Friday, December 31, 2010

Bev Galeskas

I thought area knitters might want to know that Fiber Trends founder Bev Galeskas passed away this week. If you don't recognize the name, you are bound to recognize the patterns. The Felted Clogs were amongst her most popular. (Look on Ravelry for over 7000 examples.) They are fun to make and can be worked in a variety of sizes. And they are functional. (I just happened to be wearing mine when I found out Bev was gone.)
If you've been to The Whole Nine Yarns, you've seen various examples of the Felt Flock lurking about the shop. Bev's patterns are not only cleverly designed, but they are also well-written. I've seen shops use Fiber Trends patterns in class projects, especially when newer knitters were learning a technique because you could count on the directions to make sense. Bev also gave many of us the courage and confidence to try felting something on purpose. She will be both missed and remembered.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alternative vehicles

In yesterday's post, you saw a yarn-embellished bicycle. Well, it isn't just bicycles that can look good.

The obvious local example is the bug from The Whole Nine Yarns:

But a friend also sent me this photo, of a van:

With the van, I would be a little concerned about tunnels and low overpasses.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Postcards from Amsterdam

As I, your friendly blog writer, am using the holiday lull to clean up my computer today, I came across some old links that never quite made it up into the blog. Now seems as good a moment as any to share.

Many of you know Betty Salpekar. She is one of our local superstars, although currently she is living just outside of Amsterdam. Her husband's job has taken them on this Netherlandish expatriate excursion. Early in their trip, Betty came across this wonderful bicycle.

I personally love the flowers on the fender.

Alas, Betty's husband wasn't willing to stand around all afternoon, waiting for the owner to return. Can you imagine being a new visitor and coming across something like this? Right away you'd know that fiber artists are welcome here.

More recently, Betty sent me this lovely link that also involves bicycles and knitting. The blog is written by a couple who are touring the world by bicycle. During this precious time of year when we are all invited to be kinder and gentler, to notice the things that connect us rather than the things that divide us, this is a lovely story that reminds us of the power a shared hobby can have, even when a language isn't shared.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Knitting for Cats?

With great knitting comes great responsibility.
Please, use your talents for good, not evil.
Link to 109 Cats in Sweaters.
Has the SPCA been informed?
Has the dog stopped laughing yet?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday at Whit's

Yesterday's snow flurries didn't keep a few hardy AKG members from gathering at Whit's house for her annual Christmas block party. The view of the lake was a little different from our usual expectations as the flurries fluttered. There were few finished objects to be blocked, but lots of work on the needles. Everyone brought at least a little something to nibble, so there was a nice spread of cheeses, crackers, and cookies. Joyce brought "lace" cookies that were a Weight Watchers Recipe, or so she claims. I suppose they would be if you ate only one. And during the hectic holiday season, it is nice to have an excuse to just sit around with friends for three hours, watch the lake change in the light, and knit.

Ellen wasn't willing to be photographed from the front, but she was willing from the back. (The front view was better, whether she believes me or not.) She had just completed a Molly scarf with Kauni. Ellen added an extra rib or two to the middle and made the ruffle a little wider so that the overall scarf is wider. With the black and white ensemble she was wearing, this colorful scarf was just the right accent. Ellen rocked! (And she appeared to have to a Swiss-Cheese Scarf in Mini Mochi on her needles. Fabulous!) Sometimes it is nice to remember how a scarf can give an outfit just the right finishing touch.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Our December potluck meeting was as good as ever. We donated 213 dressed bears to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. Local station WSB also sent a camera man to film a little of our meeting and the presentation of the bears. The segment is scheduled to air on Sunday 12 December during the 6:30 AM program "People 2 People." (If you go to the WSB website, you can find the most recent show by choosing from the "Community" menu on the far right of the homepage.) Diana, our president, has also hinted that there may be some sort of activity next year to encourage more participation in knitting the bear clothing. We will have to wait to see what she unveils!

One last reminder, Whit's annual Block Party will also be this Sunday, but at the brighter hours of 2-5 PM. If you plan to attend, do be sure to contact Whit so that she has a head count. As always, Whit will have out her professional steamer, so bring towels and those finished holiday gifts that need a good blocking to give them just the right finish. Even if you don't need to block something, bring a snack food to share (if you can) and come join the camaraderie!

Monday, November 15, 2010

STITCHES South 2011

If you haven't already, now is the moment to pull out your datebook (or iToy) and highlight 14-17 April 2011 for STITCHES South.

