Monday, December 15, 2008

Shop News from the Inbox

It is becoming increasing difficult to get work done when things like this show up in my inbox. From Knitch:
Today Only, All CASHMERE, SILK and SOCK yarns (there's lots to choose from!) are 20% off. The shop will be open until 7:30 for your shopping pleasure and we have lots of ideas for fun projects using your new yarn! If you are shopping online, please enter "onedaysale" in the comments section and we'll apply your discount before shipping. Enjoy!

Fine Print:
Discounts apply to in-stock items only. For cashmere and silk, the items must be at least 60% cashmere or silk. Regular priced items only. No adjustments. Discounts do not apply on special orders, holds or previously purchased items. Discounts can not be combined. The greater discount applies! All items purchased on sale are FINAL SALE. No winding on sale items....whew!

Hope to see you in the shop soon!
And a couple days ago from Needle Nook:

Christmas and Hanukkah are creeping up on us, only a few days till both arrive. We are cleaning house, taking inventory and selecting items to reduce. Join us Dec. 17-21 and take additional savings on the following:

* All priced shop models - take an additional 20% off.
* All bagged sale yarns - take an additional 20% off.
* All needle sets (excluding Denise) - take 20% off.
* All sale books - take an additional 10% off.

We have taken delivery of several new yarns in the past few weeks. No photos but I will describe them to you:

* Bamboo Silk - 70 Bamboo, 30 Silk - 99 yards, 5 sts per inch.
* Lace Merino - 100% extrafine merino, 29 sts per 4 inches, plus we have a sweater model.
* Noro Taiyo, not a new yarn but new for us - cotton, silk, wool and nylon.
* Can Can from Trendsetter - a tape-like ribbon with a loop on one end to knit into. This yarn will ruffle for you. Great for edging a scarf, cuffs and more.

Here is a partial list of items for gift giving this year:
$10.00 and under: scissors - socks - udder cream - note cards - needle felt kits - Eucalan - CD Rom - purse handles.
$25.00 and under: Laurel Burch totes, mugs, scarves, flip flops, earrings and pins - knit sticks - wine charms - wire blockers - funspecs - sock blockers - Circular Solution - yarn caddies - needle cases - books - needle gauges - beaded markers.
And from Only Ewe and Cotton Too:
Happy Holidays Everyone!

Come celebrate the season with us:

10:00am til ?
Brunch/Lunch will be served - come taste my chicken and dumplings
AND THE FAMOUS "RECIPE" is brewing! It will be ready for the day!

Bring your projects, visit with friends old and new and enjoy the day.

I should add here that Only Ewe and Cotton Too has done a couple can drives to provide food for those in need this holiday season. Many of our local food banks and other charities are low on supplies this year because there are so many more people in need. Thank you to Elyse, Bill, and their patrons for helping others in need.

And thank you to all our member merchants who bring the tools and materials we love to our neighborhoods so that we can see them, touch them, and make informed choices with our own senses before we purchase. So often our local yarn stores special order what we need, hold items for us, mail items, make suggestions, and help us through the tricky bits. And thank you to all of them (not just those listed here) for the special events they are staging to make this a merry season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Fodder for the 2009 Datebooks

Saturday 10 January at 2 PM, Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two will be at Borders Buckhead.

XRX has moved the final date for the Think Outside the SOX contest. Entries are now due in by the 31st of January. Exactly what all of us wanted for the holidays -- more time!

Sunday 1 February is Superbowl Sunday. That means tradition here in the ATL. Needle Nook will be hosting their annual non-football knit-in beginning at 2 PM. You are invited to bring a snack to share and please RSVP directly to Arlene. If you live north and outside the Perimeter, Knitting Emporium in Kennesaw will also be hosting a non-football knitting party from 1 to 5 PM. So even if you aren't a fan of football, you can still get in on the party fun.

Saturday & Sunday the 2nd & 3rd of May 2009: Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship MD. Yes, this is a bit far afield for Atlanta, but we do have members who attend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hansen's bandages made easy?

Knitting Hansen's bandages (Hansen's is the disease formerly known as leprosy) is something AKG has done in the past. The downsides of this particular type of knitting include small needles, threadlike yarn (#10 crochet cotton), and long time commitment.

Yet another reason to go to a guild function is that you might discover something new. In this case, Patti brought her Hansen's bandage loom to Whit's block(ing) party. This is a special loom that produces a double-sided fabric. It is worked in a way similar to French spool knitting. The thread/yarn is wound around the pins, then old stitches are pulled up over new. Patti's loom is stamped with the words "". I haven't ordered anything from them, so cannot vouch for them, but provide the link for anyone interested in exploring. Also, quick searches on Google and Ravelry bring me back to this blog. They seem to be the current active distributors of bandages in Vietnam.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So, how cold is it in Afghanistan?

It is winter in Asia, too. This means that American and other coalition forces are now dealing with below-freezing temperatures. A quick check of the weather report for Kabul shows overnight lows in the 20s. There are several folks here in the Atlanta area who continue to be interested in getting warm wool helmet liners onto the heads of the troops.

