Tuesday evening was the SKG's Annual Holiday Party. I honestly was not really in the mood to go on Tuesday. The previous few days had drained my holiday spirit some, but I had some commitments to keep, so I loaded everything up and went. I am so glad I did. It was a BLAST!
As it was the holiday party and a potluck, there were so many yummy items to choose from that I thought for awhile, we might need to set up another table to hold all of the food. Several different sweets and treats, but some savory items as well, to balance out the sugar. Delicious sparkling cider and eggnog topped everything off perfectly.
There was a full house of members and guests at the party. I was delighted to see several members I had not previously met and then had the opportunity to sit and visit with several more that I have met, but had not had the chance to get to know yet. Sarah Smith, Sarah Peterson, Katherine Asaif, Krystin Salvadalena, Adrienne Kaylor, Barb Simonds and I shared a table and had a great time getting to know each other. It looked like all of the tables were full and the spirits were high. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did visiting with the individuals at their respective tables.
Perhaps one of the most looked forward to events of the party, was the gift exchange. It is so gladdening to see the generosity and creativity of our members. We had plenty of people participating in this gift exchange and I think everyone went away with something that they will enjoy and/or use in the future, I know I definitely will.
*As promised, I have shared the Bow Tying Tutorial
in our Members Only area
, if you weren't able to take a print-out or would just like to refresh your memory on making nice straight bows on your holiday gifts (or pretty dresses).
Thank you everyone for recharging my holiday spirit and helping me enjoy the SKG Annual Holiday Party! ~Tandy, SKG Webmaster/Secretary
ῲ If you are doing color work with stranding or slip stitches and have trouble keeping the threads being carried over on the wrong side loose enough, hold one or two of your left hand fingers between the knitting and the stranding when you are forming a stitch with the contrast color that is going across more than 2 or 3 stitches in the back. That much extra is usually just enough to allow for the stretch of stockinette stitch and keep it from pulling too tight. Eventually you may be able to skip this step as you get used to the looser tension.
ῲ If you are making a shawl, scarf, or any lacework that will be stretched in blocking and has a knit in the front and back increase, consider doing a knit and purl in the same stitch instead. It is a bit more elastic and the purl bump is not much different from the bump you get with Kf&b. In any case, it is useful to be familiar with many types of increases so you choose what looks and functions best for the project you are working on.
ῲ Use spare circular needles as stitch holders. This is useful when instructions call for moving stitches to waste yarn because it is quicker to transfer them back again onto the real needle when needed. And it can help if you want to try on something in progress, even if it is being knit on dpns.
ῲ Sock patterns worked cuff down often call for decreases every other round at the toe. Try doing that until your stitches are decreased by half and then decrease every round until they are halved again, then do the grafting/kitchener stitch. The result is a really well fitting sock.
ῲ To get a snug fitting wrist for mitts, use a smaller needle size for the ribbing and consider adding a cable twist, even if it is only twisted in one or two rows. The twist will pull in the wrist part just enough to ensure they are loose around the wrist after being pulled on and off in
ῲ When picking a pattern to knit, think function and scrutinize photos on Ravelry. Too often photographs show a sweater hanging up, shawls laid out, and socks on a sock blocker. This does not tell you at all how what those finished objects look like when worn or whether they will work on the body that you want to make them for.
ῲ This website shows the most common kinds of increases very clearly, though not k and p into the same stitch: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter09/FEATwin09TT.php
~Aleen Caplan-Yamasaki, Vice President
I can feel the Wheel of the Year slowly turning. The hustle and bustle of fair time is over, just in time for the hustle and bustle of Autumn. I had a marvelous fair season, spending many hours demonstrating knitting and hand spinning, and catching up with people I only see at fair time. The Knit-In was a lot of fun, and the Spin-In actually had live fiddlers playing old timey music. I was so impressed by all of the fabulous entries in the
knit and crochet and hand spinning departments, many of them made by our own members. I hope that you'll bring your Fair items (and all those pretty prize ribbons) to show off at our October meeting. Congratulations to all entrants, you inspire us to try bigger and better things!
We've just celebrated our 3rd Guild birthday! We've gone from a few people, wondering if there was enough interest in our area for a viable guild, to a full grown, very active group. We have a few stand-out events each year: our Fall Retreat at Camp Huston, our Yarn Train to Portland in April, and our table at the Mariners' Stitch 'n Pitch game. Not to mention our birthday and holiday parties, and our annual Destash Sale. Now we're adding a new event to our roster this coming year - a one day mini-retreat in January. Since we've moved the Yarn Train event to later in the Spring, we decided to have an event in the January spot, one which won't be affected by the weather (unless there's a blizzard). Save the 3rd Saturday in January for some inexpensive "me time". This is still in the planning stages, but we have the Waltz Building reserved for that day, and we'll have a grand old time. If you'd like to get in on the planning of this event, drop me an email and we'll keep you in the loop. Your ideas are greatly appreciated. It may be something as simple as an all day pajama party potluck involving fibery goodness of all kinds.
~Barb, SKG President
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.
Tuesday is the official World Wide Knit in Public Day
, but since many of us work and shouldn’t take a day off to sit and knit in public, the event has been expanded to run from the second Saturday to the third Sunday in June, every year. In 2005, Danielle Landes decided that she wanted to show the public that ‘not only grannies knit’. She started organizing this annual event and in 2005, had 25 local events. The number of official events almost tripled the next year, and it has been growing in popularity ever since, and has become a world-wide phenomenon, with events in over 13 countries.
Knitting is often a solitary act, since it is so easy to knit just about anywhere and sink into your work without thinking of all the other knitters out there. Since the formation of the guild, almost three years ago, I have been amazed and astonished by all the knitters in my local community that I never realized knit. I’ll often hear my name called from down a grocery aisle, in line at the library or bank, at my daughter’s school and so many other places that I don’t generally think of as places to meet fellow knitters, and we will stop and talk to each other about our latest projects or events. World Wide Knit in Public Day is just about these chance encounters and bringing the gift of knitting to everyone, making the world a little bit smaller, for at least one week every year.
Last year, the guild hosted an event at the Seattle Center. It is an incredibly blustery, gray and chilly day and I know that Charisa (2011 SKG President) thought, ‘who would go out in this weather, just to sit and knit?’. Well, she was pleasantly surprised when she was kept company by 30 – 40 other knitters, who wished to share the reasons that they knit, with the public.
This year, the guild is attending the event that the Everett Public Library
staff has organized (check here for details
). Stop in for any length of time, tomorrow and bring your friend or neighbor who might want to learn. We will have New Knitter Kits available and there will be knitters available, who are eager to share their knowledge with you. There will also be an event, tomorrow, at the Edmonds Library
, with others . If you aren’t able to make the Everett event, then check out the WWKiP website to find an event
How will you share your knitting?!
~Tandy, SKG Webmaster
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