You can download the brochure in .pdf form by clicking the link at the bottom right, or you can view it on Flickr by clinking the link in the upper left. In the midst of all the holiday hub-bub, isn't it nice to be able to curl up with the STITCHES South 2011 brochure, read up on all the great classes, pick out a few (or a few more than a few), sign up, and then fantasize all winter about how great the weekend will be? And the beautiful thing about this is that the weekend will be even better than the fantasy. If creativity is one of the big factors in keeping America competitive in the 21st century global economy, then knitters will have no trouble continuing to do their part. XRX asked teachers to come up with more new and unusual classes, and the teachers responded in full. If you see a class description that looks interesting but you'd like more information, extended descriptions are available online when registration opens.

Opening Day begins with Anna Zilboorg, author of Knitting for Anarchists, Magnificent Mittens and Socks, and other books including Fancy Feet: Traditional Knitting Patterns of Turkey and Simply Socks: 45 Traditional Turkish Patterns to Knit. While the objects may be small in size, they are big in color, pattern, and knitting interest. I hope she brings LOTS of samples.

There are several fashion shows this time. In addition to the usual Friday night fashion show, there is a show on Friday at noon featuring Jean Frost jackets and a show Saturday at noon featuring projects from Knitter's magazine. Teachers á la Carte is still Thursday at lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet the teachers in person. If there is a still-open class you are thinking about or a teacher you are curious about, Teachers á la Carte is your chance to go straight to the primary source.

And the Pajama Party returns on Friday night. Glee!

The weekend wraps up with the Saturday student banquet for all you Show & Tell junkies (myself included) and the Cash Grand Prize Drawing on Sunday at 1 PM. And, of course, the Market is open the whole weekend. Do notice that this year STITCHES South falls at the end of tax season rather than after it, so do be sure to file early if you expect a rebate. You never know who is going to show up in the market with something that isn't normally in stock in the local shops. (I know, it is hard to believe there is anything that isn't normally in stock around here, but I've found a few.)

While you are online registering, head over to this link to register to get a digital copy of Knitter's magazine issue 100. You can also sign up to receive your subscription digitally, which is very useful if your bookshelf space seems shrink. Digital copies are also handy if you want to print out and mark up a pattern so that the magazine isn't dog-eared beyond recognition after a couple months' journey in a knitting bag.

Registration for STITCHES South opens Monday 22 November at 10 AM Eastern time. Early bird pricing runs until 10 February. This gives all those dear hubbies/sweeties out there a chance to indulge their knitters for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule or later for Valentine's Day. I suppose they could surprise us for Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Dr. King's Birthday, and Groundhog Day too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November meeting

While many of us were undoubtedly disappointed that Karin Skacel couldn't join us this month, the show still needed to go on. And it went rather well. :-)

Many of us were still basking in the glow of beads and lace and our weekend of Sivia Harding workshops. Diana wisely invited graduates of the Moonrise necklace workshop to show off their jewelry.
From left to right: Marian, Linda F, Whit, Jane, Sharon W, and Joyce.

There were questions and prizes including Skacel Acryl-no-Ick yarn donated by Needle Nook, a Friday Night Knitting Club bag donated by Needle Nook, and a skein of Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo (merino & silk) and matching Japanese Magatama beads donated by Only Ewe and Cotton Too and The Bead Bug.

Show and Tell is always, always, always interesting with this group. Always. Even if there is nothing else going on in the evening (which is never), it is always worth going to the meeting just to soak up the inspiration. Tom from Knitting in the Woods (a campground and knitting retreat) was at the meeting. He and his friend Tim were knitting athletic supporters out of Cascade Fixation, a cotton sock yarn with elastic in it. When I mentioned this to Elyse, she pointed out that Fixation is the only yarn she knows of from which you could knit a bathing suit that would stay up.
But back to show and tell. Tom showed off this breathtaking lace receiving blanket he knit for his new grandson who is due in January. The pattern is Tom's own interpretation of Estonia lace right down to the nupps! Art showed off his very first knitting project -- a scarf in plain blocks of color. He mentioned some of his experiences with changing tension, and many of us in the room nodded in sympathy. Margaret had several beautiful projects including a secret sock knit along with the Nautical Knitter that included lace, beads, and Bavarian traveling stitches. I guess if you make it secret, you don't scare people away until after they've cast-on and are committed. And Becky showed a knitted shawl/tablecloth that her mother bought at an antique store. The dealer said it was crocheted, but it is clearly knitted and so needed to go home with someone who could tell the difference. It looks as if it might even be linen! Hard to believe somebody had given it away. This is why you have to pass at least a little of the knitting skill down through your family -- so that somebody will understand and appreciate your accomplishments when you are gone.

Next month should be plenty of fun with the presentation of the bears and the holiday potluck. Show and tell is bound to feature lots of holiday gifts ready to be wrapped!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Grey's Knitted Anatomy?

