<![CDATA[Snohomish Knitters Guild - SKG Blog]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:40:35 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Special Speaker Scheduled¬†for February]]>Sat, 16 Jan 2016 03:21:17 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/special-speaker-scheduled-for-february​Our meeting will take place on the 2nd WEDNESDAY, February 10th, instead of our usual 2nd Tuesday.

Our February 10th meeting speaker will be Janine Bajus! She is known as the Feral Knitter and has been immersed with Fair Isle and color knitting for several years. She’s published some patterns and has a forthcoming book called The Joy of Color: Fair Isle Knitting Your Way. Janine is teaching two regular and two mini-classes at the Madrona Fiber Arts 2016 Winter Retreat and is also the Friday evening Teacher’s Gallery speaker! Find out more about Janine at www.feralknitter.com.

SKG members are asked to reserve a free spot by e-mailing vicepresident@snohomishknittersguild.org if you did not sign up at the 1/12/16 meeting. Guests and friends are welcome to attend, please also e-mail vicepresident@snohomishknittersguild.org with names, and there will be a $10 fee at the door for guests and friends to help cover the speaker’s fee. The Waltz Building is at 116 Ave B, Snohomish and there’s available street parking.

A reminder - this meeting is on a Wed rather than a Tue night.

Doors open at 6:00pm for an impromptu knit group. Seating will be theatre style without tables for this program.
The main program starts at 7pm with Announcements, Show and Tell, and program to follow.

Janine is excited to join the Snohomish Knitters Guild for an evening and to meet and chat with everyone!]]>
<![CDATA[December meeting Recap: Holiday party Time!]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2016 19:17:21 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/december-meeting-recap-holiday-party-timeEvery year when the Holiday Party rolls around, I take a moment to look around the room full of some of the most amazing people I know and really appreciate just how lucky we all are to have each other. More than any other time, we show just how truly generous, kind, joyful, and talented this group is.  

This year, of course, was no different. I stood there and saw the increasingly loaded table full of gifts for those none of us would ever likely even meet. Beautiful gifts. I looked around and saw the guild hall full of friends, with not a single stranger among us, even if there were anyone who had never attended a meeting before.  

After a while of loading up the gift table and the treat table, sitting and chatting, wandering and saying hello to all, it was time for announcements. Information about Yarn Train can be found on the guild’s website, along with important information regarding volunteers needed to help with set up and clean up for next year’s retreat. There are still guild hats available, too, for those who haven’t had a chance to pick one up yet. They really are fantastic, and I love seeing how people customize them! There was also a bit about next month’s meeting, which will be another action-packed round of technique tutorials. 

Georgi gave another great book report, this time on an “oldie, but a goodie” from the far-back reaches of 1983: Fox and Geese and Fences: A Collection of Traditional Maine Mittens. I should probably point out that as someone born that year, I resemble that remark, but it was a fabulous book to get a peek at nonetheless. I know I likely wasn’t the only one that went home and gave hunting down a copy a try! 

Next up was Paula, with a game for us all to play! She’d sneakily been dropping off a skein of yarn at each table up until then, with a mysterious glint in her eye and a “you’ll see!” when pressed for information. She ran us through the basics of this game of left and right, and started on the story she’d written herself. As she read the adorable holiday tale aloud, any time she said the words, “left,” “right,” or “across”, the yarn was passed along in that direction. The person holding the yarn at the end of the game got to keep it. I couldn’t help but be overjoyed when I was the last one holding our particular skein; it was beautiful! All in all, it was a great game and everyone had a blast, even when we were laughing too hard to follow the directions properly! Thank you, Paula! It was great fun! 
 
There is no way for me to express how excited I was about this particular Show and Tell, though. We get to see all of the amazingly gorgeous projects that our fellow members have made, from shawls and hats, including the newest cute trend, the ‘topper’ hats, with their delightful stuffed animals in place of pompons. We even get to see unique items like Kolette’s breathtaking green bead-woven scarf!  

It’s always doubly gratifying to see the beautiful gifts! After Rebecca showed off her adorable animals that we’ve all come to love, Paula popped up to show the too-cute pony, Primrose, that Rebecca had made just for her! Knowing that those in our lives that we cherish will be receiving the gifts just makes us work all the harder to make things that are true showstoppers, but in this guild, so full of so many selflessly generous and talented people, we also get to see the gifts made for complete strangers. This year we collectively donated to the same charity as last year, and somehow managed to outdo even last year’s attempts. The sheer amount of gifts was awe-inspiring, but the quality of them was even more stunning than the quantity. Janet, who always inspires with her work, brought the whole group to its figurative knees with a literal bag full of some of the most gorgeous knitting for the donation table.  

