Monday, October 27, 2008


Stuart, Steve, Doug, & Lou at SAFF.

Atlanta Knitting Guild was well-represented.
Merchant members Gale's Art and Sassafras Creations had a booth. Lots of AKG members were taking classes, shopping, or wearing sheep on their heads (see above).

More to be found on the blogs:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Follow Up

Last week there was a post about some of the many upcoming shop activities in the area. I thought I'd follow up by posting the picture of one of the afghans made by The Whole Nine Yarns. A number of yarn companies generously donated pink yarn. Customers were encouraged to take a ball of yarn home and knit it up into garter-stitch squares or single-crochet squares. They were then sewn together and a border crocheted around the edges. This one and the other afghans will be raffled off at various breast centers around the metro Atlanta area. Proceeds will be used to fund local breast cancer support groups.

In addition to this being a lovely community service project, I thought I'd point out artistically just how great this worked! Many of us are looking for ways to keep knitting in this sour economy. A simple afghan made from scrap yarns can be a great way to use up leftovers. One or two skeins of something fairly basic can be used to visually unite the whole work. Even squares that change halfway through provide interest. A whole blanket of novelty yarns might be a little too crazy, but you can see that a patch here and there lends just the right amount of interest to the composition. A good work on more than one level.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

November Superstar

Our November superstar is Theresa Gaffey. Theresa has a reputation as a wonderful teacher. And the guild is able to offer her workshops at a very affordable price. Also, a number of these workshops are appropriate to advanced beginner and intermediate knitters. As it says on our home page, our guild welcomes "any knitting enthusiast regardless of skill level."

This link will take you to a listing of her patterns. Both Needle Nook and Knitting Emporium carry her patterns, so you can acquire them at your local yarn shop.

The classes include:
Designing with Colors, which will teach you how "to move beyond the colors shown in the sample garment."
Design a project, in which you will "learn the basics of designing a knit project" as the "workshop will offer you suggestions for translating your designs from a rough idea to your needles."
Sock Knitting, in which "you'll learn the basic shape of socks and the techniques you'll need for knitting your first pair. For more advanced knitters, Theresa will also discuss how to knit socks on various needles: double pointed needles, two circular, magic loop, or two-at-a-time socks."
All That Stash, in which you'll "find out how to mix yarns and put colors together, how to choose appropriate projects, and how to figure out how much yarn you'll need." In other words, how to stash-bust!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Atlanta Knitting Guild and North Georgia Knitting Guild are currently extending workshop benefits to members of each others' guilds. What this means is that if you are a member of one guild, you can take workshop classes hosted by the other guild at guild member rather than non-member prices.

NGKG has two workshops coming up. Antje Gillingham will be teaching Two Socks on Two Circulars on Saturday 18 October from 9AM to 4PM. The member cost is $50. This is a great technique for avoiding second sock syndrome. Antje is a well-respected teacher in this area. She has also written a wonderful and very readable book on the topic. Perhaps she will be willing to autograph copies?

On Saturday 15 November from 11AM - 1PM, Cheryl McLane is teaching a button workshop on polymer clay that specifically focuses on holiday ideas and color. Cheryl does adorable work with polymer clay. This can be a great way to make the perfect button for a special hand-knit garment, instead of hunting all over town only to come home with something that's not quite right. Cheryl's class is $20 total -- $15 for the class plus $5 for materials.

And Atlanta Knitting Guild will be hosting Theresa Gaffey in November. More on that in a separate post.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


There's a lot of good shop news going on in the area. To that end, here are some of the highlights of upcoming special events.

This weekend on Sunday 12 October at 1PM, The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock will be hosting their 3rd Annual Breast Cancer Awareness/Research "Kit/Crochet-a-Thon." Donation at the door of $5. All proceeds go to the sisters of Support breast cancer support group in Marietta, Georgia.

In another community service project, Cast-On Cottage is asking patrons to knit helmet liners for the troops. Their goal is to knit 201 -- enough for the commander and his unit. This is an ongoing project that meets on Mondays from 6-8PM. As additional motivation, every finished helmet liner is another chance to win a $50 Cast-on Cottage gift certificate.

