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, October 14, 2020

We're Still Here

Sorry for the extended silence but we've been working out how to keep being a Guild in these days of social distancing and coronavirus.

Like so many of you we've started using Zoom for meetings.  It isn't perfect but it's better than not meeting.

Tomorrow is our regular meeting evening and Glenyss from the Grafton Yarn Shop will be presenting a program teaching us how to figure out what sweater pattern is right for our body type and coloring.  She says that the most popular sweater pattern isn't right for all of us so she'll teach us how to make better choices.  I can't wait.

For the next four weeks we're going to be having one social knit night each week with a different Board member hosting.  Carol will send all members a Zoom invite to the social knit nights so be sure to join us for a little knit and chat.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Knitting As Math

In today's Green Bay Press-Gazette there's a long article about a college professor who's teaching mathematical knitting at Carthage College's January short-term.  If you've ever made a knitted tube (sock? mitten? hat?), you've used math.  When you change a pattern's size or the yarn, you use math.  Have a read, it's a very cool class.

Wisconsin college professor uses knitting to teach math
Meg Jones Milwaukee Journal Sentinel USA TODAY NETWORK – WISCONSIN

KENOSHA – Few people look at a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles and think, well, here’s a math problem waiting to be solved.
      Sara Jensen does.
      Before she was a mathematician, before she earned a doctorate in abstract algebra at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before she began teaching math at Carthage College in Kenosha, Jensen was a little girl learning to knit from her grandmother.
      Like many who learned the craft from an older family member, Jensen knitted for a while, then stopped before taking up the hobby again as an adult.
      But Jensen is also a math teacher and a couple of years ago she thought it would be cool to use knitting to teach math.
      Though mathematicians and math teachers may have a reputation of being dry, dull and boring, Jensen is trying to make math interesting in an unconventional way.
No calculators, no equations on chalkboards, no textbooks. Just plenty of yarn and knitting needles.
      “This class is a way for math to be creative,” Jensen said. “I think there’s room for creativity and discovering things in mathematics.”
      There was no shortage of students signing up for Jensen’s mathematical knitting course. The class meets 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and ends Jan. 30. It’s part of Carthage College’s J-term — daily courses taught for a few weeks each January between the fall and spring semesters.
      Of the 24 students, one is a very strong knitter, about a half-dozen had learned from moms or grandmas and the rest knew nothing about knitting.
      So Jensen started by teaching students how to hand-knit — knitting simple things with fingers — to make Celtic knots for potholders. Then students picked up needles and gradually made more difficult items.
      On a recent morning, Jensen talked about shapes and how surfaces can look different depending on the viewpoint — like how the Earth seems flat to someone walking along a sidewalk but is actually a sphere when viewed farther away.
      “In math, how many shapes are there that look flat but if you zoomed out, it would look different? So we’re knitting something that’s a sphere or a doughnut or a cylinder,” Jensen said.
      Students gathered into five teams, with each team given a specific number of colors and a shape to knit: Möbius strip, cylinder, sphere, square and doughnut, known as a torus to mathematicians.      Before grabbing rolls of yarn and needles from a large box at the front of the classroom, students sketched out the problem on graph paper.
      The team making a Möbius strip with six colors of yarn began by cutting a piece of paper in the desired shape and using markers to figure the color combination. Sam Bednarz, a sophomore from Gurnee, Illinois, and her team members decided to hand-knit strands, rather than using needles, before combining them into a one-sided surface known as a Möbius strip.
      Bednarz signed up for the class because she needs a math credit. Plus it sounded fun.
      “I thought it was neat to take math concepts and apply them to knitting,” said Bednarz, who admitted some of her friends and family thought she was nuts. “I’ve gotten a few crazy responses. ‘That’s a course?’ ‘This is what we’re spending our money on?’ ” Michael McMurray, a freshman Japanese and English major from Menomonee Falls, wanted a class that’s the equivalent of geometry in 3D.
      “I’ve always struggled with math and I wanted a math-friendly course, something that wouldn’t intimidate me,” McMurray said. “This is taking geometry from a school subject into the real world.”
Like many mathematicians, Jensen gets this a lot: When people learn her profession, their first response is usually, “Oh, I hate math.” But when Jensen asks why, they usually say they hate computations and formulas.
      Jensen can relate.
      “I don’t like computations and formulas either. I don’t think of those as math. Mathematicians will say we’re problem solvers,” said Jensen, a New Berlin native who earned her bachelor’s in math at Carthage. “Much of what I’m trying to get across to my students is that the heart of mathematics is figuring out why something works.”
      This is the second time Jensen has taught the class. To create her syllabus, she sought the advice of authors of mathematical crafts books. She uses patterns found online and also devises her own. The last thing she knitted was a purple and white hat with a fall leaf pattern she found online for her 7-yearold daughter, a “Frozen” fan.
      Sean Johnson took linear algebra last semester and will study computer science in the spring. But this week the 6foot-10 center for Carthage’s basketball team was busy knitting a square with four colors of yarn.
      “I’m a math major so I like math, obviously. I took this class purely for the fun of it and to learn how to knit, to learn a life skill,” said Johnson.
      By the end of the class, students have knitted a potholder with a pattern of either a triangle or square, headband, phone case, coffee mug cozy and a baby hat. For their final project, students are free to choose from ideas provided by Jensen or create their own.
      Two years ago, in Jensen’s first mathematical knitting class, someone knitted a Rubik’s Cube for their final project.
      “And it worked!” Jensen said.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Program Notes Update

Due to a miscommunication, the Program Info in the December newsletter was incorrect.  Sorry about that.

