Thursday, April 20, 2006

Volume I Issue III - March Newletter

President’s Corner
Last month’s meeting was really exciting. Not only did we learn about socks, we also got our charity knitting started, began a program to help brand new knitters, and had a great time with a swap meet.

Our next meeting will be even more exciting. We will learn why swatching is important, how to figure out what our gauge is based on the swatch, and how to make a pattern larger or smaller, based on swatching.

We will also be talking about a Secret Pal Project for those who’d like to participate.

And a big THANK YOU to Janet Stein who helped us get the newsletter up and running. We are very grateful for her help. And another big THANK YOU to Peggy Ney who so graciously volunteered to take over the position.

This month, come prepared for a little show and tell after the program. Bring a finished project and show us what you’ve been working on.

Where We Meet
We meet the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Belle Isle Library from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm in a downstairs conference room. 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. Please remember to call ahead or go sign up just to show there is interest – thanks!

By Emily Schaubl

How do you tell when you have crossed the line from being a non-knitter to a knitter? When you start thinking about socks. When you no longer count sock yarn as part of the stash.
For many of us who have picked up the needles, the first pair of socks is an accomplishment that makes us feel like we have crossed some line into REAL knitterdom. And besides, it impresses the heck out of non-knitters, who wonder what we are doing with those four/five pointy little needles, or the big loops of the circulars.

Bette Deputy took time with us at our March Guild meeting (brave woman, to show up on the day of the Knitters’ Guild Swap Meet) to entice us further into the world of socks. The mysteries of sock construction were unveiled, and we were encouraged not to be frightened of turning the heel or grafting the toe.

Bette brought us an impressive collection of her socks for display (an audible gasp from the audience when she turned her duffel bag upside down to reveal the collection she had brought). In addition, she was sporting a pair with tulips on the heel.

Bette shared some of her own wisdom, namely that good sock yarn needs to have some portion of nylon in it to increase durability, but that she has found that carrying along reinforcement thread doesn’t really work very well. She uses 64 stitches to make her socks, and reminded us that a good, even cast-on, not too loose and not too tight, “makes the sock."

Other helpful tips included:
“If you start the sock and look at it in complete confusion, put a few more rows on. It could ‘look’ wrong but still be right.”
“Use the heel stitch (slip 1, k1 on right side, sl1, purl 1 on wrong side) for a stronger heel.”
“When you’re in the middle of turning the heel, don’t set it down and walk away. Don’t work on it until you know you’ve got 30 minutes to work on it.”

Socks were not the only item on the Guild agenda. Susan B. handed out notecards with our logo lambs on them to the winners of the naming contests—perhaps a notecard fundraiser is in our future? Our charity knitting projects were discussed, and baby burial buntings passed around as an example. Finally, we pretended not to be too eager to dive into the swap yarn and magazines on the tables.

By Margaret Bauer,
Gourmet Yarns

Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch is a versatile book that boasts up to 1,000 different sock-design options. It has clear illustrations and pictures. Her instructions are easy to understand and very informative. The charts for heel, cuff, and foot length are invaluable in helping the knitter calculate a perfect fitting sock. She includes charts for children, women and men that includes gauges of 5 ½ - 10 sts/inch. Charlene also has a chapter that is titled, “Troubleshooting” that covers problems that often plague the sock knitter.

Sensational Knitted Socks includes a pattern for the beginner as well as more complicated designs for the advanced knitter. This book retails for $24.95.

It’s easy to see why this book has quickly become a favorite of sock knitters!

By Keeley Stuever,
Sealed With A Kiss

Emotion Color
New from Lang – a beautiful wrapped ribbon yarn available in lovely spring shades. What makes this yarn very unique is its aromatherapy feature. The yarn releases a pleasant scent when worn, available in Ginseng, Lavender, or Aloe Vera. The scent holds for 40 washings. Lang has a nice selection of spring sweater patterns, or it knits up beautifully for a spring shawl. Custom designed shrug patterns are available too. Emotion is a worsted weight yarn in a cotton/nylon microfiber blend. It is packaged in 50gm skeins (99yds) with a suggested retail price of $9.95. Put some Emotion in your spring wardrobe for a pleasant scent!

New Knitters
By Terri Derrick

Teachers will tell you their reward for teaching is when a student learns a lesson. Knitters are no different. You might even say we had a revelation at the last Guild Meeting.

During the March Guild Meeting we went around the room and did little introductions about ourselves. Two ladies told us they read about us in the Metro Library Newsletter (thank you) and wanted to LEARN HOW TO KNIT! Since we were having the swap meet during this meeting we were able to get them started on their way with a set of needles and yarn. Two other more knowledgeable knitters took their time in getting them started. We all shared the information about knit-ins and yahoo groups.

The revelation part came after the meeting was over and we were discussing what happened. We decided as a Guild we should make up BEGINNERS KITS. We have volunteers making very nice knitting bags, some are providing steel needles (preferable size 8/9, short), knitting lessons DVDs (while supplies last), scissors, sewing needles, crochet hooks and of course some yarn. A simple pattern for a garter stitch scarf will be provided in each kit. We are always taking new beginner patterns.

Please contact
Terri Derrick, if you have any donations, questions or comments.