Here is the second part of Maureen's (Mo's) preview of the shops on the
2012 Seattle to Portland Yarn Train. So much to see!
I love the high ceilings, light-colored walls and space in this shop. So much yarn to look at and a huge classroom/meeting area to take a seat and rest when you feel the need. Plus a separate viewable playroom for the little ones. Take a look at some of the yarns they carry on their website
. Be sure to read their blog
while you’re at it. Yarn Garden
Oh my gosh. Room after room chock full of yarn. Samples, patterns, so many ideas. Check out what’s in the store online
. I fell in love with this sweet little baby sweater (photo below)
from one skein of yarn. Don’t have any more grandbabies to knit for but got it anyway. Hard to resist. Food Trucks
Just a short distance from Knit Purl is an entire square block plus a few more on an adjacent block of food carts. Every imaginable type of ethnic food. Great way to get food on the run. Bordered between Alder and Washington and 9th and 11th. Or online at FoodCartsPortland.com
After a bite to eat, we went to Knit-Purl. So many samples to look at. So much yarn as well. Lots of natural light streaming in from the windows. We’ve been invited to use their downstairs classroom area to rest if we wish. Check them out online
and look at what one of their customers (photo below: Double-Knitting)
was working on while we were there. Unbelievable. She was working with two yarns faster than I knit with one. Cacao
One of my most favorite non-knitting places to visit in Portland is Cacao. A marvelous little shop to sit and enjoy a cup of drinking chocolate. Check them out here
and see if you’re enticed to pay them a visit.
~"Mo", Yarn Train Coordinator
Here is a guest post from Maureen (Mo) Galbreath, our valiant Yarn Train coordinator,
who recently spent some time in Portland previewing the shops and other
features of Portland, that you won't want to miss while you're there.
I just spent two lovely days in Portland visiting the seven shops that will be on the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train Crawl. The Crawl is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, with the Amtrak train leaving the station at 7:30 am.
This year, we’ve added four new shops to the Crawl. All are accessible via Portland’s TriMet bus system. We will have printed information on which bus to take to get to each of the outlying shops. Yarnia
Be sure to check out their website
. Especially the video
of how the yarn is wound on their machine. Twisted
Next stop on our Portland (PDX) trip was Twisted. So many wonderful samples to look at and a big library of patterns as well. This shop is definitely set up for browsing with places to sit down and their own tea bar. Be sure to check out the “About” option on their website
to learn about the yarns they carry and their clubs. The Shawlette Club
looks soo inviting. Dublin Bay
Dublin Bay was next on the list. A sweet shop with so much to look at and a very comfortable place to sit and knit, complete with fireplace and TV. Visit their website
to check out their yarns. And be sure “to take a virtual tour of our shop
” to familiarize yourself with what they carry. The battery on my phone was depleted and I was unable to take any pictures here. You’ll have to visit in person to see for yourself how lovely it is. Urban Fiber Arts
Our last stop for the day was Urban Fiber Arts. We always get such a warm welcome from Cindy whenever we visit. This shop features many local hand dyers and some of the color ways are so pretty. It was their evening knit/spin night so we had an opportunity to watch one of the gals spinning. Be sure to check them out on Facebook
or on their website
to see some of the yarns and learn more about the activities going on at the shop.
~"Mo", Yarn Train CoordinatorWatch for Part 2 of her trip, coming in a few days!
“I heard good news today, I heard good news today, a pussy willow told me ‘Spring is on the way’”. These lines are from an old song I used to sing to my kindergarteners, and it’s so appropriate right now. My attention is bouncing all over the place like a spring rabbit!
My pussy willow trees are in full glory. Today, Groundhog Day, the weatherman said that we’ve got two more hours of daylight. It’s wonderful to see the days slowly beginning to lengthen. I’m still in full winter knitting mode, spinning and knitting wonderful warm items out of alpaca and wool. I’ve been working on improving my spinning technique, and have finally mastered the art of Navajo plying, which is making a 3 ply yarn out of a single strand. It allows the colorways in the yarn to stay together, rather than randomly candy stripe when plied from two or three different bobbins. At this point I have no idea what I’ll end up making with my beautiful new yarn. Right now, I’m content just to enjoy looking at it.
At our recent Board meeting, we did some terrific brainstorming and I think we’ve come up with some great ideas for future guild meetings. We want to tap into the enormous talent pool that exists right within the Guild. I’m looking forward to some hands on workshops, our Destash Sale, a panel discussion, and our next guest speaker, Andrea Wong. I’m looking forward to the rescheduled Yarn Train trip to Portland, to marching with my fellow guild members in the Kla Ha Ya Days Parade, and attending the Mariners annual Stitch ‘n Pitch event. If you have an idea for a program or a workshop, please let us know. We can always use an article for the newsletter; a book review, yarn review, etc. It’s not too early to consider running for a board position in the Fall. Our board is one of the most cooperative and enjoyable groups I’ve ever had the pleasure working with. Think about jumping in and helping out!
Speaking of local knit groups, while I was knitting with mine the other day, it occurred to some of us that we should put up a sign on the table saying “Learn to Knit – Free”, and have a couple of the guild’s free Knit Kits handy for interested bystanders. If you have a regular knit group, think about doing this – it’s a great way to meet new knitters and to further the guild’s mission of providing educational opportunities for the community. You can pick up free Knit Kits at our monthly meetings.
As usual, I just can’t wait to see what you bring to our next Show and Tell!
~Barb, SKG President
I had two truths reaffirmed yesterday. Never go anywhere without knitting or you will regret it. And, knitting is a bonding experience. Nine years ago I sat next to an acquaintance at a parent meeting. She was knitting away and I expressed envy because I had not brought anything to work on. She declared that wasn’t a problem because she had an extra project in her bag and was happy to “share”. I thought it was so generous because she had no idea if my tension would be different from hers and cause problems. And I was impressed that she understood the need for me to engage in the act of knitting, even if it had no connection to any project of my own. We have been friends ever since.
Yesterday, it came full circle, you might say. I was sitting in my office when a relatively new employee who works at a different location came in and said, “I have a really odd question for you. Do you any knitting I could borrow while I am in a meeting here?” She had seen me knitting at a staff meeting last month and that apparently clued her in that knitting at meetings was acceptable. Now remember the first truth above. In spite of the fact that I had no reason to bring knitting to work, I actually had three different projects with me for her to choose from. Unfortunately none of them was just stockinette or garter. But I handed over my brioche stitch sock gladly. When she brought it back later, not that much was added and it is not perfectly in line with what I knit before and after, but I did not rip it out and re-do because it every time I wear that sock in the future, it will be a great memory for me.
~Aleen, SKG Vice-President 2011/12
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