While I could easily fill the whole newsletter with just the basics of every single shared project, it’s really something to see in person. For those that haven’t been to a meeting yet, or have missed a few here or there, I would urge you to come if even only to see for yourselves; it’s worth it! 

The rest of the meeting was spent sharing delicious food, great conversations, and holiday spirit with wonderful friends, while crafting and relaxing. There’s little else you could ask for, really. I am grateful every day for the friends I have made in this community, and excited for the opportunity to make so very many more. Each year I will continue to take a moment to stand and marvel at just how lucky we are to have found each other, and to dream of all the new friends yet to join us. Happy Holidays!

​-The Allegedly Normal Knitter
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<![CDATA[A Follow Up on our Holiday Charity]]>Thu, 24 Dec 2015 01:34:14 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/a-follow-up-on-our-holiday-charityA message from our President:

"I dropped off our 4 huge bags of donations for Evergreen Recovery Center today after the board meeting. They were absolutely delighted to receive them, and especially so many, and said they have been looking forward to it and really enjoyed the items last year. They have 3 buildings in Everett with 24 women& their children in each building, as well as another location in Shoreline.

Thank you all for your generous donations!
Also, I just wanted to add that I had my two young-ish kids with me (5 & 7) when I dropped the stuff off. The fact that a group of caring, like minded people could come together and make an impact like that made a huge impression on them and on the way home we had a very long conversation about kindness and generosity and simple ways to help others in need. I know they will remember it for life."


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​We received a very nice thank you from Evergreen Recovery Center in response:

​"Thank you so much for the knitted items donated to Evergreen Recovery Centers. The women and children absolutely love the beautiful hats and scarves donated each year. We appreciate your dedication, kindness and thoughtfulness."
 
Sincerely,
 Linda

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​It is so wonderful to hear that our knitting and crocheting is helping people stay warm and feel cared for.




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<![CDATA[November Recap: A Farm to Yarn Story]]>Thu, 24 Dec 2015 01:25:30 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/november-recap-a-farm-to-yarn-storyIn the middle of the holiday season, where we mere humans are so torn between wanting to lavish our loved ones with expensive gifts that they likely don’t even need and just being thankful for everything and everyone in our lives, stress levels can be through the roof. Luckily, we as a guild have a secret stress-busting power; the creative outlet of fiber arts.
 
This month, we had the pleasure of having Lydia Christiansen from
Abundant Earth Fiber over on Whidbey Island come in and speak. She shared with us her story, and the story of how we get the yarn that we rely on to keep our holiday hands busy, ourselves and our loved ones warm, and our stress levels at a manageable level regardless of the storms, literal or metaphorical, around us.
 
Business being business, we first attended to announcements. The winter season is always chock-full of great events, and this year is no different. Make sure and check the guild’s website for more information on things like St. Distaff’s Day (January 9th), the annual Mini-Retreat (January 16th), and the guild’s Holiday Party (our regular meeting date, December 8th). Also, you’ll find more information on things like our Holiday Donation Drive, and the newest updates on next year’s Yarn Train (date finally set for April 9th!).
 
Georgie stepped up next to give another great book report. The book she shared, The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting, was another great pick with some really fun and unique looks. These are the type of projects that make even seasoned crafters stop and look at your needles and go, “how are you doing that?!” And as always, Georgie really gave us some good information about it, plus added her own knowledge when showing us her projects and sharing that you can make some of the projects even more spectacular if you use three colors in the two-color projects!
 
Sherry was up next with a great Knit News presentation. With all the November-based wool events happening all over, it was truly inspiring! I know next year I plan to participate in NaNoSweMo!
 
By now, you all know just how deep my love for Show and Tell is, so I’ll skip straight to the good stuff. And good, it was! Georgia kicked things off with an Outlier shawl that I have loved since before she even cast on for it. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and the tiny little skeletons on that shawl just make me happy. Hers wasn’t the only beautiful Outlier, though. Katie shared her gorgeous shawl, and Sherry upped the ante with a vest made from two of them! There were more Seahawks-themed works, slippers, hats, and even an adorable bright-red monster! One of the final projects makes a good segue, though. Paula brought a stunning sweater she knit from yarn she got from Lydia, our guest speaker!
 
As Marion introduced her and she made her way to the front, it was already clear from the piles of luscious wool topping all the tables that this was going to be good, and it was!
 
