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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BLKG Picnic

I got an email from Events Chair, Kathy Potter with all the details about the Picnic so I'm passing it all on to you.

"The BLKG picnic will be held on Thursday, June 11th from 5:30 PM to 8:30-ish.  We will gather at Echota Gardens -- rain or shine.  (Click the link to their website, click "About Us" where you'll find a map to their location.)

Everyone should bring either a salad, a bread, or a dessert to share.  Bring your own beverage (spirits are allowed), a chair (if you can, there will be seating in the lodge), your imagination for a gardening project, and a smile.  The Guild will provide plates, plastic silverware, and napkins.

Chris, the owner, is a Leinenkugel beer fan.  If anyone has a beer holder mitt they'd be willing to donate that we could leave with him, I think he would love it.  Let Kathy know if you have you can contribute.

If there is anyone who has not signed up yet, send an email to kpotter(at)gmail(dot)com." 

The July 9th meeting will be held at Paintin' Pottery & Bead It, 520 George St. in DePere from 5 PM to 8 PM.  We will be making the yarn bowls that we signed up for at the last meeting.  The cost is $25 per person ($36 for those who wanted the large bowl) which includes everything needed to make a bowl.  Click the link to their website for directions and click Gallery for glazing ideas.  There is a coffee shop there as well, with some good decaf brews, so even if you're not making a bowl bring your knitting and come knit while we glaze.  Email Kathy (address above) with any questions.

Kathy emailed those of us that signed up at the meeting that it'd be a good idea to stop in to pay for our bowl and maybe pick out glazes or paints to save time that night.  I think that's a terrific idea.  We don't want a traffic jam at the cash register to interfere with our creativity now, do we?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Five Years of Bay Lakes Knitting Guild Fun

President Julie recapped many of the fun things we've done, guests we've hosted, and techniques we've learned over the years.  Here are the Charter Members at last week's meeting.

There have been three Yarn Crawls: one to Milwaukee yarn shops in 2012, one to Madison in 2014, and last month's visit to Xpressions Bead & Yarn and then the Alpaca Fiber Fest.

We had one Knit-Away weekend to the Landmark in Door County and a Knit-Away day to the St. James Inn in DePere where we all made shelf elves.

For knitting in public, we've gone to Stitch 'n Pitch Brewer games, Timber Rattler games, and Bullfrog games, plus we knit in the park across from our regular meeting place in the summer.

Guests have been many and varied:  Ann from Shepherd's Purse talked about Free-form Knitting, Melissa and Jessie of Hello Purl talked about taking fiber from Lamb to Yarn and brought spinning wheels for us to try, Jane from Autumn Larch Farm gave a presentation on her farm, sheep, and wool, and brought soaps and garlic that she produces, Wayne from LondonDairy Alpacas came with yarn, roving, and designs, Melissa from Green Yarn Company brought reclaimed yarns and talked about repurposing found sweaters and even shredding old jeans to make yarn,  Sean French, a Physical Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, taught us how to avoid pain and numbness from overusing muscles.

Program Topics have been just as fun and interesting.  We've learned how to "read" our knitting, how to read patterns and charts, even how to write patterns.  There have been programs on Increases and Decreases, I-cord Bind off, EZ's sewn Bind off, Seaming, German Short Rows, Finishing Techniques in Crochet, How to use Ravelry, Yarn Storage, State Fair Knitting, Knitting with Beads, Knitting with Wire, Magic Looping, the Barbara Walker Project, a whole knitting bag's worth of Cast Ons, and many more.

For the last two years we've had a Design-A-Thon that challenged us to try our hands at making up a design, knitting it, and writing the pattern to share with the Guild.  It's been both scary and exhilarating.  You should try it.  Come on, even a dishcloth in a cool stitch counts.

We've knitted preemie hats, baby hats, chemo hats for veterans, afghans for newly christened babies, mittens for cold schoolkid hands, and given it all away.

Our December meetings are filled with laughter as we share a potluck of salads and desserts, then exchange dishcloths while listening to A Knitter's Night Before Christmas.  That's one meeting you shouldn't miss.

It has been a fun five years and I can't wait to see what comes in the next five.  Knit on!

Friday, May 8, 2015

It's BLKG's 5th Anniversary!

1st Anniversary Cake
Unbelievable, I know, but Bay Lakes Knitting Guild has been connecting, educating, and entertaining knitters for five years this month.  I read President Julie's letter in the newsletter this month (thanks, Beth!) that she has fun things planned for the meeting.  (She mentioned a big decorated cookie--I'm in!)  Here's what she had to say:

"I have dug through the Knitting Guild's record book and I've found some interesting things in there.  I'll do a recap of some of the events of the last 5 years.  I'll also have a summary of some of the programs we have done.  My, what we have learned!  Come and enjoy!

We'll have an open forum-type meeting with our regular Show and Tell along with Yarn Crawl Show and Tell.  Can't wait to see the treasures from Xpressions Yarn and Bead and the WI Alpaca & Fiber Fest.

Even if you didn't participate in the Yarn Crawl, I would still like to invite you to make the Like Magic Knit Scarf for an upcoming Show and Tell.  It would be a lot of fun to see the same project made by different knitters."                                                                                                                                                                                                               --Julie Lefevre

I agree that it would be fun to see the same project made by a bunch of us.  I printed off the pattern and checked my Ravelry stash to see what sport yarns I have with the yardage the pattern requires.  (I'm determined to knit from stash all year if I can.)  I've read and reread the pattern and it seems fairly straightforward.  Now all I need are about 325 size 6/0 beads and I can play along.  (Hmm, I wonder if I might have some beads that size... I don't have many beads but I should go look.) Think about playing along too.  This looks like a great "summer" project--because who wants a lap full of wool in the summer?

Are you working on a "stash" project?  (Last month's President's Corner suggestion.)  I resurrected a sweater that I started in 2010.  The back was done, the front almost done, and I had started the cuffs 2-at-a-time.  In her President's letter, Julie said she had a gauge issue with her stash project, had ripped and restarted twice.  I had a measurement issue in that the armholes of the front were about 1 1/4" shorter than the armholes of the back.  Oops.  I thought they were the same until I blocked the pieces, laid them one on top of the other and discovered the problem.  (This is a powerful argument in favor of blocking before seaming up.)  It was an easy fix to frog back the shoulder decreases, slide in a lifeline (for easy measuring), and knit up to where it was supposed to be in the first place, THEN do the shoulder decreases.  I finished the sleeves on Tuesday so the sleeves and fixed front got an overnight soak in wool wash then this morning I patted them into shape to dry.  I had hoped to have it finished for next Thursday's Show and Tell but once the pieces are dry I have to seam the shoulders, knit the collar, then seam the sleeves on and sew the sides, so maybe not a whole finished sweater by Thursday but close.  Not to brag (okay, yes, I'm bragging, I admit it), I resurrected another WIP from 2010 (was that the "year of abandoned projects?") to knit on while the sweater parts dry.