For the November meeting, Katherine shared some quick to knit or crochet gifts for the holidays. All of the projects are created using 300 yards or less of yarn. Links to the projects are below the slideshow.
Have you always wanted to knit socks but thought it seemed too daunting a task? Do you have one started - only to get stuck? Now's your chance to get some help. I'll have a sock "help" table going on after the break at our guild meetings the next few times.
To get started, I suggest you get some needles, usually size 2 or 3, either double-pointed (DPNs) or a nice 32" circular needle (for Magic Loop) and some fingering (sock) weight yarn in a light color - very dark yarn can make it hard to see your stitches. You'll need about 400 yards to make a pair of socks, so check the yardage -some yarns come with enough to make a pair, others you'll need to buy two skeins. Washable is a very good quality in a sock yarn (that's a hint).
If you're comfortable doing so, cast on 72 stitches. I prefer a cable cast-on, but you can use any kind you like, as long as it can stretch. You'll be knitting in the round, so next, join without twisting. If you need help with joining, bring your work in and we'll get you started.
Begin working a ribbing pattern of your choice: K2, P2 is a nice basic one, but you can also do K1, P1, or K3, P1, or K2, P1, your choice. Any of those will work if you have cast on 72 stitches. You want to knit about an inch of this ribbing. When you're happy with your ribbing length, go ahead and begin straight stockinette knitting around for this first sock. If you just have to get fancy, go with a lace or cable pattern of your choice, or just continue ribbing (I often knit a whole sock in K3, P1 ribbing). Knit it until it measures the length of your hand from your wrist to the tip of your longest finger. Now you're ready for the heel. Bring it to the help table and we'll get started on the heel flap. See you soon!
If you'd like a good book about sock knitting, get a copy of The Sock Knitter's Handbook (available in print and as a downloadable PDF) from Martingale Press.
Last night, we were honored to have Evelyn Clark with us. She is such a dynamic person, and even if you don't really like to knit lace, she shares so much of her learning experiences, that the whole meeting is just FUN!
Evelyn shared with us her newest book, "Icelandic Lace Collection" and her personal history with knitting Icelandic lace. The Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, asked her, if she could teach a class for their Nordic Heritage Knitting Conference, about Icelandic knitting, as they were missing anyone to represent that country during their conference, many years ago. She began delving into the history and heritage of this rich culture and craft. She once thought that she could duplicate patterns from existing shawls that she saw, only to learn that most of the shawls are already patterns, so Evelyn took what she had learned and started designing her own Icelandic lace items, based on the stitch patterns used by the Icelandic knitters and now has some of the most gorgeous shawls I've ever seen. Her patterns are exquisite and I can't wait to work some of them.
Evelyn then shared with us some of the culture of Iceland and some extremely enchanting stories of her visits there and the people she met while there. It was so much fun to listen to her talk and share her experiences. She has definitely inspired many of us to head off to Iceland, as quickly as we can.
We were also treated to a show and tell of many of the items which are included in the e-book and my, oh, my, were they absolutely stunning and amazing to see.
Last night at the August Guild meeting, Barb and Aleen treated us to a short tutorial on short rows. Barb showed us the method that Cat Borhdi uses on her Sweet Tomato Heel, and demonstrates in this YouTube video. You do need to be patient, since she works through the entire heel in this video, but it really shows how she picks up the 'mother' stitch and knits it together with the 'daughter' stitch, resulting in a hole-less no wraps short row heel.
Aleen shared with us her recommendations for short rows and we looked over will have some demos and discussions of short rows. To supplement what we’ll cover during the meeting, I highly recommend TECHknitting's blog, She very clearly demonstrates (with graphics) some of the differences between different methods as well as where each technique might be used best. Aleen also shared some additional techniques in this month's newsletter;
"To supplement what we’ll cover during the meeting, I highly recommend a blog post on Short Rows on Tech Knitting, one of the most complete sources of short row methods with the clearest diagrams. You will probably want to bookmark it for future reference. It not only gives details and summarizes in two different ways (regular and geek), it also says which method is best for a particular situation (stitch used or personality type as the case may be). Another great source for tips in general is the Jimmy Beans Wool website. I have never ordered anything from them but went to the website when I saw a tip listed in an ad in a knitting magazine. In this column in the past, I have mentioned the use of things like rubber bands and paper clip in a pinch when you don't have your knitting tools with you. Well, the ad tip had the same philosophy. It suggested that a knitter on vacation caught without a point protector could use the cork from the bottle of Merlot they surely must be drinking!"
We also had several new members sign up with renewing members, so that they could take advantage of our current "Two for $50" Membership deal. So bring a friend when you renew your membership for the 2012/2013 Membership year (starting in October) and you both can save $5 off your membership fees. Be sure to check out the rules on our Membership page.
If you have never been to a meeting and would like to see what it is all about, come to our September meeting. We will be celebrating our birthday, so there will be cake. We will also be talking about holiday gifts for knitters and for knitters to give.
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.
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
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
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:
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