Lydia graciously told us all about her life, and in what a lot of us can relate to, her nearly accidental forays into the world of wool. Her adventures and determination to start a mill on her own, and to run it in a way that was as good for her and her family as it was for the world at large was inspiring. We learned all about the ins and outs of what it takes to run a mill, and how difficult yet rewarding it is for her to run her mill as locally as possible.
 
The mantra she’s lived by, that whenever there’s a mistake it’s not a loss if you learn from it, is something we can all stand to remember. We all got some great conversation and food for thought out of the concepts of locally sourced products, and how cheaper fashion can be so detrimental to so many.
 
The samples she handed out were an unexpected and delightful surprise, too! I’ve been mulling my options for what to make with the luxurious fingering weight I wound up with ever since! I think everyone will join me in a warm and heartfelt thank you to Lydia, for sharing so much of herself with us, and for all her hard work in keeping the fiber arts alive and well in our area, too!
 
As the holiday season continues to bear down on us, it’s important to remember that line between giving and being thankful. Between receiving quality versus quantity. And it’s important to remember, too, that even fiber arts can be twisted into something stressful if you focus purely on churning out gifts. So take some time for yourself. Be good to yourself and let the crafting be your joy and your outlet. I promise that your loved ones would wish that gift for you, no matter how much they want that laceweight sweater under the tree!
 
Happy Holidays!

The Allegedly Normal Knitter
 
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<![CDATA[Holiday Charity Knitting]]>Thu, 12 Nov 2015 19:34:49 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/holiday-charity-knittingAt the 10/13 Guild meeting, members attending heard more information and had discussion about three local organizations under consideration for our Holiday Gift Giving outreach (has also been called charity knitting). There was a majority interested in again making gifts for the Evergreen Recovery Centers (formerly Evergreen Manor), located in Everett.

Here’s a reminder about their work with mothers with children. Evergreen Recovery Centers ) provides long-term residential daycare and addiction treatment and recovery support for mothers. Those with children under age 5 may keep their children with them during their treatment. While they are in treatment sessions, the children attend their state-licensed therapeutic daycare program.

The Center will appreciate any amount of handmade hats, mittens or gloves, scarves, and socks for both adult and teen mothers and children under age 5. 

Completed unwrapped gifts will be collected at the December 8 Guild meetings. Not able to attend either meeting? Contact me and we’ll arrange a convenient time to meet!

Yarn: Please use acrylic yarn—it’s washable and does not shrink. You could consider using washable or super wash wool but please attach a note with a safety pin that “washing machine OK, no dryer just hand dry!”

Patterns: Members are very welcome to use patterns that they like. Again, please consider using washable acrylic yarn for easy care.

Also, here are Ravelry links to some pattern searches that focus on acrylic yarn, usually one color, and with 150-300 yards. (You will need to be logged into Ravelry and then copy and paste the links for them to work – Ed.)

Adult-size
Some free knit patterns for mittens
Some free crochet patterns for mittens
Some free knit patterns for scarves
 Some free crochet patterns for scarves
Some free knit patterns for socks

Children, babies and newborns
Some free knit patterns for mittens
Some free crochet patterns for mittens
Some free knit patterns for scarves
Some free crochet patterns for scarves
Some free knit patterns for socks and booties

If anyone needs help with printing any of these free patterns, send me an e-mail and I’ll be glad to mail you some free patterns—let me know which ones you’re interested in! Average meeting attendance has been about 45 lately. If everyone could try making two items, that would generate almost 100 hats, mittens, scarves and socks! And, any number of items will be welcome. I’d be glad to help with any questions! Please add them here or send me an email. 

