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.
SKG Vice-President Lois Champion-Myers here. At a recent SKG board meeting we were brainstorming about 2011-2012 programs. Here's what the brainstorm yielded:
1. Natural Dyes, Margaret from Earthhues to talk about natural dyes, dyeing
2. Sivia Harding, http://www.siviaharding.com/
3. Have someone from the Library come and speak about resources that they can offer
4. How to care for your fiber, Gretchen Wilson / Superior Fibers
5. Organizing your Stash & Tools: have members share/show pictures of how they store their fiber and tools/notions
6. Ergonomics of Knitting, have someone demonstrate different excercises we can do to alleviate problems/potential problems
7. Photography: demonstration, disscussion on how to take great photos of your finished projects! How to upload them on Ravelry, blogs etc.Please add your ideas and suggestions to the mix by adding a comment. Thanks!
Worldwide Knit in Public Day: Seattle International Fountain (or the Center House if it's rainy) -- 11am to 3pm, 18 June 2011. Tell all your knitting friends! Let's show the public the many faces of knitters. Click on the Events
section for more details.
The results of the poll for the Worldwide location meetup are in -- it was close! We'll be meeting up for our knit out at Seattle Center/International Fountain if it is sunny, and in the Seattle Center House, if it is rainy.
Snohomish folks - we'll pull together carpools - please spread the word with your knitting friends to meet up for a knit out.
WorldWide Knit in Public day is for celebrating our craft, and showing the world the face of knitters. The Saturday, 18 June 2011, 11am-3pm event gives knitters a chance to share the joy of knitting with the public. This year the Snohomish Knitters Guild is loosely organizing a meet up and we need to know which location you'd like to congregate at:
Seattle Center or Everett Mall.
We need a location that ensures we have a place if it is wet -- and we need to ensure we have the public's attention.
Vote at the bottom of the page and tell us which location you want.
(Vote only if you intend to come to the meet up.) We'll follow up with the location decision very soon!
Seattle Center (or the Center House, if it's rainy)
Pros: Central location, multiple guild members and Yarn Train folks can congregate here along with the Snohomish Knitters Guild knitters and lots to do when you are finished with WWKIP.
Cons: It is a drive for the Snohomish folks; you have to pay for parking
Pros: We'll be covered no matter what the weather, parking is free
Cons: If it is sunny, we'll be inside; Seattle folks aren't likely to make the drive
The poll closed on 20 May 2011 -- it was neck and neck, and the Seattle location won by a narrow margin.
borrowed from Amyrtw's Flickr Photostream
Although the official Worldwide Knit in Public day seems to have gone on the back-burner for the web-mistress who kept tabs on WWKIP events worldwide
, it is an idea that has caught on and spread like wildfire. SKG is planning some wacky fun for 18 June 2011, a Saturday. May I just say, block the date and keep your eyes on this space? (You might just want to let all your knitting co-horts know to keep the day free too -- we want you all to come.)After all, it's bound to be a blast with folks that think SSK stands for sip, sip, knit, right?-- Charisa
Martin CairnPresident and Webmaster, 2009-2011