Karen Soltys of Martingale and Company Publishers treated us to the ins and outs of the publishing world. She shared with us many books that are in the pipeline for release later this year, as well as inviting us to submit book proposals to their company. Karen explained the publishing process and the months of hard work that goes into every book that is published. She brought some wonderful door prizes and invited us to come to their shop in Bothell for a tour, which is always concluded by a visit to their 'hurt' book room. The tour is the only way to access this incredible opportunity to pick up some amazing deals on the books they publish. We are organizing a tour on February 20th at 1 pm, please check our Ravelry page
for more information.
I loved hearing all of the stories that she shared and am definitely looking forward to a few of the books that she shared with us, becoming available. Two books have recently been released and are available in many local shops or at their online store.
Please click on the pictures to be taken to Martingale's Facebook page with more information on these two books.
As we ring in the new year, I'm looking ahead to all of the knitting possibilities! I've just finished up a big winter project (you'll see it at our next Show and Tell), and am in that space of planning my next project. This does not include the everyday "carry-in-your-purse" sock project that I usually have on hand. I have a number of UFO's sitting around, and this year I'd like to work on finishing a few of them. I'm almost done with my linen stitch scarf, it's living in the bottom of a bag somewhere. And then there's the very complicated lace-on-both-sides shawl using laceweight yarn which I'd hoped to finish for last summer's Fair, and yet another lace shawl using cobweb yarn ( just shoot me if you ever see me picking up another ball of that stuff).
In addition to finishing up my WIP's (works in progress), I'm exploring new possibilities. Will this be the year I make that Great American Afghan? Design another (better) Gansey sweater? Yarn bomb my front porch? Make matching Christmas stockings for everyone? I know that there will be hats and socks and shawls and cowls, those are my standard fall-back projects, but what will the Big One be this year? One thing that I love about our Guild is the inspiration that I get from all of you. I love seeing what you're making. I love learning new little tips and tricks from you.
I'm also looking forward to going on the Yarn Train. Perhaps I'll find my inspiration on the train, or in a Portland yarn shop. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful fiber choices and finding new knitting accessories I can't live without. If you happen to see me heading toward the cobweb yarn, please steer me toward the bulky weight. You don't even need to be gentle about it.
~Barb, SKG President 2011-2012
December is our Annual Holiday Party and it was a wonderful meeting. As you can see from the picture, there were plenty of gifts to go around and a nice selection of items to choose from. Several of the gifts were donated by Coats & Clark
and Teresa at Country Yarns
in Snohomish stayed open a bit late to help those who had forgotten, didn't have time, or weren't sure they were coming, purchase last minute gifts. Everyone who brought a gift, put their name into the basket and when their name was drawn they had the opportunity to come and choose a gift. I thought it went very smoothly and most people were pleased with their selection.
There was a lot of food to choose from, most of it sweet, but there were several savory dishes as well. The party was well attended by about 30 people, with a few faces we haven’t seen in awhile and a few new ones as well. We had a lot of fun visiting and sharing our current knitting projects as well as some wonderful show and tells. I love seeing all of the wonderful projects that people are working on and being able to visit with those people that I only see at the guild meetings. I had a great time.
Our next meeting is on 10 January 2012 and we will be hosting Karen Soltys from Martingale & Company Publishing
. She will be talking to us about the publishing side of knitting, as well as her favorite book/pattern. There will be door prizes and we are working with her to have some books available to purchase as well. If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask her, you can submit them in advance by emailing Aleen
. It should be a very fun meeting.
Also if you purchased a Yarn Train bag, they will be available during the meeting (we will not be charging at the door for this speaker, because we would like to encourage as many people as possible to pick up their bags at the meeting.)
