Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild to give knitters of all skill levels the opportunity to get to know other knitters, to learn new techniques, and to share their ideas, resources, and talents with the community.

Friday, November 9, 2012

He-Man Chemo Hats

In the last couple weeks my husband and I have spent a little time in radiology departments and I noticed something--they have bales of chemo caps for women and few to none for men.  One of them has a bin with a few ball caps in it but ball caps are not warm and I'd imagine that a newly-bald head needs something warm.

We talked about charity knitting at the last BLKG meeting, about how we've been knitting preemie hats and chemo hats and charity hats since the Guild began, and that maybe we need to branch out into something like scarves and mittens.  That's a good idea, people need scarves and mittens.  But men need chemo hats, knitted or crocheted chemo hats.  Not only do the hats keep heads warm but a pile of them available for the taking says "I'm thinking about you, wish I could do more, but I made you a hat, hope it helps."  At least that's what mine are saying.

Mitch-made hats
So I'd like to ask you to think about making a man-size, manly-colored hat or two and bring it, or them, to the next meeting on December 13.  VP Mitch dropped a couple off to me the other day--thanks, Mitch!  I already talked to Lucy and she doesn't mind if I usurp a bit of her job collecting charity hats as long as I promise to collect and deliver the ones from January and February while she's away.  I will, cross my heart.

Andy and her first charity Hat-stravaganza

Andy brought a whole bag of hats she'd knitted from the partial balls of yarn left from her projects.  They're deeply ribbed so they should fit most heads.  Here's a link directly to the pdf of the pattern; it's one of those awesome ones that you can make for any size head in many sizes of yarn.  Thanks for the link, Andy! 

Reminder #2:  Please if it's at all possible come to the December 13 meeting.  Not only is it our Annual Dishcloth Exchange (bring one to get one) & Potluck, it's also election time for next year's officers and we need you to be there to vote.  We promise no robo-calls or campaign commercials.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Meeting Highlights

Quite a few BLKG members found their way to the Fellowship Hall for our, one week early, November meeting. That is one huge room!  Vicki Jicha started the meeting with the news that we have a nearly full slate for the upcoming officer elections in December.  Thanks to all who have stepped up to the challenge.


We were lucky to have Julie Deprey who teaches knitting through Monterey Yarns (a BLKG corporate member) talk to us about gauge and yarn substitution.  She made a strong case for the need to knit a gauge swatch, especially if you want the garment that you're knitting to fit.  She brought along a warm, snuggly, and elegant vest she'd knitted as a store sample and had made a dramatic and some might say risky yarn substitute.  (I can't speak for anyone else but I confess that wondered if I could make off with it and skip the knitting part.)  She had made wonderful, laminated Standard Yarn Weights cards with samples of the yarns looped into holes along the bottom for each of us to keep.  On the reverse she included a schematic example and an explanation of "ease" which governs the fit of your knitted garments.  Thank you so much for the handy tool to add to our knitting arsenals, Julie.  (Don't worry if you missed the meeting, Julie gave the extra Yarn Weight cards that she'd made to Vicki so talk to her at the December meeting to claim yours.)  She also donated one of Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements for the Guild library.  If you don't have one, check it out either online, at your LYS or in the BLKG library.   It's an invaluable tool that helps you decide how much and what weight yarn to buy when you're making all sorts of sweaters and accessories.  Thanks again, Julie, for an entertaining and informative program.  You're welcome to come back anytime, even if it's just to knit and visit.

REMINDER:  The Guild meeting Thursday, December 13 brings not only the Officer Elections, which we need as many of you as can possibly make it to attend, but our annual Holiday Potluck and Dishcloth Exchange too on .  We'll be back in our usual room and look forward to seeing all of you there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

November Meeting Change

Just a reminder that the November meeting is on Thursday November 1 in the church's Fellowship Hall, not on the second Thursday as is the norm. July Deprey will present the program on yarn substitutions and gauge, which should be very informative. You might want to bring paper and pencil and take a few notes. See you all then!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In "Wish I Was There" Department News...