Marion  vicepresident@snohomishknittersguild.org  ]]>
<![CDATA[October Meeting Recap: Crafting Notion Tutorials!]]>Thu, 12 Nov 2015 18:52:13 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/october-meeting-recap-crafting-notion-tutorials​October, far and away, is one of my favorite months. It always has been, but since discovering (or in my case, re-discovering) fiber arts, that love has only grown deeper. It’s cold, yes. But that means knitting and crocheting all kinds of fun, beautiful warm things to wear and give to those we love! And, more specifically, it means lots of incredible fiber art goings-on to partake of. 
This month’s meeting was a good example. In our new board’s first run, and a resoundingly successful one at that, we all came together to learn something new. Taught by our very own, no less! 
Firstly, there were announcements to be had. Georgia did a splendid job getting us all caught up with the exciting events coming up. The Retreat and Fiber Fusion, which were both spectacular successes, were both touched on. We also had an announcement and discussion relating to our annual holiday crafting drive. After some great questions and hard choices, it was decided to give as a group to the same great charity as last year, though we were all reminded that it’s not only okay but even encouraged that if we’d like, we as individuals can give to another organization, either instead or in addition to the group’s choice! 
We had another great Book Report from Georgi, as well! She always brings the most interesting choices, full of things that are not only just fun to make, but that always have some other aspect to them, as well. There was a bonus this month, too, as she brought in a great rare Barbara Walker book for us to take a peek at!  
The next part was bittersweet, as Marion gave her last Knit News presentation. It was another hit, and don’t be too sad; she is only giving up the beloved post because as you all recall, she’s now our Vice President! With the post already filled by another eager guild member, Knit News will continue to be something to look forward to each month. One of the best parts of our guild is how we are continually learning more not just about the stitches at our fingertips, but the stories and history, both ancient and modern, that have led us as crafters to where we are today. 
Before we got down to the business of learning how to make fun notions, it was time for Show and Tell! Now, as I was busily snipping away lengths of cord and sorting things for the main event that we’ll get to in a minute, I unfortunately didn’t have a hand free to take notes. But I can assure you I was awed to near distraction by our collective talents once again! Rebecca’s adorable sheep, Miss Coral, was such a cute way to lose count of what I was doing that I wasn’t even bothered. The parade of beautiful shawls was distracting, too. And there was even another hat made with the yarn from our Dye Day, which was just as awesome as could be. As the cold weather and the holidays take hold, I can only imagine how many more incredible things we’ll create and share, and can’t express enough how happily I anticipate it! 
A quick break, and it was down to business. Fun business! First up was our very own freshly former President, Katie, to teach us how to make Dorset buttons. I’ll admit, I’d never even heard of them before, so it was a real treat for me, as I’m sure it was for everyone—even those who knew what they were! It turns out, as Katie so gracefully and patiently taught us, that Dorset buttons are buttons made from a firm ring and yarn. Using different techniques, types of yarn, and even ring sizes, the possibilities for making stunning buttons to adorn your projects, or anything else, is easy enough for nearly anyone to learn, while being fun enough to make that you want to just keep making more and more of them! There was even a small contingent of us who couldn’t help but wonder if with a Hula Hoop and some pencil roving, could one not make a rug? But even if we don’t go quite that mad with the idea, being able to make breathtaking buttons to match our handcrafted wares, or even to use scraps we love to make buttons for other projects, is something I think we’ll all be doing soon, if we weren’t already! I know I, for one, have already made a few since the meeting, and hope to make more. I know for a concrete fact that we, one and all, extend a huge thank you to Katie for teaching us so well, and teaching us something so fun! 
For the second and final tutorial, I had the pleasure of showing the guild how to make just one of the many variations of handmade row counters. There are so many ways to keep track of where we are in a pattern, but there’s something to be said for making one yourself. For instance, if I make something myself rather than buy it, I’m far more likely to actually use it! I decided on teaching how to make row counter bracelets, because I love that when I’m not crafting it’s still something I can wear proudly. Everyone was so great, from Tandy and Marion and other helpers who ran supplies around the room and helped answer questions, to you all who took to what was a fairly complicated project, especially for anyone who hadn’t made jewelry before, like ducks to water. Even through a plier and time drought, there were smiles on faces and completed bracelets on many wrists by the time the proverbial bell rang and it was time to head out. So thank you, to the board for allowing me to show you, and to everyone, for being such wonderful students! 
My love for October is really like my love for this guild. It only grows stronger each year, and I look forward to so many more Octobers, guild meetings, and fiber art events to come!  
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<![CDATA[Tonight's Meeting: Be There, or Be Square]]>Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:25:12 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/tonights-meeting-be-there-or-be-square    Get it? Be square; tonight's meeting is a round robin?

    Okay, bad jokes aside, I hope to see you all tonight! Not only is there going to be amazing mini-classes taught by some of our very best and brightest, but also there's the pickup of Yarn Train bags!

    So come to learn, come to hang out and play games, or come to pick up your pre-purchased bag. Or just come to get out of the house for a few hours. Whatever your reason to be there, you won't want to miss out!
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<![CDATA[The Swatch: January]]>Wed, 21 Jan 2015 03:57:13 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/the-swatch-januaryPicture
January tends to be a time for new beginnings and new possibilities. My family was able to spend time with our newest niece (1 year old) and a cousin’s daughter (5 weeks) over the holidays and it was wonderful to think about all the dreams and possibilities that lie ahead for those sweet babies! My brother-in-law and his girlfriend announced their engagement, so it sounds like we’ll have a wedding to attend this year as well. I like to look ahead while filling in my calendar and write lists of things I’d like to do throughout the year. I do this each New Year, and for me it is a little thrilling. I know I most likely won’t accomplish all the things on my list, but it’s exciting to set the bar high and see what actually happens.