~Tandy, SKG Webmaster
We've reached a very busy time of the year. I try to maintain a balance between things I want to do and things that I must do. I've learned to pace myself over the years (one advantage of being a geezer - I've learned lots of coping strategies over the years). I start early and remember to take breaks. I've let go of some of the things I used to do in the spirit of keeping things simple. I've learned that my own expectations for myself were always harsher than others' expectations of me. I've learned that it's not about material things - the house doesn't really need all the holiday decorations we have in storage. Seriously, nobody even remembers or misses the stuff I just gave away! What my family remembers are the times we spend doing things together; a holiday puzzle, playing cards together, decorating while listening to old favorites and guzzling hot cocoa or eggnog, baking and decorating cookies.
My knitting continues to be a pleasure for me. I refuse to let it become a "have to". This is one reason that I rarely knit gifts for people. One or two special folks may receive my handknits at the holidays, but I never pressure myself to knit for everyone I know. I have my friends and family pretty well trained to NOT expect knitted items from me as gifts, so when they do get them, it's usually quite a surprise.
One thing I enjoy during the darkest days of the year is spending time with my friends and family. I'm so looking forward to our Guild's holiday party! Feasting, visiting and having fun with my fellow knitters is one of the highlights of this time of year for me. It's nice that we take the time to gather together. I love seeing all of your beautiful projects, chatting about yarn, patterns, and accessories; perhaps playing a game or two, the gift exchange, and of course, the food! It's important to me to get to be able to spend time with my kindred spirits at this time of year -- people who share my passion for creating beautiful things out of sticks and string. By the way, sticks and string were recently listed as two of the top five best toys of all time, along with cardboard tubes, dirt and boxes.
No matter how busy you are at this time of year, remember to take time to nurture your passion to be creative, and PLAY a little!
~Barb, SKG President
Please join us for fun, food and fellowship on 13 December, for our annual Holiday Party. If you have been thinking of checking out one of our meetings, this is the perfect time to get to know us and see what a wonderful group of people belong to the Snohomish Knitters Guild. Everyone is welcome.
There will be a potluck of sweet and savory finger foods, please bring your favorite treat to share, drinks will be provided. If you would like to share the recipe of your potluck treat, please email it to Tandy, the webmaster
, (with or without a picture) and she will make them available on our website the next day. If you would like to share your extra treats, please bring some bags or containers for others to take your treat home in, but please make sure that everything is taken care of before the end of the meeting. (Any unclaimed food at the end of the meeting will have to be thrown out.)
We will also be having a fun gift exchange, during the meeting. If you would like to participate, please bring a knitting related gift with a value of $15 - $25, nicely packaged, but not wrapped. When you bring a gift, you will get to put your name in the basket. When your name is drawn, you will get to quickly look over all of the remaining gifts, pick one, then draw the next name. There will be a few extra gifts and any remaining at the end of the meeting will be used for guild door prizes at future meetings. If you forget to bring a gift, Teresa at Country Yarns (across the street from the Waltz Building) has generously agreed to stay open until 7 pm that evening and has offered guild members 10% off anything (excluding consigned items) purchased the evening of 13 December for the gift exchange.
*Also, if you have paid your membership dues but have not yet received a welcome email and/or newsletter, please contact Jae, our treasurer,
to confirm your email address, or talk to us at the December meeting. Our December newsletter will be going out next week.
~Tandy, SKG Webmaster
We had a lot of fun marveling over the details of the hand knit Royal Wedding, created by Everett Library staff members. One of the staff members, came across the book, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble,
in acquisitions and had the brilliant idea to knit the entire wedding party before the wedding. The wedding was only about 3 weeks away, so she quickly conspired with her fellow staff members and they decided which ones, each of them would knit. Each of the figures show an amazing amount of detail and they finished in time to enjoy a lovely tea party on the wedding day, dressed in their lovely tea dresses and hats. The knitted Royal Wedding then went on display at the library and gathered regional awareness, through an article in the Everett paper
, which then led to national coverage on CNN
and in Simply Knitting magazine. The display was entered in the Evergreen State Fair
and won four ribbons, First Place, Best Presentation, Creative Award and Special Award.
