January 2021 Meeting Recap: Cecelia Campochiaro Gives Us An Introduction to Sequence Knitting and Making Marls, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Anna Lorton
The first meeting of 2021 was headed by our new and fabulous Chair Kimberly Williams.
Kimberly said that the Guild is seeking a volunteer to help organize special events. They'd be involved in setting up and taking care of the details for things like classes/workshops, annual special events like our brunch and destash party, arranging field trips and tables at festivals (once those sort of things become available again). If you are interested, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly also mentioned that if you haven't yet, you can renew your membership online!
The 2021 charity knitting was announced as Winter Warmth for ROSE HAVEN. Rose Haven is a day shelter and community center supporting women, gender non-conforming folk and their children. This is the second time that we have knit for Rose Haven, partially because Rose Haven is accepting donations, whereas many organizations are not because of the pandemic. Katie O’Brian from Rose Haven spoke to us and told us about the services that Rose Haven has been able to provide to the community. The charity knitting’s theme is Winter Warmth. We will be knitting anything to keep people warm: hats, mittens, scarves, shawls, sweater, socks! Any size is acceptable. The only requirement is that the item MUST be machine washable, so superwash wool, cotton, or other fiber that fits that description. The Guild had a large donation of charity yarn given to us by Knit Picks, so if you need yarn for charity projects it will be available for pick up Friday 1/22 & Saturday 1/2. Email email@example.com to arrange a time (If you are reading this at any point after 1/23, you can still contact us, as we will find a way to get yarn to you).
There was an update from Katheryn on our sister guild, Brave Girls Knitting. They have started using circular needles and adore them! They have all started experimenting with cabling. Exciting! When we can get stuff to them, we will.
Next Anna gave some member tips. The Freebie Tip was that you can get different tips on a tapestry needle, sharp and blunt. The blunt tipped needles are best for grafting and seaming. The sharp tipped needles are really handy to have when you want to sew ends in. You can split the yarn in the back to better hold the end down. I have also been known to embroider designs with dates and names on the wrong side all because weaving with the sharp needle was so much more entertaining that the blunt needle.
The Main Tip was about a technique to avoid ladders in your knitting. Ladders are when there is too much running yarn between two stitches in a consistent place. The technique covered: When you come to the stitch on the left side of where the ladder is or where you expect a ladder to form, insert your needle as if to knit into the stitch. Western knitters, at this point would usually wrap the working yarn COUNTER CLOCKWISE around the right needle to form the new stitch. Since we are trying to use LESS yarn to make the stitch—so that there is less yarn available to the ladder—wrap the yarn around the right needle in a CLOCKWISE direction. This will use less yarn than the other direction and hopefully a ladder will not form there. It is as if our working yarn is taking a shortcut around the right needle. The only consideration to keep in mind with this method is that you must knit into the back of that stitch on the next round so that it is seated as the rest of the stitches are, in the case of the western way, with the leading leg forward.
Next Month’s Tip theme is: What book(s) should knitters know about? Email your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also: if you have any tips that you would hope that Anna would cover please send them along as she is putting together the tip calendar for 2021.
Sharon introduced the evening's speaker: Cecelia Campochiaro. Cecelia is the author of two books. They cover playing with color and texture and are available here from Schoolhouse Press. Cecelia is from California. The theme of the talk was “Knitting Beautiful Fabric with a thoughtful Process”. Fabric has an underlying logic and architecture, and when you understand that you can be more free in your crafting.
First Cecelia talked about sequence knitting which is using knits and purls in sequence to create texture. She talked about different ways that you can change fabric with shapes and texture by changing the sequence of knitting it or changing the amount of stitches cast on in relation to the sequence. If you have a sequence that is 6 stitches long, and you cast on a multiple of 6, you'll get one texture. If you cast on 6+1, or 6+2, or 6+3 and knit the same sequence, you'll get three entirely different textures.
Second Cecelia talked about marling. Marling is a yarn, a fabric, and an action. You can control color in knitting by knitting with multiple strands of different colors. Cecelia mentioned visiting Vivian Høxbro (who has written Domino Knitting, Shadow Knitting, and other books) and when talking about variegated yarn, Viven told Cecelia, she didn’t like variegated because she wanted to put the color where she wanted the color. She didn’t want the yarn to do it for her. In marling, you put the color where you want the color.
The history and inspiration of marling Cecelia talked about is fascinating. Marianne Isager is a modern marl knitting designer; She innovated a marl that looks like newsprint. Setsuko Torii also added much to the development of marling in knitting. Kaffe Fassett's Glorious Knits was the first time that Cecelia ever saw really complicated colorwork knits. Stephen West marls with handpainted yarns. Anna Maltz's book Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting, combines marling and Fair Isle.
One of the major reasons to marl is to get more colors. Knitters are usually limited by the yarns that can be purchased. Cecelia always want more colors. Making marls makes more colors. Microswatching is a method Cecelia uses to be able to see how the yarns she has chosen will look in different combinations. Cecelia broke down the nitty gritty of how to calculate yarn weights of yarns knit double, as they are when marling. She also gave tips on how to wind the yarn in preparation for marling.
All in all it was a great talk and the classes Cecelia is teaching for the guild at the end of the month should be fun!
As always, it was wonderful to see more pictures from members' projects for our virtual show and tell.
Enjoy knitting weather until we see each other again.
Missives from the fabulous women who got the ball (of yarn) rolling.