The guild had a wonderful turnout for our Holiday Potluck in December. I was in awe of the generosity of our members as the donation table for Evergreen Manor was overflowing with gifts of your love and time. Thank you to all of you who participated in our charity giving!

We are kicking off this year with some fabulous programs… For our January meeting, we’ll be learning a new skill from our talented SKG member, Corky Savoie, who will be demonstrating how to do rug-hooking with yarn. Then, in February, we
have a SUPER SECRET surprise in store for you! Be sure to come to the January meeting so you can find out who our Madrona guest speaker will be, and reserve your seat for that one. It’s going to be a really amazing night for our guild. Please
make note that our February meeting will be held on a WEDNESDAY.

Don’t forget about our Mini-Retreat on Saturday, January 17! We have several vendors joining us for a whole day of relaxing and working on your fiber projects. The guild will provide paper supplies and beverages. Please bring a snack to share. Some folks like to bring a sack lunch, but there are so many delicious options at the cafes surrounding the Waltz Building. We’ll be inviting some of the other local fiber guilds too and hope for a fantastic turnout!

Wishing all of you joy and hope in the New Year,

Katie Kent

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<![CDATA[Poll: What Have You Made So Far?]]>Thu, 04 Dec 2014 23:52:11 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/poll-what-have-you-made-so-far    Polls are one of my guilty pleasures. Sometimes, I'll even take the time to call those survey takers at the bottom of store receipts, just for kicks. In this case, these polls are half informative, and half just for fun. I do hope you'll all take at least the first poll, to help last minute crafters choose which project is in most need of being made!

    The second and third polls, however, are purely optional, and just for fun!
    Find the other two polls after the break!
    Now for the purely-for-those-who-are-poll-happy-like-me ones! It really should be a crime to get so excited about ticking check boxes, but luckily for me, it's not. At least not that I know of. Well, if it is, we'll just keep it hush-hush, okay?

    The first of the two fun-polls relates to crafty gift-giving in general, not specifically winter holiday gift-giving. Think birthdays, Easter, anniversaries...
    And for the final poll, let's hear about your habits while crafting. If you have an answer that's not listed, I really hope you'll leave it in the "other" box, or in the comments. I love hearing about all the unique and unusual things we do!
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<![CDATA[Crunch Time!]]>Wed, 03 Dec 2014 17:30:01 GMThttp://www.snohomishknittersguild.org/skg-blog/crunch-time    It's officially crunch time, and no, I don't mean the sound of holiday cookie snacking.

        With the guild meeting just six days away, and all the winter holidays bearing down on us just as swiftly, it's time to buckle down (no, not blueberry buckle; get your head out of the bakery!), and get cracking (still not talking about toffee!) on those crafts.

Just imagine fudge.
This time of year my diet suffers after every dropped or incorrect stitch. I gotta come up with a better curse than, "Oh, fudge!"
    So while you're icing your wrists (not frosting!) and trying to coax one last slipper off your hook or needles, remember the goodness (mmm... goodness....) your hard work is going to spread. Like warm, buttery caramel sauce. No, wait; not like that. Like happiness. And warmth, that part's right. And like showing friends, family, and strangers alike that the kindness of a handcrafted gift can truly be a life-altering experience. There's nothing like holding an object in your hands that you know someone put part of their life into, and that they did it for you.

    I urge anyone who hasn't yet completed a project for Evergreen Manor to do so. It's easy to lose track of time with all the events and holidays we've all got stashed away for these wintery months, and what with all the delicious treats and beautiful decorations both man- and nature-made to distract us, it's not hard to forget, for just a moment, to do things we meant to. It's also easy to believe our offerings won't be good enough, or that everyone else will make so many amazing things that ours won't really be needed.

    I promise, though, that even the "roughest" looking hat by our spoiled standards will be gratefully accepted and considered more beautiful than any perfectly stitched store-bought hat could be. I promise, too, that there is no such thing as too much in this case. We can't possibly make too many gifts. The need is too great, and the season too frigid, for even a single scarf to go unloved.

    Now, if you need me, I'll be finishing up a set of mitts and trying desperately to not eat the last of the apple bread.
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