October 2021 Meeting Recap: Susan Rainey Presents Introduction to Invisible Stranding, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Melanie Chen
The October meeting was convened by Board President Kimberly Williams, who noted “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.” Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th through October 15th, and Kimberly encouraged everyone to support Hispanic dyers/designers.
Board elections will be held at the November meeting, and there are several open Guild Leadership Positions: Tai Buschert has indicated willingness to be the Member-at-Large for Communications, heading up the Communications Committee, overseeing our social media accounts, website, newsletter, and virtual meetings using tools like Hootsuite, Weebly, Mailchimp, and Zoom. To assist the Communications head, the board would like to establish a committee of members who can each handle part of it. Also at the Board level, we are seeking an Events Chair, who will organize guild events and coordinate any volunteers needed for said events, such as classes and--one day, we hope--field trips. The board is also setting up two new Committees: 1) the Charity Knitting Committee, to find each year's recipient and organize the distribution of yarn and collection of finished items, and 2) the afore-mentioned Communications Committee, whose members will handle social media accounts, website, newsletters and/or virtual meetings. Please reach out soon if you can assist with any of these vital functions, and we thank you in advance for your support!
We get a lot of requests from non-Guild members who would like to have custom work done, in both knit and crochet. If you happen to do repair, finish, or custom work and would like more business, please share your information using the handy form found at PuddletownKnittersGuild.com/Referrals.
Our 2021 Winter Warmth Charity Knitting for Rose Haven will be wrapping up by the end of October so if you have completed any items for donation, now is the time to get them to the Guild. Machine-washable hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, etc. are much appreciated! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange hand-off.
We welcome members to join the Puddletown Make Along, which has an enticing special raffle prize! Three of our business members have created exclusive Puddletown colorways. 1) Puddle Stomp (from local indie dyer Knitted Wit) a DK superwash merino made sheep-to-skein in the USA; 2) a collection from Ryberry Yarns made of 85% SW Merino/15% nylon yarns with fingering weight available in full or mini skein and DK weight available in full skeins; and 3) the Fremont Bridge colorway from Opposite Coast Dyes, done in a DK weight Peruvian highland and merino wool blend. Complete your object by Sunday, November 7th. Post a picture to Instagram or Facebook—be sure to tag it with #PKGMAL2021 so we'll see it—or email us at email@example.com. We'll show off the finished objects and announce the winner of the MAL raffle at our November 11th meeting. The November show and tell will feature exclusively projects made with the Puddletown colorways.
Weird Sisters announced a Spooky Knit Along every Tuesday in October via Zoom, and their Wednesday Workshop series. Both are free to register at WeirdSistersYarn.com. Future Wednesday workshops include Nov. 3 Picking up Stitches, Nov. 17 Yarn Substitutions and Dec. 1 Marls and Fades.
PDXKNITTERATI news: A beautiful new book entitled Brioche Knit Love by Michele Lee Bernstein was just released and book signings take place on October 23 at Yarn Folk (Ellensburg, WA); on Oct 30 at For Yarn’s Sake; Nov. 6 at Weird Sisters; Nov. 20 at Knot Another Hat in Hood River; Nov. 21 at NW Wools and Dec. 4 at Wild Knits in Salem. Congratulations, Michele on this exciting publication!
Reminder to renew your 2021 Membership online: We're happy to have guests at our events, but after a meeting or two, please support our programs by becoming a member. Visit puddletownknittersguild.com/membership to renew or join. Individual membership is currently $17.50 (1/2 off full year).
Member Tips with Anna Lorton. Anna’s freebie tip was to use liquid bandage when you have minor injuries on knitting fingers where a bandage would interfere—smart! The October feature tip was about left-leaning decreases. We often find that standard left and right leaning decreases are not comparable, because the right leaning decrease connects to the next stitch and pulls it tightly but left leaning decreases don’t work that way. Anna took us through the various left leaning decreases and noted that she prefers the SSK. Anna also showed us a way to do the SSK but in one move.
Next month’s tip will be the End of the line: methods for joining yarn. Send your ideas and tips for future Member Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs Chair Sharon Grayzel introduced our featured speaker, Susan Rainey, who presented an introduction to Invisible Stranding. Susan (lv2knit on Ravelry) is from Minnesota, has been knitting for over 50 years, and does a popular blog with her sister called The Rainey Sisters. Susan likes to delve into technique and found that invisible stranding, which allows stranding to be carried invisibly across any stitch count, can be game-changing for those of us who do colorwork.
As background, Susan shared that a while ago, she was working on the Dale of Norway “10903 sweater”, which has extremely long stretches where dark yarn must be carried across the back of white yarn for 30 or more stitches. In looking for help with this, she fell down the Ravelry rabbit hole, and came upon a discussion of a machine-made store bought sweater that was deconstructed. Technically, it was called ladderback jacquard in machine knitting. People then tried to carry this across to hand knitting. Susan discovered it to be perfectly smooth, with no bleed through, which allows for undertaking dramatic bold designs without worry. Susan eventually came up with the It’s Not About the Hat pattern (available on Ravelry), which introduces the technique, and has YouTube videos that accompany each section. In short, stranded yarn is anchored to other floats and not the fabric. A second layer is formed with these connected floats, almost a form of double knitting because you are knitting two layers at the same time. Susan strategically places extra stitches to link the floats to other floats, and she shows them on her charts as a line between 2 stitches. These extra stitches are not part of the design, and don’t show on the right side. This invisible stranding technique can be applied as needed throughout the garment, and can be ended and started up again in the same garment without problem. Yoke sweaters are especially conducive to this technique for the last dot’s or the points on the yoke at the bottom. The down side to this technique is that it takes more yarn, and the gauge can be different on large plain areas. She tightens up her knitting there to take this into account. It also takes more time, and ripping out sections can become more cumbersome.
Knitters eager to learn more about this exciting technique should buy a copy of Susan’s It’s Not About the Hat pattern (on Ravelry) pattern and watch the accompanying videos. Everything in the hat pattern is carefully included for a reason, allowing the knitter to learn the various aspects of the technique and get good practice.
Show and Tell: Our members have been busy, and we have some very inspiring works to view!
Next month on November 11th at 7 p.m via Zoom, Kate Atherley shares The Good, The Bad, and The Pooling: Working with Multicolored Yarns. On December 9th at 7 p.m. via Zoom, Gayle Roehm presents Hand Knitting Design in Japan. On January 13th at 7 p.m. via Zoom, Patty Lyons will share Secrets of Yarn Substitution. Mark your calendars!
Want to watch the full meeting? Click here.