review process, they're my best interpretation of the instructions! When the binder does return, I will post any resubmit before and after photos. Fingers crossed that there aren't any, but that's a long shot!
A fellow knitter invited me for a cup of tea and to discuss the TKGA submissions. She lives in Abcoude, one of the most quintessential Dutch villages; with narrow bricked roads, canals, draw bridges, an enormous old church, typical 18th century Dutch houses with no wall precisely square. But the real gem was the contents of one of these little Dutch houses nestled along the Gein river.
My host had a library of knitting books in Japanese, Dutch, English, Danish, one from the early 1900's! Lace books, stranded knitting, and my favorite a German book of paintings that spanned centuries, all picturing hand work, from an early religious painting of a knitting Madonna to a modern Matisse. I wish my German were better!
She also shared her completed Level 1 and 2 notebooks and her almost completed Level 3. I had been feeling pretty smug about my little collection of blocked swatches, but hmmm.... I've got a long way to go!
That said, I completed my binder yesterday. Double and triple checked my answers, finished weaving in the ends on my last swatch, put a label on my hat, rechecked my pattern for Swatch 15. The only thing left to do is wait for a dry moment to dash to the post office and send it on its journey over the Atlantic to Zanesville, Ohio.
Depending on your level of precision, I made or didn't make my three week goal to complete Level 1. Binder, knitting, research, report, project and questions all completed just under the wire. Mailing the following day.
I do feel a bit bereft. The flurry of activity is over for the time being. It's sort of the feeling I've had after finishing a really great book. It's over. I feel a little empty. But I have the reassurance that this is just the first in a trilogy.
Level 2, BRING IT ON!
I've been working on my report Level 1 Masters report, Blocking and Care of Hand Knits, for two and a half days now. It's complete (Woohoo!). 7 pages including Title page and Bibliography. Then it's on to more fun things like swatching. But I thought I'd share a consolidation of my research. I've put together a chart of washing and blocking guidelines for different fibers.
It's divided into Animal, Plant, Synthetic from Wood Pulp and Other Synthetic. It even contains precautions and tips for special fibers like mohair, cashmere and angora.
Consider it a cheat sheet on how not to ruin your favorite sweater.
I'm considering printing it out and taping into the inside of the laundry room door. I am deeply appreciative of the hubby's laundry efforts, but I have a few too many shrunken sweaters.
|File Size: ||31 kb|
|File Type: || pdf|
I'm chugging away on my "Blocking and Care of Hand Knits" report for my TKGA Level 1 Hand Knitter submission. As I delve into it, I realize that the care of hand knits is a very broad topic. There are so many considerations: fiber, stitch pattern, garment construction, drying time. I've got 4 pages even after consolidating washing and blocking instructions for 14 different fiber types into a chart. Very neatly divided by Animal, Plant or Synthetic fiber (very proud of that little bit). I still need to cover storage. I haven't yet decided whether to address repair. That might be a future topic, but one very much on my mind as I eye a stack of sweaters with moth damage that still need darning.
I'm also realizing that although I write every day, it's been a very long time since I've written a report. I'm going to have to google APA format to get my citations and bibliography in order.
I'm hoping the committee is more strict with my selvedge stitches than my report's formatting!
And a huge piece of good fortune! Through the amazing network of Ravelry, I've been contacted by a lovely knitter who is halfway through her Level 3 Submission! She lives just around the corner, and she's offered to answer any questions and to have tea and knit together. What are the odds of that? I am one lucky knitter!