At tomorrow night's December meeting, we will all bring a dish to pass and the Secret Santa projects will be exchanged.  We will also kick off the Ambiente Modular Pillow (free from Skacel) KAL project so bring your yarn, needles, and pattern to get started.

At January's meeting representatives of a few of the charities we knit for will be there to tell us about their work in the community.  We will also have information so we can prepare for the steeking program presentation in April.  Yikes!  I don't know if I'm ready to cut into my knitting but I'm willing to watch and learn.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Another Knit-Away Coming In Spring

3rd Annual Knit-Away at Washington House Inn in Cedarburg, WI April 1st -3rd.  

You probably don't want to miss this!

Come with us to the historic town of Cedarburg with its main street full of specialty shops and restaurants.  Spend a couple days with a bunch of your knitting friends.  This is not an organized, everybody goes everywhere in a group, trip.  We have the use of their basement meeting room for the two days we're there.  If you decide to go shopping or go for a walk, get up, and wander off.  If someone else wants to go along, they can.  If you need a nap, be our guest.  When it's time for a meal, a few people go here, others go there, still others go someplace else.  Like I said, it's fluid.  If you want to spend two days just knitting, that's what you do, just don't skip
the 5 PM wine and cheese reception in the Inn's Gathering Room or the full breakfast (and I mean FULL!) from 7-10 AM. 

In case you run out and need more yarn, the Grafton Yarn Store is only three miles away.

Reserve a room by calling (262) 375-3550 and asking for the Potter block.  (Room rates included in the body of the group email.)

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Knit-Away Day Is Coming!

Knit-Away Day is on Saturday, October 19th, from 9AM to 3:30PM at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens - Green Bay Botanical Gardens

Everyone should bring a wrapped gift, usually something to do with knitting, but people have brought wine, etc., spend around $10, but don't put your name on it. We will then have our annual gift grab (Chinese Christmas, for those who know it by that name).


Go to Perfect Potluck sign up for a brunch item to bring. Coffee and water will be provided.

We will have our corporate sponsors there with yarn to show and sell, including yarn that can be used
for the upcoming pillow KAL.

(photos from 2014 & 2015)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Something New for December!

Somebody, I don't know who (probably Carol), had a great idea for our December meeting/holiday potluck.  Instead of bringing a dishcloth to exchange, we're going to go through our stash, find some interesting yarn that you'd like to knit into a hat, scarf, or cowl (no sweaters or afghans, please), and then find a pattern to go with it.

Now the fun begins.

Bring the yarn and pattern to the October meeting in a brown paper bag (stapled closed) with the form that MaryLu emailed to us all after the September meeting inside too.  
  • Mark on the outside of the bag if it's a Hat, Scarf, or Cowl and the level of difficulty--Easy, Moderate, or Difficult.
  • Please have the yarn wound.  It doesn't matter if it is wound by machine or by hand.
At the meeting we will put the bags out and you will pick a new one.  You'll be knitting a hat/scarf/cowl for another member.  Shh, don't tell!  You have two (2) months to complete it and, at the December meeting, you give the item you knit to whoever it came from, and you will receive the project that you brought all completed and gorgeous.  That night its Mystery Knitter will be revealed to you.

For the program in October we'll view the Philospher's Wool Fair Isle video, which is a festival of late 1990's style sweaters with valuable Fair Isle hints and tips thrown in, so bring something easy to knit on while the video plays.

***Also at the October meeting, please bring any items you've knitted for Julie Lefevre's request for things for the siblings of young cancer patients.  Hats, purses, scarves, mitts, even Hacky Sacks--make up something for these often forgotten victims of cancer in families.

In November we're having a yarn swap/sale/giveaway, so as I went through (part of) my stash last weekend I found a single skein with a scarf pattern already inside.  Score!  So that's going into the bag with the pattern that I read through to make sure it isn't too complicated or challenging and the form.  It'll get stapled so I can't second guess myself and will wait for the October meeting for the next step in its destiny.

Doesn't this sound like fun?  (As always, participation is optional.)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September Meeting Coming Up

Next Thursday, September 19 is the next BLKG meeting and here's what our president Carol had to say in her letter in the latest newsletter:

Our September meeting will be primarily business. Ill present the 2020 budget and a mini State of the Guildreport. Please give some thought to What I Want Our Guild To Be”. Were eager to hear ideas about the next steps for our Guild. Where do we want our Guild to be a year from now? 5 years from now? I look forward to seeing you there

I'll be there at 5:30 because I rashly agreed to be Knit Doctor at the September meeting so if you need help with a project bring it along and hopefully together you and I can figure out how to proceed.   Even if that means turning your knitting back into yarn balls.