Sorry I didn't come across this sooner, as it would be perfect for Halloween. Better late than never. Follow this link to an anatomically-correct knitted skeleton by Ben Cuevas.

Thanks to Brenda Dayne of Cast-On podcast for mentioning this in episode 93 and providing the link in her show notes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Change of Plans

Alas, Karin Skacel will not be coming to Atlanta Knitting Guild this month. We hope to be able to reschedule her and the Artfelt workshops.

We have a great program planned for our meeting on Thursday evening, “Bearly…In Control”. We will have a fun knit-in to help get our bears dressed for presentation at the December meeting. Plus, you never know the surprises Diana & Marian may have in store for us!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekend with Sivia

We hope everyone had a lovely weekend meeting Sivia Harding and taking workshops with her. It should be no surprise if there is a lot of beaded lace turning up in show and tell over the next several months. We are so happy and thankful that Sivia could come teach. She is a delightful person as well as a very talented knitter and designer. Her understanding of how beads add sparks of light to knitting is inspiring. And I believe we all enjoyed looking at the many, many samples of different lace and different types of beads and their effects.

Many thanks to Kay, our VP of Workshops, for her unflinching hard work to make the weekend possible. Thank you to Marjorie for hosting the Saturday potluck dinner. And thank you to Diana for scheduling Sivia, a decision that was made back when Diana was VP of Workshops. Many thanks also to Linda, Whit, Eve, and Diana again for providing lunches and transportation for our superstar. Special thanks to Jane for taking Sivia on an Atlanta-area shop hop. Lastly, thank you to Elyse and Bill of Only Ewe and Cotton Too for providing beads and pattern support throughout the weekend.

At right is a picture of an Aquitaine beaded cuff, which was the Saturday morning workshop in which we learned four different ways to apply beads. Sivia did speak some about pre-stringing beads. She recommended sliding them down the yarn and parking them in smaller groups so that you don't have to pull your yarn through hundreds of beads. She says she does this by spreading out her yarn on the floor and moving the groups of beads. Obviously, her pet is properly trained. She also showed us how to use a very small crochet hook to add beads as you go. The beads that are added to the cast-on edge are a particularly delightful touch to this project. With all the varieties of yarn, beads, and color, it will be a lot of fun to see the differences and creativity in the final projects.

The Moonrise necklace was Saturday afternoon's workshop. This fabulous necklace was so popular that the workshop sold out well in advance.

Some artistic advice and reflections from Whit:
This was my first experience knitting with beads and it was so fun, I can see where this phase of Knitting could be addicting. It was much easier than I thought, and I can actually wear this first project someday.

Tips: Use strong, silk beading thread - not sewing thread. I found that the weight of some of the larger beads seemed to make the thread work out and show, sometimes, so I got the glue gun out to reinforce the beads. (Probably not Kosher, but it seemed to work and saved further sewing). The more beads that are used, the better to hide the base of Knitting, and one can almost not have too many beads on these necklaces as they look richer the more and varied there are. A variety of shapes give texture which is very needed. If one is using all blue and white, for instance, use a contrasting color in a small bead here and there. This will give the project a little Punch!
And some advice from Joyce:
I really enjoyed the class and have now some ability to apply the skills to jewelry in the future. Learning the process to make a curved necklace was valuable and my necklace is quite nice. However, the thread provided, while pretty and sparkly is scratchy and probably will be uncomfortable next to the skin. Sivia did say that any lace weight yarn with some silk would be a better choice for it is softer and more malleable.
Linda F. sent this beautiful picture of her Moon Flowers necklace. She writes, "I learned a lot about mixing beads with abandon, which is my favored style of knitting yarn too. I was so excited by the class, I went home and raided my bead stash to make another necklace and 2 bracelets."

We hope everyone in our guild enjoyed an equally inspirational weekend.

Friday, October 8, 2010

On the Origin of Yarn

I find that knitters appreciate the process of making yarn, whether or not they also make their own. Here in the South we have two autumn events related to the origin of yarn. These are especially good events for spinners and animal lovers.

Coming up in a couple weeks on 22-24 October is the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. This well-established annual event is at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher, North Carolina (near Asheville). The class workshop schedule includes knitting classes as well as spinning, dyeing, crocheting, and felting. The market includes plenty of hand-dyed yarns from independent dyers as well as equipment and roving for spinning. There are live animals on site, including angora rabbits, sheep, mohair goats, llamas, and alpacas. I've even known people to buy a fleece while it is still being worn by the animal!

