During my journey through Level 1 of The Knitting Guild Association's Master Hand Knitting Course I realized that I really did need to go back to the basics and relearn some things that could improve my knitting skills. As a self-taught knitter I had acquired some skills not quite up to par. Although I have knitted some beautiful pieces that have been greatly admired there was room for some improvement. To begin with, my cast on tension was too loose. Yes, Cast On! The most basic of all techniques. This is not something that had ever been pointed out to me before and so I never even thought that would be an issue! After trying to concentrate on tension as I was casting on and trying to cast on with smaller needles, ultimately I broke down and researched how others were casting on. To my surprise, my cast on technique was not demonstrated anywhere in the research that I found! After 40+ years of knitting I was going to have to learn a new way to cast on. Well worth the research and effort I should say. That turned out to be the most valuable lesson I learned during the Level 1 course. My approach to Level 2 obviously has drastically changed. Before jumping right into knitting all of those swatches I will be thoroughly researching each technique. I highly recommend this course to any of you more advanced knitters who want to improve your knitting. TKGA also has a course for beginning knitters.
Regardless if you decide to take the course or any other classes, I do feel that it is important to get back to basics if you want to be the best knitter you can be. Don't be lazy about learning new techniques. You spend a lot of time on those projects. Why not make them fantastic? In the knitting groups that I attend I find that most if not all knitters are enthusiastic about sharing their knowlege and skills with others.