There is no wrong way to knit, but knitting is a skill-based craft, and skills can almost always be improved upon.
Part of the purpose of a guild is to educate and Canadian Guild of Knitters does this through our Knitting Accreditation Program. It's a correspondence-style program where participants use independent study practices to earn their certificates.
The Knitting Accreditation Program (KAP) was developed in 2003. It's a layer-based program; instead of requiring "all of the cast ons ever used in knitting" to be studied at once, the course introduces two cast ons in Level 1, two or three more in Level 2 and so on.
Here's a brief description of each level:
In Level 1, participants study basic knitting techniques -- commonly used cast ons, cast offs, increases, decreases. By the end of the level participants should be comfortable reading a simple knitting pattern, and will create an item of knitting from a pattern that includes seven of the techniques studied during the course of Level 1.
Level 2 expands on the techniques studied in Level 1, with the introduction of more cast ons and cast offs, double increases and double decreases. Textured stitches are introduced, circular/ tubular knitting is practiced, and participants venture on to read more complex knitting patterns. Colour theory is provided and colour is introduced in the form of stranded knitting. Lace knitting is introduced in the form of eyelet, or yarn over techniques.
In Level 3, emphasis is put on embellished and decorative knitting. Plain pieces will be enhanced with embroidery and duplicate stitch, decorative edges and applique. Lace skills are expanded by the introduction of every-row patterning. To make participants more comfortable making yarn substitutions and improving the fit of garments, pattern alternations are described. Projects in this level include making a flat piece of knitting worked from the centre out.
Levels 1-3 cover the techniques that will be used in 80-90 percent of knitting projects. In Level 4, focus is placed on garment fitting and design elements such as plackets, pockets and collars. Originality and inventiveness are encouraged in this level, as participants are required to create an original, complex garment with a comprehensive written pattern. Participants completing this level earn the “Canadian Accredited Knitter” certificate.
A specialist designation is granted to participants who complete Level 5. The objectives for this level are to submit an area of study, prepare a written composition from research complete with bibliography, create an original design based on the subject of study, and knit the garment from the original design. The area of study can be a national or regional tradition such as Nordic sweaters of Scandinavia or Aran sweaters of Ireland, or it can be a ‘garment tradition’ such as baby clothes, socks or lace.
Every level of the Knitting Accreditation Program includes numerous exercises to complete, as well as an independent project(s) chosen by the participant based on a pattern(s) that employ techniques studied in the level. Participants are also encouraged to keep a reference notebook of their journey through the program.
The Knitting Accreditation Program is available exclusively to members of Canadian Guild of Knitters. Participants need to hold a current membership at the time they submit their materials for evaluation. There is no time limit to complete a level -- we understand that knitting is a hobby for most people, and that things happen in life. A participant who purchased their level 1 in 2007 can submit their materials for evaluation in 2017. All we require is that they re-join for the year.
If you have any questions about the KAP, please use the contact link above to get in touch with us!