This 3-part Knitting Diploma Course takes students from novice, to designer, to business-owner, through 17 fully-illustrated, hands-on modules.
The course starts out by establishing the fundamentals, giving you practical advice, to get you practising straight away. This includes topics such as: how to knit, how to read patterns, and how to care for hand knits.
With the basics down, the 2nd part of the course advances students into designing hand knits, along with explanations of how to design some of the most popular knitted items of today, and providing sample patterns to practice with.
The 3rd part of the course takes you step-by-step through starting your own knitting business, whether you wish to sell your work, publish patterns you’ve designed or teach what you know.
To the untrained eye wool is wool, but if you’ve ever stepped into a wool shop you may well have been overwhelmed by choice. It can be hard to differentiate between the vast array of needles, yarns, and notions (accessories), which can be enough to frighten anyone off. The 1st module of the course guides students through some popular types of needles, yarns, and notions, so that they can begin practising, without worrying about their choice of materials and equipment.
The 2nd module of the Knitting Diploma Course dives straight into the basics of knitting, explaining the differences between knit and purl stitches and how to cast on and cast off. Practice is encouraged throughout the course and to make things even easier, you are told which needles and yarn type to use for this particular practice exercise.
The 3rd module expands on the 4 basic processes explained in the previous module, showing how combing knits and purls in different ways make different fabrics, with how to create the 3 basic/foundation fabrics explained here, these being: garter, stocking, and rib, along with additional techniques.
While what has been learned so far enables students to knit flat items in square and rectangular shapes, the 4th module of the course imparts essential techniques that will enable the apprentice knitter to design in various shapes, work in 3 dimensions (such as making socks or the top of a jumper sleeve), and correct their mistakes. The techniques taught include: increases, decreases, picking up stitches, knitting in the round, joining yarns, and fixing mistakes.
Knitters speak in their own language, so trying to trying to understand the knitting patterns they create can be like trying unlock a cipher. Fortunately, module 5 is the key; clearing up the jargon and giving students a full understanding of how to read and follow knitting patterns.
With a piece made, it can be easy to think it is complete, putting it aside to be used, given away or sold, and ready to move onto the next piece, but this may not always be the case. To take an item from ‘homemade’ to ‘hand crafted’ involves a little extra time and effort. The 6th module of the Knitting Diploma Course takes students through the following important finishing techniques: Weaving in Ends, Blocking, Seaming, and Caring for Knits (including how to add care labels to your work).
Taking students beyond the basics, module 7 concludes the 1st part of the course by teaching advanced techniques, showing students how to work with six of the most common categories of stitch pattern: Knit and Purl Patterns, Slip Stitch Patterns, Cables, Lace, Brioche, and Stranded Knitting.
With the techniques and methodologies of creating various pieces understood and practiced, the Knitting Diploma Course moves onto teaching students how to design their own pieces. This begins with module 8, which introduces the concept of design and the role of the designer, guiding students step-by-step through the design process, and finishing off with some design tips.
Module 9 focuses on scarf design, taking students through the various knitting methods, yarn choices, and tension, measurements, and yarn amounts, before discussing the considerations to make when designing a scarf. The module concludes with a project to follow: making a lightweight summer scarf, along with some tips on scarf design.
The 10th module guides students through creating baby blankets and afghan blankets. As easy to make as scarves, though taking a lot longer to create, these items can be as simple or complex as you wish. This module teaches you the how; through discussions on yarn choices, and tension, measurements, and yarn amounts, along with design information on creating your item with an all-over pattern or a pattern made from individual blocks.
Getting yet more advanced, the 11th module of the Knitting Course is all about making toys. Involving a lot of shaping, sewing, seaming, and blocking, this type of knitting requires excellent technique and a good creative eye but the results can be fantastic. Here you will be guided through how to design a toy, along with considerations to make when choosing yarns and tension, measurements, and yarn amounts. The end of the module guides you through making a knitted Tic Tac Toe.
There is more than meets the eye with the humble sock. Beginners to sock design can find the prospect daunting, but once the basic sock template is understood it can be the perfect canvas for creativity. Module 12 talks students through the anatomy of a sock, giving a full understanding of how they are constructed before moving on to explaining the various methods available when knitting socks. Following the same format as previous modules, the choice of yarns to use and the tension, measurements, and yarn amounts are discussed, along with a full explanation on how to design a sock. The exercise at the end of this module is to create a pair of toasty Hot Tamale socks, following the guide provided.
In terms of complexity, jumper design and construction can be the item that makes or breaks a new designer. In the 13th module of the course, learners will be taught about the different types of jumpers and how they are constructed, with information on the types of yarn, tension, measurements, and yarn amounts used. From here students are taken through how to design a drop shoulder jumper, before being asked to create their own drop shoulder pattern.
Once students have learned how to knit and how to design their own knitting patterns, the Knitting Diploma Course concludes with part 3, which is all about setting up a business and starting a new career, utilising the skills learnt throughout the course. Module 14 introduces the topic by discussing the foundations of creating a business. This talks about the kinds of business that students can create that capitalise on their particular skillsets, how to find a target market and then how to conduct market research, so that you can fully understand the customers who wish to sell to.
Dealing with budgeting and finances is not the reason most people get into this business but it is necessary, to ensure the health, stability, and growth of your business. The 15th module discusses areas including budgeting, pricing, how to find financing, and taxes.
The Knitting Diploma Course’s 16th module is all about how to sell and advertise the goods you create. This discusses the options available to you whether you intend to sell from a physical location, online or both, where to advertise, and the use of social media to gain a following, with tips on retaining customer interest in your business.
Before you take any action, you’ll need to find your path, and there’s no better way to do so than to write a business plan. The final module of the course guides students through creating an effective business plan, with information on each section that should be present in the plan and the questions to answer within each section. Following this sequence, students will be able to create a business plan for their own business by the end of the module. In addition, the module concludes with some information on copyright within the knitting industry.