Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Speaker

This month's speaker is author Margie Deeb. Margie is best known for her work with color and beads, including The Beader's Guide to Color and The Beader's Color Palette. If you spend just a few moments reading her blog, you understand that this is someone who loves color and design. Margie will be speaking to our group about color. She'll even have color handouts! If you already love color, I'm sure you will share her enthusiasm. And if you are a bit shy or uncertain about color, this may be your opportunity to gain some confidence. You can learn more about Margie, beads, color, and looking fashionable in this season's colors by visiting her website www.margiedeeb.com.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Roving & Dyes

Guild Member Gale Evans runs her own fiber business, Gale's Art. In addition to dying beautiful rovings which are available both through her Etsy store and through some of our local shops, she also teaches classes on how to dye roving, and how to have fun playing with roving. As you can see from these pictures she has provided, you can make some really lovely things in her classes. Her upcoming class schedule:
Gale’s Art
Studio Class offerings
May and June 2009

Felted Mosaic Scarf - One day class from 10:30am to 3:00 pm $60

A class that takes raw, dyed wool and shows you how to create a wonderful, felted scarf using soap, water and your hands. It looks complicated but it isn’t. Instruction and the creation of one scarf should take about 3 hours with the free option of after class “play” time should you wish to stay in the studio and create a second or possibly third scarf. Wool and felting supplies for the first scarf are included. ****4 students per class

April 10 (Friday) (2 spaces left)
May 15 (Friday)
May 16(Saturday)
June 12(Friday)
June 13 (Saturday)

Acid Dye Without Tears - One day class from 10:30 am to 5 pm $85

This is my very popular, ever filling class on the techniques of hand painted yarns and roving. In my studio, you will learn the basics of color mixing and dyeing and then apply these principles to your own masterpieces . Students will leave with at least half a pound of dyed material (blue face roving or sock yarn ) and a small dye kit to play with at home. ***4 students per class

May 22 (Friday)
May 23 (Saturday)
June 19 (Friday)
June 20 (Saturday)

If you are interested in taking one or both of these classes, you can get more information on Gale's blog. Gale often attends meetings as well, so you might be able to speak to her in person to learn more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Very Clever Tool

For those of you who would like a swift but do not like the price of a swift, there are directions for building one at this link. This is a nice PDF download that shows you how to build a swift from about $10 in PVC materials and a few bits of hardware. A trip to the hardware store, an afternoon with the tools, and voila!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Halloween Goodie

Knitch has just announced that Jared Flood a.k.a. Brooklyn Tweed will be visiting the store and teaching workshops at the end of October. The details:
Seamless Sweater Workshop- Thursday, October 29th 6PM - 9:30PM
Join us for a fantastic workshop with one of knitting's most dynamic designers. In this course Jared will cover the foundations of seamless sweater knitting: construction, percentages, techniques and yoke variations. We will be exploring Elizabeth Zimmerman's 7 seamless sweater models and discussing her percentage system (EPS). The goal of this workshop is to familiarize you with the seamless method of sweater construction and design, and give you the confidence to formulate original garments, without a pattern, to suit your own tastes - or alter existing patterns into seamless ones.
Here's the link for the Seamless Sweater Workshop.

A Taste of Lace - Friday October 30th 10:30 - 1:30
If you are a follower of Jared Flood's popular blog (he's known as Brooklyn Tweed), you've seen the phenomenal results that result from his love of knitting lace patterns in heavier weight wools than is traditionally the case. Knitting lace from larger wools produces not only beautiful and unique pieces of knitwear but also serves as a wonderful learning tool for beginning lace needles. In this course, Jared will cover the basics of lace and you'll be trying your hand at making some of your own with larger needles and heavier yarn. Topics covered include how to read a chart, yarn overs and directional decreasing, planning lace projects, getting gauge, reading your fabric and the most important and magical part of lace knitting: blocking!
Here's the link to A Taste of Lace.

Plan Your Own Aran - Friday, October 30th 2:30PM - 5:30 PM
We're so excited about this workshop that we can hardly stop cabling! In this course, Jared Flood (aka Brooklyn Tweed) will be covering a seamless design model for planning a unique aran garment, and will discuss both pullovers and cardigans. The workshop will cover swatching, blocking, gauge and construction techniques as they uniquely apply to heavily cabled garments. This workshop is intended for intermediate to advanced knitters, prior sweater knitting experience is highly encouraged. Participants should be comfortable with basic cabling techniques. Jared will also discuss cabling without a cable needle and steeking - two of his favorite techniques for Aran Knitting. In the last portion of the workshop, you will practice working a crocheted steek. Jared will demonstrate and you will have the opportunity to try steeking (cutting) your own swatch.
Here's the link to Plan Your Own Aran.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Good dogs & very sensible sheep"

If you haven't seen it already in your inbox, here's the Extreme Sheep LED Art video. So this is what shepherds in Wales, United Kingdom do for fun.

