TKGA Master Hand Knitter Program FAQ's
Changes to the Master Hand Knitting program related to COVID-19
In view of the current pandemic, we have added a set of pre-screening questions. When you are ready to submit your work, contact Carolyn, and she will send them to you.
Submissions/Resubmissions currently with the Committee
These will continue to be reviewed and returned to you. Your Co-Chair will contact you prior to sending your box to make sure you are able to receive it.
Your Co-Chair will work with you. Email your Co-Chair if you are ready to resubmit and she will instruct you on how to proceed.
Other Courses and Certifications.
We are leaving it up to the individual teachers since these boxes travel between only 2 people. Contact your teacher prior to mailing anything.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Thank you to those on the front lines. It’s a horrible time, but we appreciate all you do.
What is the cost of the program?
Level 1 – $105
Level 2 – $125
Level 3 – $150
Members outside the United States also pay an additional charge of $60 for Level 1 ($75 for Levels 2 and 3) to cover higher shipping costs.
What does the cost cover?
The cost of the program covers postage to send the submission between reviewers and back to you. It includes postage for one resubmission return as well. It also covers administrative costs.
Why are the Master Knitting instructions sometimes revised? What is the current date of the latest instructions?
Sometimes program participants find typographical errors or have questions that prompt the program committee to rewrite as needed. Every few years each level is evaluated and sometimes updated to match current trends and new skills in knitting. The current revision is dated September 10, 2020.
What are the time limits for working each level?
Level 1 – 12 months
Level 2 – 18 months
Level 3 – 24 months
If you submit within the time limits above, you will submit your work according to the set of directions sent to you upon purchase.
When do I need to use updated instructions and where can I get revised instructions for the Master’s Program?
When you purchase your level you have a generous amount of time to complete the level using the original set of directions sent to you. If you have exceeded your time limit, then you will need to work to the most current set of directions. To obtain the most current set of directions contact MKRouting@tkga.org.
How do I get an extension?
There are no criteria you must meet to qualify for an extension. When you are ready to submit your work, contact MKRouting@tkga.org to let her know you are ready to submit your work and want to pay the extension fee. That’s it! You must be a current member TKGA member to submit your work.
How long will it take to get my submission back?
Expect it to take at least six weeks for Level 1, two months for Level 2 and up three months for Level 3. The reason it takes so long is because more than one person reviews the materials and your submission is mailed between them. Two reviewers see Level 1, three see Level 2 and four see Level 3. The objective is for the reviewers to do a thorough job. Delays can sometimes occur over holidays or if one of the reviewers has a personal situation or a vacation. If you do not hear within a reasonable amount of time, please feel free to inquire at MKRouting@tkga.org
What are common mistakes to avoid?
Many mistakes are the result of simply not reading the instructions carefully. Make sure that:
- Your stitches are not twisted.
- Your tension is even.
- Your tags are in the correct corner of your swatches.
- You performed the requested technique in the specified location.
- You provided the necessary references.
I don't live in the US. Can I still participate in the Master Program?
Yes, we have many Master Knitters in Canada and Europe. The cost of the program is the same but there is an adder for the additional postage costs.
Is it OK to use different colors in one level?
Yes, but color choices must be limited to pastels, white, or off-white. Specific swatches requiring color will state to use bright contrasting colors.
Do I have to use Cascade 220 for the Level 1 mitten?
No, a suitable substitute may be used.
How much yarn do I need for Level 1?
Each person will use a different amount of yarn depending on how many practice swatches are knit and how many must be resubmitted. Level I will require anywhere from one to three 200-yard skeins of #4 medium.
I knit left-handed. Can I still participate in the Master Program?
Yes, but you will have to do a little bit more work. Our program is set up to reflect the industry standard and even though you may work differently, you should be able to adapt what you do to reflect this standard. So if you substitute a k2tog for an ssk, that’s fine. You can note that you are left handed knitter in your cover letter. The information sheets should be set up to reflect the industry standard. The industry standard has the stitches moving from the left needle to the right.
How many times may I resubmit my work?
There is no limit. However, the initial purchase price only covers the cost of returning one submission to you. You are responsible for the return cost of further resubmissions. Co-Chairs work with submitters to complete the level in a timely manner.
Who evaluates my work?
Members of the Master Hand Knitting Committee review all submissions. All members of the Masters Hand Knitting Committee are knitters who have completed Level 3 with outstanding work.
Are all knitters who complete Level 3 eligible to become reviewers on the committee?
Potentially any master knitter could be invited to join the Masters Committee. The vacancies each year are few, however. What makes some candidates stand out?
- They’ve passed Level 3 with outstanding work and a good attitude. Someone who does not do perfect work on the first round but accepts the suggestions and then satisfactorily reworks the swatch(es) or rewrites their written portion may still be considered for the committee. Level 3 work should show that the person has learned from the previous levels, knows how to follow the directions, and put time and effort into their submission. They do not try to just “get by”. People chosen for the committee should have demonstrated that they believe in the program, given evidence that they are able to work well with other committee members, are willing to follow the program directions, and will be willing to examine the submissions as carefully and accurately as possible and provide well-worded reviews.
- They have good communication and computer skills. Committee communication is done by e-mail. Critiques and suggestions by e-mail and in writing are sometimes a special challenge and need more thought and care than face-to-face, verbal communications.
- They have time to devote to the evaluations, which can take many hours. Reviewers receive as many as 2-4 submissions per month to evaluate.
- They have access to source material to answer questions.
- They are willing to work for free. Evaluating the submissions is completely volunteer work! A term is generally a two-year commitment.
- It is also preferred that they be able to accept and send packages by UPS, as well as by USPS (postage for outgoing packages from committee members is reimbursed by the program). This limits us to committee members in the US.