by Jo Mancuso
At the first hybrid meeting since the Covid-19 pandemic began, about 30 people gathered in person and around 90 attended virtually on July 14. Hybrid meetings will continue for the time being. The new meeting place is Rose City Park Presbyterian Church at 1907 NE 45th Ave., Portland OR 97213. Doors open at 6 p.m. for social knitting. Covid vaccination/booster proof and masks are required; no one may enter after 7 p.m. Next meeting: Aug. 11.
Membership for the rest of calendar 2022 is half-price, prorated at $17.50 for an individual membership. See the Business Membership page for those half-price rates. Join at a monthly meeting or thru the website.
Virtual Knit Nights continue every Tuesday between 6 and 8 p.m. Find the link by date on the website events page.
Continuing with the Guild’s 2022 service project, members can knit, crochet or sew machine-washable hats, mitts, scarves and cowls in any size and color. All will be donated to the North by Northeast Community Health Center. More information is on the Guild Service Project page. Contact email@example.com to arrange drop-off or hold items for the final delivery in the fall.
Members have stepped up to serve on the board of directors for 2023-2024, but the Guild is still searching for a new president. Volunteers of all kinds are always needed, so think about how you might help. For more information visit the About page, talk with a board member, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member tip with Anna Lorton: A provisional cast-on
Anna shared her preferred variation of a temporary cast-on, using waste yarn to hold live stitches so they can be knit into later. For waste yarn she recommends light-colored mercerized cotton (DK or sport) because it will accommodate fingering to worsted main yarn and, unlike “clingy” wool, will pull out smoothly. You’ll also need an aluminum crochet hook with a slim shaft.
Anna suggests checking out a tutorial for the step-by-step, which involves crocheting a short chain and then working with hook and knitting needle to create the desired number of stitches on the needle. Finally, crochet-only a few loops, cut the yarn, pull through and tie a knot to identify which end to pull to undo the provisional cast-on. Switch to your chosen yarn and knit on.
When you’re ready to access those live stitches, Anna says you can either first pick them up one by one with the needle or just find the knotted waste-yarn end and "pull gently, gently, gently,” leaving live stitches ready to pick up for the Kitchener stitch, knitting in the opposite direction, or whatever your pattern calls for.
Next month’s tip: Does your knitting need some bones? How cast-on edges can add structure to your garments
Send ideas for tip topics you’d like Anna to take on, or present yourselves, to email@example.com
Guest speaker: Anne Berk
A self-described problem-solver, Anne Berk—a TKGA-certified master knitter, teacher, and designer who also has her own optometry practice in Happy Valley—created Annetarsia, her own version of intarsia, to make this color work easier and fun. On stage at the church using visuals, she explained her various techniques and breakthroughs:
The point of intarsia is to personalize, Anne said, but it requires lots of swatching and careful math preparation. A longtime published designer, Anne said her students favor her pattern for a personalized name-and-number sports jersey. Among her colorful sock patterns are Astoria, Willamette, and Oaks Park, which was photographed at the Portland skating rink. Her final intarsia tip: before you set aside your knitting, turn your work and do a few stitches so you don’t lose your place.
Anne’s book Annetarsia Knits: a New Link to Intarsia is available on her website and elsewhere online.
YouTube: Anne Berk
Next meeting Aug. 11: Karel Chan on Mindful Making
June 2022 Meeting Recap: Sydney Crabaugh presents Knitwear Becomes Fashion: Twentieth Century Knitting History and Member Tips
by Shela Perrin
Our July meeting with be a hybrid one so you will be able to join virtually or be in person at the meeting. The new meeting site is at the Rose City Park Presbyterian Church located at 1907 NE 45th Avenue, Portland, OR 97213. Doors open at 6:00pm for social knitting. Covid vaccination, booster proof and masks are required.
The Guild cannot function with volunteers, please consider the following positions:
Sound system information
Administration within the Guild
For more information visit the About page, talk with a board member, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Knit Nights are every Tuesday between. 6:00pm and 8:00pm. All are welcome. Visit the Guild Events page for the current link.
Please save the date of Saturday, July 16th, 1-3pm for an Ice Cream Social, location to be announced.
2022 Service Project - North by Northeast Community Health Center is the recipient of all projects donated. Any type of warm item is welcome - hats, gloves, scarves and cowls. Any size and color, knit, crochet or sewn. More information on the Guild Service Project page. Please contact email@example.com to arrange drop off or hold items for the final delivery in the fall.
Dishcloth Challenge items to be included in the produce boxes distributed to the community by North by Northeast Community Clinic. Finished items are due by June 30th. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a drop off. Every item will give you a double entry for some great year end prizes. The person completing the most dishclothes will win a $25 gift certificate to the yarn store of their choice. Every item will earn one chance in a random drawing for 2 skeins of Knit Picks Chroma Fingering, Get your Neon (70% SW Merino, 30% Nylon, 396 yards/100g).
Welcome to two new business members:
3 Green Sisters in Portland, Oregon
Nancy Williamson Framing & Fibers in Clatskanie, Or
Member Tip with Anna Lorton: socks, socks, socks!
Anna described the basic construction of a sock is the cuff, leg, heal, gusset, foot and toe. You can accomplish knitting a sock with circular needles or double pointed needles. You can
make two at a time with a magic loop method, sock race 2 at a time or knit 2 socks in 1. You can knit one sock and then knit the 2nd sock in the opposite direction. Once completed make sure they fit and then take a few weeks to get used to them. On the plus side they are portable, beautiful yarns to choose from, they take a small amount of yarn, some of the knitting is mindless and they provide warm feet!
Rye Light pattern by Tincanknits, free on Ravelry.
