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.

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

Compensating for Cable Flare

Cable fabrics often do not play well with surrounding fabrics. The result is bulging in some areas, other areas drawn in, and puckering or crumpling of the surrounding fabrics.  The cure is to compensate for the flare by adding or deleting stitches when changing stitch patterns. Many resources tell you to approximate or guess the number of stitches. Unfortunately, this can lead to only partial or over compensation which complicates the problem. This course will teach you how to figure the number of stitches needed to compensate for your cables, and where and how to place these stitches so your work will lie flat and neat without cable flare.
Skill Level: Intermediate 
Instructor:
Leslie Gonzalez


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

Generating Charts for Cables

In this course you will learn how to chart several types of cable patterns and how to use these charts within a pattern. The course starts by explaining
how to set up a chart and uderstand the basic symbols. You will learn to identify the basic multiple and repeat along with extra stitches used to balance
the pattern and how to work these into a usable chart. Both vertical cables separated by spacer stitches and all over (tessellated) cables are covered.
The course also discusses how to combine charts effectively incorporate elements of the pattern into a chart to reduce confusion in the pattern making it
easier to follow with less chance of errors to the directions. There are three charts in the homework section for the student to make.

Supplies: Graph paper. Charting software is not required for this course, but can be used.
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

Knitting 911: Dropped Edge Stockinette Stitches

How many times have you looked at your work and discovered that you either dropped a selvedge stitch or made a mistake in a stitch pattern at the selvedge edge? Often this type of repair is very intimidating since it is at the very edge of the fabric! In this course you will learn how to repair dropped stitches in Stockinette Stitch that have occurred at the beginning and the end of the row.

Specifically, you will learn:
• How to repair three dropped right edge stitches in four consecutive rows)
of Stockinette Stitch.
• How to repair three dropped left edge stitches in four consecutive rows of
Stockinette Stitch.
• How to repair a Slipped Stitch Edge on both right and left edges.

You will be knitting two Stockinette stitch swatches and repairing the edge stitches. Because this course involves active repair of stitches, and steps to be taken along the way, the best way to evaluate your work is via email and pictures of each step. I will provide a photograph plan for each step and ask that you take
a photo of your repair process at each step. These will be emailed to me. The final repaired swatches will be mailed at completion for evaluation.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Binka Schwan

Knitting 911: Dropped Edge Garter Stitches

How many times have you looked at your work and discovered that you either dropped a selvedge stitch or made a mistake in a stitch pattern at the selvedge edge? Often this type of repair is very intimidating, especially in garter stitch. In this course you will learn how to repair dropped stitches in Garter Stitch that have occurred at the beginning and the end of the row.

Specifically, you will learn:
• How to repair three dropped right edge stitches in six consecutive rows (3
ridges) of Garter Stitch.
• How to repair three dropped left edge stitches in six consecutive rows (3
ridges) of Garter Stitch.

You will be knitting one garter stitch swatch and repairing the edge stitches. Because this course involves active repair of stitches, and steps to be taken along the way, the best way to evaluate your work is via email and pictures of each step. I will provide a photograph plan for each step and ask that you take a
photo of your repair process at each step. These will be emailed to me. There will also be some questions to answer that do not require research. The final repaired swatch and questions will be mailed.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Binka Schwan

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

Generating Charts for Lace

In this course you will learn how to chart lace and eyelet patterns. The course begins with how to set up a basic chart and understanding
symbols. You will learn about special formats for charting lace. You will learn how to distinguish multiples, repeats and extra stitches in both
linear and all over patterns in both lace and eyelet fabrics. The course also discusses special circumstances such as charting double yarn
overs, multiples that don’t quite line up, two stitches acting as one, how and when to use the no stitch symbol, and how to chart edgings.
There are four homework charts for the student to complete. Charting software is not required for this course.
Instructor: Leslie Gonzalez
Skill Level: Intermediate

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

Jogless Join

When knitting stripes of two or more rounds in circular knitting, a “jog” appears at each color change showing just where the old color ended and the new color began. This can be unattractive. There are ways to minimize this so that the color changes are nearly invisible. In this course you will learn:  Two methods for concealing the “jog” in circular knitting so that the color changes are smooth and unobtrusive, how to ensure even columns of stitches at the point of the jogless join, and how to weave in yarn tails to complete the “jogless join”.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Instructor:
Sharon Levering

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

Decorative Duplicate Stitch

Duplicate stitch has many uses. It can be used to fix or cover a color mistake. It’s best use is to decorate plain fabric. It is one of the hardest knitting techniques to master. Learn how to incorporate duplicated stitches so they appear naturally in the fabric by correctly tracing stitches and maintaining gauge. The class will show you how to avoid common mistakes and correct naturally occurring problems. You will learn how to read and start the pattern using charts.

Students should know how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl. They should be generally familiar with color knitting charts.

Materials needed:  Two colors of worsted weight yarn about 100 yards in a light or pastel color and 25 yards in a bright contrasting color.  Size 7 or 8 needles appropriate for yarn, tapestry needle with blunt point, tie on tags, general knitting notions including scissors.
Skill Level:  Intermediate
Instructor:  Leslie Gonzalez

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

Fitted Garments: Horizontal and Vertical Darts

When you put your time and effort into a hand knit garment, you want it to fit perfectly.  Using horizontal and vertical darts will improve how your garments fit and give you more control of your knitting.  In this advanced class, you will learn how to make horizontal and vertical darts for bust, tummy, and waist shaping, as well as how to make those calculations for your specific measurements, where to place them and when to use which type of dart.  This is an advanced class.
You should know how to do left- and right-slanting decreases and increases along with short rows.  The class material will assume you are proficient in these techniques.
Skill Level: Advanced
Instructor:
Christina Hanger

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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