They have started a new project now for the holidays. Their new project is the patterns from the book, 'Twas the Knits before Christmas by Fiona Goble
. They really enjoyed working together on the Royal Wedding project and have plans for another project in the spring. It was wonderful hearing about their collaborative efforts and inspiring us to keep our knitting community strong.
We also enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Mary Donaty of Paradise Found Fiber Farm
in Clinton, WA. She told us how she got started with breeding llamas, which led to her selling their fiber. She soon bought alpacas and pygora goats as well and is kept very busy tending to and processing their fiber for sale. She brought many samples, which we all got to fondle a bit and explained the grading process and differences in the types of fiber from each of the animals. She also explained the many variances that can happen within a breed, which leads to there not being a true standard, when we asked which fiber was the best to work with. Mary told us that it greatly depends on the individual animal and then on the mill that processes that fiber, which leads to the quality of fiber that you may get. With some of her animals, she hand plucks the guard hairs from the fiber, because doing so by machine would lead to a larger loss of the desirable fiber. I found it amazing that with pygora goats, the different colors did not amount to a hugely different color in the fiber, because the color in in the guard hairs, not the fiber. Therefore a black goat will give you a slightly grayish fiber, and a caramel goat will give you an off-white fiber. Both of these look fairly white on their own and the true color differences are best seen when they are held next to each other. Paradise Found Fiber Farm is open weekends 10 - 4 and by appointment on weekdays. Be sure to visit their Fiber Shack while you are there to pick up some of the gorgeous and luxurious fiber and knitted items she has available.
I really enjoyed the double feature program. There was a wonderful energy and we had a fairly full house for these wonderful speakers. Thank you to the Everett Library Staff and Mary Donaty for a fun and educational meeting.
~Tandy, SKG Webmaster
The past few weeks have been filled with lots of fibery goodness for me! I attended the first annual Fiber Fusion Northwest held at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds. It was sponsored by the North Sound Alpaca Association, and it was delightful. They had a nice area set up for spinners, lots of displays, workshops and of course my favorite, the vendors! There were
folks selling all kinds of fiber related items, from raw fiber, beautifully dyed roving and yarn to finished items. There was a man there who was spinning on a great wheel, the kind you must stand to use. There were hourly raffles, and I was lucky enough to win a beautiful 100% alpaca sweater. I attended this event on both days, and am very much looking forward to going again next year.
Then there was our own guild’s 2nd Annual Knitters’ Retreat at Camp Huston in Gold Bar. It was a fun filled weekend with thirty-four wild and wise women, enjoying food, wine and lots of fiber. I loved gathering in our lodge by the fire, chatting, laughing, knitting, laughing, drinking wine, laughing, spinning, and did I mention laughing? All of our meals were included, but that didn’t stop us from making sure that no one went hungry between meals. We enjoyed a huge spread of gourmet treats brought by the participants. You really haven’t lived until you’ve sampled homemade French macarons made by Sherry Toly and April Wilson, who were taught to make them in Paris by a French chef. The lavender and honey ones were my favorite.
Although there were no planned events other than meals, we played games, including one brought by Maureen (Mo) Galbreath called “Last Knitter Standing”. Everyone had to cast on 10 stitches and knit two rows before the game began. We were issued challenges, and if you met the challenge you got to knit a row or two, but if you failed, you had to rip out! Some people had to knit with their eyes closed! I would definitely recommend this game if you have a small knitting group of friends who want something fun to do.
Of course, there were hijinks as well. Saturday evening, Charisa and Mo entered the room with guns a’blazing – foam disc guns. That livened things up even more. Retaliation occurred, in the form of wrapping their pillows (under the pillow cases) with Saran wrap, and placing firewood logs under their mattresses. It really says something that neither of them noticed, and slept like babes.