Rose City Rollers pattern by Mara Catherine Bryner, free on Ravelry
Vanilla is the New Black pattern by Anne Fletcher, free on Ravelry
Next month Anna will share tips for the provisional cast on.
Guest Speaker Sydney Crabaugh described how knitwear has become fashion through the history of knitting from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s. In an interesting and fun presentation Sydney shares the history of knitting and how it eventually becomes a fashion statement. She begins with knitting for WWI, then cycling garments, how knit wear became popular in the 1920’s, then 1930’s when the stars of Hollywood begin knitting on and off the screen. 1940’s and WWII everyone became involved knitting for the war, after 1945 people began to knit for themselves. Yarn was cheap. 1950’s Argyle became very popular. She recommends the book No Idle Hands The Social History of American Knitting by Anne L. Macdonald.
Squid’s School of Vintage Knitting on Patreon.com/squidschool
Meetings will continue virtually through June, though the July 14 meeting may be hybrid, if in-person arrangements can be made.
The guild is seeking a technical audio-visual volunteer, someone familiar with mikes, speakers and recording equipment. Kimberly encouraged anyone potentially interested to inquire at email@example.com. She said that a volunteer-specific survey will be provided to members soon.
Virtual Knit Nights continue every Tuesday between 6 and 8 p.m.; find the link by date on the website events page.
Members can save the date — Saturday, July 16, 1 to 3 p.m. — for an ice cream social at a Portland park to be determined.
Please continue to knit warm, machine-washable hats, scarves, mittens, etc., for the guild’s 2022 service project with North by Northeast Community Health Center. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange drop-off or hold items for the final delivery in the fall.
Dishcloth challenge! How many can you knit, crochet or weave for NxNE to distribute at its community health events? See the service-project page for raffle information. Finished items are due by June 30. Email email@example.com to arrange a drop-off.
Member tip with Anna Lorton:
Ways to hold the yarn while knitting (An overview, not a how-to)
Anna encouraged attendees to relax and pretend they're flipping through a catalog — watch, shop, compare and choose techniques to try: Notice the tension, how much movement is required, what your hands are doing and how they are angled. Why have a repertoire? Some techniques are better for specific kinds of knitting; repetitive motion can cause hand strain; you can get bored and it’s fun to switch it up. She recommended searching YouTube for demo videos, such as those by VeryPink Knits.
[Anna said she avoids geographic place names in terminology when possible because we’re a global knitting community and historic terms may be outdated.]
Picking (also known as continental): Yarn from the left; yarn over left index finger
Throwing: Yarn from the right; put down right needle
Flicking: Yarn from the right; consistently tensioned, good for two-color work
Lever: Yarn from the right resting in hand “slingshot”; good for socks
Portuguese: Yarn runs through a special hook on front of knitter’s body; choose right or left
Next month’s tip: Garment Advocacy Series: Socks Edition
Anna asked members to email the guild if they have other tip topics they’d like her to take on or present themselves. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Grayzel encouraged members to consider joining the board and succeeding her as program chair for the 2023-2024 term. She listed the advantages of this position as choosing what you want to learn; interacting with wonderful leaders in the world of knitting and yarn; and becoming more connected to the guild. Responsibilities include: research and recruit speakers; write presentation descriptions; be a liaison between speaker and the guild; introduce speaker and moderate Q&A. Inquire at email@example.com.
Guest speaker: Suzanne Bryan, “Afterthought Pockets”
Sharon introduced Suzanne Bryan, who is a virtual-bootcamp knitting teacher, creator of more than 400 knitting tutorial videos, and a “knitting engineer” whose primary interest is knitting architecture. In her virtual presentation for the guild, Suzanne described and demonstrated two main ways to add a patch pocket to a garment (or other knitted item, such as a tooth-fairy pillow).
The “patch technique” involves knitting a patch and then attaching it to the garment. Care must be taken in placement and each of the three sides is attached differently. The “knit technique” requires joining the new yarn to the garment; the pocket is knit in a way that creates a flatter “profile” and is nearly invisible on the back. Suzanne said she would like to write a book just on pockets, as no definitive resource has been published. Right now she is contributing a 10-part series on pockets to Cast On magazine.
Resources for Suzanne:
Cast On magazine
April 2022 Meeting Recap: Margaret Radcliffe (Knowledgeable Knitter) presents From Fiber to Fabric: Knitting the U.S. Heritage Sheep Breeds, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
Kimberly Williams opened the meeting welcoming all as they arrived virtually. She asked everyone to enter the raffle and take a short survey to help with planning future meetings. She also shared our mission statement as well as showing recognition of the First Nation populations inhabiting this land before us. Kimberly acknowledged that although the past 2 years have been full of challenges, the guild is thriving. We have virtual speakers scheduled now thru June 2022.
Susan Platt is our newest volunteer and we are still in need of a volunteer to manage sound technical issues.
Virtual Knit Nights are every Tuesday between 6pm and 8pm. All are welcome. Visit the Guild Events page on our website for the current link.
Learning Knitters Group hosted by Anna Lorton is every third Wednesday of the month from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. If you have wanted to join please do so this month as this will not continue without participating members. Visit the Guild Events page for the current link.
Kimberly also made a call out for new volunteers to join the board for the 2023-2024 term. Her first request is for a new President to serve. There is no need to have served on a board prior to this. She discussed the primary focus for this position and more information can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org. She shared that the best reason to serve on the board is your love of the guild to help sustain it.
Scarves for teddy bears for Ukrainian refugee children has had a generous response and so please deliver yours to Kimberly Williams in North Portland as soon as possible. Contact her at email@example.com to arrange.
