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.