Monday, December 5, 2011

December meeting wrap-up

Our December meeting is a festive affair. As usual, we had the presentation of the bears to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. This year we had an impressive total of over 300 bears. Thank you to everyone for their great work! We also had a young girl scout donate about 100 bears to be dressed for next year.

Guild members always bring plenty of good food to the potluck, and this year was no exception. During the short business meeting, we found out that the workshops in the coming year are already filled up! Way to go!

And, of course, there's always show and tell. This month there were two members with blankets. That's a lot of work!

Happy holiday season and holiday knitting!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Now the Dog Can Laugh

I'm sure we've all seen pictures of dog sweaters. Some are very stylish. Some make you understand why temperaments change. But I don't think many of us have seen penguin sweaters. Apparently, oil-slicked penguins get cold, and sweaters can protect them until they can have a proper de-greasing bath.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The hero brandishes her knitting needles . . .

Yet another cute video, this one shot through a microscope lens.
The heroine uses her knitting skills to save the day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yarn budget in film school?

Here's a link to The Little Red Plane, a short stop-action film. Be sure to pay attention to the knitting, both in the figures and in the backgrounds.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Obsessive-Compulsive Knitting

Sometimes, we just can't stop, as in this amusing animated short film.
If you are knitting en plein air, do be sure to stay clear of the cliffs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Just a remind that Alpaca Yarn USA School of Fiber in Alpharetta is having a yarn tasting of Cascade Yarns from 6-8 on Friday 18 November. This is a great chance to knit a little, socialize, and discover a new favorite yarn without the expense of buying whole skeins.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

STITCHES South 2012

Can you believe it is already time again to choose classes for STITCHES South? Mark your datebooks, pdas, iToys, etcetera for 19-22 April 2012.

The brochure listing all those great classes and events is available online today as a pdf download. Registration will open on the 22nd. Remember, some classes fill up quickly, so be ready to register early to get your favorite choices!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November meeting recap

Our November program on "Taking the Knots Out of Knitters" was a little different from our usual meetings. For one thing, we did quite a bit of standing up and moving around. Our guests, Michael and Miriam Holland from Mei Zhong Yang Style Taijiquan Association, U.S.A. demonstrated some basics exercises from the fields of Tai Chi and QiGong. We learned a little about how to keep our hands and bodies happy while we knit, knit, knit away on those holiday gifts.

There are always lots of beautiful finished objects at show and tell. Here are just a few:

Fabulous color!

Beautiful shawl!

Completed cardigan!
Thank you to Margie for the pictures.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Scarves for Special Olympics

Jennifer Daniell, Program Services & Grant Manager with Georgia Special Olympics has asked for AKG to help with the knitted scarves given to each athlete at the Indoor Winter Games which will be held Jan 20-22 in Cobb County.  They are looking for 2,400 scarves by January 10, 2012.   The size of the scarf is  6" by 4-5' long in cherry red and soft navy and the pattern is your choice.  Visit the website -, then click for sample colors, under "States" pick Georgia and it gives you all the details.  The website will also list where to mail (for out of town knitters) or where you can drop off your scarves in the metro Atlanta area.  The shops where you can drop off your completed scarf are: Needle Nook, Cast-On Cottage and The Whole Nine Yarns.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Knitting with Maggie

Local shop Cast-On Cottage has superstar Maggie Jackson coming the first weekend in December. You may be familiar with her innovative book, Maggie's Ireland. There will be a fashion show on Friday evening and workshops on Saturday and Sunday.
From their newsletter:

Friday, 2 December
Refreshments 6:00 PM
Fashion Show 6:45 PM
Tickets: $10
Please join us for an informal Fashion Show presented by Maggie. There will be approximately 40 designs for your review. Refreshments will be provided starting at 6:00 pm followed by the Fashion Show at 6:45 pm. Space is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Saturday, 3 December
10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Cost: $125 includes lunch and materials fee (enough materials for a project)
By the end of this class, Maggie hopes the piece you make will NOT go towards a scarf but to one of the other design options she will show including a table-runner, a pillow, a purse, a shawl a wall hanging, etc. Maggie will have you thinking 'outside of the box' by making holes in your work, cutting yarn in the middle of a row, just to retie leaving knots to the front of the work, joining her re-known tubes and working a Ladder Stitch. She will also show some finishing techniques for the project. Maggie will offer her advice on what she has learned from being a Fashion Designer doing Ready-to-Wear for 25 years, selling to well-known high end department stores and having a staff of 45 knitters. Samples of these stitches will be shown on garments to stretch your creative thinking.
 Bring Needles size 7 or 8 US, preferably wooden, bamboo or plastic to work with the linen and other yarns and scissors.

Sunday, 4 December
10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Cost: $125 includes lunch and materials fee (enough materials for a project)
This class is a combination of various small squares which can be put together after class to make a scarf or put towards a larger project. We will make knitted and fabric bows on a square, a ruffle stitch square with a tube and 2 colored picot tube, knotting yarns to make a loopy stitch, to name a few. Samples of these stitches will be shown on garments to stretch your creative thinking. Bring Needles size 7 or 8 US, preferably wooden, bamboo or plastic to work with the linen and other yarn and scissors.

NOTE: Save $25 if you attend both the Saturday and Sunday classes. Total cost to attend both sessions will be $225. Call us today at (770) 998-3483 to reserve your space!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fight Second Sock Syndrome

One of the most common maladies amongst intermediate knitters is Second Sock Syndrome. You've graduated from scarves and hats and moved into the exciting world of sock knitting. The yarns are amazing -- so many independent hand dyers make magnificent sock yarns. And the range of patterns and books is tantalizing. And the projects are portable! And functional! And you can even knit socks for men! What's not to love?

Well, there is this one teensy little problem. You typically need to make a pair of socks. That would be two. Of the same thing. Matching.

If you suffer from Second Sock Syndrome, take heart. Our guild workshop on 11 February 2012 is on making Socks Two at a Time. The instructor is master knitter Pam Cornutt. (You'll remember Pam made the beautiful pooling lace jacket.) Pam is a delightful, high-energy instructor. You'll come out of this class being able to make both socks at the same time so that they match and so that you finish them together at the same time. No more orphaned/widowed socks! Cost is $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members. You can contact our workshops chair to register.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Un-stressful Knitting

Tomorrow evening is our November meeting. Now that were are enjoying cool autumn weather, this should be a great opportunity to wear those old and dear knits from previous cool seasons.

Here's the description for the program:
De-Stress for the Holidays and make these last few weeks of knitting leading up to holiday gifting less painful and more productive with our soothing and enlightening program "Taking the Knots out of Knitters." Tai Chi and QiGong exercises will help you keep your hands and wrists limber and pain-free and your stress levels in check during the hectic run-up to the holidays. This will be a stand-up and move program as we learn simple exercises and techniques to ease the pain. Be sure to wear comfy clothing that allows freedom of movement.

