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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

I Found This Website

Now that the furor of Christmas is behind us and 2015 stretches out long and clean before us, I've started thinking more seriously about the BLKG Design-A-Thon.  January is when you need to commit, fill out an entry form (or two or three, if you're feeling brave and extra-creative), pay the $5-per-entry fee, and knuckle down to designing, swatching, knitting the design, and writing down the pattern because each entry must be accompanied by a pattern.  Do NOT think that you'll remember what you did (don't ask me how I know this), scribble things down as you do them.  Your sanity is worth preserving.

It's a scary prospect, trust me I know, but seriously if you find a stitch you like you can design something.  Think about a scarf.  A scarf is nothing more than a rectangle of knitting you wrap around your neck.  It can be long or short, skinny or wide.  Say you find a stitch you like, what's to say you can't cast on a multiple of that stitch, maybe plus a couple on each side to keep it from rolling up (if you decide that rolling up ISN'T a design element), knit on it for a few feet (four or five seems about right), bind it off, and voila! you've designed a scarf.  Or a cowl, if you join the ends of a shorter scarf.  Or even a dishcloth, if you use cotton and make your stitch in a square.

See?  This is not a scary idea.  No one's saying you have to design a sweater or socks or gloves.  Some of us will, but the rest of us might want to learn just one new stitch or play with a single cable or brave a bit of lace, and trust me on this, that's designing.

I was poking around the web last week, I don't remember what I was looking for, when I found this website called The Weekly Stitch.  Each week or so they post a different stitch.  I've already printed off three or four that might work with my design idea(s).  Why don't you go there and poke around?  You might find something that inspires, interests, or terrifies you, whatever will convince you that yes, you really can design some knitted thing.   (I'm going to put the link in the list along the right side of the blog page, and leave it there, so you can come here and go there easily.)

Happy designing!

As soon as I get it I'll be posting the info on what we have to prep for the January program which is learning how to make thrummed mittens.  My cold hands can't wait. 

P.S. Don't freak out, the designs aren't due until April or May.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Great Party

Last Thursday's BLKG Holiday meeting/party was a smash hit.  There was way too much food and all of it was absolutely delicious.  There were a few hot things like meatballs and cocktail weenies (I love those, don't you?) and the cold things were neverending.  There was pasta salad, hummus, shrimp, black bean and avocado salsa (oh, it was so good I skipped the chips), cheese and salami sticks, one of those veggie pizzas with crescent roll dough for the crust, fresh fruit, veggies and dip,  chocolate cake, cookies, some crazy delicious nut cookie bars, candy, and homemade bread with honey from one of the members' bees.  Mm, mm, mm.

Once we had eaten our fill and shared any Show and Tell, the dishcloth exchange commenced.  This year Andy collected the dishcloths and handed them out randomly so we didn't start with our own cloth.  Vicki read a Knitter's Lament and each time she said the word "the" we passed the dishcloth we held to the right.  There were a lot of "the"s and a lot of laughs and only one person ended up with the dishcloth she bought which she quickly gifted to someone and someone else pulled out a spare for her.  I love knitters, there's no end to their generosity.  Here's the one that I got, don't you love the colors?

Our new President, Julie, has declared January "Mitten Month" because our program will be learning to make thrummed mittens so make sure to knit or crochet a pair of mittens to bring to the meeting.  Instructions for program preparations will be in the newsletter and here on the blog as the meeting draws near.  For now I suspect that we're all too tangled up in holiday prep, baking, gift buying and wrapping, tree putting-up and all that crazy December... well, craziness.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (today Dec. 16 through Dec. 24), Joyous Kwanza (which starts on the 20th), Happy Solstice, and any other mid-winter rite you celebrate to keep the dark and cold at bay.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thursday, December 11 Meeting

This coming Thursday is the BLKG December meeting which is also our holiday party.  The new adjusted meeting time is 6:30 PM and I am certain there will be someone available at 6:00 PM if you need a spot of Knit Doctor-ing before we start.

Have you thought about what dish you're bringing?  There are no assignments, each member is asked to bring either an appetizer, salad, or dessert to share.  I'm a big fan of all three so I can't wait to see what you all bring.

The other requirement is that each person bring an unwrapped dishcloth.  During the party someone will read a story or a poem and when a certain word is read, the cloths pass to the left, or right depending on who's deciding.  By the time THE END rolls around we should each be holding a different dishcloth than the one we brought.  Please do not feel as if you have to make the perfect dishcloth or the most complicated patterned one, a dishcloth made with the simplest, Grandmother's Favorite pattern will be just as appreciated.  I always smile and think of the knitter when one of my BLKG Christmas dishcloths comes to the top of the pile.  Plain or fancy they're excellent for wiping counters and scrubbing plates.  You can never have too many handmade washcloths or dishcloths.

   I can't wait to see you all on Thursday!