The second event is a newer one, but nevertheless quite welcome in the neighborhood. The Georgia Alpaca Association is holding the Royal Alpaca Challenge on 6 & 7 November at the International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. (This is where the equestrian events were held during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.) If you've never been to an alpaca show, this is a great opportunity to meet these sweet animals in person. Alpacas come in two basic varieties (suri and huacaya) and a myriad of natural shades of white, black, grey, and a lovely full range of browns from cappuccino to caramel to chocolate. In addition to a market where you can buy alpaca products, there is also a knitters' lounge for fiber demonstrations and a silent auction. And, of course, if you are looking to get into the alpaca business, this is a place to show, buy, and breed animals.

Both of these events are opportunities to learn more about the materials we love and to support the regional breeders who raise our favorite animal fibers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What is it about food?

We've explored this topic some in previous posts here and here. The topic reappears in the knitting news.

Knotted Pumpkin Pie by Ed Bing Lee seems appropriate for early autumn.

These examples by Ed Bing Lee are knotted (more like macrame) than knitted, but still interesting and inspiring.

Or you could check out this book from Japan:

More amazing pictures from this book can be found on Fleegle's blog here.
Even more photographs of knitted, crocheted, and knotted food can be found here, including a crocheted lobster, fruits and vegetables, and many baked goods.

What is it that we so love about using yarn and craft skills to depict food we can't eat? It seems that in the late 20th/early 21st century United States we've developed quite a tradition of enticing depictions of food in photography, television, print, and even decorative arts. It seems that not only is there "food porn" but there is even a sub-genre of "food craft porn."

Of course, one of my all-time favorites is this witty concoction by Debbie New that turns the problem on its head:These are actual licorice laces knitted as if they were yarn. [See Elaine Rowley, editor Socks, Socks, Socks (Sioux Falls SD: XRX, Inc. 1999) p. 95.] Knitting you can eat, instead of food you can't eat.

Thank you to this quarter's TKGA newsletter and Linda F. for the links.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shop Hop Reminder

The annual shop hop begins tomorrow (Saturday 25 September) and runs through the weekend, the week, and next weekend ending on Sunday 3 October. As always, there are fabulous prizes donated by the participating shops. The drawings for those prizes are open to all shoppers, even those who don't make it to all ten shops. There is also a grand prize of $1000 in gift certificates (a $100 gift certificate to each of the ten shops) for one lucky yarn connoisseur who visits all ten shops. The shops are:

Cast-On Cottage and Needlepoint Garden (in a new location)
Knitch (in a new location since last year)
Main Street Yarns and Fibers
Needle Nook
Only Ewe and Cotton Too
Rare Purls Yarn Boutique and Knitterie (a new participant)
Strings and Strands
The Whole Nine Yarns (in a new location)
Yarn Garden

Remember you'll need to spend $1 to buy a passport (this covers the cost of printing) and then spend $10 in each shop in order to get your passport stamped. If you have your yellow 2009-2010 AKG Membership Directory, you can pack it in your car in case you need the phone numbers for the participating shops. (Remember the addresses are correct for seven of them, but outdated for Cast-on Cottage, Knitch, and The Whole Nine Yarns).

Happy hopping!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moving & More Moving

A reminder if you are planning to go shop hopping -- two long-time guild merchant friends have moved recently. In both cases, you will find easier and better parking. What is it with us knitters and the need for parking?!?

Cast On Cottage and Needlepoint Garden has moved a short distance from their previous home in downtown Roswell to a convenient space with better parking.

Their new address is
Coleman Village
860 Marietta Highway
Roswell, GA 30075
Phone number remains the same:

If you visit Woodstock, you'll find The Whole Nine Yarns has left the spot near the gazebo. The shop is now a minute south down Main Street and on the right if you are driving from the old location. Once again, the new location has more space and, especially, more parking.

Their new address is
8826 Main Street
Woodstock GA 30189
Phone number remains the same:

Best wishes to everyone in both shops and special wishes that the new locations may turn out to be even better than imagined.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Sock Blockers

Some of you may have seen Deborah's sock blockers at a recent meeting. These are surprisingly inexpensive and easy to make from wire coat hangers. In fact, Deborah says that the cheaper hangers actually work better! She also advises to be sure to use coated wire hangers. You don't want any nasty rust stains on your fabulous hand-knit socks. Follow this link.

The hook at the top makes it easy to hang socks up to dry or to position them around the premises for display and admiration. Remember, you're just saving other people the trouble of getting down on the floor for a better look.

Thank you to Linda F. for the information!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's in a name?

Color expert Margie Deeb returned for an encore presentation at our August meeting. During her presentation, there was a contest regarding the most unusual colorway name you've encountered. There were a number of excellent submissions including:
Zombie Barbecue by Lorna's Laces
Frog in a Blender -- a Knit Picks Bare that was hand dyed
Bruise, a roving by Pigeonroof Studios

But the winner was Ro, who recalled "The Crotch on Those Pants is Insane!" by Yarntini. It is gray. You can see it in the sold section of Yarntini's etsy store here. Yes, somebody bought it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We're gonna need bigger needles

Sometimes stunt knitting is about complexity. Sometimes it is about size, both very small or very large. In the case of Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma, who is knitting sort of updated bean bag chairs, the size is very large. I'm not sure what size those needles are. 50s? 100s? And we won't begin to take guesses about the yarn, which she sources from New Zealand. She has a strong interest in the origin of things, and also in the environment.