I read Rose-Kim Knits for her weekly feature "Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?"  (I don't know how she finds this stuff.)  (She's either the owner, part-owner, or an employee of the Fiber Gallery in Seattle.  Whatever, she's a champion knitter and blogger.)  I know it's too late for you dedicated yarn crawlers/shop hoppers for 2012, but maybe you can plan a trip next year.  There are 21 shops on the tour (21!!!) and over $1500 in prizes at stake.  Man, if I wasn't on a severe yarn diet and had a spare plane ticket and no job, I'd so be there.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Picnic a Great Success

About 25 Bay Lakes Knitting Guild members congregated May 10th for the annual end-of-year picnic, and a great time was had by all. The food was all amazing, and the chance to just chat and mingle was particularly fun. As you can see, the group celebrated another great year with a special cake.

Summer Knitting

Monthly meetings will continue over the summer but without programs. We will meet at the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) at 7 pm on the second Thursday of each month –  June 14, July 12, and August 9. If the weather is nice we will go across the street to the park to knit so bring a lawn chair and a beverage along with your knitting. Regular programming will resume at the September 13th meeting.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Green Mountain Spinnery Online Tour

Somehow I got onto the Green Mountain Spinnery newsletter list (big shrug, it's yarn) and hung onto the latest one because I thought you all might enjoy the online tour showing how they take wool from fleece to skein.  I'm not advertising for them nor have I ever been there or ordered their yarn (although I might one of these days).  I was just riveted by the pictures.  The care that they use in preparing the fibers and their dedication to using first local and then other American fibers really made me feel good. 

Maybe someday one of us will get to visit and come back and give a report.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Special Events


Lucy and I have been on the road these last couple weeks working on upcoming Special Events!!

First, we have confirmed out Fall Knit Away Weekend at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor for November 9-11, 2012.  We have also have the option of adding an additional night, Thursday, to the event, as requested.  Arrangements have been made for the massage therapist to have her own room for ease of client change.  New this year is a Nail Artist to do manicures!!  Whoo hoo!  Please put these dates on your calendar.  Details will be forthcoming, stay tuned!

Secondly, we are working on a Milwaukee Shop Hop!  We have already received prizes for the event.  Set your calendars for Saturday, April 28, 2012.  Details will be in the April newsletter and sign up at the April 12 meeting.

More fun and exciting events are on the way!

~Terri Sipes and Lucy Yap

Monday, March 12, 2012

Alert! April Program Change!

We will now be having a lesson on short rows taught by Pat Hickey.

Here's how to prepare for the program: using size 7 or 8 needles (appropriate for yarn size) and worsted yarn, cast on 40 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl the next) for about 2 inches. Bring to meeting on the needles.

The transition from heel flap to foot bottom involves short rows.

A note about the May program--our Spring Pot Luck will be hosted again this year by Victoria and Andy Jicha, hopefully without the rain. The Jicha's are providing the burgers and buns. The rest of the Gmembers are to bring a salad or dessert to pass.

Information will be available at the April meeting and in the newsletters.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fiber Festivals & Fun!

Guild member Julie sent me this link to a whole list of fiber fun:


Some of them are over but there are plenty more on the list for future road trips.

Thanks, Julie!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Guild Meeting

The weather cooperated this month so we had plenty of members join us for the monthly meeting. The board meeting was smooth and productive, one of the big things we talked about was putting patterns and the minutes of the meetings on BLKG's Yahoo group to save newsletter space. Members need to be invited to join the group, so contact Terri or Linda at their web addresses printed in the newsletter to join. Then you'll be able to use the resources there, which will soon include the spreadsheet with all the contents of the BLKG library so you can see all of the wonderful books and magazines you can borrow--for FREE.

I'm still looking for any blogs, fiber festivals, and knitting or pattern websites to link to here on the blog. Even if you find a particularly helpful YouTube video, let me know and I'll share it with the group.

I knitted Ember scraper mittens for my family for Christmas. A scraper mitten is a cuff with a broad body, no thumb, and a hole in the top. You slide your windshield scraper handle down through the hole and the mitten protects your hand while you scrape off the ice that we really haven't had this winter but will most certainly have in the future. Click on the highlighted name in the first line of this paragraph to link to the FREE pattern. It's a quick and easy pattern made with two strands of worsted held together.

Terri mentioned that Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton is hosting knit designer, Josh Bennet, for a day-long workshop on February 29. Contact Iris by phone at: (920) 954-9001 to see if there's still room. The class fee includes lunch.

Once all the business was concluded Pat taught a much-needed (by this knitter, at least) lesson on seaming. I was astonished to see my white sewing yarn disappear in the sage green stockinette swatches as I sewed. I was less successful sewing the reverse
inette, but still got the idea. Thanks, Pat, for a great lesson and all your individual attention.

