Sunday, November 30, 2008

And now for something completely different

This is only partly related to Atlanta-area knitting, as the artist Theresa Honeywell will be in the area 12-15 March 2009 at the American Craft Council Show. However, as far as knitting itself goes, this is very interesting. A pink knitted motorcycle cozy. Awwww.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trunk Shows & shop news

If you happen to be out and about this holiday weekend, there are at least two trunk shows in the area. Inside the Perimeter, Needle Nook has a Jojoland trunk show. Remember the pretty swirl shawl? That and more await your perusal. Outside the Perimeter, The Whole Nine Yarns has an Interweave Holiday Knits trunk show. This show features those quick gift knits that we love (and need NOW) from a great once-a-year issue.

Three merchants had tables at our November meeting. Needle Nook brought Malabrigo sock yarn (see photo above) and the new Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines book. Malabrigo sock yarn is likely to make very soft and nicely warm socks. Just beware if you gift-knit it -- you may have to beat off friends and relatives begging for more.

Sassafras Creations brought a nice supply of her fabulous knitting jewelry. Be aware that Nancy will not be at the December meeting. So, if you missed your opportunity to load up on some great knitting-related gifts and stocking stuffers, you're going to have to follow the link to the etsy store.

Only Ewe and Cotton Too brought their usual haul of goodies. Of special note is the lace that Elyse is modeling. (And doesn't she look fabulous with the hat?) The lace is worked with large yarn (worsted or larger). Interestingly, this actually works! If you are thinking about trying out lace, this is a great way to learn without attempting to knit with spider webs!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Up!

The Stitches South 2009 brochure is online and available for download. The website is here. Registration opens Monday 1 December, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving. The most popular classes sometimes fill up within the first three days, so if you are interested, download the PDF, pick your classes, and be ready to register. Online registration will be the quickest and will give you immediate confirmation of your choices.

Here's hoping that Stitches South's inaugural event is a wonderful one to remember!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Centerpieces or installation art?

As previously mentioned, Stitches South will be here in April. XRX Inc. is very kindly permitting us to be involved with their party. This is an opportunity for our guild to shine in front of a regional (possibly national) audience. So, credit goes out to Megan, Elizabeth, Linda F., Marian, and Whit who are off and running with the centerpiece idea. The theme is "Alice in Georgia Land." The items will be over sized fantasy botanicals, including kudzu. Thus, this is a great opportunity for creativity. Each flower can be different in shape, color, and material.

Here is the request for materials:

We Need Your Help!
Clean out a cabinet, closet or drawer and donate an item to help AKG make table decorations for “Stitches”!

Vases, Tea Kettles/Pots, Flower Pots - 7 in. diameter & no more than 1 foot high
Wool fabric to felt
“Unloved yarn” from your stash - bright colors
Feathers, glitzy trimmings, ribbons

Please bring these items to homes of Whit, Elizabeth, Megan, Linda F., or Marian as soon as possible -- i.e. before the December meeting.

This is also a chance for you to clean out the drawers and the stash. Blankets and sweaters that have been felted are very welcome. Fun fur and other odd yarns also add to the design possibilities. Non-felting yarns are very welcome, indeed.

The committee plans to "kit" these up and pass them out at the December meeting. This should be a lot of fun. And the hope is this will bring the sort of honor and glory to our guild that translates into the coolest knitting people wanting to come to our meetings.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Stash Busting with a Superstar

Those of you who didn't take a workshop this month with Theresa Gaffey really missed out. She was absolutely wonderful! Not only was she a friendly and encouraging teacher, but she was also an all-around nice person, truly pleasant to talk to.

I took the stash busting workshop on Sunday afternoon at the library. With the upcoming economic climate, it seemed like a good time to think about how to use what's at hand. Theresa demonstrated a technique I'd seen in Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book, the "Knitted Ruana." The fabric is garter stitch, and each row is worked in a different piece of yarn. Because of the bumpy, interconnected nature of garter stitch, even a very bright color can harmonize surprisingly well amongst others. Long tails are left at each end and turned into decorative fringe to finish the project.

Theresa's example was a purple blanket that I wouldn't have minded if it had "accidentally" gotten left behind here in Atlanta. You can see from the picture that the technique makes it easy to blend a variety of different types of yarn. Even a novelty yarn that would be too crazy on its own can work nicely with a chorus of other, plainer yarns.

Here are some other samples from the day, knit by Jan, Linda, & Valerie:

This would also be a great project for a knit-in. Everyone could bring scrap balls of yarn or even pieces that are already cut into pre-determined lengths (e.g. 10 feet). Theresa was very generous in sharing her stash with us and encouraging us to try different things. She also encouraged us to share our bits with each other. More proof that working with what you have can be very rewarding, indeed.

Edit: from the December meeting Show & Tell, Linda knit this stash scrap throw pillow. Pretty!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November Show & Tell

Show and tell is always good. This month was no different.

Beverly showed up with a very interesting lace scarf. One end is fairly solid and features a spider. But the other end is very lacy, ending in a delicate wisp! The pattern is a free download from Hanks Yarn & Fiber. You can also find the link on Ravelry by searching patterns for "October is for Spinners."

Elizabeth showed off an organic cotton baby blanket that will be a gift. All the subtle colors in this blanket are natural to the fiber -- no dyes involved! The pattern is the classic log cabin pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting.

Lois made a lovely one skein lace shawl from Mountain Colors wool crepe. And when she says one skein she means the whole skein. She had just enough yarn to bind off.

As always, more photos on the members' section of the AKG website. (Top two photos credit Joslyn Ratcliff)

Friday, November 7, 2008

November meeting

Our November meeting featured superstar Theresa Gaffey. Theresa was a friendly and interesting speaker. If you missed her, find someone who was at the meeting to tell you the story Theresa told us of her own very scary personal struggle and how knitting helped her. This was a wonderful, moving biographical account. Theresa showed off some of her knitting patterns and spoke about how she designs. Many of her patterns are striking and interesting without being difficult. And many of her patterns make very good use of yarn she already has lying around. There's an artful practicality to her work that is quite in keeping with her Midwestern upbringing. If you happen to travel, Theresa teaches and designs at the Yarnery, in St. Paul Minnesota.
(both photos credit Joslyn Ratcliff)