To see pictures of the finished urchin pouf chairs (garter stitch in naturally-dyed colors) and to read more about her work, follow this link. You can also see more of her work on her own website, especially in the "Projects" section.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crocheted Food?

Kate Jenkins
Smoked Haddock
Crocheted lambs wool, 2010
23.5 x 23.5 cm (9.3 x 9.3 ins)

Okay, you can't eat this crocheting, but some of it does resemble food. Or, at least, it makes you think about the origins of what we eat and how we present it. The artist is Kate Jenkins, the exhibit is "Come Dine with Kate," and the work is on display at the Rebecca Hossack gallery in London. Follow this link and click on the small icons to view larger images or on the arrow > key at the top of the right column to progress through all the work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

News From TNNA

Do you read Knitter's Review?

For me the answer is, yes, sometimes. This week's posting, by Clara Parkes, is about news from TNNA, The National NeedleArts Association, or rather from its semiannual trade show. That's the show that shop owners from all over the country attend to learn about new trends in the fiber world.

So what got my attention this time? Well, good news and ... uh, some news that the jury's still out on.

The good news: Karin Skacel of Skacel, who will be our guest here in November, showed a new yarn that supposedly guarantees matching socks. Now, I'm the queen of socks that mostly don't match in terms of color.

Before you laugh, let me remind you: it's easy to match up socks made of one color yarn. But not so easy with a yarn like Zauberball.  Like these:

Or the ones at the top of the page. Great socks, don't match.

And for me, no problem. It's the Lucy Neatby in me.  But .... it's tempting, mighty tempting, to think about having a matched set.

As for the not-so-great news, Novelty Yarns Are Back. Maybe. The industry is calling them Fashion Yarns because they know we all have stash bins full of eyelash yarn we don't know what to do with. But I'm open-minded. Bring it on .... what can YOU do with novelty ... er, fashion ... yarn?

Diana Baber

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Member Question

I'm going to occasionally use this forum to respond to member comments and questions, because I think it's a better place than the newsletter or the website.  It's a good way to share information on a more immediate basis that's not critical enough to send out in an email spam.  In fact, I'd love to have this be an interactive forum, so let me know if you have other things you'd like to know about.

Anyway, here's a question I got this week from a long-time member (used with her permission):

I have one comment about the newsletter. The columns go from one page to the next instead of continuing on the same page. It is very difficult to read & not miss anything. It should read like newspaper columns. Can this be changed? I hope so.

And here's the answer I sent to her: 

At this point, the newsletter  is a "work-in-progress." There are several things going on:

(1) Our VP for Communications and newsletter editor is Jane Higdon, She's doing a fabulous job and has become a very valued member of the executive team. We're very lucky to have someone so enthusiastic to handle what is essentially a difficult job for the following reasons:

(2) We previously did the newsletter in Publisher and published it as a PDF, which we were emailing as an attachment. Most people do not have the Publisher software and are not familiar with it.

(3) At the same time, we've experienced major problems with emailing the newsletter as an attachment--even a PDF--because of email limitations. Some people's spam filters pitch the emails back, our email programs won't send out more than 5-10 at a batch, we're seen as a "spammer" by email programs like Bellsouth and Verizon because we're mass-mailing with attachments, etc., etc.

(4) So we've ended up using a program called Constant Contact which can email a newsletter in large batches. (We email to about 350 members and affiliate organizations.) This part of the system has worked very well and we get few complaints about WHETHER it's been received. Constant Contact is a relatively inexpensive and relatively uncomplicated program to use and that seems to fit our all-volunteer, ever-changing workforce. It is also being used by a number of our affiliates and other organizations, so people are familiar with it.

(5) Where we do get complaints is in the format of the newsletter, which I'll be the first to admit is not ideal. It's a template that Constant Contact can handle and that's the best I can say for it. Some members say it's difficult to read because of the pagination, as opposed, for instance, to WORD and Publisher where you can use columns within a page and then move on to the next page and start over. There are also issues with which articles are forced to the top--not always the ones that you would print "above the fold" in a traditional format.

(6) I would love to see more people read it online at the website but many of our members don't use computers and/or email for various reasons. We still print a few "hard copies" and mail them and that's an expense and a hassle too.

(7) Actually I think it's easier to read online but many of our members want to print it out at home and that's where it gets a little hairy.