Sheep to Shawl: Looking for team members to compete at Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, Oregon on Friday, June 24, 2022 from 9am to 2pm. Our team needs one weaver and six spinners. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Wednesday Workshop at Weird Sisters Yarn Shop features Maggie Miller teaching Beginning Texture Series: Twisted Stitches on April 20th and May 4th 7pm on Zoom. Visit the Weird Sisters website for the current link.
Member Tips with Anna Lorton
Anna had to miss this meeting, so Emme Von, a sweater knitter, graciously stepped in for the Member Tips. She shared the pros and cons of knitting sweaters. She has knit 27 sweaters to date that she wears, that does not include gifts, etc. She highly recommends knitting sweaters because of all the knitting techniques you will learn, the garment construction information you will gather and because there are so many sweater patterns to choose from. Some of her favorite patterns are from Flax by Tin Can Knits; In-the-round patterns by Jennifer Steinglass as well as pieces and seamed patterns by Patty Lyons. Her recommendation is “Just Knit”.
Next month Anna will share different ways to knit. Email email@example.com if you would like to share some tips.
Sharon introduced our guest speaker, Maggie Radcliffe who is an internationally recognized teacher and author of The Knowlegable Knitter among several other bestselling knitting books. She is also the designer of Maggie’s Rags line of knitting patterns. She spoke to us tonight about using endangered heritage sheep breed wool and the processes it takes to move it from fiber to fabric. She has done extensive research on buying direct from shephards and determining the best wool for different projects. She has put together a spread sheet for many different types of heritage sheep breeds, categorized each of them and indicated how they can best be used. She also showed samples of her work based on the wool used for them. She has extensive knowledge on the subject and suggested ways we can do further research for our projects. This was an interesting and in-depth presentation for knitters to gain more insight into the product we knitters purchase and work up into garments, etc.
(Please click below for Maggie's breed spreadsheet)
Show and Tell
We saw an entire baby layette including a sewn quilt, hats, mits, onesie, sweater, and blanket. Also a Mount Lindo poncho from a bag full of mini’s and lastly a beautiful cowlette was shared.
Join us next month on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 7 PM via Zoom, when Suzanne Bryan presents the Afterthought Pockets.
Board President Kimberly Williams opened the March 2022 virtual meeting and noted that we welcome a diverse community and respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the traditional stewards of this land and acknowledge the enduring relationship between the land and the people since time immemorial.
Kimberly announced that meetings will continue to be held virtually through at least June 2022.
Membership: We are happy to have guests join us, but after attending a meeting or two, we ask that you become a member. Dues for individuals are $35 per year. Scholarships and gift memberships are available. Virtual knit nights continue weekly on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 PM via Zoom and a monthly virtual learning event has been added: a monthly Learning Knitters Group night, the third Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 PM, hosted by Anna Lorton, where you can bring your questions and make new friends while you learn. See Guild events page for Zoom links.
The Guild is seeking a writing volunteer to take brief notes for meeting recaps that will be posted on our website, which takes approximately two hours of time per month. We are also seeking a technical volunteer to help strategize hybrid meeting options for in-person plus Zoom meetings for later in the year. And last but not least, a heads up that the Board is looking for future leaders, in particular for the Board President and Programs Chair positions, which will be open for the 2023-2024 term. If interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
North by Northeast Service project: The Warm Heads hat-making kick-off Challenge was a resounding success: 220 hats were produced! Sue Stephan won the first prize raffle and Jane Henderson took second prize. Please continue to knit machine-washable warm items (hats, scarves, mittens, etc.) as the service project will continue throughout the year.
Member Tip with Anna Lorton. First, Anna gave us a quick tip regarding storing cable needles: she does not recommend storing them coiled because they can be difficult to knit with later, although when she needs to relax her coiled needles before knitting, she briefly submerges the (plastic) cable part in warm water to straighten them out. For the main Member Tip, Anna discussed the many 'tubular' ways you can knit in the round! Anna covered double-pointed needles (DPNs), which come in different lengths and are usually sold in packages of five. These are great for socks, sleeves and the tops of hats. Circular needles are measured from tip to tip, and come in different circumferences, but your needles should ideally be at least two inches less than the circumference of your project. You can knit with two circular needles, and when doing so, it is a good idea to have some way to tell the two apart. There is also something called Magic Loop, which allows for the project to be much smaller than the circumference of the needles. Interchangeable needles allow you to change needle sizes using the same cable. These are also great for placing a lifeline!
Next month: Member Tips’ garment advocacy will move to sweaters. Anna invites members to share their thoughts on whether and why they love or hate sweater knitting! Do you have a favorite tip?Share your ideas! Send a note to email@example.com.
Sharon Grayzel introduced key speaker Faina Goberstein, who discussed the many uses of slip-stitches, including color and texture, to create effects that vary widely in their appearance. Faina Goberstein is an internationally recognized independent knitwear designer and professional teacher. She is also the co-author of The Art of Slip Stitch and The Art of Seamless Knitting. She introduced us to the four groups of slip-stitch knitting patterns, how they can be incorporated to achieve different effects, and how they can inspire knitting designs. She also highlighted how the choice of yarn can enhance the results with these patterns.
In brief, Slip Stitch knitting is a technique that creates interesting texture by intentionally leaving some stitches undone. This creates a “float” placed either on the back or the front of the fabric. You can easily create many different textures with this technique. Slip stitch knitting can be done with a single color, or with multicolor textures. Mosaic stitches are a type of slip-stitch knitting, where the stitches are slipped to make pictures, as in tiles. Barbara Walker's seminal 1968 publication on knitting contains a chapter on slip stitch knitting, as well as having slip stitches used throughout in other chapters, where she simply calls them textured patterns. According to Faina, the four groups of slip-stitch patterns are: 1) traditional (patterns place floats on wrong side, as in mosaic knitting) 2) woven (so fabric looks woven, and floats are on the right side of the work), 3) reversible (floats on both right and wrong side), and 4) combination or fancy (slipped stitches combined with cables, or lace, etc.) and knitters can learn more about all of these wonderful techniques in Faina’s book The Art of Slip Stitch, available for purchase here.