See ya'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Extreme Knitting: 1000 Strands

This is an older YouTube post, but still interesting. Rachel John knits with 1000 strands simultaneously. It's good we have someone out there checking the theoretical and practical limits for us!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Knitting & Cats

And for those of you with real, live, yarn-ball-chasing cats, you could also knit your own mice. In this case, the knitted mice help homeless pets.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Knitting & Cats

For those of you who have already partaken of the opportunity to knit your own dog or knit your own royal wedding, you can now knit your own cat.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the group shot at the end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cheer for Children Ball

Our friends at The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, which receives the trauma bears each December, is having a fundraiser this autumn. The Cheer for Children Ball will be on Saturday 11 November 2011 from 7:30 to 11:30 PM in the grand atrium at 200 Peachtree. In addition to the other activities at the ball, a highlight will be the raffle of a 2-year lease on a Mercedes-Benz 2012 GLK350 from Atlanta Classic Cars. You do not need to be present to win this beautiful car. The Greater Atlanta Chapter of the American Culinary Federation will be providing the food, so this promises to be a feast.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Continuous Learning

Kathleen is doing a really amazing job scheduling workshops for our group! As always, you can e-mail if you have any questions.

Domino Knitting
taught by Jean Kammerer
Saturday, 5 November 2011 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church, 1978 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338
$10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members

Domino Knitting, also called Modular Squares, is a technique that can expand the possibilities for color combinations and fascinating patterns. It is a great technique for "take-along" projects using one color yarn at a time on short needles. You will learn basic squares and how to join them into one-of-a-kind designs. The possibilities are very exciting and limited only by your imagination!

Jean Kammerer is our instructor for this class. Jean is a longtime guild member who is a Master Teacher. She has taught numerous workshops for the guild as well as several knitting courses at the Emory University Evening at Emory Program.

Do notice that the location for this workshop is different from our usual meeting location.

Gauge and You
taught by Susan Nease
Saturday, 12 November 2011 from 1:00 p.m - 3:00 p.m.
at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 4755 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Fee: $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members

Students will learn and understand how their choice of yarn and their choice of needles affects the fabric they knit. This mini-workshop is designed for Advanced Beginners and Intermediate-Level knitters: You have knit more than scarves, maybe a few hats, a summer sweater, or some socks, and are branching out into experimenting with yarns and patterns.   Example: you see the different types of needles on the market, but which one should you buy? Or, the yarn calls for one size needle, but you look at the yarn and think, "Really?? Are they serious?"

You will begin to understand how the needle you choose affects the fabric you knit. How does cotton yarn look when knit with metal needles? Wooden ones? What about wool or a wool-blend? These are the questions we hope you will begin to answer in this class. You are also welcome to bring some yarn that calls for a needle size you have to wonder "Really? They want that size of needle? What will it look like?" Students will learn that there is no right and wrong when it comes to gauge.

Susan Nease, a long time AKG member is our instructor for this class. Susan is a Master Knitter and the owner of Nease's Needlework who has taught numerous knitting classes over the years. You will definitely enjoy this class and Susan's teaching style. She will enlighten you while you move up to a whole new level!

taught by Charles Gandy
Saturday, 28 January 2012 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
at SEFAA Center, Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance, 1705 Commerce Drive NW, Atlanta GA
Fee: $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members

Here is a chance to learn numerous ways to enhance your knitted creations through applied embellishments. We will learn a wide range of accompaniments from frilly ruffles to bobbles to twists and ripples, I-Cords, special finger cords and even beading. We will explore, through a hands-on sampler, how these techniques can make your projects unique and knitted with personality!

Our instructor is Master Knitter Charles D. Gandy. Charles who lives in north Georgia began his knitting career at a very early age. Charles' mother, a knit-wear designer and shop owner, taught him to knit at the young age of four. He designed his first sweater three years later and continues to create today. Charles is a two-time winner in the recent Knitters Magazine: "Think Outside the Sox" contest and is the author of The Embellished Sock: Knitted Art for the Foot.

And a preview of coming attractions:
Metal Shawl Pin
taught by Judy Parody
sometime in March 2012
time & place to be determined
Fee: $35 for guild members, $45 for non-guild members

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Dates to Save

Cast-On Cottage and Needlepoint Garden has several exciting events coming up this autumn.
From their newsletter:

Pick a Noni Bag, Any Noni Bag
5 & 6 November
Nora Bellows (Noni) will be here for a 2-day workshop. We have been ordering the patterns, sparkles, beaded yarn and handles to get ready and working through the details to provide the best class experience that we can for you. The Noni Booth at Market was stunning with the beautiful bags and accessories that she had on display - we will have them here soon in advance of the workshop.

Workshop and Fashion Show with Maggi Jackson of MaggiKnits
2 - 4 December
We will have the fantastic Maggi Jackson of MaggiKnits.  There will be a Fashion Show on Friday Night and a workshop on Saturday and Sunday.

Knitbot Trunk Show
Begins 9 December
Also known to you as Hannah Fettig, the designer of the Featherweight Cardigan, Wispy, Breezy and many more, sends her trunk show to us.

Be sure to check their website or ask when you visit the shop to learn more details.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Loving Yarn

The Craft Yarn Council continues to encourage yarn consumption. (Not that any of us would require assistance.) To this end, they are promoting "I Love Yarn Day!"on Saturday 15 October. As suggested by their website, some of the things you might do that day include:
  • Create an I Love Yarn Day badge
  • Teach someone to knit or crochet
  • Do something for charity
  • Wear a knitted or crocheted item
  • Give a gift of yarn
  • Take your yarn to work day
  • Host a yarn-a-bration party
  • Knit, crochet and craft in public
Have a happy day enjoying the very stuff of our craft!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend with Gwen

We hope everyone had a great weekend taking classes with superstar Gwen Bortner! One of the comments over the weekend is that Gwen has the best handouts. I can't think of anyone to challenge her.

For many of us, the highlight was Saturday, when we got to learn advanced entrelac from the Entrelac Queen herself! We learned how to start with a provisional cast-on, and then work entrelac seamlessly in both directions. When we got to the flap, we learned how to work entrelac back and forth and how to shape. Clever!
A slightly larger than most card case, but you get the idea.
Don't forget, there will be an after-Gwen knit in at the SEFAA Center on Saturday 29 October from 1-4 PM. This will be a great chance for us to share and show off our new skills. There is a limit to how many seats are available, so please e-mail if you are interested in attending. There is no charge for members, but non-members will be charged $2 at the door.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Knit. Learn. Travel.

For those of you who would like to see the important places in the world (i.e. the ones with sheep, yarn, & knitting traditions), here is a lovely way to do so.

Jean Moss Knitters' Tours for 2012 are posted at

Lakes & York  13-24 May 2012
This includes tours of various estates and gardens, lectures and workshops with Jean Moss, shopping in various wool shops and farms, visits to fiber-related museums and galleries and mills (including Rowan), lovely accommodations and delicious food. View the amazing itinerary here.

Knit Ireland!    23 September - 5 October 2012
As you might expect, this does include opportunities to learn Aran knitting! There is sightseeing of many kinds including the land (Inishmoor) the culture (Dublin) or the art (Book of Kells). Shopping includes a visit to the Kerry Woollen Mills. And plenty of opportunities to partake of the local cuisine and brews. View this exciting itinerary here.

