The Knitting Guild Association is the largest knitting association in the United States with over 10,000 members. This non-profit organization celebrated 25 years of promoting knitting as an enjoyable and worthwhile hobby in 2010. The goal of TKGA is to help members of the organization expand and evaluate their skills through a variety of courses and membership resources. A Master Knitting Program tests the knitting skills of advanced members through a non-competitive evaluation available to all members. This Master Program has specific guidelines and criteria that involves three levels of work. Beginner knitters can access the Learn to Knit and Basics resources available on the association website to learn new techniques and knitting skills. Details on becoming a member and benefits available is located on the website at http://www.tkga.com.
All knitting skill levels are welcome to join the association for access to the information and resources available. There are five levels of membership; Individual, Designer/Teacher, Corporate Retailer, Other Corporate and TKGA Guilds. Choose the level that fits your needs and open up all the benefits of being a TKGA member. Individual membership benefits include a subscription to Cast On Magazine, ability to enroll in knitting courses, entry and discounts at the TKGA Conferences and online access to the members only website. A Designer/Teacher membership offers all the benefits of the Individual, along with special opportunities at the TKGA Knit and Crochet Shows, special notices appropriate for designers and teachers and discounts for being an exhibitor at the TKGA Knit and Crochet Shows. Corporate Retailer and Corporate Other memberships includes all the benefits of an Individual member, along with retailer listing opportunities, discounts for exhibiting at the TKGA Knit and Crochet Shows and special messages geared toward retailers. TKGA Guild membership includes an e-Newsletter sent to the guild president, special access to the guild area on the TKGA website and an online listing for the guild.
A major benefit for TKGA members is the ability to register for correspondence courses that include an introduction to knitting, review of basic skills, new knitting skills and the correct methods for finishing knitted projects. All courses are taught by experienced knitters and includes written course materials with illustrations. Experienced knitters can take a course to become a certified knitting judge by a teachers with over 25 years of judging experience. These learning resources are designed to increase your knitting knowledge and give information that can be used as a reference when a question comes up while making a project.
The Precious Pals Program is a TKGA charity that reaches out to troubled children throughout the United States. The bears are given to first responders and law enforcement agencies that come in contact with children in difficult situations as a source of comfort. TKGA member can contribute to this program by purchasing a stuffed bear and knitting a sweater or outfit for decoration. Members can choose to knit a bear instead of purchasing one, if desired. Other cuddle animals are also acceptable, such as a dog, cat, pig, etc. The Knitting Guild Association website has information on where to send the finished Precious Pals creations at http://www.tkga.com/preciouspals.shtm. There is also a free pattern for a sweater, pants and hat to decorate the animals.