(8) Basically what I see is that we are living in a world that communicates online and we're still very much paper-oriented. Our members who want a paper newsletter mailed to them want just that and don't want to hear about email or online. Our members who live online are impatient with paper and don't want to deal with it. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Postage and printing costs keep going up as we keep trying to walk the tightwire between all our members. In the meantime, we have a whole generation coming along that won't have any idea what it means to "dial" a phone or to "hang up" either, but that's another whole issue.

Bottom line: we're working on it. Our focus this year is going to be improving communication (meaning getting timely and complete information to our members in several ways) and getting members involved and engaged.

Okay, who's next with a question? Send it to me at and I'll answer it one way or another--either personally or here.

Diana Baber

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Knitting in Public

Guild affiliate Rare Purls in Duluth is celebrating their first year of business. In addition to a sale they are hosting a party and a contest.

Rare Purls' anniversary party is on Friday 25 June. Rare Purls shares space in their century-old grand house with a first-class restaurant, so this is an opportunity for camaraderie as well as knitting fun and good food. The Knittery is a separate nice space adjacent to the shop and restaurant. You can just sit, unwind, and knit in public all you like.

The contest is to see who can be the most creative with a mystery skein. Winners will receive prizes that have been furnished by Cascade Yarns. To enter, purchase $25 of yarn during the anniversary sale and pull a skein out of the grab bag. The only rule is that this skein must be the primary yarn in your entry. Projects will be judged on the most creative use of the mystery skein. Entries must be brought to Rare Purls by July 14, 2010. A distinguished panel of judges (Chef Eric, Luke, and Kay) will review the entries and prizes will be awarded on Friday, July 16, 2010. The project entires will be posted on the Rare Purls website.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Visual Warmth

This one has been up for awhile, but it is worth sharing. This is a video using knitting to visualize the warm heat of natural gas. It was made for Natural Gas Belgium. You can also see a making of video here. I particularly love the knit-covered sneakers, children's playset, shower head, and tea kettle complete with knitted gas flames and steam.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Knit in Public

World Wide Knit in Public Day has been expanded to a full week. You can find more information at the official website here. This year's dates run from this Saturday the 12th through next Sunday the 20th, which is also Fathers' Day.

Several AKG affiliates will be hosting events. There is something for everyone!

Needle Nook will be knitting in public on Saturday the 12th from 11AM to 3PM at Artuzzi's. Meet at the shop and then the group will proceed to the restaurant. There will be shop specials for participants.

Only Ewe and Cotton Too will be knitting in public on Saturday the 12th from 10 AM - 5:30 PM. There will be tables and chairs on the porch, and of course there are several good restaurants close by the shop including an Irish pub. There will also be public knitting indoors for those who prefer to get out of the heat. And they now have Wi-fi!

Knitch will be knitting in public on Saturday the 12th beginning at noon at the Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. This is a lovely green setting in the heart of Atlanta. Good food and drink available.

The Whole Nine Yarns will be knitting in public on Saturday the 12th. Knitters can gather at Parkside (the park in front of the shop) or inside the air conditioned shop in Woodstock from 10 AM -4 PM. There will be specials all day!

Noble Knitters will be knitting in public on Saturday the 12th. They will be gathering around 11:30 at California Pizza Kitchen or around noon on the benches at Barnes & Noble at the Forum, 5141 Peachtree Parkway in Norcross, 30092.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June meeting

The Scarf-a-Palooza program turned out extremely well! Who knew there were so many interesting things to do with a scarf? Marian plans to put together a file of the free patterns.

Some of the highlights:
Jan S. showed off her design for a Contemporary Ascot Scarf. She also showed a hurdle stitch scarf and coordinating hat. Jan is the prophet of Hurdle Stitch, always glad to show off its excellent qualities!

Margaret H. showed off many scarves, including a couple unusual ones from Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr. Congratulations to Margaret for completing the Drifting Pleats Scarf, which is a very interesting knit! Margaret also showed a scarf with knit-as-you-go fringe, so that you don't have to cut strands and all on at the end.

Ro C. provided probably the most informative presentation of the evening. Ro showed a couple scarves that used intentional pooling to very good effect. She drew out several very nice poster-sized diagrams that explained how to tell if a skein will pool. And she talked about getting a skein to pool the way you want. We may see if Ro would be willing to teach a workshop on this technique. Her beautiful scarves made you want to try this technique right away! (To see her projects, follow this Ravelry link. She is RoInGa.)

Pam C. showed off a Cat Bordhi mobius scarf. Pam had even added an i-cord edging and grafted the beginning and end together for a truly seamless look. Pam was working on another mobius that used two skeins of yarn, one knit clockwise and one knit counterclockwise.