You can also watch a behind-the-scenes BBC interview with Bernard and Gerry at this link. This is where Bernard reveals there is no computer wizardry, just "good dogs and very sensible sheep."

(Kudos to Donna B. & Donna D. for the video link, and Ephram for the BBC link.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shop news

The Whole Nine Yarns is having a 4th anniversary sale this weekend.
Friday 20 March
Felted purse reunion from 6-8 PM. Inspiration and prizes!
Buy three patterns, get the fourth free.
Buy three books, get the fourth free.
Saturday 21 March
Buy three balls of yarn, get the fourth free.
Cake 'n' Pop Party 1-4 PM. Pop a balloon to find your discount.
(Do note that some restrictions apply to the sale stuff.)
That's on the north side of town in Woodstock.

If you are on the south side of town in Peachtree City, Sugarfoot Yarns plans to open their doors this weekend. Follow the link to learn more about their grand opening this Saturday, the 21st of March!

Happy spring shopping everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stitches South centerpieces knit-ins

We're up to 48 centerpieces. Many will be on stalks, the rest will be table level. We still need help with some wiring, but we've mostly moved on to the fun of assembly and embellishment. There are 2 more knit-ins scheduled at Whit Robbins' house. Sat March 21 and Sat March 28 at 1pm. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Audio content

Our February speaker, Pixie Purls, spoke about her experiences as a podcaster. For those of you who are unfamiliar with podcasting, I've added two new items to the AKG library. With her gracious permission, I've burned to CD the first two series of Brenda Dayne's Cast-On podcast. Brenda, an American expatriate from Portland, Oregon, currently lives in Wales. She has written for Interweave press and is the author of the popular wristwarmer pattern Mrs. Beeton from the online magazine Knitty.

The first series doesn't have an over-arching theme. But even from her very first episode, recorded on Halloween, Brenda tells stories about knitting. Her halloween horror story about good yarn gone horribly bad will have you hooked. She has some guests on now and then, including Franklin Habit of the Panopticon fame. Franklin is hilarious. And she has a regular section called "Today's Sweater" that is a favorite amongst viewers.

But it is her second series on the knitting muses that is truly inspired. Brenda devotes one episode to each of the nine muses of Greek tradition. In addition to her own comments, there are also guest essayists. Truly inspired stuff.

If members like these items, let me know and I'll see about burning the later series. As each episode is about a hour long, these discs represent a lot of listening. Very good if you have some long-distance traveling in your future where you are the driver. (Unless you've learned to knit and drive at the same time? Wait -- I do not want to know.) Do beware that these files are recorded in MP3 format. They will play on computers and on newer CD players that can recognize the format. But if you have a car model year 2001, these discs probably won't work.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sometimes they hear you

How many knitters have asked aloud why Alice Starmore's books don't come back into print? While browsing around Amazon today, I encountered this. Yes, Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting, which is a classic of the technique, is scheduled to come back into print August of this year! It is already up for pre-order. We are fortunate to have a copy in our guild library. But if you don't have a copy and want one, here is your chance.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some people . . .

Elizabeth H. reports that the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, which received the trauma bears we create, is in need of videos. The center has been broken into a couple of times and the waiting room VHS and DVD videos of children's programming were amongst the items taken. So, if you have any children's movies that are not being watched and loved, you can free up space on your shelves by bringing those to a meeting. Elizabeth will gladly collect the donations and see that they get to the center.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More flowers

Just a reminder: If you are looking for some creative fun on one of the next three Saturdays, be sure to drop by Whit's house about 1 PM. This is the big push to finish assembling and embellishing the Stitches South centerpieces. If we can get it all done this month, then we don't need to be scurrying around at the last minute next month. So, bring your glue guns and imagination and come prepared for creative playtime!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home Town Heroine

XRX publisher Alexis Xenakis, AKG chair emeritus Whit Robbins, and XRX CEO Benjamin Levisay. Photo credit: © XRX Photo by Lisa Mannes, and used by the gracious permission of XRX, Inc.

XRX, Inc., publisher of Knitter's magazine and the force behind the Stitches conventions has named Whit Robbins 2008 Knitter of the Year. To read Alexis Xenakis' blog entry about the presentation of the award a couple weeks ago at Stitches West, just follow this link. Obviously, Atlanta Knitting Guild is very excited about this and we all wish Whit enthusiastic congratulations!

