Mini-Courses

These courses, each devoted to a single topic, will cover specific topics of interest to all knitters, but especially to those working through the Master Hand Knitting program. Unlike other online courses, the students will get direct feedback on their course work from instructors. All of the instructors are certified Master Knitters, and are current or past members of the Master Hand Knitting Committee. They have hours of experience evaluating knitters’ work in a positive and constructive manner.

HOW DO MINI-COURSES WORK?

The student places the order online, and as soon as the office has processed the order, the materials are sent to the student via email. The materials include a complete reference document for the topic and instructions for sample swatches, which allow the student to practice the techniques. The instructor is available to answer any questions by email. Since no more than five swatches are worked, the time commitment is minimal. Once the swatches are mailed to the instructor for review, the student can expect an evaluation of their work within days.

The cost for each Mini-Course is only $25. (Note: There is an added shipping  upcharge for non-US members.)

The following courses are available:

Long Tail Cast On and Basic Bind Off

Hone your skills and take the mystery out of both the Long Tail Cast On and the Basic Chain Bind Off. Discover the subtleties & versatility of each and be able to use each technique in pattern as well as control tension and elasticity. In this course you will learn: The fundamental structure of both the Long Tail Cast On and the Basic Chain Bind Off, how to work each to create both knit and purl stitches, how to control your cast on and bind off tension, and how to identify cast on and bind off edges.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor: Binka Schwan

Decorative Cast On and Bind Off Techniques

A well-planned and executed cast on and bind off can take a piece of hand knitting from ‘nice’ to ‘professional’. In this course you will learn the following cast ons and bind offs: Channel Island Cast On, Icelandic Bind Off, Picot Cast On and Bind Off, German Twisted Cast On, Two Row Bind Off.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor:
Heather Storta

Tubular Cast On and Bind Off Techniques

Learn the ins and outs and the ups and downs of the Tubular cast on and Tubular bind off techniques. This beautiful edge will have you hooked! Create four swatches as you learn the different methods of creating tubular edges for both Single and Double Rib.
Skill level: Advance Beginner (also must be able to create a crocheted chain)
Instructor:
Joyce Jones

Clean up Those Cables!

Clean, crisp cables, worked evenly and with good tension can make a huge difference in the appearance of your finished fabric. There are several things that can go awry with cable tension and over all cable appearance. This course will cover cable specific tension problems as well as general cable issues. The course offers many strategies to improve the look of your work. The homework section provides a diagnostic swatch with instructions to self diagnosis cable problems. Other swatches allow you to apply solutions provided in the course to your work both in the flat and in the round. Feedback on your final work will be provided to help you further improve.

Students should be proficient in working stockinette, reverse stockinette. Students must know how to work basic cables of knit over knit and knit over purl. While written directions and charts are provided for the homework swatches, students should be comfortable reading cable charts and working from written patterns.

Supplies Needed:  200 yards of smooth light colored worsted weight yarn, Size 7 or 8 needles or needles appropriate for the yarn; Size 7 or 8 double pointed needles for working in the round, (Magic Loop or two circular needles method may be used), cable needle, tapestry needle for weaving in ends, tie on tags, general knitting notions including scissors.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Instructor:
Leslie Gonzalez

 

Single Decreases

In this course, you will learn how to twist decreases for both knit and purl stitches that lean in either direction. This is an advanced beginner level class. You need to be able to cast on, bind off and do simple knit and purl stitches for stockinette and be familiar with untwisted decreases.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor:
Cathy Berry

Twisted Decreases

In this course, you will learn how to twist decreases for both knit and purl stitches that lean in either direction. This is an advanced beginner level class. You need to be able to cast on, bind off and do simple knit and purl stitches for stockinette and be familiar with untwisted decreases.

Materials Needed:  200 yards of smooth light colored worsted weight yarn.  Size 7 or 8 needles or needles appropriate for the yarn, tie on tags, general knitting notions including scissors.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor: Cathy Berry

Working Knitted Increases

Increases are necessary for shaping fabric, working certain stitch patterns and equilibrating gauge when changing stitch patterns. This course will teach you how to work single, yarn over and double increases.  You will learn:  How to work three types of common single increases, mirroring of  single increases, how to work yarn over increases, how to work four types of double increases and the centering of double increases.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner 
Instructor:
Leslie Gonzalez

 

Taming Edge Stitch Tension in Stockinette Stitch

This course will help you identify and give you the knowledge to eliminate edge gutters in Stockinette Stitch.   Edge gutters can occur on either edge or both edges of Stockinette fabric, in the column of stitches directly next to the selvedge edges.  The stitches in these columns should be of even size throughout.  If there are alternating large and small stitches within these columns you have edge gutters.

Specifically, you will learn:

·        How to recognize and correct right edge gutters in Stockinette Stitch.

·        How to recognize and correct left edge gutters in Stockinette Stitch.

You will be knitting multiple Stockinette Stitch swatches using various techniques to help you eliminate edge gutters in your work.  There will also be some questions to answer that require some research.  The final repaired swatches and questions will be mailed to me for evaluation.  You must know how to knit and purl for this course.

Supplies Needed: Smooth, light-colored worsted weight yarn.  Needles and crochet hook in a size appropriate to the yarn.
Skill Level: All levels
Instructor: Binka Schwan

Decorative Stitches: Nupps, Stars, and Clusters

The Estonian stitches of nupps, star stitches and clusters add texture and interest to your knitting. Often found in lace patterns, these stitches can be tricky to work. In this course we will explore these decorative stitches and how to accomplish them.  Students must know how to cast on, knit, purl, work increases and decreases, and bind off. Three swatches and some written work are required to complete this course.
Skill level: Intermediate.

