July 2021 Meeting Recap: Carolyn Bloom of Bloom Handmade Studio Presents Creating Outside Your Comfort Zone, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Melanie Chen
Board President Kimberly Williams welcomed knitters and friends to the July meeting with an acknowledgement statement: “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.”
Don’t forget about our 2021 Charity Knitting for this year, which is Winter Warmth washable knitwear for Rose Haven. Many wonderful items have been received, but we would love to have more donations as well. The items will be handed out at the end of year Holiday Party for the Rose Haven guests, and we know that the gifts are much appreciated. Let us know if you need yarn.
Exciting news: Puddletown Colorways! Coming in August, three of our business members are creating exclusive Puddletown colorways. Get ready for fall and join us in a yarn-based Knit Along (KAL). Knit anything you like with one or more of these Puddletown-inspired colorways from local indie dyers Knitted Wit, Ryberry Farms, and Opposite Coast Dyes.
Puddletown Gear: Are you interested in getting a nifty t-shirt or a convenient tote bag with the Puddletown logo? Please take a minute (maybe less!) to let us know with this survey.
Renew your 2021 Membership online: We're happy to have guests at our events. After a meeting or two, we ask that you support our programs by becoming a member. Visit puddletownknittersguild.com/membership to renew or join. Given that the year is half over, the individual membership has been prorated to $17.50 (1/2 off of a full year).
Mark your calendars for a Live In-Person Event: Puddletown is hosting an end of summer Yarn Swap on Saturday, August 28th from 11am-2 pm in Grant Park (NE 33rd & US Grant Pl.) Grab some skeins you'd like to help find new homes or just bring yourself and join us--you don't have to bring yarn to get yarn. Happy with your stash exactly the way it is? Bring your lawn chair and knit in the park with us. We will be happy to see you!
Upcoming Class Announcement: Reversible Embroidery on Stockinette with Carolyn Bloom of Bloom Handmade Studio, on Saturday, August 7 at 10 am PT. Are you craving a unique way to add visual interest to your knitting? This class will have you looking at straight stockinette with a newfound appreciation! Learn how to turn both the right side and wrong side of your work into a canvas for embroidery. $25 for members with promo code sent via email, $35 for general public.
Member Tips with Anna Lorton. This month is about counting your stitches. Anna’s advice is to use removable markers and count in multiples (e.g. fives or twos or threes).
Next month’s topic will be weaving in ends. Send your ideas and tips for future Member Tips to email@example.com.
Programs Chair Sharon Grayzel introduced our featured speaker, designer Carolyn Bloom. Carolyn is a teacher who has developed a technique for embroidery on stockinette that allows items to be reversible. In the presentation, she shared examples of this work as well as the creative process that led to the creation of her techniques. Carolyn believes that taking risks in artistry and allowing for failure can lead to incredibly rewarding experiences of learning, changing, expanding, and expressing oneself. Her patterns have been published by Interweave Press and Twist Collective and she has been featured as a guest lecturer at Knitty City in New York City.
Carolyn thanked the Guild Board and noted that her mother and daughter were joining from the East Coast to see the presentation! Carolyn, who hails from Athens Ohio, shared that she is six feet tall, and worked as a programmer and technical recruiter before getting married and having children, which is when she learned how to knit. Her first project was a queen-size blanket! As an example of her creative process, Carolyn recounted a story about her bicycle ride down Pikes Peak with her son (at his instigation), which served as the inspiration for a syncopated brioche stitch that was reversible. The result was the Concurrent pattern and this is now her favorite design. Carolyn then took us through a visual tour of her stunning photography of yarn and flowers, in which pins, markers, and knitting needles all make their way into her art, too. Truly a feast for the eyes!
Addressing her upcoming class on embroidery on knitwear, she noted that this technique has been influenced by the traditional Japanese art called Sashiko. Carolyn encouraged everyone to give it a try. “When you embroider with yarn, it is easy to pull it out if you don’t like it,” she said. She likes embracing mistakes, but said she also realizes that in some cases you have to cut your losses if the project is just too frustrating. Responding to questions, she noted the knitting is done in advance, then embroidery is added one side at a time. She also indicated that you can do fingering weight embroidery on fingering weight knitwear but DK on fingering also works--the heavier the yarn, the more the embroidery will be pronounced. You can do colors as well as black and white, but embroidery can get lost on variegated yarn. Best to swatch if in doubt! An audience member asked how she finds her test knitters, and she replied that she goes to her newsletter subscribers (see the link at bottom of her home page) and puts out calls on Instagram for testers. Definitely worth looking into!
As always, we saw some great pieces created by members in this month's Show and Tell.
Join us next month for Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits, who will present Demystifying Shawl Shapes on August 12th at 7 p.m.