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Frequently Asked Questions

Cultured Purls University

What is Cultured Purls U?

A structured learning path

Often we are asked, “What should I try next?”  Cultured Purls U is designed to answer that question by providing a structured path with classes building on each other. 

Two tracks offer the best of both worlds. 
The technical track is designed to focus on specific skills with discussion of their appropriate application. 
The project track incorporates skills by working on specific projects requiring the application of the new skills.

An encouraging, supportive learning environment

Our instructors are all accomplished knitters and crocheters with years of experience.  We love to teach and to share our passion for fiber arts.  We are empathetic teachers, as we vividly recall our own learning experiences, our trials and successes.

A place to make friends as you improve your skills

Experience has shown us that people who knit or crochet together develop not only a further understanding of the arts, but  also friendships as they share while creating.  We have witnessed over and over the connection made between students who email or phone each other outside class time to share their work and their lives.  It’s one of the things that makes it rewarding for us as instructors, to watch lives connect in wonderful ways.

A resource for technical issues and mysteries

Cultured Purls instructors and employees are all competent knitters with years of experience.  We are not only savvy about yarns, we know our way around the resources available for you, too.  From books to internet websites, we can put you in touch with additional support to further your education.

How does it work?

Classes are organized by Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior.

Classes are classified by complexity of the skill and required experience.  Freshman classes are indicated in the 100 level series; sophomore classes are the 200 level series, etc.  So Knitting 100 or 101 indicate a beginning level class, whereas Knitting 402 would be a senior level class.

Credits are earned for different classes and accumulated toward graduation.

Number of credits varies depending on length and complexity of class, from 1 credit to 5 credits.  You may have homework for some classes and some may have tests to review and solidify your learning.  Cultured Purls U will track your transcripts, your history of completed credits.  When you have successfully completed 36 credits, half of which must be at the Junior and Senior levels and equally divided between technical and project classes, you will graduate and become a Cultured Purls alumnus.

What are alumni benefits?

Private sessions:

After graduation, your Alumni ID card allows you to enjoy ten tutorial sessions (private sessions), at no cost.  This is a $300 benefit for our graduates. 

Early buying opportunities

As a member of the Cultured Purls Alumni, you will be notified of sales and given early buying privileges before the general public is offered the opportunity.  This gives you the best buying, when inventory is full and you get first choice.

Special Events

We will be scheduling special events such as workshops and yarn tastings especially designed for our CPU Alumni.  It’s our way of thanking you for your patronage and your support of Cultured Purls

Reduced post-graduate tuition

Alumni enjoy reduced tuition for any classes taken after graduating.  

May I take classes even if I don't want to participate in Cultured Purls U?
Absolutely!  If you are taking a class at Cultured Purls, you are already in Cultured Purls U.  You may choose to follow the path we have laid out and graduate, or you may choose just to take some classes that interest you.  Either way, we are computerized and our computers will be tracking your classes whether or not you choose to follow our course of study.  Jump into whatever classes you like and if it turns out you change your mind and want to optimize the opportunity and graduate, we’ll have the records to support you.

How often are classes held?
A new calendar will be offered each quarter.  Depending on the complexity and amount of knitting or crocheting to complete, some classes may take a full quarter to complete while others may be completed in one session.

What if I am already an experienced knitter or crocheter?
If you already have a depth of knowledge and do not find enough classes to challenge you while completing the number of credits, we will work with you through Independent Studies.  Partnering with you to select an appropriate project to enhance your skills, we provide you with guidance, goals and resources to create the project that excites and challenges you.  Periodic mentoring sessions will be scheduled with you to set milestones, review your progress, answer your questions and keep you moving forward.

How many credits are accured with Independent Studies?
When you propose your project, we will ask you to complete an Independent Studies form documenting your project goal (knit a hat, design a sock, etc.).  The number of credits earned depends on the nature of the project, the complexity of the piece, the skills to be acquired, and the amount of time involved in mentoring.

How long will it take me to graduate?
That depends entirely on you and your goals.  You may take a class per quarter, multiple classes per quarter or skip a quarter.  You graduate when you acquire 36 credits in whatever timeframe your lifestyle allows.

Do I have to take Freshman and Sophomore classes if I believe I am at a Junior or Senior level?
We want you to succeed and have fun in class.  While we will provide some guidance as to whether or not you have the skills to tackle a given class, the decision is entirely yours.  Some classes will have prerequisites which are considered to be basic skills and expected knowledge prior to taking the class.  Your instructor will assume you have that knowledge and will not use class time to discuss prerequisite material.

Must I complete my projects to graduate?
Our goal in creating CPU is to provide a learning path and an opportunity to have fun and camaraderie.  Since it is not an accredited university, our requirements for graduation do not include the completion of the class project.  We will strive to encourage and support its completion, but it is not a requirement of graduation and becoming an alumnus.

What else should I know?

While we make every effort to ensure that information and fees are accurate, changes, corrections or cancellations of classes or fees may occur.  CPU reserves the right to cancel a class if minimum attendance is not met.  Your tuition will be refunded in full in that event.

If you need to withdraw from a class, a full refund is given if notice of your intent is provided at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of your class.

How do I get started?

You may register for a class in-person or on the phone.  Your tuition payment confirms your enrollment.  You can reach the store by calling (425) 392-KNIT (5648) and providing credit card information. 

We look forward to seeing you “around the campus.”