Sunday, February 19, 2006

Guild Meeting Cancelled!

Due to the bad roads, we have cancelled the guild meeting today at the library. We will be rescheduling our sock speaker for later in the year, so she WILL BE BACK!

So sorry for any inconvenience!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Volume I, Issue I

Upcoming Programs
Feb 19th – Let’s talk socks – Bette Deputy
Mar 19th – Learn Lace – Gloria Reich, Swap Meet
Apr 9th – How to do Swatches
May 21st – Learn some different cast-ons
Jun 18th – Not Your Grandma’s Dishcloths
Jul 16th – Show and Tell
Please note that the April meeting is on the second Sunday, rather than the third, due to Easter.
New Meeting Place
We will be meeting at the Belle Isle Library in a downstairs conference room starting Feb 19th. We meet from 3 pm to 5 pm. We are allowed to bring food and drinks as long as we don’t take them into the book area.

We are on a 6 month trial period to see if library patrons are interested in the Guild. There will be a sign up sheet at the reference desk and the library will be keeping a head count to see how many people actually show up.

We are very grateful to Anita Roesler for getting us set up at the library and she has suggested we all stop (and encourage friends to also) in at Belle Isle and sign up at the reference desk. We might need to do this every month until we find out if they feel the interest is high enough.

Lamb names and winners will be announced at the February meeting. A poll at the Knit Guild yahoo group will be open starting Feb 12th to vote on the names you like the best. You can vote for five different names.

Don’t forget March will be our swap meet. Bring magazines, books, yarns, projects, or whatever you have knit related. We’ll set up a table in the back of the room and browse it as the meeting goes along.

Do you know of or belong to a knitting group? We are looking for names and dates of statewide knit-togethers. As people inquire about the Guild, we’d like to be able to tell them about any regular informal group gatherings.

Life Without a Cable Needle
by Emily Schnabl, Guild Scribe
One of the pesky side effects of knitting is that it comes with dainty accessories that always seem to turn up missing at crucial points in your project. Family members borrow scissors without asking (and without replacing them), measuring tapes find hitherto-unknown crevices in the sofa, and stitch markers go off into the same black hole that contains ballpoint pens and single socks. But if you attended our January guild meeting you would know that you could face the loss of a particular tool without fear.

I'm talking about the humble cable needle. There are partisans of various kinds of cable needles: u-shaped, flying birds, straight--but one thing unites us all--we know how easily they can be misplaced. And how some of us find knitting cables--those exquisite areas of texture on a sweater or hat that show off a knitter's skill and a designer's eye--to slow our lightning fast stitching down to a crawl. Susan Barrington showed us that one could live life without a cable needle. If one is ever stuck without the needle, and can't find an appropriate implement to replace it (a straw, a broken chopstick), there are ways to carry on with one's project, serene in the knowledge that the stitches will indeed stitch in the right direction.

We learned to trust that if we slid some stitches off the needles they wouldn't necessarily drop into oblivion, and with the right manipulation, on and off the needles, one could in fact, cable without a cable needle. Susan has provided a link to the technique here in the sidebar for those who could not join us for our afternoon, and for those (like me) who need some reminders of what it was, exactly, that we did. In fact, I'm going to go look them up right now so that I can twist away on my new sweater project.

Yarn Review
by Keely Stuever, Sealed With A Kiss (Guthrie)
There is an exciting new yarn from Berroco – ULTRA ALPACA. This super soft, moderately-priced worsted weight yarn is available in a gorgeous color range. Ultra Alpaca is put up in a 100gm, 215 yd ball. It felts beautifully and is great for felted purses, hats & more. Knitters and Crocheters alike are finding Ultra Alpaca excellent for their projects. It is available at Sealed With A Kiss in Guthrie.

Book Critique
By Margaret Bauer. Gourmet Yarns (Oklahoma City)
When the Guild asked me to do a book review article, I wondered where to start since there is such large assortment of books on the market. Like movies, what is one’s favorite is not necessarily another’s. So, for this first article I would like to discuss how I critique a book and give you some guidelines for choosing one.

When ordering books for the store, I try to think of everyone’s various tastes and skill levels. A lot of my books are bought sight unseen so when they arrive and I critique them, I look first for the illustrations and photos. Naturally, one looks for eye appeal first, but are the pictures close enough range to show detail? Case in point – recently there was a poncho pattern in the local newspaper that at first glance looked quite appealing. I had more than one customer bring in the photo to see if I could duplicate it. Upon studying the picture, I realized that there wasn’t any way to have the poncho made like it was with that small of a neck opening. You could see in the photo where they had bunched up the poncho on the shoulder trying to hide the extra material in the back. Another day, one customer brought in an ad showing the cabled scarves that a local store was selling. It was quite interesting to see how the main scarf in the photo was actually turned to the inside. You don’t want to be spending money on a book that has sloppy details. Also, the illustrations should show stitches clearly – if it’s a beginner’s book – do they show the hands in the picture? (I will discuss beginner’s books in the my next article)

I also flip to the back of the book to see if there is a help section part. Do they show illustrations of some of the stitches used in the book? They should. On the pattern, I look for easy accessibility on the information I want. I hate patterns where I have to hunt around for the gauge. Also, some patterns have a definite pattern stitch throughout the garment but the pattern does not tell you if the gauge was done using stockinette or the pattern stitch. If the pattern doesn’t say, then usually it’s stockinette stitch used for the gauge. I can usually tell by the gauge what stitch was used but a beginner would have a hard time knowing. Frustration for beginners usually leads to one giving up knitting.

Then finally, there’s the price. Sometimes there is only one pattern in a book that you really like. Sometimes, that’s enough for me to buy it, but most times not. However, if there are 3 or more that I like, I find it less expensive to buy the book than patterns individually. However, I’m a true collector of reference books. I love them and have about 30 in my personal collection. You’ll use reference books your whole knitting life and no one book can cover it all.

In my next article, I will be reviewing Vogue Knitting Beginner Basics. It’s the book that we use at The Gourmet Yarn Co. in our beginning knitting classes.