Next month: Join us on April 14, 7 p.m. via Zoom for Margaret Radcliffe, From Fiber to Fabric: Knitting the U.S. Heritage Sheep Breeds. Margaret Radcliffe will take us on a tour of her experiences working with U.S. heritage sheep breeds over the last three years including the challenges of washing, preparing, and spinning wool from over 20 breeds. She will describe the wide variety of wool properties across these breeds, and the choices that have contributed to crafting successful knitted garments from her handspun yarns. Margaret is an internationally recognized teacher, the author of several bestselling knitting books, and the designer of the Maggie’s Rags line of knitting patterns.
February 2022 Meeting Recap: Catherine Lowe presents Change the Way You Think About Knitting and Member Tips
by Melanie Chen
Board President Kimberly Williams opened the January 2022 virtual meeting and noted that we welcome a diverse community and respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the traditional stewards of this land and acknowledge the enduring relationship between the land and the people since time immemorial.
Kimberly announced that meetings will continue to be held virtually through at least June 2022.
Membership: We are happy to have guests join us, but after attending a meeting or two, we ask that you become a member. Dues for individuals are $35 per year. Virtual knit nights continue weekly on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 PM via Zoom and a new virtual event has been added: a monthly Beginning Knitters Group night, the third Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 PM, hosted by Anna Lorton, where you can bring your questions and make new friends while you learn. See Guild events page for Zoom links.
The 2022 Service Project (with intentional change of name to “service”) features the North by Northeast Community Health Clinic. Guild members are encouraged to make machine- washable hats, scarves, mitts, and cowls. In addition to the year-long drive, there is a special challenge project to make as many large, neutral-colored hats as possible by February 28, 2022, with a $25 yarn shop gift card as first prize and a ball of Knit Picks gradient yarn for second prize. Each item made for the February challenge earns 1 ticket for the challenge raffles and 2 tickets for the December raffle. There are some really cool year-end prizes: $50 yarn shop gift card for the Most Prolific knitter and another to First Prize raffle winner, with Zauberball yarn for second prize. Each item (or pair of matched items such as socks and mittens) made receives one raffle ticket.
Kathryn Gearheard presented our Sister Guild Update on the Brave Girl Knitting Guild in East Africa (Uganda). Many PKG members donated knitting needles for our sister group, which is a guild in the sense of a trade group, with a government license, apprentices and items for sale. Their financial plan allows them to sell shares in the guild, so it is run as a business. They had an excellent year in the agriculture business, and many of the knitters have farms, so they bought three sewing machines and a knitting machine. Kathyrn reports to them often and they are happy to know of our activities.
PKG business member Brooklyn Tweed has issued a call for Preview Knitters for the new 2022 BT Littles Collection: preview knitters receive a free advance copy of their chosen pattern as well as a yarn discount. The collection will come out in installments starting in March 2022.
Rose City Yarn Crawl: Share your MKAL finished projects with us using hashtag #puddletown knitters. The Yarn Crawl is coming up at month’s end, from Feb 24 to 27, with both virtual and in-person participation.
Member tips: Anna Lorton kicked off her Garment Advocacy series and spoke on behalf of Hats, which you can view here.
In her talk, Anna noted some key pros: hats are quick to knit because of their size, they are fairly simple construction and don't need a pattern, they don’t need a ton of yarn, so they are not expensive and can be an easy one skein project. Yay hats! The potential cons include: possibly advanced techniques are required, hats are usually knit in the round, or there might be seaming, or short rows. Furthermore, if decreasing at the top, the needle to stitches ratio gets very uncomfortable. Anna then highlighted some conventional hat patterns, including those found in Ann Budd’s book Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns; the Sockhead Slouch hat by Kelly McClure (free pattern that uses a single skein of sock yarn); the Latrine Hat in Piecework Magazine by Interweave Press April 2020. Anna also gave a shout out to some unconventional hats: 1) Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague, Elizabeth Zimmerman; 2) Rhinebeck Hat by noted hat designer Woolly Wormhead, which uses short rows, and 3) Beloved Bonnet by Tincanknits. Anna also showed us her very own four corner hat. Inspiring!
Next month will feature techniques for knitting in the round. Send your inputs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharon Grayzal, Programs Chair, introduced feature speaker Catherine Lowe, whose talk was called “Change the Way You Think about Knitting.” Catherine is a designer, teacher, the developer and owner of Catherine Lowe Yarns, and the co-founder of Knitting with Company. Catherine discussed how her couture methods for hand knitting differ from traditional hand knitting and why couture methods are important for giving knitters complete control over their project outcomes. The development of Catherine’s couture knitting techniques is the result of a shift in her perspective that led her on a journey in pursuit of better fabrication and construction techniques for hand knitting. She explained the philosophy behind her approach, detailed the consequences of its techniques for both the process and the outcome of a project, and suggested how these techniques can be incorporated into any knitting practice to elevate the look and functionality of hand knit garments.
Highlights of her presentation:
Join us next month on Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 7 PM via Zoom, when Faina Goberstein presents the Art of Slip Stitch Knitting.
January 2022 Meeting Recap: Patty Lyons presents Secrets of Yarn Substitution, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Melanie Chen
Board President Kimberly Williams opened the January 2022 virtual meeting and noted that we welcome a diverse community and respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional homelands of a diverse array of indigenous tribes and bands. The greater Portland metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the traditional stewards of this land and acknowledge the enduring relationship between the land and the people since time immemorial.