All in all, the retreat was a rousing success. I came home on a “knitters high”, with deepened friendships, new friendships, and many great memories. A hearty “Thank You” to Charisa, Mo and Marilyn, who made the weekend a special one to remember.
~Barb, SKG President 2012
I was really pleased to see that we had so many knitters attend the meeting. I really enjoyed Charisa's presentation on how to take good photos. Two things that really stood out for me was:
- get it off the bed/table-great advice, I'm looking forward to playing around with that idea and
- use your camera to capture colors in nature for inspiration on choosing color schemes for knitting projects~ what a novel idea! :)
I really liked Melissa's [Knit New(s)]
presentation. She did an awesome job and her visuals were beautiful~ I felt really nostalgic, my mom used to make beautiful granny afghans, the ones that Melissa showcased were lovely. I also really related to what Melissa said, during her presentation, about always choosing black/browns or neutral colors for garments... I do the same, I don't feel confident picking colors a lot of times, and having some inspiration from nature or a photographic source would be great.
I liked that we all got to vote on a bag for the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train, and I'm excited that I'm going to be able to attend this year. It will be my first time on this trip and only my second time on a train.
I think this is going to be a great year for the guild, and it's great to be able to connect with so many creative people.
~Lois, SKG Secretary, 2011-2012
What an exciting two years it has been! Our guild started as an idea just over two years ago when several of us went to visit the Seattle Knitters Guild. Our knit-sib, Tuulia Salmela, was their featured guest speaker and asked us to come along to give
her moral support. While there, the idea occurred to me, "Why don't we do something like this in Snohomish County?" During the car ride home, we discussed it, Charisa seized upon the idea and ran with it, and here we are today. Without Charisa's "go get 'em" attitude, it might have remained just an idle question. She gave our guild a wonderful start, and set the tone for the dynamic, fun-filled group that we are today.
During those early days, we discussed what kind of guild we wanted to be, and what we didn't want to be. First and foremost, we wanted to have fun. Why bother forming something if it was going to be a drag? We wanted to be inclusive and welcoming. We wanted to encourage knitters of all skill levels to learn and better their skills. We wanted to support our local yarn shops and suppliers. Most of all, we wanted to be a place where knitters could connect with one another and find their own pack of knit-sibs.
I hope that you feel welcome at our meetings and on our Ravelry message boards. I hope that you are able to connect with at least one or two other knitters who feel like "kindred spirits" to you. I hope that you're able to find, if you're interested, a smaller local group of knitters who gather weekly for sociable knitting time. My knit-sibs have become some of my very best friends over the past few years. I look forward to sharing some wild and crazy knitting adventures with you in the coming year.
Let's see what kind of mischief we can get ourselves into this year, shall we?
Barb - SKG President 2011/2012
Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework
Rather than a specific technique, my tip this month is to pick up a specific reference book, out of print but readily available at used bookstores. It is the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. It first came out in the late 1970’s and then was revised in the 1980’s. Since then there have been other knitting specific reference books published, but none compare to this.
It has chapters on crochet, tatting, quilting, and more. But even if you only use it for the knitting, it is worth it. It doesn’t have some of the more recent techniques like Mobius or i-cord. But it has the clearest photographs and illustrations. And what it does have that other books don’t, is discussion of when and why one technique might be better than another in any given situation. For example, many basic knitting books give instructions for several different cast on’s. But the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework not only shows them more clearly, it specifies which is more elastic, which is better to use when firmness is needed, etc.
Have you cringed when you saw the words “provisional cast on” in a pattern? No problem if you have this book on your shelf. One online reviewer I saw recently stated that she had long ago sold or given away her copy, only to re-buy it later because it is so indispensable. Of course you can try amazon.com
. But I would like to suggest your local used bookstores as well as two sites that list the stock of used booksellers across the country, abebooks.com
. I have also had great luck with knitting books from powells.com
. - Aleen Caplan YamasakiIf you have a question or suggestion for Tips & Tricks, please email Aleen.