At our December meeting last week, Kay from Rare Purls not only brought shop goodies -- including beaded Artyarns and Opal Harry Potter sock yarn -- but also a special deal. She sold Cascade 220 in helmet liner colors at a very good price. This was Kay's way of encouraging people to make helmet liners, as one skein of Cascade 220 will make one helmet liner.

If you are on the north side of the city, The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock is also encouraging patrons to make helmet liners. In this case, a customer named Doris knit one last year for a soldier serving in Afghanistan. He recently wrote her a thank-you note about how wonderfully warm it is and how very much he appreciates it. He also asked if she could make enough for the dozen soldiers in his unit, as he will be home for Christmas leave and would like to take some back to share. Debi has stepped up to encourage us. Buy a skein of helmet liner appropriate Cascade 220 at The Whole Nine Yarns and keep your receipt. Bring the completed helmet liner and your receipt back before 28 December. The shop will give you a store credit equal to the cost of the yarn.

And, of course, if you live in the Roswell/East Cobb area, Cast On Cottage is also knitting helmet liners. Their ambitious goal is to make 201. This is for Claudia who is the mother-in-law of a serviceman overseas. Cast On Cottage has a helmet liner knitting night from 6-8 PM on the 2nd Thursday of the month, the next of which is tomorrow the 11th. As motivation, Theresa will hold a drawing for a gift certificate from the names of those who complete helmet liners. The more you make, the better your chances of winning.

Thank you to Kay, Debi, Theresa and everyone who has/is participating in this cause. If you need a pattern or more information, you can find it on the AKG website over here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ruth Schnatmeier

This e-mail just arrived from Whit:
Sorry to be the bearer of sad news, but wanted to tell you all that Ruth Schnatmeier passed away peacefully last evening of the cancer she had been battling for many years. The “celebration” of her life will be Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Briarcliff United Methodist Church at the intersection of Briarcliff Rd. and Shallowford Rd. (Burial will be private).

We all knew her as the creator of The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children on Ethyl Street off 10th and Northside drive. We send items of clothing etc. to them every month. She came to AKG Meetings a number of times to tell give us updates on the shelter and loved and admired/appreciated us for our nonstop generous donations. She was truly an angel among us.

Our sympathies go out to her family. But also to her family is extended the gratitude of women and children throughout Atlanta who were able to get their lives back on course because of her work. Thank you, Ms. Schnatmeier, for an example of a life well lived. You will be missed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Block(ing) Party

Whit held her annual blocking party on Sunday. The "purpose" is many-fold. The overt functional reason is so that we can all use Whit's professional steamer, pictured at right. I must admit that this does seem to be a very handy device, especially if you are blocking something with texture that might be flattened by a steam iron and pressing cloth.

The second reason for the party is to drink Ginny's guild-famous eggnog. At first, Ginny thought she was not going to be able to attend, but her plans later changed. Hurray! I have no idea what is in the eggnog, but it is very tasty stuff. And probably of the right strength, as there did not seem to be too much knitting under the influence.

The third reason to attend is the setting and hospitable greeting as evident in this picture. Willy loves people. He jumps around and wags his tail and just wants to be liked by everybody. He looks as if someone took a big pile of washed sheep shear, waved a magic wand, and animated the whole fluffy ball of fiber. You can also see from the picture the peaceful lakeside setting. No wonder Whit gets so much knitting done with a spot like this!

Of course, the real reason to come is to spend time with friends. Plus, if you are at a friend's house, then you have a legitimate reason to not be cleaning your house, addressing your holiday greeting cards, or dealing with any of the myriad little chores that keep us from our appointed hobby. Well, as long as I'm here, I guess I'll just have to sit and knit and maybe drink a little of that eggnog. Some of us having a very good time:
Ginny & Ardith hanging out in the corner with the lovely view.

Joyce in a fabulous hand knit and Debra working with scrumptious hand-dyed wool sock yarn. Notice the Stitches South brochure in the left foreground as well as the candy. Mary Jane is in the background.

Diana working on her latest Opal sock with Sandy holding the yarn. Hint: if you need to motivate Diana, Opal is your carrot of choice.

And here we have Mary Jane wearing a t-shirt that reminds us of the dangers of knitting under the influence. Mary Jane was working on a scarf with an interesting knit-purl and ribbing pattern. The patterns cause the fabric to pull in and out, creating a rippling edge without any increases or decreases. The fabric is also reversible.

As we move through the holiday season, may you enjoy much time merrily in your favorite comfy spot, with good light, a warm drink, a comforting project, and the company of knitting friends who understand that Opal is not an iridescent rock. Ho, ho, ho.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December Show & Tell

A thank you to Linda for the reminder during the meeting that we still needed to do show and tell. After the sun goes down, it isn't going to get any lighter outdoors until dawn, so why not stay a little longer and enjoy?

Nyla moved here from California, where she was in several guilds. This poncho featuring miters and even a little entrelac was a popular project in the group out there. Fun & stylish!