Kimberly announced that meetings will continue to be held virtually through at least June 2022.
The 2022 Service Project was announced (with intentional change of name to “service”): this year features the North by Northeast Community Health Clinic. Guild members are encouraged to make hats, scarves, mitts, and cowls. In addition to the year-long drive, there is a special challenge project kicking off now–Make as many men’s (or large, neutral-colored) hats as possible by February 28, 2022, with a $25 yarn shop gift card as first prize and a ball of Knit Picks gradient yarn for second prize. Each item made for the February challenge earns 1 ticket for the challenge raffles and 2 tickets for the December raffle. There are some really cool year-end prizes: $50 yarn shop gift card for the Most Prolific knitter and another to First Prize raffle winner, with Zauberball yarn for second prize. Each item (or pair of matched items such as socks and mittens) made receives one raffle ticket. Sharetta Butcher, community service director for North by Northeast spoke to us about the organization’s history and announced that they will donate an additional prize as well!! They were started after nearly a dozen families relocated from the New Orleans area to Portland after Hurricane Katrina and currently serve 600 patients, with a focus on African-American health.
Can you help us? Going forward, the Guild is in need of a video editor to perform basic editing of meeting videos to share clips on our blog–primarily Anna’s member tips, and Show and Tell–adding slides with music tracks, and when we have permission to share, light editing of speaker presentations and full meetings. If you have any skills in video editing, or are willing to learn, please reach out.
Membership: We are happy to have guests join us, but after attending a meeting or two, we ask that you become a member. Dues for individuals are $35 per year.
Programs Chair Sharon Grayzel introduced featured speaker Patty Lyons, who presented a condensed version of her talk on ‘Secrets of Yarn Substitution.’ Patty is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who specializes in sweater design and is known for teaching the “why” of knitting in her pursuit of training more mindful knitters. Proper yarn selection can make or break your knitting project and when done appropriately, yarn substitution will result in a project that is beautiful and fits beautifully. Patty began by looking into why the crafter might need to swap yarns, with reasons ranging from tackling a vintage pattern or pattern that calls for discontinued yarns, to other reasons such as yarn availability, allergies, budget, color, and/or different needs (machine washable, softness, vegan, etc). She identified three main factors in yarn substitution: 1) how much yarn, 2) how big/gauge, and 3) what is it.
In sum, the key things to consider are how much (yardage is more accurate, also consider density), size (washed and blocked gauge is more important than weight category) and yarn fiber properties (elasticity/memory, absorbency, strength, drape and warmth.)
Member Tips with Anna Lorton. The tip this month covered swatches in the round. As a freebie bonus, Anna went back to the Invisible Stranding by Susan Rainey and showed us how she had used it in a hat she was knitting. With regard to swatching in the round, there are several methods: 1) you can choose to do it with the normal round needles you would be using, and knit the entirety across, 2) or you can bring the yarn around in an unknitted loop in the back and twist the first stitch to help stabilize the swatch. Knit-scootch, knit scootch and you get a more accurate swatch for a piece that will be knitting in the round.
Next month Anna is starting a brand new series: Expanding your Horizons. To kick this off, the February member tip will feature hats, and Anna welcomes our input. Why do you love them, and/or why do you struggle with them? Write to Anna at email@example.com.
Show and Tell featured some absolutely beautiful knitting by our members–enjoy!
Join us next month on Thursday, February 10th at 7 pm via Zoom, when Catherine Lowe presents Change the Way You Think about Knitting.
December 2021 Meeting Recap: Gayle Roehm presents Hand Knitting Design in Japan, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Melanie Chen
Board President Kimberly Williams opened the December 2021 virtual meeting and explained that in keeping with our mission, we welcome a diverse community and respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional homelands of a diverse array of indigenous tribes and bands. The greater Portland metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the traditional stewards of this land and acknowledge the enduring relationship between the land and the people since time immemorial.
Kimberly announced that meetings will continue to be held virtually through at least March 2022.
As this marks our last meeting of 2021, we really owe a huge thank you to lyric apted, Julie Spellman, and Elle Gough for their service to the Guild in Communications and Events. The past two years have been intense, and the technical wizardry of lyric and Julie has made our virtual meetings run very smoothly. Big round of applause!!
Going forward, we are in need of a video editor to perform basic editing of meeting videos to share clips on our blog (primarily Anna’s member tips), and Show and Tell (adding slides with music tracks), and when we have permission to share, light editing of speaker presentations and full meetings. If you have any skills in video editing, or are willing to learn, please reach out.
For those wanting to show their Guild pride or to help get the word out about the Guild, there is a new online shop located at CafePress, featuring PKG logo clothing, bags, mugs/bottles and accessories. Currently, these items come with no mark-up for the Guild.
Early Bird membership for 2022 is now available. Save $5.00 for individuals or 10% off business memberships when you join or renew by December 31st. See the membership page for more info and a link to pay. If you need a scholarship membership, please get in touch. Gift memberships to give to others are also available. For questions, requests for scholarships, or help with gift memberships contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member Tips with Anna Lorton. The tip this month described some ways to use your smartphone to help with knitting: Members suggested using your phone to assess color contrasts, which Anna demonstrated. She showed how to use the black and white filter on your camera phone to verify the degree of contrast among different yarns. There is also a collage app which is quite useful in comparing yarns. Anna also noted there is a site/online yarn shop called KnitPicks (which kindly donates yarn to the Guild for charity knitting) and she recommends checking them out.
Next month we will talk about swatches. As always, please send your ideas and suggestions for future Member Tips to email@example.com.