In the "Does Andy Ever Sleep ?" department, new member Andy blew us all away when she showed the 29 hats-for-charity she knit in January. She made fuzzy chemo caps and all sorts of kid hats, one a day (she kept one and gave one away), for the whole month. As you can see in the picture it was an impressive display. She's amazing, isn't she?

Pat showed off pair of fingerless mitts. These have beads. Shiny! They tried to stick to my hands when they were passed around but I eventually sent them on their way.

Denise made a pair of Entrelac mittens in my favorite red, and to make these even warmer, they're fully lined with another plain mitten. Ooh, they were luxurious and soooo squishy.

Jesse showed off the Chevron scarf she made. Don't you just love the colors?

Terri was excited that she got to knit a cowl for her son's girlfriend. This is the hugely popular Honey Cowl pattern from Madelinetosh. This is a simple, slip-stitch (free) pattern that really shows off variegated yarn to its best advantage. Cast one on and join the mob!

These gorgeous Noro mitts were Laura's show-and-tell. I love that they don't match, but then I'm the woman who rarely makes a second sock, I just wear them willy-nilly. Works for me.

Look at this toddler sweater! Isn't it the cutest with its contrast edging and little ears on the hood? She even put on double buttons to make it sturdy.

Vicki finished a shawl. It's huge and gorgeous. We all decided that when she's not using it as a shawl it'd make a great piano scarf.

Our VP (and sole male member, so far) Mitch brought info about Knitting Guilds in Madison and Milwaukee. I have put links up on the sidebar. Thanks, Mitch!

That was pretty much that. We all circulated around admiring what people working on, some dipped into the charity knitting bags, and we packed up our toys and went home. Next month's program we're to bring our favorite knitting book, pattern or instructions or stitch, to share with the other members.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Homework for February Meeting

February 9 program: SEAMING

Learn to do the mattress stitch to sew your sweaters together. To participate make 2 swatches with worsted weight yarn and size 7 or 8 needles. Cast on about 15 stitches and work in stockinet stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for 5 to 6 inches. Bind off your swatches. Be sure to block them to make sewing together easier. Bring a contrasting yarn of the same weight to sew together. That will allow you to see what is happening as you sew.

Lesson to be taught by Pat Hickey

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Neither Rain, Nor Snow...

This is what it looked like last Thursday night for the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild meeting, only dark. And the roads were slick too, but a few of us managed to make it to the meeting. It was worth it.

Vicki Jicha presided over her first
meeting as the new President and she did a great job keeping us on track.

Laura Quinn was appointed Parliamentarian because someone needs to remember the rules of running meetings and she is perfect for the job.

On Wednesday, January 11 the first group of members went to Bellevue Retirement Community for the first outreach visit. They were blown away by the attendance of nearly 20 residents who were thrilled to talk knitting and needlepoint for the afternoon. The staff provided coffee and cookies which was nice. Vicki went back Thursday to teach two of the ladies (one nearing her 95th birthday) to knit! How cool is that? A bunch of the needles and yarn collected last year for an outreach that never happened will go toward providing the retirees with supplies to get their hands busy again. We have scheduled 2 visits per month at the retirement home so you've got plenty of time to get on this fun and rewarding bandwagon. Who knows, you might even learn something.

Vicki took off her president's cap after the business meeting and put on her teacher's hat for the program. She taught us about decreasing. In my opinion the best tip was not to decrease in the first stitch, to knit/purl the first one and then decrease so your edge remains nice for joining pieces together. Thanks for the handout, Vicki, and all your good info.

For me the highlight of the meeting was Terri and Linda bringing the "kits" of donated yarn and free patterns they sought out for the members to use to make chemo caps for patients in need and hats, scarves, and mittens for schoolchildren who don't have any. (Mitch, if you took pictures of the mound of kits please send them to me and I'll put them on here. Thanks.) I chose a couple of projects and I'm halfway through the first one. (I love super bulky yarn and big needles.)

Membership chair, Zoe, spent the early part of the meeting unraveling the sleeves of a sweater she made for her husband a few years ago. He'd like her to turn it into a buttoned vest so she gets to learn to steek this year. (Steek means to knit a wool tube and cut it, cut the knitting, to make a cardigan or insert sleeves.) Better her than me. I may never be brave enough to take a scissors to my knitting.

During Show & Tell she showed us the entrelac skirt she designed and knit over the last month or so. It's gorgeous.