Edit: And here's another link from the XRX Insider Knitting Newsletter volune 9 issue 5.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beautiful work

Our immediate past president, Donna, has been having a lot of fun knitting for her new granddaughter. Her latest creations:

This little dress has many marvelous details. The bodice is worked in ribbing and then smocked later in a contrasting color. Lace is added around the hem, collar, and cuffs. Even the pockets have embellishment!

Donna has already knitted Christmas stockings for both the grandsons. So, the granddaughter had to have her own. Obviously, this is not a project for those who are afraid of color work. The angels around the cuffs almost look like butterflies. Very appropriate for a young lady!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Subversive Stitches?

The Vancouver Sun has this article on yarn graffiti. If you haven't heard of this already, an example of knitted graffiti would be a tree cozy or a pole cozy. This is part of an ongoing movement to reclassify craft as something hip, young, and activist.

You can also check out this website for more information. This is a very interesting blog for those who want their work to be more public. And the examples come from all over the world, reminding us that there is a wide and wonderful knitting community and it is global.

(Kudos to Ephram the zimbalist for the link.)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Georgia Connections to the Sox

The Think Outside the Sox contest had several participants from here in Georgia, including some of the winners. Here are the links:

#275 by Charles D. Gandy of Clayton won the South West Trading Company Unleash the Creativity category.
#047 by Betty Salpekar of Woodstock won the Skacel Socks to Dye For category.
#270 by Charles D. Gandy of Clayton won the Regia Best Foot Forward category.
#290 by Amy C. Rutter of Marietta won the Cherry Tree Hill Lace Socks category.
#047 by Betty Salpekar of Woodstock won the Grand Prize.

Other Georgia entries include:
#003, where she was truly Thinking Outside the Sox, and #153 which is a tour-de-force of traveling stitches, both by Betty Salpekar. Betty is a past member of Atlanta Knitting Guild and a current member of North Georgia Knitting Guild.
#98, #276, & #277 by the prolific, imaginative, and inventive Charles D. Gandy.
#291 by Amy C. Rutter, a leaf and flower pattern which would be just perfect for spring.
#231, a fashionable entry by Jacqueline Wilson of Dallas.
#105 by long-time guild member, teacher, designer, and author Janet Johnson Stephens of Roswell. Jan is also a member of North Georgia Knitting Guild.
#269, a dramatic pair in the colors of a sunset, is by guild member and Peachtree City resident Gay Lynn Barson.
#119, a sole-up knit-one-below pattern, is by Mableton resident and current guild president Jolie A. Elder, who is also a member of North Georgia Knitting Guild.

The entire album of all 292 socks can be viewed by starting at this link.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Always pretty stuff to see

The show and tell segment of the meeting continues to be one of the most popular parts of the evening. March was no different.

Andrea had lots to show, including a sweater and some hand mitts. In true creative knitterly form, she looked at a fingerless mitt and realized it would make a very good teddy bear dress. Hence, Andrea's hand mitt teddy bear dress. Notice in the back view, the thumb opening works very well for the tail. We all know that teddy bears can become a bit crabby when their tales are crunched up in uncomfortable clothing.

Debra worked up this lovely baby set. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, 2 skeins of Rainbow from Twisted Skeins in Clarkesville. The pattern is a free pattern from Jimmy Bean's website with Debra's own minor alterations (of course).

And Jeanel showed off this beautiful jacket. This was an old yarn from Needle Nook, a hand-dyed alpaca from her stash. And she says it isn't too warm over a light shirt or blouse, allowing her to wear it through three seasons.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Universal Yarn saves the day!

We had lots going on at last night's meeting. Hal Ozbelli, president of Universal Yarn, & Jean Lux, sales manager, were kind enough to step in and use their trunk show as our main program. Universal Yarn is just up I-85 in Concord, North Carolina, north of Charlotte. (Exits 55 or 58 will take you to Concord.) We are certainly invited to visit.

Hal & Jean had many nice things to show. A sampling:
For those of us looking for an alternative to Noro, check out this jacket done in Poems. It also comes in sock weight, for those of you having dysfunctional relationships with Noro sock yarn.

If you are looking for something that is just plain fun, try cocoon. It comes in both plain and multicolor varieties, or you can also knit with more than one strand at a time to create the multicolor effect you desire. (The scarf Jean is wearing is two separate strands worked together.) It works up way fast. This would be a really cute project for a stadium scarf. Gotta show those school colors!

