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.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bring On The Bling!

Everyone was really looking forward to the April meeting's program.  We had a great turnout.  (This program required pre-registration and a small fee.) 

Founding Knitter, Terri Sipes taught us a raft of ways to put beads on our knitting.  Terri provided each of us with a sheet of very clear instructions with photos of Denise's hands, a sample project chart, an 8-yard hank of fingering weight yarn, a US11 steel crochet hook, a dental floss threader, and beads in groups of 18, 9, 5, and 3 by color.  She had asked each of us to provide our own US2 or US 3 needles and a terry towel to corral the beads.  First we threaded the big bunches of beads onto our yarn using the floss threader.  That little thing made it so simple. 

It was pretty easy to knit the swags of our samples with the beads already on the yarn; it just took a bit of concentration to keep the beads on the correct side of the stitch and pretty soon there were 3 triangular bead swags on there.  Then we moved on to the charted part of the sample. 

First up was the Traditional Knitting with Beads Method--pretty simple and the bead is vertical, a bit left-slanted, and sits on top of the fabric. 

Next up was the Slip Stitch Method (I liked this one a lot)--with this one the pre-strung bead
is horizontal and sits on top of the fabric. 

Third came the Beaded Knitting Purl Method (this might have been my favorite)--pre-strung beads lay between purl stitches and are horizontal on your fabric. 

For the Crochet Hook Method you don't pre-string your beads and they are visible on both sides of your knitted fabric; great for a scarf or shawl.  You need to make sure that your hook will go through the hole of the beads you want to use.  All bead holes are not created equal.  Ask Terri. 

To finish off our little sample we had beads to work a picot edge using the Crochet Hook Method.  Everyone worked very hard and Terri and her helper, Denise were lavish with assistance and very patient.  Some of us had never knitted from a chart so there were lots of new things to learn, but we all persevered and everyone went home tired but having learned something new.  Thanks so much, Terri, for all your hard work making the Bling! program easy to follow and so much fun.

Join the BLKG in May for our annual picnic at Vicki and Andy's.  Once again they're providing the venue, the meat and buns, and grilling by Andy.  (Pray for no rain, I don't think he'd get like getting drenched again.)  Members bring a dish to pass, beverage, and a chair.  Check the newsletter or the Yahoo Group Files for particulars as to time and location.

(photos by Mitch)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We Do Good Work

This afternoon I stopped at St. Vincent Hospital and dropped off the preemie hats and chemo caps that I collected over the last month.  As I got off the elevator looking for the NICU three nurses came down the hall toward me.  One asked if she could help me and I told her that I had a bag of preemie hats from the Knitting Guild to deliver.  Her eyes lit up and she said, "Oh, good.  We go through these like lightning.  I'll put them in my office."

Then I went down to the Radiation Oncology department and delivered the larger hats.  The receptionist there was almost as glad to get them as the upstairs nurse was.

Keep those needles flying and thanks.  You rock.

March Meeting

Everyone was excited about the program and the meeting started right on time.

The program was "Tabletop Techniques" and there was lots to learn.  Program chairperson Andi divided us up around three tables so we sat still and the instructors moved from group to group.

The first technique for Table C (where I sat) was Julie, with Marsha's help, teaching us the Channel Isle Cast-on which uses waste yarn and is good for making a seamless toe on toe-up socks and for making stretchy edges for ribbing.  If you think of the Long-Tail Cast-on as a kind of finger dance, the Channel Isle Cast-on is the tango of finger dances.  Julie was very patient and demonstrated over and over until everyone got it.  Thanks, Julie.  Thanks to Marsha, too.

Next at Table C Vicki taught us EZ's Sewn Bind-off.  That one reminded me a lot of Kitchener-ing a sock toe--sew through 2 stitches as if to purl and leave them on the needle, sew back through the last stitch as if to knit and pop it off the needle-- it seems like an excellent, stretchy way of binding off, fun too.  We were all such good students that Vicki had time for an impromptu lesson on weaving in ends.  That's something that I can always do better.  Thanks, Vicki.

Then Zoe appeared at Table C to teach us about Fair Isle knitting with a bit of chart reading thrown in.  She had an excellent tip for keeping your floats loose-ish (tuck the barest tip of a finger behind it when you lift the next color of yarn).  I was excited to see that we weren't only making a swatch but an actual Fair Isle headband.  Thanks, Zoe.

They were very patient with students with skills ranging from beginner to advanced who also seemed unable to knit and not talk.  ThankyouThankyouThankyou all.

After excellent snacks, we had Show & Tell.  Carol showed the sampler afghan she made for her daughter and a trio of charity hats she made from the leftover yarns.  

Vicki figured out how to make preemie hats and fingerless mitts on her sock machine.  

Barbara brought an afghan and three 1-skein projects: a cowl, a pair of fingerless mitts, and a shawlette.

Plan to come to the meeting on April 11 when Terri will teach us how to add bling (beads) to our knitting.  Pre-registration is required and there is a fee of $2.50.  You should come.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Red Sock Yarns Lives!

I was disconsolate last September when I scoured Fish Creek and couldn't find Red Sock Yarns.  They weren't in their original store in the Top of the Hill shops and they weren't in their next location behind Fred & Co. either.  The ladies in the beauty shop next door told me that they'd gone out of business.  It made me sad.  I threw away my punch card.  When I talked to my friend KS about us having coffee yesterday she told me that she's started knitting and that Red Sock Yarns is reborn.  Yay.  So we went there.  It's in a tiny little house of a shop next to the Summer Kitchen and across the road from the Red Barn on the north end of Ephriam.  I bought yarn.  (of course I did)

I picked up this sparkly skein of yarn--and couldn't put it down.  It's Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver, superwash merina, silk, nylon, and STERLING SILVER.  Yes, children, there is a thread of silver in this and I am not putting this yarn into shoes.  NOT.  There're over 400 yards that will make a lovely little shawl, oh yeah.

I also picked up just one skein of Kraemer Perfection, which is a slightly woolier version of Plymouth Encore or Lion Brand Wool Ease, 70/30 instead of 80/20 or 75/25.  Since I enjoy knitting with the Encore and Wool Ease I thought I'd take the Perfection for a test knit.  She didn't have any variegated (we all know I'm a variegated whore) so I settled for this heathered red called Valentine.  It's nice and soft.

If you're in need of a mid-winter yarn break click the link in the first paragraph and go visit Red Sock Yarns in their new spot.  She's even got a kitchenette where you can have coffee and sit sipping and knitting with friends old and new.  You need to go.