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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.