And for those of us who didn't get enough of odd fibers last month, this month we saw Sea Song -- 80% pima cotton and 20% seacell (Kelp). The seacell helps soften the pima cotton. A very nice yarn for soft summer tops in the South.

Remember that Universal Yarn is a sponsor of Stitches South. So, we all look forward to seeing Hal and Jean in April in the Stitches marketplace -- especially if they bring some of that Poems sock yarn!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A sudden change of plans

Tonight's meeting is going to be a busy and exciting one and possibly a little crowded. Firstly, Shirleen Kistner has been double-booked, so she won't be able to speak at our meeting. But those of you who attend the Sewing Expo will be sure to tell her hello and that we are sorry to have missed her.

Fortunately, Hal Ozbelli and Jean Lux of Universal Yarn in Concord, North Carolina are going to be at our meeting. Universal Yarn is a sponsor of Stitches South and a sponsor of the Think Outside the Sox contest. Knowing that there is never enough show and tell at our meetings, Hal and Jean have been invited to fill out our meeting by showing off their trunk show. Be sure to show them some Southern knitting hospitality in return.

And for you fiber fanatics south of the city, Cheryl will be opening Sugarfoot Yarns in Peachtree City, probably later this month. Cheryl will have a table at tonight's meeting. So do be sure to say hello to her and see what nifty fiber goodness she brings to tempt us.

Additionally, several of our usual member merchants have requested tables, including Rare Purls, Only Ewe and Cotton Too, Needle Nook, Main Street Yarns, & Gale's Art. Remember that social hour starts at 6:30. There are many, many food options available at Exit 30 -- fast food (Wendy's, Arby's, McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks) as well as Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, even a little Italian pizza place. So come up this way after work, eat, and get here early because there will be lots to see and do even before our meeting begins.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Top Volunteer

We are thrilled beyond measure that our own Jean Guneysu has been nominated for WXIA/WATL 11 Alive's Community Service Award. She was nominated by LaVann Landrum of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. Jean has been a tireless advocate for dressing trauma bears. Just this decade, Atlanta Knitting Guild has given over 1500 trauma bears to the advocacy center and its predecessors. Hundreds of those bears were the work of Jean, who never ceases to pour her creativity into her work. She has knit chef bears, beach bears, sporting bears. The bears are presented to the advocacy center at our December meeting. But Jean doesn't take a rest during the year. For example, Jean and Elizabeth H. will be setting up a table at Stitches South so that attendees can donate bears.

A heads up to our membership: There will be a news team at our March meeting. They will be videotaping Jean and the bear project. Since you might get caught on camera, be aware to come dressed as you would like your neighbors to see you if they watch the evening news.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March speaker

Our guest for March is Shirleen Kistner, the owner of Vintage Yarns in Lambertville, Michigan. Shirleen will be here for the Atlanta Sewing Expo, where she will be teaching the following classes:
Sparkling Crystal Spiral Twist
Learn to use Swarovski Crystals to your best advantage and make a beautiful sparkling bracelet in the process. An excellent introduction to bead weaving, the class focuses on working with beads and crystals, sharing many techniques. Leave with your completed piece of jewelry and the skills to create many other beaded jewelry projects.

The Beaded Button
Learn to create unique and dazzling buttons for your clothing, coat, purse and even your shoes. Your buttons will be beautiful . . . so beautiful you’ll be thinking of creative ways to use them just so you can have fun making more! This class will help you become more creative as a designer.

Alternative Knitted and Crocheted Edge Treatments
Discover interesting edges for your shawls and scarves! Learn different stitches including yarn over knitted edges, crocheted edges with beads and more.

Free-Form Knit and Crochet Wallet
Discover the joys of combining knitting and crocheting when you create a beautiful free-form quilted wallet. Learn everything you need to know about working free-form (no counting!) as you incorporate yarn, texture and style into your project. It’s so much fun, you’ll want to make more projects – maybe a coordinating purse
For our guild, she will be speaking about free-form knitting. The picture at top is an example of Shirleen's work. This looks to be an inspiring way to use up stash, novelty yarns, and single skeins that were just too beautiful to resist.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Little Sister, Big Winner

Our much younger sister guild, North Georgia Knitting Guild, got some positive notice at Stitches West this weekend. NGKG member Betty Salpekar won the Grand Prize in the Think Outside the Sox contest. You can see Betty's winning entry along with all the other winners over here. Big congratulations to Betty!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Broadening Experiences

One of our new members, Tom, runs In The Woods Campground north of Atlanta. This campground caters to a gay male audience, so sorry ladies, we're out in the cold on this one. But for the gentlemen, the campground will be having a knitting retreat 12-15 March. Information including activities and meal plan can be found here.