Programs Chair Sharon Grayzel introduced featured speaker Gayle Roehm, who presented Hand Knitting Design in Japan. Gayle discussed Japanese knitting design and introduced us to some of her favorite Japanese knitwear designers and their designs, highlighting the incorporation of beautiful stitchwork and unique variations on traditional techniques. Gayle has lived in Japan, speaks Japanese, and is the translator of Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible and 250 Japanese Knitting Stitches as well as several other books of Japanese knitting. She is also a nationally recognized knitting instructor and a knitwear designer.
Gayle noted there is quite a range of Japanese designers, and the ones she highlighted were her personal selection. Hitomi Shida is the most recognizable designer now, but there is a lively and active knitting community in Japan, with a lot to explore, and many of these designers are on Ravelry.
Some key distinguishing features of Japanese knit design include:
Gayle gave us a whirlwind slideshow tour of select designers, to whet our appetites. She did note that traditionally, most Japanese patterns were only done in one size, with the knitter responsible for making any size-related adjustments, although this is changing now. Patterns usually are presented in graphs. Designers whose patterns are available in English include Michiyo, Yoko Hatta, Junko Okamoto, Eri Shimizu, Hiromi Nagasawa, Ririko, Hiroko Fukatsu, Yuko Shimizu, Noriko Ichikawa, Mari Tobita, Kineco Yuki, Rievive, Sachiko Uemura, Ayano Tanakaand Yumiko Alexander.
Other famous Japanese designers whose work Gayle highly recommends, although some of their work is only available in Japanese: Hitomi Shida, whose knitting stitch bible has come out in 11 different languages, and whose 250 stitch pattern book was put out 10 years earlier. Toshiyuki Shimada, who was trained as a pianist in Europe, and whose designs tend to follow traditional European styles, incorporating fair isle and lace. And Mitsuharu Hirose, Keiko Okamoto, Jun Shibata (a personal favorite of Gayle’s), Kazuyo Nakamura (sculpted stitchwork), Mayumi Kawai (interesting stitches and colorwork), Mutsuko Kishi, Mutsumi Harada (exuberant colorwork), Mari Abe, Yoshiko Hyodo, Naoko Shimoda, Hikaru Noguchi (pioneer of visible mending technique), Yukiko Kuro (lace), Michiko Narukawa, Kasumi Suzuki (floral themes), Mariko Mikuni, Misako Murayama, Mariko Oka, Junko Okamoto, Saichika Fukiko (avant garde large gauge work), and Erika Tokai. By the end of Gayle’s presentation, we felt we had gained a tiny window into a whole new world—dazzling!
The meeting concluded with Show and Tell, which featured the work of busy Guild knitters as well as presenting Michelle Lee Bernstein’s fabulous Steek with Me free coaster/swatch pattern that is a great way to take the plunge and steek something that does not intimidate.
Join us next month via Zoom on Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 at 7 PM, when Patty Lyons presents Secrets of Yarn Substitution.
November 2021 Meeting Recap: Kate Atherley presents The Good, The Bad, and The Pooling: Working with Multicolored Yarns, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Melanie Chen
Board President Kimberly Williams opened the November 2021 virtual meeting and announced it was the 4th Anniversary of the Guild’s founding—how exciting! She also explained that in keeping with our mission, we respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional homelands of a diverse array of indigenous tribes and bands. The greater Portland metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the traditional stewards of this land and acknowledge the enduring relationship between the land and the people since time immemorial.
An official member meeting was called to order for the annual elections. Tai Buschert was voted in as Member-at-Large for Communications, heading up the Communications committee (volunteers welcome!) and Misty Wegman was nominated from the floor and then voted in as the Member-at-Large for Events, responsible for organizing guild events and coordinating any volunteers needed for said events, such as classes and field trips. Kimberly acknowledged Susan Plack and Ellen Silva as members of the charity knitting committee and Melanie Chen as meeting recap writer and Emily Rogers as Zoom admin. The board is still looking for volunteers to be on the communications committee, so please reach out soon if you can assist with any of these vital functions, and we thank you in advance for your support!
Kimberly announced that meetings will continue to be held virtually through at least February 2022, which allows us to continue to have such great far-residing speakers via Zoom.
Our 2021 Winter Warmth Charity Knitting for Rose Haven was a huge success: members made 170 hats and headbands, 56 cowls and scarves, 20 pairs of socks and slippers, 12 sweaters, 37 shawls and blankets and 10 pairs of mitts, for a grand total of 305 donated items to be shared as gifts for Rose Haven clients. Kathryn Gearheard won the Charity Knitting Raffle, 220 yards of natural gray and hand dyed wool and alpaca from Handspun by Val Yarn, whose fiber comes from San Juan Island where her studio is located.
The inaugural Puddletown Make Along, launched this summer, featured three of our business members creating exclusive Puddletown colorways. 1) Puddle Stomp, from local indie dyer Knitted Wit; 2) a collection from Ryberry Yarns, and 3) the Fremont Bridge colorway from Opposite Coast Dyes. It was really fun to see the various projects that resulted and Kathryn Levine won the raffle for MAL participants.
For those wanting to show their Guild pride or to help get the word out about the Guild, there is a new online shop located at CafePress featuring PKG logo clothing, bags, mugs/bottles, and accessories with no mark-up for the Guild.
2022 Business Membership will now feature 3 levels, for varying amounts of engagement that reflect the amazing growth of the Guild. There will be a Knit Aid table at our meetings (once we are back in person again) for member questions, with answers from our Business members, as well as opportunities for Level 3 Business members to sell their products at one meeting per year. For more information, see the Business Memberships page.
Michele Lee Bernstein will be at Knot Another Hat with a trunk show from her new book, Brioche Knit Love, and will be ready to sign your copies. They'll have light refreshments and plenty of yarn suggestions! Tickets to the book signing are $5 (refundable with any purchase of materials for the book’s projects that day).