Jean also has a blog and at ­

Monday, September 19, 2011

Busy Weekend Ahead

Sometimes it seems that everything is happening at once. I'd say that you have no reason to be bored, but ya'all are knitters, so you aren't ever bored anyway!

Atlanta-area Shop Hop
The 2011 Shop Hop began last weekend and runs through this week and weekend. Remember, if you visit all nine shops in the hop, your passport card will be in the drawing for the $900.00 grand prize! Even if you don't have time to visit everyone, there are still plenty of other awesome side prizes to win. And it is always good to know the locations of the yarn shops, as you never know when you will be in a strange neighborhood and suffer a yarn emergency. More information here.

Atlanta Knitting Guild is a member guild of The Knitting Guild Association. These are the fine people who publish Cast On magazine and offer various correspondence courses, including Master Knitter certification. We are fortunate that this year's fall show is in driving distance over in Greensboro, NC. Like STITCHES South, this is an opportunity to take classes from nationally-known teachers and to shop, shop, shop! TKGA also partners with Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). If you want to learn more about crochet, this show has a lot of classes that will help you knock out an afghan in no time (with crochet, not knitting). More information here.

SEFAA Open House
Lastly, Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance will open their new home this weekend! Hurray! The new space will be available for meetings and classes. AKG has been very much involved with growing SEFAA from an idea (that didn't yet have a name) to an organization that now has a place on the map at 1705 Commerce Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. The open house is from 1-3 PM. If you attend, bringing a snack to share is much appreciated, if you can. This is a great opportunity to network with other fiber fanatics, and an especially fine opportunity if you are looking to learn about fiber arts outside the world of knitting. More information here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gauge and You

Notice that "gauge" is not a four-letter word. And while it is possible to just grab your needles and yarn and dive right in, it is also possible that the knitting gremlins will dive right in as well. Gauge is sort of the knitter's version of the Law of Gravity. You can pretend it doesn't apply to you, but you can't escape it.

To help deal with the fickle gauge monster, AKG is sponsoring a new Mini-Workshop, "Gauge and You" on 12 November. It will be taught by Susan Nease, for advanced beginners and intermediate knitters. It is designed for those who have knit more than scarves, maybe a few hats, a summer sweater, or some socks, and are branching out into experimenting with yarns and patterns. Students will learn and understand how their choice of yarn and their choice of needles affects the fabric they knit. There will be a limit of six participants in this hands-on workshop.

And a quick note here: Thank you to VP of Workshops Kathleen who has already organized an impressive slate of mini-workshops this year! Thank you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Did You Hear a Bang?

This e-mail just came from Needle Nook. The important part is that yes, they are open and doing business during their regular hours. And don't park underneath the transformers, if you can help it.


Our Phone Is Out Of Order
Our phone has been out since Friday afternoon when a transformer exploded and fell on two cars at the back of our shopping center. We don't know when it will be back on but rest assured we are open our regular hours and here to serve you.

I have my Nook with me and you can contact my by email at the address below. Leave a phone number and we can call you back on our cell phone. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Contact Us
phone: (404) 325-0068

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Learning from Others

One of the benefits of guild membership -- in any guild -- is the opportunity to learn from others who share your hobby passion. In a guild the size of AKG, there is a whole lot of knowledge just there for the asking at every meeting. Thus, it is a delight to post that our founder, Whit Robbins, will be offering a Tips and Tricks mini-workshop on Sunday 11 September at her home. The list of conventions Whit has attended or classes she has taken would over-fill this humble blog space. I took a version of this workshop from Whit some years ago when I first joined the guild. This is a great opportunity to learn from someone who has been knitting passionately and continuously for a lifetime.

Tips and Tricks for Knitters will help new knitters and those who just need a refresher, save time and avoid costly mistakes. Whit will guide you through several easy ways to make your knitting less work and more fun! Basic skills will be reviewed including increasing, decreasing, slip stitches, yarn-overs, correcting mistakes, gauge, blocking, joining yarns, and so much more!

Whit is a Master Knitter and Master Teacher who has shared her expertise with us for many years. You will leave this class with much knowledge and so much more confidence!

E-mail Kathleen at to reserve your spot!!

Date: Sunday 11 September 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
Place: Home of Whit Robbins
2498 Echo Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30345
Fee: $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jump in the Pool

We've been having a lot of fun this summer with intentional pooling. Pooling or flashing can be a touchy subject amongst knitters. Some people love the interesting almost tie-dye effects, others will go to great lengths with stitch patterns and gauge swatches to avoid pooling. Some pooling produces gorgeous stripes or even faux argyles, while other patterns produce the notorious "clown barf" effect. With so many hand-painted self-striping yarns available, it helps to understand whether and when a yarn will pool, and how to make that work to the best effect in your project.

AKG is sponsoring Mini-Workshops coming up this Saturday 27 August on intentional Pooling. We are delighted to have the class taught by Eve Borkenhagen. Eve is a member of our AKG Board and will unravel the mystery of pooling. Pooling is a technique using careful and deliberate planning to create a vertical stripe effect in a hand knitted garment using colorway yarn. It is especially beautiful in lace patterns and can create a work of art in certain garments.

In the Pooling Mini-Workshop, students will learn how to map out the yarn, match the colors correctly and make adjustments to keep it all in place.

Email Kathleen Pickens at to reserve your spot!

1) Beginning to Intermediate knitting skills.
2) Check out Gladys We who has free patterns on Ravelry and on her blog at Gladys has posted beautiful free patterns using the intentional pooling technique.

Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Time: morning class from 10:00 am - 11:30 am
or afternoon class from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Place: St. Patrick's Episcopal Church
4755 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Fee: $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members

Remember that results of the pooling knit-along will be featured at our September meeting!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Industry Standards

The Craft Yarn Council helps to establish and maintain industry standards for knitting and crocheting in the United States. For example, they have worked to establish a numerical system for identifying yarn weight and encouraging manufacturers and pattern publishers to use that standard system. They've updated their web pages recently. In particular, in addition to standard abbreviations you'll also find standard chart symbols, information on how to read patterns, how to take body measurements, and definitions for skill level. This is a good resource that you may want to bookmark.

Follow this link.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Treasure Trove

The internet continues to be an amazing resource for knitters around the world. We can look up a pattern on Ravelry, find information on yarn when we've lost the ball band, and download a new lace chart instantly. There are plenty of videos, blogs, and other helpful sites when we get stuck on a technique. And there are even reference libraries!

Winchester School of Art has made .pdf files available of various nineteenth and early-twentieth century knitting publications from the collection of Richard Rutt, author of A History of Hand Knitting. Apparently, Montse Stanley's knitting collections are also housed nearby, making the University of Southampton a prime location for conducting knitting scholarship. If you have a few moments, indulge your curiosity by following this link to more than five dozen free downloads of old time pattern books.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Upcoming Mini Workshops

One of the main purposes of our guild is educational. To that end, we have a couple upcoming workshops to expand your knitting skills.

