The Knitting Guild Association

Just wondering if anyone is a member. Is it worthwhile to join?


AKQGuy's picture

I myself am not a member nor have much desire to be one. I have a family member who is and she has tried to talk me into it, but from what she has told me, I have no desire to knit on command and block it just so, and send it off praying to god nothing is jostled or creased in the mail for what I imagine is a group of little old lady's who are the "knitting nazis" pour over it looking for my errors or should I dare hope, find it passable. I know where my mistakes are when I knit. I know my strengths and my weaknesses, and I have no desire to pay someone else to tell me such or point out my mistakes. But that's just my opinion, and I grant you it is a fairly negative one at that.

I assume for people who are looking for the social aspect of knitting, the guild in a way assists with filling that need. I myself am a content mostly solo knitter at home with the fire place roaring while I either work on the wheel, the loom, or my needles.

And there is a certain amount of pride for some to be a proven member of the guild that had to show their skill to become a member. I say, if it appeals to you, have at it. Do what makes you happy with your fiber arts and ignore jaded curmudgeons like myself.

I'm a jaded curmudgeon myself, and feel exactly as you do.

gardenguy42's picture

I've been a member for many years now. There is no requirement or even mild encouragement to attempt the Master Knitter certification courses -- that is entirely a personal decision and just one option offered by the Guild to those who might be so inclined.

The educational journal "Cast On" that is produced by the Guild is an outstanding source of knitting help and knowledge and is a benefit of membership. There is also an online community similar to this one where you can seek advice or just friendship with other knitters. There are yearly gatherings that offer social and educational opportunities and then there are the local chapters.

Many. many local chapters exist and are a big part of the Guild but I've never been a member of one nor have I ever felt pressured to join one. I would say that the membership price is worth the subscription to Cast On although I have completed some of the courses and found them to be outstanding even though I've been knitting for over 40 years.

Arenda Holladay is one of the "little old lady knitting nazis" who teaches the Basics, Basics, Basics course and who helped develop the Masters courses as they are today. I would suggest that anyone interested in the Guild check out her website and her YouTube videos because she is an outstanding knitting teacher:

I have taken the Basics, Basics, Basics course and found commentary on my knit swatches was warm, encouraging, kind, and highly complementary and I have learned more about knitting and improved my technique and confidence ten times over through my participation and membership even as a crusty old curmudgeon myself. : )

To each their own. I am one who has had and has a very positive and fruitful relationship with the guild.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Bill's picture

Thank you for that information. I used to get Cast on...and I think I'd better subscribe again...not for the patterns, but for the instruction.
Thank you for the link to the Arenda Holladay site! Great information.
I'm going to follow that...

AKQGuy's picture

And right here, in four commenters, highlights what I love to tell people. This is your craft, your art. It is made with your sweat, possibly your tears and your blood(okay, I only made myself bleed with knitting needles once, let us not speak of it). Do with it and take it where you please. It's all about you baby.

I myself like where I am with my own fiber arts. I know what I love, I play with what intrigues me and I am discovering new places to go with my spinning and weaving while I settle into my nest of beloved knitting favorites. Does that mean I am done learning with the needles? Nope. I know I love texture work. I love cables and lace. I happily make myself and love ones socks. I often design my own pieces, and I know I don't typically enjoy color work.

Just this weekend I had a couple friends ooh and aah over some items nestled among the stash that are color work. They are done quite well, and I learned a lot while doing them. But I learned the most important thing I needed to know. I don't care for it. I have to concentrate on tension with both hands to hard, and I don't find it fun. I choose not to knit on what I don't find fun. I can do it. I can do it quite well. I don't like to do it. Give me winding cables and fussy lace work any day.

On that note, I don't require the feed back of other expert knitters. I know if it worked and I am happy with the feed back from perfect strangers in coffee shops. I am not a social fiber artist in the sense that I need a group to push my work. I push me, and happily do it alone. However, if that push is what one needs, I say find those that will offer it. Do what works for you. Do what helps take you and your art where you want to take it. For me to tell you otherwise would be like me looking over your shoulder and saying "you know, you're doing that wrong". And yes, I have seen that done, and have had it done to me simply because I hold my yarn differently than the person "offering" the advice. I myself always love to see the others have come up with to make a couple sticks and some yarn do what they want it to do.

Good luck with whatever your choice. Oh, and don't forget about his batch of fellas when you need thoughts on things. Even if some of us are curmudgeons. Even self proclaimed ones. It's probably a nicer word than some others would use. In regards to me anyway.

Tallguy's picture

I think AKQGuy has said it quite well. I am not a member, nor do I desire to be one -- now.

At one time, I did consider it. But I was very impoverished at that time, and could not afford to join, or to buy yarn. So it was just not to be.

Over the years, I've learned so very much, that I now feel that I don't really need their approval for what I am doing. As AKQGuy said, I like what I produce. If not, I will learn how to do it better. I like to try all things, and then keep what I want to do again. There are some things I would rather not do, although I can if pressed. That doesn't mean I am not a good knitter.

When I was younger, it was important for me to collect that piece of paper saying I was a "master knitter". I have seen some of my friends go through the course, and liked the work I saw them produce. But I've also seen some very strict rules they had to follow, which I do not do well. If I was a very new knitter, and not know any better, I may do them without question. But I've now reached an age that I question everything, and do only what I want to do! (Well, only with regard to knitting, so far)

Now that piece of paper doesn't mean much to me. I don't need someone far away telling me that I am or am not good at knitting. I can see my own work, and I am perhaps my most severest of critics. I also have people around me tell me that they like this or that. That is all the approval I need.

I do watch some instructional videos on the net (some of them are good, some are plain bad) and I study a lot of books. I also know many good knitters, and I do a lot of experimenting until I can do what I need to do. So far, I can't justify any course that has been offered because I don't think I will get anything from it any longer. I'm not saying I am a perfect knitter, nor that I know everything, but I've already done enough in my lifetime that I am competent enough to satisfy my own requirements.

So for me, taking any kind of course to get a certificate just doesn't mean as much as it once did. For a beginner, it might be a faster way to become a skilled knitter. For me, I've enjoyed my path a whole lot more.

KNITexan's picture

I have been a member of TKGA for a couple of years and this week decided to take the path towards the Master Hand Knitting Program. A friend told me of this post and so I thought I'd share. AKQGuy is right, it is personal, and I am doing it partly because there are only a few men who are Master Knitters. The list, like many guild meetings, is female-heavy and I think there should be more of us represented. I did it also because it would be nice, as I keep designing, to have that vindication that what I do is credible. I don't need a guild to tell me that, but for those that do, one day - I hope to have it.

Bill's picture

I did re-join...and my first issue just arrived. Several pages of knitted dog sweaters was not what I was hoping for....

CLABBERS's picture

If I squint my eyes really tightly and stand back from my work a few extra inches, put my reading glasses on to obscure my farsightedness a bit more, and turn down the lights a tad, my work would rival any of those in a master's collection. I think the garish light of day used to examine every delicate stitch is outside my comfort zone just now, so I remain a happy blurry-eyed man. :)

Besides, I just looked at the contents of their current issue and the only thing I see are dogs and females. Do they have patterns for men? I am finding that so many magazines have about one issue a year, usually mid-summer, when they think all women knit for men, that is devoted to us 3-legged creatures. Most of the ads and catalogues I get through snail mail contain only a very scant few things for men. I'd do my Norma Rae imitation for you all, but I don't clamor up on tables much anymore to chant...of course, a few gin and tonics and things might get interesting, but that would be under the table. ;)