LaVonne knit this beautiful reversible baby blanket. In the photo at left, you see it from the back. You'll notice along the bottom that she even worked the name of the baby into the edging of the blanket. And just to show how beautifully this worked up, here are closeups of both the front and back:

And Donna showed off this gorgeous Jojoland entrelac shawl. She did mention that she had a little trouble with the ruffled edge and had to re-knit it, but the final result is clearly worth the effort. And for those of you who like color but don't feel comfortable wearing bright or strong colors, this yarn is a wonderful way to indulge. There is enough color to be interesting and to make the project coordinate with a variety of outfits in your wardrobe. The final result is colorful and lovely without being garish.

As always, guild members can log in on the guild website to view a wider range of show and tell projects. Other items this month included a Vogue cape that Janelle altered into a stylish poncho, a cabled every 4th row vest by Joyce, an Aran stocking by Nancy, Whit's infamous purple sweater, Kaffe Fassett socks also by Whit, an 8-stitch i-cord scarf by LaVonne, and gifts scarves and a shawl by Maureen. Linda made a pillow using the stash busting technique from Theresa Gaffey's class, so pictures of that will be posted over here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

December meeting

Many thanks to all the members who brought good stuff to the meeting. That includes delicious food for the potlucks, adorable dressed bears, raffle items, women's shelter donations, and supplies for the centerpieces. As always, the central activity of the December meeting (besides eating and socializing) is the presentation of the trauma bears to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, which has offices in both Fulton and Dekalb counties.

The Center provides counseling services to the children as well as aiding law enforcement by conducting the interviews necessary to secure the evidence needed to bring convictions. These are children who have suffered an assault (often sexual) or who have been witnesses to a violent crime, such as a rape or murder. After the interview, the child is given a trauma bear. Many of these children come from destitute backgrounds and are not accustomed to having toys of their own. Our designer of teddy bears extraordinaire, Jean Guneysu, presented 170 bears to Senior Psychotherapist Sally Horan (photo above). Jean loves knitting bear outfits and is responsible for dressing a significant fraction of what the guild gives. This year Jean contributed more than half of the total. Thank you to all the members who contributed to this worthy cause through donating a new bear and/or dressing a bear, but an especially big thank you to Jean for consistently donating her time and creativity to this heartbreaking, worthy cause.

And because the bears are cute, here are more pictures of bears:

As we move into the new year, remember that a bear can be a great way to use up scrap yarn or to try out a new technique without over-committing yourself. There are several books and patterns in our guild library that can help you dress a bear. Also, we currently intend to have a table at Stitches South so that attendees can donate a bear.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tomorrow Night

Since holiday season can be busy, many people are tempted to skip the December meeting. There are several reasons to attend. This is our annual presentation of the Trauma Bears to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. The range of creativity on the bears is always inspiring. This is your once-a-year chance to see and participate in this important Atlanta Knitting Guild tradition.

Also related to charity knitting, Rare Purls will be attending with a special offer on helmet liner yarn. This is a fun knitting in the round pattern and a great way to show your support -- regardless of your politics -- for our service men and women overseas who are putting their lives on the line.

Needle Nook will be bringing great holiday gift ideas. Gale's Art will be bringing pretty rovings. You can get some of the stuffing that you want for in your stocking -- Santa will thank you for saving him the trouble of shopping!

There will be a raffle to benefit the women's shelter. You may bring items to donate as you like. There will be kits and patterns to pick up for the Stitches South centerpieces. You may donate yarn and other craft items to that cause. There will be opportunities to sign up for Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer classes. There will be opportunities to sign up for The Mountain. And there will be food since this is our annual holiday potluck. If you can, please bring something tasty to share and possibly show off your culinary skills.

See ya'all at the party!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Calling All Sock Knitters

A reminder to our many talented sock knitters: XRX's Think Outside the SOX contest ends on 31 January 2009. That gives you more than a month to get your entries off to Sioux Falls. Information can be found on the contest website here. There is also plenty of information in this month's (Winter 2008) Knitter's magazine, beginning on page 52. There are 27 prize categories and over $21,000 in prizes. This is also a very good opportunity to showcase your design talents. If you are a budding superstar, here's a chance to start shining!

Edit as of 12/12: XRX has just announced an extended deadline for the contest. Socks need to be submitted by the 31st of January 2009. Winners will be announced at Stitches West, which is in late February. Many thanks & seasons greetings to the fine folks in Sioux Falls!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Break out those 2009 Datebooks

For those people who complain that you are hard to buy for because you already have everything, just point 'em over here for some ideas! There's something for everybody.

Stitches South (23-26 April 2009) registration is up here. This is the premiere knitting event in the South.

The South Carolina Knitting Guild will host their second annual Knit Inn 6-8 February 2009 in Greenville, SC. More information, including registration, can be found here. A number of Atlanta and North Georgia Knitting Guild members attended last year and had a wonderful time.

And, of course, our own Mountain retreat in Highlands, North Carolina will be 13-16 February 2009. The cost is $240 and you can register by contacting Joni. This Atlanta Knitting Guild tradition has been happening for 17 years.

And we have Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer as our January superstar, with five different classes over the weekend of 9-11 January 2009. Each class is $35 for members or $45 for non-members and you can register by contacting Debra.