March 2022 Meeting Recap: Member Tips and Faina Goberstein presents The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting
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.