Shadow Knitting
Saturday 17 September 1-4 PM
Shadow Knitting is a technique that alternates rows of light and dark yarn transforming into a color pattern. The effect can be stunning. In the Shadow Knitting Mini-Workshop, students will make a beautiful evening bag with simple knit and purl stitches while learning the basics of this magic technique.

Jean Kammerer is the instructor for this class. Jean is a longtime guild member who is a Master Teacher. She has taught numerous workshops for the guild as well as several knitting courses at the Emory University Evening at Emory Program.

Cost for the mini-workshop is $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members.

Beginning Entrelac
Saturday 13 August 1-4 PM or
Saturday 24 September 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM.
If you are taking Gwen Bortner's "Entrelac: Beyond the Basics" workshop on 8 October, you need to be fluent in basic entrelac knitting. If you are feeling a little rusty, this workshop is your opportunity to warm up.

Students will learn the basic entrelac shapes by knitting a small stockinette square in the yarn of your choice using the appropriate size needles for that yarn. You will have an opportunity to learn how to knit backwards. We will discuss alternate approaches for the shapes and adaptations such as incorporating stitch patterns and joining in the round.

We are delighted to have the August 13 class taught by Master Teacher Linda Fetter. Linda is a very special person to the guild and has been a member of AKG since its inception. She is an exceptional teacher and has taught numerous workshops for the guild and classes at local yarn shops.

The cost for the beginning entrelac mini-workshop is $10 for guild members, $15 for non-guild members.

You can download registration forms and get more information on the workshop portion of the AKG website.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July Show & Tell

As always, plenty of knitted goodness at the July meeting. Not as common, quite a bit of felted goodness as well. We certainly had a lot of fun playing with ArtFelt.

If you are working on the intentional pooling knit-along, here's a little project to inspire. The "argyle" pattern forms by almost stacking -- being off by just a stitch or two, so that the colors overlap but slowly migrate.

There were several lace shawls. This is Lynn showing off her first lace! There's a reason classic patterns like feather and fan are classics. Not too hard to work, and the results are nearly always lovely.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Crochet and Knitting Art

You've seen some of these before, but this time there's a lace piano, too.
Follow this link to Woman's Day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

October Superstar

Of course, one of the great advantages of being in the guild is being able to take workshops with nationally-known knitting superstars at a budget-friendly price. Gwen Bortner, author of Entrée to Entrelac, will be at Atlanta Knitting Guild the first weekend of October. In addition to speaking at our Thursday 6 October meeting, Gwen will be teaching workshops all weekend. Here's the lineup:

Friday morning, 7 October 9 AM – noon
Start with the Finish in Mind
Many times what happens at the end is greatly influenced by what happened at the start. In the case of knitting, this is particularly true. Decisions we make starting with the cast on selection and on through the knitting of the project greatly influence the look of the final project. Start by learning the pros and cons of decisions we make in the knitting of a garment. Next, gain hands- on experience developing skills we typically associate with “finishing.” Finally, get answers on fixing problems “after it is too late.”

Friday, afternoon 1 – 4 PM
Sneaky Shaping with Short Rows
Knitted fabric has some wonderfully unique properties when it comes to garment creation. One of the best is the ability to create a three-dimensional fabric through the use of short rows. Short rows can be used in a variety of ways including sock heels, shoulder shaping, bust darts and even interesting stripes. Learn the basics of short rowing, practice techniques for minimizing any holes and explore the many options that short rows offer.

Saturday all day, 8 October 9 AM – 4 PM
Entrelac: Beyond the Basics
If you understand the basics of entrelac, have completed a project or two, and are ready to see what more the technique can offer, then this is the class for you. Learn alternative methods for starting entrelac including one that is completely invisible. Gain insights on creating a variety of shapes and forms with entrelac fabric. Explore the differences between entrelac worked flat and seamless entrelac. All the while, you’ll gain hands-on experience and create a small envelope style bag.

Sunday, 9 October 1 – 4 PM
Help and Tricks for the Intermediate Knitter
So you have some knitting under your belt and you have arrived at that nebulous level of intermediate. How do you move on from intermediate to advanced? Do you have questions but have never quite found the right class to ask them? Are you sure the advanced knitters know something you don’t? If so, this is the class for you. We will provide a variety of helps to help you take your knitting to the next level and along the way provide some tricks that you may not have thought of yet.

Friday and Sunday workshops are $30 each for members, or $35 each for non-members. The all day Saturday workshop is $60 for members and $70 for non-members. Remember, slots are filled on a first come basis, so be sure to sign up right away if you see something you want!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Back to School, Part 3

Just a few days after Sally Melville is in town, The Whole Nine Yarns will be hosting Gwen Bortner! Gwen will be teaching several classes that are different from the ones she is teaching for us in October.

Saturday 17 September all day is Entrelac Mix and Match. This is a chance to try out designing with entrelac using fabric types other than stockinette or garter. Gwen does have a few examples in Entrée to Entrelac. Class will include a discussion of what adjustments you'll need to make, and the challenges with using certain stitch types.

Sunday morning 18 September is Knitting in Both Directions. This is the class for learning how to knit back backwards -- back and forth, without turning your work. This method can improve your speed, and it can also make certain patterns easier to work.

Sunday afternoon's class is Introduction to Sweater Design. If you've ever seen a stitch pattern you wanted to use on a sweater, but just weren't quite sure how to do it, here's your chance to try. You'll learn basic pattern drafting, measuring, how to use the swatch, and the basic rules of shaping. You'll leave class with a basic pattern!

The Saturday class is $120, and the two Sunday classes are $65 each. More information and compete descriptions can be found at The Whole Nine Yarns blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Back to School, Part 2

Local shop Knitch is bringing superstar Sally Melville to teach on Wednesday and Thursday, 14 & 15 September.

Wednesday morning is Emergency Measures, a workshop about what to do when something goes really, really wrong! This covers not just fit issues, but also color choices, edgings that don't wear well, laundry disasters, even running out of yarn.

Wednesday afternoon's workshop is First Choices, Basic Shapes, which shows you how to make good choices before you being, and covers some basic pattern drafting so you can alter patterns to look marvelous on you.

Thursday's workshop is all day covering the topic Making the Most of Your Yarn Collection. This class covers some design issues, such as how to combine colors, different yarns, or even which stitch patterns to use with which weights of yarn. But this class will also cover how to arrange and use your stash. And it will show you how to use a few skeins to knit something wonderful that doesn't look like oddball knitting. The Wednesday classes are $65 each and the Thursday class is $120.

Find more information including complete workshop descriptions at Knitch.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Back to School, Part 1

It may seem a little early to be talking about school, but there are a lots of learning opportunities coming up in the next few months. The posts over this holiday weekend will fill you in.