Linda F. had at least four cute shoulder wraps for summer. These are made by casting on about 30 or 40 stitches, and increasing at the end of every row so that the shape gets wide very quickly. Linda had even added some crocheted eyelash-yarn borders. These are very cute and quite appropriate to Atlanta weather.

Nancy B. had worked some patterns out of Knitted Scarves, Stoles, and Shawls by Nancy Wiseman. One of these started with a provisional cast-on in the center, and was then worked outward so that when worn, the leaves in the lace pattern are all falling down. The center area even had an interesting pattern of its own!

Lois M. hailed the benefits of the skinny scarf. She had a cute one made from Crystal Palace Squiggle. These could be as narrow as i-cord. They also can be used to make jewelry, and can be combined with beads or even a left-over earring.

Betty B. showed a scarf made from a Classic Elite ball band pattern. Sometimes it pays to look at those free with the yarn patterns!

Claire G. displayed several of her knitting in the car scarf patterns. She does these because afghans are too big for in the car, but she wants something that isn't too complicated so she doesn't lapse in her job as navigator. As with many of the other presentations, it is very interesting to see the same pattern worked in different yarns. Sometimes it almost looks like the projects are unrelated!

My camera battery died so I only got one shot of show and tell. Debra D. completed the Fallen Leaf Frilled Triangular Scarflette. Stunning! (Follow this Ravelry link to see more pictures.) Other projects included two beautiful striped blankets that Linda W. made as baby gifts for a friend who has suffered several miscarriages but is finally having good luck. And Elizabeth C. had a not-quite-finished double-knit baby blanket with cute animal motifs. (Ravelry link.) Truly an heirloom!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scarf-a-Palooza Preview

For those of you coming to tomorrow night's Guild meeting, I hope you're bringing your scarves to show off. Several members will stand up and talk briefly about their favorite scarf patterns and the personal modifications they've done. The rest of us will (hopefully) show off during Show and Tell time.

Personally, my very favorite scarf pattern is the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf by Karen Baumer. I've made what seems like dozens of these, though it's probably fewer than that. You can also find it on Ravelry. Either way, it's free and uses one skein of sock (fingering weight) yarn.

But the one above is one of Candace Eisner Strick's patterns for her Merging Colors yarns. It's called "Arioso," and unfortunately only comes as part of a kit. (But it's so worth it! The yarns are fabulous!)  The colors change as you knit--in this case they go from a burgundy-ish red to a deep royal blue at the other end. With a little luck I'll remember to bring it tomorrow night to show it off.

Anyway, I hope I've inspired some of you to bring a scarf or two to show off. Even if you can't, the program should inspire you to get out your holiday gift lists and your needles and yarn.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Some STITCHES pictures and more

A big thank you to Tiina Veko, who has posted her STITCHES South 2010 pictures on Flickr.

A sample:
Elizabeth greeting a visitor at the Trauma Bear Table.

The AKG booth.

Many people winding yarn.
The swifts and ball winders were much appreciated!

Once again, AKG had a noticeable presence. We had a booth again right near the front of the market, as well as a table to display the trauma bear project. The bears are donated each December to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. We added to the booth posters of both the centerpiece flowers from STITCHES South 2009 and the scarecrow from 2007. We gained 25l new members during the weekend -- welcome aboard! We asked for minor donations if people used the swifts and ball winders. The winders were very busy! We passed those donations ($150) along to the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. So we were able to support a worthy charity.

Outgoing president Linda Fetter welcomed visitors at the Thursday morning opening presentation. Presidential Nominee (now incoming president) Diana Baber greeted the crowd at the Friday fashion show and also assisted at the registration desk. Diana, Nancy Barke, Ellen Rosentoski and Donna Wickenden participated in the student fashion show on Saturday. AKG affiliates in the marketplace included Only Ewe and Cotton Too, The Whole Nine Yarns, Sassafras Creations, Purdy Thangz, Gale's Art, and Knit Witch. AKG members who taught classes included Rebecca Ewing and Jolie Elder. Many, many members took classes, participated in contests and the Ravelry chocolate fountain party, and won prizes. (Alas, where is a photo of Jan Stephens at the pajama party?)

A huge thank you to all the people who make STITCHES South possible. This includes the fine folks at XRX, Inc. who put on the whole show, publish Knitter's magazine, and published beautiful books. But this also includes the generous sponsors who make the party even more fun with their prizes. Thanks go out to Skacel, Cascade Yarns, Trendsetter Yarns, Universal Yarn, Mission Falls, Kolláge Yarns, and Prism. We hope all of you had as much fun as we did!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2010-2011 Executive Board

Many thanks to the ladies who have stepped up to serve on the 2010-2011 Atlanta Knitting Guild executive board. As pictured above from left to right they are: Secretary Ava Navin, Past President Linda Fetter, Treasurer Leslie Gassman, President Diana Baber, SVP Programs Marian Rose, VP Programs Eve Borkenhagen, Communications Jane Higdon, VP Workshops Melissa Brown, Membership Valerie Cross, Chair Emerita Whit Robbins. Not pictured: SVP Workshops Kay Mather.