Member Tips with Anna Lorton. The tip this month was about joining yarn ends. From the many options, Anna has picked three joins to show us: 1) the Russian join, which requires a sharp tapestry needle, 2) the two overhand knots method, and 3) the spit join or felting join, which is done with animal fibers (but NOT superwash yarn), and relies on movement, heat and moisture.
Next month’s tip: How do you use your smartphone to knit—favorite apps/tools/tips? Send your ideas and tips for future Member Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs Chair Sharon Grayzel introduced featured speaker Kate Atherley, presenting The Good, The Bad, and The Pooling: Working with Multicolored Yarns. A knitting author with nine published books, Kate is an internationally recognized knitting teacher and editor, and the co-founder and publisher of Digits & Threads, an online magazine of Canadian fiber and textile arts. Kate, who has a university degree in mathematics, is based in Toronto. She discussed the fun and challenges of working with hand-painted yarns, and gave us a review of different types of hand-painted colorways.
Kate noted that in many knitters’ stashes, there are single skeins of variegated yarns, reflecting our propensity to fall in love with beautiful multi-colored yarn. However, we often find such skeins knit up into something less than we had imagined—for example, if you are doing a patterned stitch, you want something less variegated. Kate put forth two key steps to Variegated Happiness: 1) understand the skein, and then 2) choose a pattern for that skein. Sometimes, the language is not clear, and we need to better understand the terms variegated, self-striping, kettle dyed, hand dyed and hand painted, OOAK, marled, tonal, speckled, fixed striping, faux isle, gradient, and semi-solid.
Variegated means multiple colors, and OOAK stands for one of a kind, aka wild child, meaning the dyer only has one skein of that kind. With regard to semi-solid vs. tonal, the difference lies in how the color is applied to the yarn, but from a knitter’s perspective, they are very similar and produce a reasonably solid color, sometimes appearing a bit faded or shaded. These are wonderful yarns for pattern stitches, and also good for larger projects. Self-striping is a bit problematic, because it has shifted in meaning—it is more accurate to call them self-patterning, since the striping doesn’t always result in clean stripes. Fixed striping yarns are designed for specific types of project, most often socks. Generally these yarns are more expensive, because of the extra care taken to produce the precision of the dye. Gradients mean the colors change slowly. You can also get gradient kits, to do more than a single skein project, or sometimes these are done in minis so you can control better when the gradient change will occur. Faux isle is more commonly seen in commercially made yarns, mainly for socks. Indie dyers do speckling, where each color is a little splash and these are suitable for all sorts of patterns and stitch counts. Marled yarn is coming up now as a verb, and refers to two colors twisted together, with Zauberball crazy as an example of a gradient marl. These have lots of personality, but you may not be able to get a matched pair of socks.
In determining yarn type, you will need to look at the colors (which, how many, and how they look together) and transitions (sharp or blended, length of colors before change). Kate suggests that after you buy the yarn, unfurl the skein to get a better sense of it, and fold it in different ways to see how the colors look together—lots of colors means it will likely look busy.
She shared some tips to make such busy, multi-color skeins work:
The bottom line is the busier the yarn, the simpler the pattern should be, and vice versa. Reasons why busy yarns don’t work include the nature of pooling, situations where the yarn is too busy and obscures the pattern, or the pattern stitch fights with the yarn pattern. In terms of pooling and the barber pole effect, this is where stripes appear to be magically on the diagonal. Sometimes this is totally a false impression, due to stacking in a certain way. However, sometimes you can leverage the ugly color change, by using the purl stitch to add texture. Kate cautions that stripes in ribbing are problematic due to purl stitches having the colors cross, but seed stitch can produce a very nice effect.
Kate’s other suggestions include adding a solid color to work stripes with a variegated yarn, using fading/blended stripes, slipped stitch patterns (such as Gridiron Socks), stranded colorwork and if all else fails, do two color brioche and pair those ridiculous yarns with a solid as in Lemon Difficult. Sometimes you let the busy be busy—and you just need to let them be what they want to be. That is part of the knitting adventure. Kate noted there is a section on her website with lots of tutorials, etc.
During Q and A, Kate gave advice for how to join a new skein to try to maintain the same sort of color pattern: move through the next cake to find the appropriate point in the color sequence, and make sure that the skeins were both wound with the same color change direction. This also is the case with starting a second sock if you are trying for them to be matched.
Show and Tell featured the many looks of the Puddletown colorways used in projects, with oohs and aahs all around.
Next month, Gayle Roehm presents Hand Knitting Design in Japan, on December 9th at 7 p.m. via Zoom. In January, Patty Lyons will share Secrets of Yarn Substitution. Looking forward to it!
October 2021 Meeting Recap: Susan Rainey Presents Introduction to Invisible Stranding, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Melanie Chen
The October meeting was convened by Board President Kimberly Williams, who noted “I would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we are gathering today is the traditional homelands of a diverse array of indigenous tribes and bands. The greater Portland metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the traditional stewards of this land and acknowledge the enduring relationship between the land and the people since time immemorial.” Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th through October 15th, and Kimberly encouraged everyone to support Hispanic dyers/designers.
Board elections will be held at the November meeting, and there are several open Guild Leadership Positions: Tai Buschert has indicated willingness to be the Member-at-Large for Communications, heading up the Communications Committee, overseeing our social media accounts, website, newsletter, and virtual meetings using tools like Hootsuite, Weebly, Mailchimp, and Zoom. To assist the Communications head, the board would like to establish a committee of members who can each handle part of it. Also at the Board level, we are seeking an Events Chair, who will organize guild events and coordinate any volunteers needed for said events, such as classes and--one day, we hope--field trips. The board is also setting up two new Committees: 1) the Charity Knitting Committee, to find each year's recipient and organize the distribution of yarn and collection of finished items, and 2) the afore-mentioned Communications Committee, whose members will handle social media accounts, website, newsletters and/or virtual meetings. Please reach out soon if you can assist with any of these vital functions, and we thank you in advance for your support!