First up: the local spinning guild, The Peachtree Handspinners, is having a weekend retreat on 5-7 August at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens. Plying the Arts will feature classes from 20 different teachers over three days. The cost for most sessions is $35 or $45, and you can have lunch provided to you on Saturday or Sunday for $6 each day. Classes cover spinning, but also knitting, weaving, dyeing, kumihimo, and needle felting. This is a beautiful venue and a wonderful range of classes and a market! The downside? Registration closes on Tuesday 5 July. See the brochure and register online by going to

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ArtFelt Fun

If you've just downloaded your annual renewal and membership form, you'll notice there is a questionnaire. One of the questions is regarding how often you take mini-workshops and what kinds you would like.

Workshop project made by an AKG member.

Our June mini-workshop was with superstar Karin Skacel. And the workshop wasn't about knitting, but rather was about playing with fiber and getting instant gratification. For those of you who get caught in the holiday gift-making maelstrom, may I suggest you scribble the word "ArtFelt" into the margin of your December day planner page?

Karin brought lots of inventive and beautiful samples. This lovely shawl in browns incorporates commercial ribbon yarn! So you can even use some of your stash in you ArtFelt projects. You can add all sorts of interesting things to your project. Karin had little snippets of yarn that we added to create a speckled lining to our projects. If you have sparkly threads, or even beads or sequins on threads, you could add those to your project to add bling.

Some of the samples Karin brought used fiber in strips to create open spaces -- very modern and deconstructionist! You can be very free and inventive in the shapes and designs you make with ArtFelt. This technique is very much like drawing or painting with fiber. If you layer some of the colors, you can get effects that resemble marble or abstract painting.

Karin did share some important pointers:
  • Keep your fingers away from the felting needles! Sharp! For delicate work, use one needle to hold fibers in place while you stab with the other needle.
  • Use a straight edge to turn over frizzy edges and needle them tidy.
  • Be sure to overlap all the fibers. They felt better that way.
  • Fibers shrink more in length than width. In the striped scarf (below, left), the ruffle formed because the long stripes shrank more than the sideways ruffle.
  • Corollary: Be sure to layer background fibers in both directions so that your project will felt evenly to the desired shape.
In the picture at left, Karin shows us how a properly felted project does have some strength. A finished felted project should hold up over time.

There will be some leftover beginner's kits available for $10 at the July meeting. These would be great to tuck away in your craft closet for those last-minute gifts. Each kit will make a small project, such as a sleeve for an MP3 player or cell phone, as did in the workshop. But you could also make a pocket for circular knitting needles, a tall sleeve for straight or double-pointed needles, or a fold-over for tapestry needles. For non-knitting gifts, you could make a dice bag, a fingernail file sleeve, a pocket-pack for tissues, sunglasses case, photo case (for those who still carry printed photographs), or business card case.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June Show & Tell

My apologies that as your intrepid blogger, I'm a little behind schedule. (There was a vacation involved.) I did want to share some of the photographs from our June meeting, which featured Karin Skacel.
First up, Debra with the Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl in madelinetosh tosh merino light. Debra worked a few extra rows of the repeat to make a larger and lacier shawl. The result is a lace shawl with its own glow.

Diana (on left) is the knitter. Vicki is modeling. This was Lion brand with stainless steel. The cowl/wimple has its own structure, yet is still delicate and romantic. I am thinking this could be a stunning alternative to a bridal veil, especially for a later-in-life second wedding.

Gay Lynn brought her Christmas box. There were many things in it, including several socks from the Skacel 20 years of Trekking knit-along. Gay Lynn reminded us that it is better to have a box of ready knitted gifts just waiting. I've chosen to post the picture of the blanket because we have an intentional pooling knit along this summer, and I think it is nice to take inspiration from someone else's pooling project.

Lois retired last year, which has been just great for those of us who like seeing freshly-knitted lace. I believe she said this latest work had 1700 beads in it.

Karin Skacel brought all sorts of excellent goodies to show off. I thought this yarn, Blick Fang from Zitron, was rather interesting. It is merino with just a hint of nylon, and spun with a lumpy-bumpy texture. The saturated color contributes to the "wow" factor.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Party at the Silos

Elyse and Bill have been wonderful members of Atlanta Knitting Guild for several years. They are nearly always at meetings, bringing us new temptations each month. And Elyse has even served on some committees.

Many of you know that their store, Only Ewe and Cotton Too, has moved to a new location, The Silos Marketplace, 12315 Crabapple Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004. Tomorrow is the Grand Opening celebration! This means a party with refreshments, door prizes, and knitting and crocheting with friends. The new shop has more space and great lighting, which translates to more yarn and good spots for classes. So if you have time tomorrow the 18th, do drop in and congratulate Elyse and Bill on six years in business and a snazzy new location!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Knitters & Women's History

Here's an interesting post about knitters, women's history, and the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Friday, June 10, 2011

World Wide Knit in Public Week

As promised at the beginning of the week, here are some of the local yarn shops that are offering events for World Wide Knit in Public Week. Enjoy these many opportunities!

Inside the Perimeter, Needle Nook is hosting their usual shindig from 11AM - 2PM at Artuzzi's Restaurant. Drinks are provided, and you are welcome to order lunch. There will be door prizes and discounts!

Up north in Alpharetta, Milton, & Crabapple, be sure to check out the new location of Only Ewe and Cotton Too at The Silos. This in the same shopping area as Alpine Bakery. There will be festivities, and probably opportunities to knit great yarn and eat tasty treats!

In East Cobb, Lovin' Knit already has a yarn bombed tree. This shop will also be hosting Knit in Public Day events.

If all else fails, you already know that SEFAA is planning a yarn bombing in Freedom Park near the Carter Center from noon to 3 PM. Or you can just knit in public somewhere and e-mail the evidence to this blog. Happy knitting!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

SEFAA Yarn Bombing

Because our membership year runs from May to May and World Wide Knit in Public Day falls in June, Atlanta Knitting Guild rarely does a coordinated Knit in Public Day. In addition to the many local shops offering festivities, there are a couple options.

The first is that AKG encourages our members to Knit in Public on Saturday 11 June. If you can, take a picture and send it here to We'd love to see where you were and hear about your experiences!

Secondly, our friends at Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance are hosting a yarn bombing in Freedom Park (near the Carter Center) from noon to 3 PM also on 11 June. The information:
Bring small pre-made creations in any fiber technique and/or work on-the-spot.  We'll combine, stir, and stitch together all contributions into a semi-permanent (one month) fiber art installation.  For your comfort, plan on bringing snacks and drinks and chairs/blankets to sit on, sunscreen and bug spray. The spot has shade but no air conditioning.

Meet on the multiuse path near the intersection of Highland Ave and Albion Ave. You can park at the Carter Center. If you come from the Connector and take the Freedom Parkway exit, keep right at the exit for Carter Center/Moreland Ave and exit left for the Center.
If you have any leftover acrylic yarn, this is a great opportunity to use a hardy fiber outdoors!

Come back to the blog on Friday to see a list of the shops participating this year in WWKIP Day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June Bear

Thank you to Debra who continues to invent new bear clothing designs each month. This one is a lot of fun -- mitered squares! Mitered squares are especially awesome in yarns with a color-change, as the color will pool up in a little square in the corner. You can get the same effect by changing yarns if you prefer to stash-bust. The modular technique allows you to knit a large project on short needles, because you are only working one little section at a time. If you hate counting to over 100, you may really like modular construction. And if you join modules as you knit, there is little weaving in of ends.  Modules can also be addictive, because you think, "I'll knit just one more, then I'll start dinner."  The next thing you know, you are watching the 11 o'clock news and dinner never did get done.

For the bear vest, Debra has you start at the middle of the back and work outward, joining as you go.  You'll need to sew just two tiny seams at the shoulders.  The lapel collar is created simply by folding back the corners of two miters.

A little technical tip on the miters.  Miters are formed by making a double decrease every right-side row in the center of your stitches.  Yes, the center!  You have two choices on how to deal with those three central stitches.  If you are working in garter stitch and want to maintain the horizontal ridges of purls, work the central three stitches as slip 1 knit-wise, knit the next 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over.  This will place the center stitch on the bottom of the stack, with the left stitch in the middle of the sandwich and the right stitch on top.

If, however, you would like to emphasize the miter with a rib of knits running diagonally across your work, work your decrease instead as slip 2 together knit-wise, knit the next stitch, pass the two slipped stitches over.  This is sometimes called a centered double decrease.  This decrease will put the left stitch on the bottom, the right stitch in the middle of the sandwich, and the center stitch on top.  If done in stockinette, you'll get a clear line of knits running across the work.  If done in garter or some other patterned stitch, in order to maintain the miter line you'll need to remember to purl that center stitch in the middle of knitting across on wrong-side rows.

A final note: the shape of mitered squares varies somewhat based on stitch pattern.  If you work in all stockinette, you'll get more of a diamond.  If you work in garter, as Debra has chosen, you'll get squares.  If you choose to play with stitch patterns, be sure to swatch to see what sort of quadrilateral you get.  Many people like this technique in garter ridge stitch, which is two rows stockinette (knit right side, purl wrong side) alternated with two rows garter stitch (knit right side, knit wrong side).  The courses of garter ridges emphasize the unusual construction.  And some people enjoy working in two colors, alternating out and back in one color, then out and back in the other, just carrying the unused color up the side of the work.

Whatever you do, enjoy experimenting with this fun technique!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crochet Gone Wild

While we may be a knitting guild, that doesn't mean we aren't supportive of other forms of fiber art. Follow this link to see crochet gone wild -- all over the interior of the artist's apartment.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Artistic Felt

You may recall that our November 2010 program with Karin Skacel had to be postponed.  Well, Karin will be here for our June meeting, so the wait is almost over.

Karin will share information about Skacel and Addi history, then give a presentation on the companies which Skacel represents, along with photos of their facilities, employees, etc., and how Skacel works with them. Also, she will tell us how a new product (whether it be yarns or needles) is created from start to finish (the designing of a yarn, color selections, etc.), ending with the creation of Artfelt.
We will also have several mini-workshop opportunities to play with Artfelt and become comfortable with how to use it on Friday and Saturday, 3 & 4 June. The finished project is a phone/camera case or an eyeglass case. The photograph above is two Artfelt kits for making handbags. If you are a spinner, then you are really in a conundrum. To felt or to spin?

There are some advantages to felting. It is definitely fast -- even faster than crochet. And it is easier to design across the whole project. If you like color work, Artfelt gives you a lot of freedom with where and how you place color. You can also layer colors, creating a background but also laying lines and shapes on top of it. If you have studied the traditional arts of drawing and painting, this method of making decorative fabric should suit your skills.

For more inspiration, you can follow the Artfelt blog here or look at some samples on Flickr here.

Finally, there will be a potluck dinner with Karin on Friday 3 June from 6 - 9 PM at the home of Margie Steiner, who is also graciously hosting all the workshops. If you are interested in attending the potluck or one of the workshops, contact

Friday, May 20, 2011

SEFAA Fiber Garage Sale

Since AKG is a member of Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance, I thought it would be good to remind everyone that tomorrow (21 May) is the first annual Fiber Garage Sale.  It will be 12-4 pm at the North DeKalb Cultural Center (Rooms 2 and 4).  Here's some of what SEFAA president Suzi Gough has to say:
Look for yarn (of course!), fabric, tools and equipment, books, ethnic textiles, finished art work and more. There will also be refreshments for sale, fellow fiber folk to hang out with, and drawings to enter. We have a weaver, a spinner, and a basketmaker, several knitters, some ethnic textile folk, a retired millinery designer and textile artist who is clearing out her studio and….. Lots of different things, all very interesting!
This is not only a good opportunity for stash enhancement, but it is also a chance to meet fiber artists outside the sphere of knitting.  If you have been interested in other textile arts, here is a chance to tickle your curiosity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

AKG and STITCHES overlap

I just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow will be a great day for visiting our local shops. Don't forget that you can meet Habu Textiles founder Takako Ueki at Knitch, or meet Malabrigo Yarns owner Tobias Feder at either The Whole Nine Yarns or Needle Nook.

When you are in the marketplace this weekend at STITCHES, be sure to show some love for these AKG affiliates:
Eat.Sleep.Knit in booths 429 and 528.
Fiber Charmer in booth 618.
Gale's Art in booth 233
Purdy Thangs in booth 326
Sassafras Creations in booth 124

And if you are taking classes, we have two of our own teaching.
Jolie A. Elder is teaching class #342-3 "More Than One Way to Skin a Sweater."
Rebecca Ewing is teaching class #117-3 "In Loving Color."
Both classes are Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 4:30 PM.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Malabrigo Merriment, Part 2

Tobias Feder, owner of Malabrigo Yarns, will be visiting Needle Nook on Wednesday 13 April from 4 - 7 PM. He will be bringing along a trunk show of luscious Malabrigo goodness! Time slots are available every 30 minutes, but you need to make a reservation in order to attend. The newest Malabrigo book will also be in stock and available for purchase and autograph. So if you can't sneak up to Woodstock during the day, you can head into town after work.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Knitted Art

A group called The Materialistics makes truly impressive fiber art. Here is a link to reproductions of art masterpieces. Many of these involve knitting, although some use other fiber arts.

Hokusai: The Great Wave
Made by Sylvia West, Susan Davies and Tim West
Techniques: appliqué, knitting, crochet, silk painting and woodwork.
Photo credit: Maureen Wilson

Thanks to the Bard for spotting this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Very Good Cause

Diana mentioned this in the most recent newsletter, but it bears having a link here, too. XRX is currently having a fundraiser to help Sue Nelson, who is a member of the XRX editorial department and someone many of you have probably met at STITCHES. Sue has been fighting ovarian cancer. She has exhausted the current treatment options, but has been accepted into a trial at Colorado University. Because the trial is experimental, insurance coverage is iffy. Plus, Sue will need to fly back and forth to Colorado, as well as sometimes stay there for extended periods of time.