Having a large knitting guild gives us knitters many special opportunities, but it also takes a lot of behind the scenes effort. We've added an extra section on this year's membership form, asking members to indicate at least two areas in which they would be willing to help out in the coming year. The best way you can show the board that you appreciate the effort they put into keeping all the tax and business stuff straight, paying the rent and expenses, getting speakers for programs, booking superstars for workshops, sending out the newsletter, and keeping good records of this is to volunteer to help with the little things. Come early and set up the room. Stay late and run the vacuum. Bring munchies. Write a blog post. Post a meeting reminder on our Ravelry group. Take a few pictures of show and tell. Knit something for charity. Set up and take down the balloons during STITCHES South. Or just give our new president your name and number and let her know that, if something comes up, you can step in and help.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life after Stitches South

Has everyone recuperated from Stitches South? Have you started working on any of your purchases, or you still just admiring them?

Don't forget the AKG meeting this Thursday. In addition to the election of officers, it will be Market Night with our local affiliates offering bargains galore. You might find the perfect yarn for that intriguing project in the book you bought at Stitches, or the perfect coordinating yarn to go with the new stash yarn you couldn't resist at Stitches, or the new yarn you need for the new technique you learned at Stitches.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Some Key STITCHES South 2010 links

These were mentioned last night at the AKG meeting, but here they are so you can find them. Be sure you are already logged on to Ravelry before clicking.

There is a generic, "I'll be at STITCHES South 2010."

There is also the Ravelry Party on Thursday night 8-10:30 in ballrooms 3 & 4. This is just after the Market Preview.

And there is the Pajama Party in the Renaissance Waverly lobby on Friday night after the Fashion Show and dinner. Contests for Wackiest Pajamas and Coolest Handmade Slippers.

To indicate that you are attending, click the large square "I am attending" button towards the upper right side of the screen. If you are already logged as attending, there will instead be a bright Ravelry rose-colored button that says "I am attending." You can also check your status by choosing "Groups & Events" from the "My Notebook" menu. Then choose the "event calendar" tab in the upper right. If you are signed up, they will appear in your personal event calendar list.

See you all there in just two more weeks! Rolling in alpaca glee!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April Meeting rescheduled to April 8

Just a reminder that the April meeting will be on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Easter falls at the beginning of April this year, so St. Patrick's is using our regular meeting space during Holy Week and can't rent it out to us on the 1st. We'll see everyone on April 8th! The program is titled "The Best Knitting Superstar Class I Ever Took!" We should get to hear some tricks and tips. And this may help you make last minute decisions about those STITCHES South classes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Needle Nook Ovarian Cancer Fundraiser

Needle Nook is holding their third annual sidewalk sale to help support Ovarian Cancer research. There will be tables set up outside with crafters and vendors selling their wares. You could find some great gifts for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, birthdays and anniversaries, and maybe something special for yourself. A portion of each sale will be donated to Ovarian Cycle. There will be a bake sale, and a raffle with a hand-knit shawl and a Knit Witch yarn bowl. Raffle tickets are on sale now.

See you there.

Saturday April 10, 2 - 6 pm

Sunday, January 31, 2010

(Non)Super Bowl Knit-In

AKG members looking for a Super Bowl-Free Zone have an option. Arlene Jacobson is hosting her annual Super Bowl Knit-In. There will definitely not be any Super Bowl coverage, but there will be lots of knitting and noshing. The fun starts at 2 pm and goes til it stops. The Knit-In is at Arlene's home near Needle Nook. Please RSVP at 404 633-1782 to help Arlene plan seats. Bring a dish and whatever you want to knit on.

Monday, January 18, 2010

STITCHES South Early Bird Deadline Extended

In getting ready for STITCHES West 2010, the folks at XRX forgot to put out a reminder for the January 11 deadline for Early Bird registration for STITCHES South 2010. To make up for the oversight, they have extended the deadline to Monday February 1, 2010, two weeks from today So if you haven't had a chance to register yet, there is still time to save on all the classes and events.

Click on STITCHES South for all the info.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January Meeting Cancelled!!!

Due to the likelihood of bad weather conditions tonight, the January meeting of the Atlanta Knitting Guild has been cancelled. The next meeting will be on Thursday February 4, 2010. "Knit to Fit will be the February program.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause.