Mastering the Art of Preparation

I received my Level 1 Master Knitting materials from The Knitting Guild Association in the mail last week. I was expecting something with a little more fanfare, maybe some glossy paper and color images, but this is what arrived:

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Basic and right to the point (oranges not included). Over lunch today I was finally able to read through all the instructions and write out a list of materials I will need for the endeavor. Yarn and needles are the obvious ones, but everything has to be kept neat and organized in a 3-ring binder with all sorts of office supply store accessories. Not that I mind a trip to such a place; it reminds me of back to school shopping and the promise of a fresh start.

The requirements include knitting 16 swatches as described in the instructions; techniques for this level focus on things like ribbing, increases and decreases, cables, eyelets, and basic color work. For the 15th swatch you must design your own cable pattern, knit it and write up a detailed pattern. The final knitted piece is a simple striped hat pattern. In addition to the knitting, there are a series of questions to answer, and one report to write on “Blocking and Care of Knits.”

After some research into what types of yarn other knitters have used, I decided to go with Paton’s Classic Merino wool in Winter White to knit my swatches. It is a consistent, easy to knit worsted weight wool that is nice and affordable.

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I’m starting to suspect that Spike likes yarn almost as much as I do.


And since I also needed a couple of needles, I decided to take this opportunity to round out my needle collection with these:

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Needles: 9-inch Clover Takumi bamboo needles in sizes 4,6,7,8,9

Can you believe I’ve just been winging it when it comes to getting gauge on certain projects simply because I didn’t have these needles? I did have size 8 circulars which saw a lot of use in patterns that called for anywhere from a size 6 to 10 needles. I’m beside myself with this feeling of freedom! I can knit any pattern without wondering if I have the needles!

Now that this preparation and organizational spree is over, it’s probably time to start thinking about doing some knitting. I hope to maintain this momentum to see the project through to the end; I’m giving myself one year from today to complete Level 1. Wish me luck!

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