To raise money to help Sue and her family pursue this course of treatment, XRX is raffling off The Great American Afghan. This is The Object Itself that was knit and photographed for the book. A chance costs $10. The winner will be drawn sometime after 6 PM on Friday 8 April 2011. Follow this link to learn more. Follow this link to go straight to the online store where you can buy a raffle ticket.

Thank you everyone for your compassion.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gangsta Knittas

"Yarn bombing" is part of a movement to humanize and beautify the urban environment. Follow this link to learn more.

Thank you to Linda F. for the link!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Malabrigo Merriment

Okay, so maybe Habu and Japanese patterns are interesting, but just not your particular thing. Maybe you'd rather roll in colorful wooliness south of the border? As an alternative activity on Wednesday 13 April, you could instead go to The Whole Nine Yarns to meet Tobias Feder, owner of Malabrigo Yarns. Tobias will be able to autograph books and he'll bring along a trunk show of lovely, sensual Malabrigo goodness. Many of you have been smitten with Rasta this winter, so here's your chance to thank Tobias personally for making yarns that look like Tiffany stained glass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Do You Habu?

At our February meeting, Rhoda showed off some finished garments and kindly explained how to read Habu Textile patterns. Habu is a Japanese company, so their elegant minimalist patterns are written in a schematic form. The nice part is, you don't have to read Japanese. But the schematic is a little different, so Rhoda walked us through the basics.

If you've caught the Habu bug and would like to try more, then you will want to clear your calendar on Wednesday 13 April. Habu Textiles founder Takako Ueki will be teaching workshops at Knitch. In addition to the workshops, students will also enjoy a private trunk show of Habu Textiles garments. This is a chance to try on the garments and experience for yourself the clean lines and unique textures. For more information, follow this link to Knitch's class & event listings, then scroll down.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy 35th

Congratulations to long-time Atlanta Knitting Guild member and affiliate Needle Nook. This weekend the shop celebrates 35 years in business! There will be door prizes, free giveaways, and a trunk show amidst the celebration this Saturday and Sunday. And we've also heard that Arlene is recovering very well and getting around like a real a pro now that she has new knees. So while you are out running around in this beautiful spring weather, drop in on the party at Needle Nook.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Bear Challenge

In January you had a chance to try knitting in the round. In February you got to try cables. For March, we have a pattern that involves short rows.

Short rows are a wonderfully useful technique in which only part of the fabric grows taller while another part does not. Short rows are most often encountered in sock heels, but you can also use them to shape sleeve caps or bust darts. In this month's pattern, short rows are used to shape the bottom of a pair of trousers. This is a great little knit for those permanently-seated bears. Jean has even incorporated a little hole so the bear's tail can peek out.

And a reminder, Jean could really use dressed bears for the table at STITCHES South in mid-April. If you have a bear and can dress it by the April meeting, or even just bring it to STITCHES, that would be very much appreciated! Jean and Debra are continuing to keep track of bear donations, so just be sure when you drop off you finished bear that your name is listed for the contest. As always, bear pattern can be downloaded from this page of the AKG website.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Combat Knitting

Here's a link to a wonderful Washington Post article about US service personnel knitting in Afghanistan.

(Link courtesy of both Woofgangpug and the Bard.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Craft Show Gathering

The American Craft Council is hosting a major show this weekend at the Galleria. Ya'all already know how to find the Galleria, because that's where STITCHES South is! The show will feature more than 200 craft artists in a wide variety of media, not just textiles. Admission is $13 per person or $20 for a 3-day pass. Friday night after 5 PM, admission is just $5.

But here's the cool deal. If you show up for the Friday night Stitch 'n' Bitch and bring your yarn and knitting needles, then admission is free after 5 PM! There will also be a group of us teaching the uninitiated how to knit. This is a chance to show our knitting pride! See you there!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Claudia Hand Paint Trunk Show

Atlanta Knitting Guild has a new affiliate: Eat Sleep Knit. Erin was at our meeting this month, and I'm sure everyone made her feel very welcome. Those of us in Cobb County know this as the "secret" shop with weird hours in the industrial park. Erin has primarily built this as an online business, hence the peculiar location. She has chosen to specialize in hand-dyed and hand-painted yarns. And if Eat Sleep Knit carries a particular yarn brand, she carries that yarn in a full range of weights and colors.

It is also nice that Eat Sleep Knit has joined at this particular moment. This Wednesday the 9th, Eat Sleep Knit will be hosting Claudia McLean of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns from noon until 2 PM. Claudia will be bringing a trunk show of multicolored knitted goodness. Now is also a good time to mention that there is a Shawl the Love contest sponsored by Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. Information on categories and prizes is available here.

Here are the directions:
Eat Sleep Knit
1600 Wilson Way SE Suite 9
Smyrna GA 30082
Take I-285 to Exit 15 and go north on South Cobb Drive.
Get over in the left lane immediately.
At the first light, turn left on to Highlands Parkway.
Staying in the right lane, drive about a mile.
Turn right on to Wilson Way SE. (This is after you pass the lake on the left.)
Drive to the "end" of the street -- it is a really weird loopy not-quite cul de sac. You can pause at the end of the road to get your bearings.
The 1600 building will be ahead of you and slightly to the right. (If straight ahead is twelve o'clock and directly to the right is three o'clock, this building is at about one o'clock.)
Suite numbers ascend left to right.
If you have a GPS device, the front door is N33° 50.006′ W084° 30.492′. (My Garmin was okay with the address until I got on to Wilson Way SE.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Campaign for Wool

HRH the Prince of Wales is a true friend to knitters and shepherds worldwide. The campaign was started at the beginning of 2010, and is international, extending beyond the United Kingdom to include industry associations in Australian, New Zealand, Norway, and even the International Wool Textile Organisation. The goal, of course, is to raise awareness of the versatility of wool.

The home page at reminds us that wool can be used not only for clothing and accessories, but in home furnishings and even building materials. So I guess the Yarn Harlot was right when she talked about using stash to insulate your home! If you download the presentations, you will discover wool has wonderful properties such as:
  • Green: Wool is produced naturally by allowing sheep to graze. This is a sustainable method of farming that has been practiced for hundreds of years. It is not only good for the sheep, but it is good for the land and the natural species that share habitat with the flock. Sheep are sheared annually and harmlessly. Wool products often have a greener manufacturing footprint than comparable synthetic products. When wool products do wear out and are discarded, wool will decompose safely in only a few years. And wool itself tends to lock up carbon dioxide which has been identified as a contributor to global climate change.
  • Durable: Wool can last hundreds of years. It can be bent thousands of times without damage to the structure. Quality wool goods -- whether clothes or home furnishings -- will wear better and last longer, making them a good investment. This is not only good for your budget but good for the planet, because you won't have to replace wool goods as often. And the small amount of oil in wool can help repel spills, as well as protect from dirt and grease damage, which means wool products will continue to look good while they last.
  • Safe: Wool tends not to burn, and will usually self-extinguish when removed from the flame. This is good in homes, but also good for people in dangerous lines of work who might be exposed to open flames. Synthetic fibers can melt on to the skin and cause injury beyond just the simple burn. Synthetics can also give off noxious or toxic fumes when they burn, but wool is much less dangerous when it burns. Wool carpets tend to be non-slip, so they can be a safer choice for someone with mobility challenges.
  • Breathable: Wool can absorb and release humidity. Wool in the home can help maintain a more consistent environment. Wool clothes keeps you warm or cool, as need be. And wool can absorb water without becoming cold or damp. In building materials, the insulating qualities of wool are consistent across a wide range of temperature and humidity.
  • Clean: The microscopic structure of wool causes it to trap dust in the home, which can be easily vacuumed away later. Because wool clothing will absorb moisture including perspiration, wool can reduce personal body odor.
  • Quiet: In the home, wool can reduce sounds and echos from room to room.
In addition to educating us all on the wonderful properties of wool in fashion, interiors, and building materials, The Campaign for Wool has also staged some out and out fun. Last October the Savile Row Field Day involved setting up a couple corrals of sheep on Savile Row in London to remind consumers of the advantages of wool garments. Wear your woolens with pride!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Periodic Table