And the community service bug extends to Main Street Yarns in Watkinsville. From 6-10PM on Friday 14th November, the shop will host a knit for preemies night. For every hat turned in that evening your name will be entered into a drawing to take place at 10:00 pm and a $50 gift card will be the reward. Dessert and coffee will be provided. The knit-in benefits Bundles Of Joy, a local group that puts together gift packages for parents of preemies and distributes them to both Athens Regional and St Mary's hospitals as well as one in Augusta. The 'bundle' includes products and information for these tiny babies and their parents and Main Street Yarns would like to include hats for them.

Only Ewe and Cotton Too still has just a few spaces left for the SAFF bus trip. This is a great opportunity to ride up and back with other knitters. Somebody else will have to find the gas, read the maps, and locate the parking. This is on Saturday 25 October leaving at 7AM and returning about 10PM.

If you would rather stay in town, Needle Nook is hosting a SAFF knit-in the same day, from 2-5PM. This month the shop has focused on one-skein projects, which are great for using up leftovers or those speciality, "I just had to have it" purchases. And don't forget that Needle Nook will host a Jojoland trunk show from 21 November through 2 December. That gives you a reason to visit during Thanksgiving.

Of course, there are many, many classes available from our local shops. But of special interest on Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 October, Knitch will be hosting superstar Leigh Radford of Alterknits fame. Workshops include jewelry making, needle felting, and shibori. These are interesting techniques for working with fiber in a non-knitting way. Many of these techniques are great for embellishing knitted garments and bags, or giving a garment a special handmade touch.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October Show & Tell

There were lots of excellent show and tell items. For those of us who could stay (and maybe pick up the vice-presidential debate in reruns on CNN or download from iTunes) there were certainly some treats. Here are a few. More to be found on the guild website. This month's photos courtesy of our webmistress, Joslyn.

Debra modeled this beautiful jacket from a Knitter's magazine design. She mentioned getting the sleeves set-in properly and how much importance Rick places on that. Rick then got up and using his new AKG magnifying card, proceeded to inspect the shoulder and sleeve seams on Debra's garment. She passed!

Some members really took the suggestion to heart that you should bring items made from Knitter's magazine patterns. Margaret brought five sweaters, including three knit from the same issue. She definitely wins the prize for impressing our guests. In this image, you see her holding her finished sweater and comparing it to the example in the magazine.

XRX has also published a wonderful series of afghan pattern books. This wonderful example is worked in five different colors, each representing a different element. This type of project is a great way to experiment with new stitches and techniques. And if you don't like something, you only have to work one square of it and then you can move on to something else. A great way to enhance your knitting skills and keep warm!

Lou never ceases to amaze with his talent. In this case, he has knit an entrelac sweater for himself. This appears to be self-striping sock yarn. No one is going to lose Lou in a crowd while he is wearing this fabulous garment.

There's more but, hey, we've got to hold some of the goodies back for members. Be sure to go log in to the members' section of the website to see some great lace, Nancy's prize-winning sweater, socks, a bride's purse, and more! And thank you again to our members for making our guild look very good in front of our VIPs!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October Meeting

The guest speakers for our October meeting were CEO Benjamin Levisay and Editor Rick Mondragon of XRX Inc. These are the fine people behind Knitter's magazine, the Stitches conventions, and those great XRX Books. Benjamin (at left, in a vest knit by Rick) started out the presentation by giving us a taste of what Stitches South will be. Remember, everybody save 23-26 April 2009! Although the list is not yet finalized, there should be some wonderful teachers and awesome classes. The marketplace will also be a sight indeed. And for those of you who want/need a hotel room, the rate at the Renaissance Waverly is excellent. It is a very nice hotel and they have extended a very gracious rate to Stitches South attendees. With any luck, this could be the first of several southern Stitches events in the coming years.