We get a lot of requests from non-Guild members who would like to have custom work done, in both knit and crochet. If you happen to do repair, finish, or custom work and would like more business, please share your information using the handy form found at PuddletownKnittersGuild.com/Referrals.
Our 2021 Winter Warmth Charity Knitting for Rose Haven will be wrapping up by the end of October so if you have completed any items for donation, now is the time to get them to the Guild. Machine-washable hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, etc. are much appreciated! Email email@example.com to arrange hand-off.
We welcome members to join the Puddletown Make Along, which has an enticing special raffle prize! Three of our business members have created exclusive Puddletown colorways. 1) Puddle Stomp (from local indie dyer Knitted Wit) a DK superwash merino made sheep-to-skein in the USA; 2) a collection from Ryberry Yarns made of 85% SW Merino/15% nylon yarns with fingering weight available in full or mini skein and DK weight available in full skeins; and 3) the Fremont Bridge colorway from Opposite Coast Dyes, done in a DK weight Peruvian highland and merino wool blend. Complete your object by Sunday, November 7th. Post a picture to Instagram or Facebook—be sure to tag it with #PKGMAL2021 so we'll see it—or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll show off the finished objects and announce the winner of the MAL raffle at our November 11th meeting. The November show and tell will feature exclusively projects made with the Puddletown colorways.
Weird Sisters announced a Spooky Knit Along every Tuesday in October via Zoom, and their Wednesday Workshop series. Both are free to register at WeirdSistersYarn.com. Future Wednesday workshops include Nov. 3 Picking up Stitches, Nov. 17 Yarn Substitutions and Dec. 1 Marls and Fades.
PDXKNITTERATI news: A beautiful new book entitled Brioche Knit Love by Michele Lee Bernstein was just released and book signings take place on October 23 at Yarn Folk (Ellensburg, WA); on Oct 30 at For Yarn’s Sake; Nov. 6 at Weird Sisters; Nov. 20 at Knot Another Hat in Hood River; Nov. 21 at NW Wools and Dec. 4 at Wild Knits in Salem. Congratulations, Michele on this exciting publication!
Reminder to renew your 2021 Membership online: We're happy to have guests at our events, but after a meeting or two, please support our programs by becoming a member. Visit puddletownknittersguild.com/membership to renew or join. Individual membership is currently $17.50 (1/2 off full year).
Member Tips with Anna Lorton. Anna’s freebie tip was to use liquid bandage when you have minor injuries on knitting fingers where a bandage would interfere—smart! The October feature tip was about left-leaning decreases. We often find that standard left and right leaning decreases are not comparable, because the right leaning decrease connects to the next stitch and pulls it tightly but left leaning decreases don’t work that way. Anna took us through the various left leaning decreases and noted that she prefers the SSK. Anna also showed us a way to do the SSK but in one move.
Next month’s tip will be the End of the line: methods for joining yarn. Send your ideas and tips for future Member Tips to email@example.com.
Programs Chair Sharon Grayzel introduced our featured speaker, Susan Rainey, who presented an introduction to Invisible Stranding. Susan (lv2knit on Ravelry) is from Minnesota, has been knitting for over 50 years, and does a popular blog with her sister called The Rainey Sisters. Susan likes to delve into technique and found that invisible stranding, which allows stranding to be carried invisibly across any stitch count, can be game-changing for those of us who do colorwork.
As background, Susan shared that a while ago, she was working on the Dale of Norway “10903 sweater”, which has extremely long stretches where dark yarn must be carried across the back of white yarn for 30 or more stitches. In looking for help with this, she fell down the Ravelry rabbit hole, and came upon a discussion of a machine-made store bought sweater that was deconstructed. Technically, it was called ladderback jacquard in machine knitting. People then tried to carry this across to hand knitting. Susan discovered it to be perfectly smooth, with no bleed through, which allows for undertaking dramatic bold designs without worry. Susan eventually came up with the It’s Not About the Hat pattern (available on Ravelry), which introduces the technique, and has YouTube videos that accompany each section. In short, stranded yarn is anchored to other floats and not the fabric. A second layer is formed with these connected floats, almost a form of double knitting because you are knitting two layers at the same time. Susan strategically places extra stitches to link the floats to other floats, and she shows them on her charts as a line between 2 stitches. These extra stitches are not part of the design, and don’t show on the right side. This invisible stranding technique can be applied as needed throughout the garment, and can be ended and started up again in the same garment without problem. Yoke sweaters are especially conducive to this technique for the last dot’s or the points on the yoke at the bottom. The down side to this technique is that it takes more yarn, and the gauge can be different on large plain areas. She tightens up her knitting there to take this into account. It also takes more time, and ripping out sections can become more cumbersome.
Knitters eager to learn more about this exciting technique should buy a copy of Susan’s It’s Not About the Hat pattern (on Ravelry) pattern and watch the accompanying videos. Everything in the hat pattern is carefully included for a reason, allowing the knitter to learn the various aspects of the technique and get good practice.
Show and Tell: Our members have been busy, and we have some very inspiring works to view!
Next month on November 11th at 7 p.m via Zoom, Kate Atherley shares The Good, The Bad, and The Pooling: Working with Multicolored Yarns. On December 9th at 7 p.m. via Zoom, Gayle Roehm presents Hand Knitting Design in Japan. On January 13th at 7 p.m. via Zoom, Patty Lyons will share Secrets of Yarn Substitution. Mark your calendars!
Want to watch the full meeting? Click here.