Supplies Needed: Smooth, light colored fingering weight yarn; knitting needles appropriate to yarn  – lace tipped needles are strongly recommended; cable needle, crochet hook in one size smaller than working needles, one dpn that is 2 sizes smaller than working needles.
Skill level: Intermediate
Instructor:  Heather Storta

 

Simple Lace

There are many forms of Knitted Lace. This course teaches the basics of simple knitted lace.  Topics include working yarn overs and common decreases, tips for working consistent fabrics strategies to avoid mistakes, and blocking. Lace charts are introduced. Finally, three types of lace fabrics are discussed.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor:
Leslie Gonzalez

Mattress Stitch

Mattress stitch is a seaming method that joins pieces along the selvedges: the sides of sweaters, socks with seams at the gussets, flat-knit hats, sleeves, and so on. It has important advantages for joining knitted pieces:  It is worked from the front so you can see how it is turning out as you go along, it makes the join nearly invisible, and it allows the stitch pattern to match up over a seam.  In this lesson you will learn how to start with a Figure 8 and seam stockinette stitch, garter stitch, reverse stockinette stitch, and seed stitch.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor:
Mary Forte

Seaming Bound Off Edges

This technique is used to seam horizontal edges.  Used primarily to seam shoulders, it provides a firm edge to support the weight of the garment.  In this lesson you will learn how to identify where to place the seam so that the stitch pattern is maintained over the seam.  You will also learn how to seam a “stair step” edge and different types of stitch pattern.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor:
Arenda Holladay

Beautiful Joins: A Study of Underarm and Thumb Joins

Love top-down sweaters but hate the holes at the armholes? Love mittens but hate bulky and stiff thumb joins? In this mini course, we will explore why the holes develop in the first place. We will experiment with ways to minimize the holes, how to take advantage of yarn tails, and remove excess bulk at the join. We will discuss picking up stitches so the columns of knit stitches flow seamlessly across the joins. At the end, we will have beautiful and professional looking underarm and thumb joins.

Materials Needed: Smooth, worsted weight yarn in three colors: one main color, one color for the thumbs, and one short piece for a seam. Size US7 or 8 needles, 2 stitch markers and a tapestry needle.

Skill Level:  Intermediate
Instructor:  Debbie West

 

Fair Isle Flat

Fair Isle is traditionally worked flat, but there are situations where working it flat is helpful.  This mini course will teach you how to work fair isle back and forth.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Instructor:
Arenda Holladay

Steeks

Steeks allow us to work circularly over a cardigan front, armholes, and neckline openings. They are useful in both single-strand and multiple-strand projects. This lesson focuses on creating, reinforcing, cutting, and finishing four different steeks.
You must know basic skills such as casting on, working Stockinette stitch, and binding off. In addition, students must be able to:
·         Join to work circularly
·         Handle two colors in each round (Fair Isle)
·         Sew a straight stitch with a sewing machine
Skill Level: Intermediate
Instructor:
Joyce Jones

Intarsia

In this course, you will learn how to work intarsia knitting.  The goal is not only to learn the technique, but to understand why the techniques work, while making yourself a collection of work that can help you on future projects.  It is assumed that you know how to knit and are familiar with Stockinette stitch, long tail CO, the basic (standard) BO, and duplicate stitch weaving for yarn tails.

You will learn:
·       What intarsia knitting is
·       Basic stitch anatomy and how that relates to intarsia
·       How to properly twist yarn sources to avoid holes in the fabric
·       Considerations for even tension
·       Techniques on managing yarn sources
·       How to join in new colors
·       How to weave in yarn tails to avoid holes in the fabric
·       How to read an intarsia chart

Materials Needed:  Yarn: Please use a smooth, worsted weight yarn and choose needles appropriate for the yarn. You will be asked to choose up to four colors for some of the swatches and brief guidance on making appropriate selections is included in the General Information portion of the course. Tapestry Needle, scissors, yarn management devices (optional, suggestions are discussed in references packet), blocking pins and ruler.
Skill Level:  Intermediate
Instructor: Mary E. Jacobs

Slip Stitch Patterns: Slip Stitch Knitting

Slip Stitch Knitting is a technique that produces textured fabrics. Their versatility is endless. This class covers the entire realm of slip stitch work from simple single colored patterns to multicolored patterns. Slip Stitch Knitting is an easy way to add color to your work and is a great way for beginners to expand into more complex knitting.  Explore the many fabrics and color patterns that can be made by simply slipping stitches. This class does not cover Mosaic Knitting.

Students should be proficient in working stockinette, reverse stockinette. They should be comfortable casting on and binding off. All of the homework swatches for students have written row by row directions and do not require chart reading skills.

Materials Needed:  Three colors of worsted weight yarn about 100 yards in each color,  Size 7 or 8 needles appropriate for yarn, ruler, calculator, tapestry needle for weaving in ends, tie on tags, general knitting notions including scissors.
Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner
Instructor:  Leslie Gonzalez

Yarnover and German Short Rows

There are many ways to make short rows. In this course we will explore two such methods- the Yarnover method and the German method, and study their differences and similarities.  Students must know how to cast on, knit, purl, bind off.  Two swatches and some written work are required to complete this course.

Supplies Needed:  Smooth, light-colored worsted weight yarn.  Needles in a size appropriate to the yarn.
Skill level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor: Heather Storta

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