The second part of the presentation was given by Rick, who gave us a sneak preview of the next issue of Knitter's magazine. There were many, many good items. Quite a few people gasped with delight at a Laura Bryant jacket. There is a sweater that looks like reverse applique -- very mod and unique. There are even a couple beaded knitted necklaces, which would be nice gifts to be appreciated by other craft people. The local shops shouldn't be surprised if the next issue of Knitter's moves just a little faster than usual. With so many wonderful projects, no wonder Rick was willing to share with us!

Other important bits from the meeting:
Debra reminds us that Theresa Gaffey will be here next month. This is an excellent opportunity to take classes from a very good teacher. I'll post more later.

Becky and Susan organized the bi-monthly raffle. This month's auction benefited our library. To that end, Lois kindly included library duplicate copies in the raffle. Our guild membership is always very generous both in what is donated to the raffle and in general participation. The raffle raised about $120 that Lois will be able to use to acquire the newest and niftiest knitting books -- maybe even some books published by XRX?

And one final bit of business, Randie handed out the new membership directories. Thank you to Randie and Debra for their hard work on the directories.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lucky Potluck

XRX Editor Rick Mondragon discusses the finer points of knitting with shop owner Arlene, jewelry designer Nancy, & senior VP workshops Debra.

Friday evening there was a potluck at Whit's house in honor of our special guests, XRX CEO Benjamin Levisay and Knitter's Editor Rick Mondragon. It is not uncommon for someone to host a potluck dinner when our guild has a special guest, and it was very kind of Whit to host this one. She has a large enclosed porch (more like a sunroom) that has a fabulous lake view. (see right)

CEO Benjamin Levisay discussing Stitches South with shop owner Elyse. Jane listens in, left foreground. Diana knits on her new sock, on couch behind Elyse. Marian, Arlene, & Lou are the grouping in the background.

It was a truly delightful evening, with the last of us leaving after 10 PM. Benjamin and Rick were able to answer our questions about Stitches South, including questions from those of us who may be attendees, or teachers, or vendors with a booth. Already it is becoming clear that Stitches South is going to be an awesome show. Benjamin and Rick were both kind in praising our guild for our talent as well as our sense of fun. It was very kind of them to take time from their busy schedule to meet with us. I think everybody left with a good feeling about what is going to happen here in April. You'll be sorry if you miss the party!

Friday, October 3, 2008

News from last night

I'll be posting more later about last night's wonderful meeting.

As some of this is time-sensitive, I thought I'd better get it posted now. We're trying some new things regarding Shop Talk at meetings, especially on nights when we have special guests. Last night Sassafras Creations was there with her wonderful knitting needle jewelry. Main Street Yarns had a table of goodies, including the new Opal Harry Potter Sock Yarns. (I made my Will save against the Hedwig colorway, but only because I just did the Shop Hop.) Needle Nook also had a table of goodies, and showed a beautiful Noro Kureyon jacket from one of the new books.

I didn't get a chance to see what Only Ewe and Cotton Too brought to their table. However, they did have a nice handout. In addition to reminding us that they now have an online store as well as a blog, Elyse wants to remind people that the Crabapple Festival is Saturday 4 October from 9AM - 5PM. That's tomorrow! From the website, it looks to have lots of great antiques as well as art and, of course, food. Only Ewe also has a couple spaces left on the bus trip to SAFF on Saturday 25 October. The price is great and somebody else will have to find the gas! Plus, four hours up and four hours back of knitting with other knitters. I'm already there.

Last thing I should mention -- Elyse was the first to post something about the new Addi Click Interchangeable Needles. During the Shop Hop, I asked most of the other shops in the area about them, and I think just about everybody will be getting some. These will retail for about $150 a set. And supplies will be strictly limited when they begin arriving late in October or early in November. So if you want to buy a set -- or maybe want Santa or someone to bring you one -- best to talk to your friendly local yarn store people now. And when the needles do arrive, I'd love for somebody to do a review either here online or at a meeting. I think many of us are eager to see how the Addi product compares to Denise, Boye, or KnitPicks.