A link to a Knitter's Periodic Table of Fibers.
How many are in your stash?
Gotta knit 'em all!

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Does Bronze Stay Warm?

Something about metal statues outside in the cold elements just doesn't sit right with fiberistas.

The crochet is by Olek, a Polish artist who lives in New York City. The sculpture, of course, is Arturo Di Modica's Charging Bull. More information at CNN.

Or follow this link to see more found fiber art in Lexington Kentucky. The sculpture installation in Thoroughbred Park is by Gwen Reardon. Someone has made sure the horses and jockeys don't catch a chill while they snatch victory.

And of course, you can always check out Waiting for the Interurban by Richard Beyer. The group sculpture in Seattle is rarely naked, regardless of the time of year. Just search in Flickr or Google images.

Raising the question, does our local Buckhead Triangle Park sculpture The Storyteller by Frank Fleming need some knitted love?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Filling Out That 2011 Dayplanner

Just a couple reminders:

1. Advanced registration for STITCHES South ends tomorrow, the 10th. That means prices go up. If you haven't registered yet, get thee over to the STITCHES South portal page. Registering online is very easy. Furthermore, there are extended descriptions of the classes and the homework is listed, so you can plan accordingly before you register for a class.

2. Lucy Neatby is coming to the Atlanta area! Lucy is booked through 2014, but she will be here at The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock on 6, 7, & 8 May. This is Mothers' Day weekend. In fact, a special Mothers' Day Tea is planned on Sunday. Classes are filling up very quickly. You can find the complete list here. You can also call the shop at 678-494-5242.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Bear

Once again this month we have a new pattern for teddy bear clothes. This month's pattern is for a cabled vest. If you haven't yet learned how to cable, you really must treat yourself. Cabling is so much easier than it looks, and non-knitters tend to think that a cabled garment means you are a very skilled and accomplished knitter. This is what we like -- a technique that provides a great finish without a lot of work.

Not only did Debra write this pattern and knit a sample, but she even includes graded sizes for 9-, 11-, and 13-inch bears! As always, the pattern will be available for download on the AKG website in the Trauma Bear Patterns page of Community Service section.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Craft a Guild

A local knitting guild is a wonderful resource, but what if you live someplace that doesn't yet have a guild? Nancy Smith Kilkenny has written an e-book and started a website that can help you start a guild or nurture an existing guild. The site is Nancy interviewed presidents and board members from a variety of craft guilds around the country, including Atlanta Knitting Guild, while she was writing her book. Her site has resources such as a newsletter, links, and a blog -- all to give you ideas about how to keep that guild active and interesting. Nancy's e-book, Craft a Guild is a solid how-to that will walk you through the basics of founding a guild. It contains some things you expect, such as a list of officers, sample by-laws, and a discussion of non-profit status. But her book also talks about some of the less obvious things, such as the need to cultivate good members or deal with change. And the list of ways to kill a guild should be required reading!

Monday, January 31, 2011


Guilds grow. At least, you hope that they do. Atlanta Knitting Guild certainly has. And with that growth has come the need to make a few behind-the-scenes structural changes. One of those has been becoming a full 501(c)(3) organization. Linda F. very kindly took the reigns of the project, and kept at it. Thanks to Linda, we can announce: The Internal Revenue Service has determined that the Atlanta Knitting Guild is a public charity exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501( c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, effective to March 9, 2010, the date of our incorporation in Georgia.

The remainder of this post are remarks from Diana, our president:

As usual, Linda is WAY too humble about the magnitude of her accomplishment. The AKG Board identified the twin needs for incorporation and identification as a nonprofit organization about a year ago, and Linda volunteered to manhandle what we thought was a relatively simple process. How naïve we were!

A year later, and after many, many letters and emails and conversations with the State of Georgia and the Internal Revenue Service, not to mention enough forms to paper the World Congress Center, Linda has achieved her mission. We really need to put her in charge of the war in Afghanistan. She'd either win it or bring Osama Bin Laden home in a knitted straitjacket.

Anyway, it's done! Linda is a true warrior and a wonderful process manager. She is tireless and determined and we really appreciate her--she's done what we've all talked about for years but haven't done. We just love Linda, can you tell?
So what do you do to recognize a major accomplishment? Well, if you're knitters, you give the honoree a piece of knitting jewelry, in this case a necklace by our own Nancy Thompson, former AKG president and designer/owner of Sassafras Creations. You'd have to look closely to know this but the necklace is made of knitting needles and a crochet hook, a 5, and a 0, and a 1, and a C (the hook), and a 3. Now does it make sense?

Thank you Linda!

Monday, January 24, 2011

11 in 2011

At the January meeting, Jean and Debra announced the "11 in 2011" Challenge. Jean is the driving force behind the trauma bears. Some of our members really get wrapped up in the bear project and let their creativity flow, while others are more uncertain. Jean and Debra thought it would be fun to make a contest out of it. Each month there will be a different project, featuring a different knitting skill. So if you have made a new year's resolution to up your mad knitting skillz, here's your chance to learn. These are all small projects that take up neither a lot of time nor a lot of yarn, and they benefit a very good cause.

The first project, a skirt knit in the round, is already posted on the AKG website. You can access it by following this link. This is in the public area of the website, so you don't even need to log in to download the .pdf. If you are already familiar with knitting in the round, then take this as an opportunity to challenge yourself to learn a new skill, like knitting with double-point needles, try a stranded section, knit it continental (if you're a "thrower"). Or try combo knitting, Eastern Uncrossed, or thumb purling. Jean and Debra certainly welcome any suggestions of new knitting skills you're hoping to acquire.

There is a contest as well. The details haven't yet been worked out, but if you donate dressed bears this year, please be sure that Jean can log your donation. There will probably be some sort of raffle or drawing at the December meeting.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Knitting in the Comics

There have been a number of knitting references in recent comics. Follow the links and laugh (or at least smile).

Rhymes with Orange on Winterizing (4 January 2011)
Rhymes with Orange on Sweater Patterns & New Knitters (30 December 2010)
Wondermark on Emergency Survival (#491 20 February 2009)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun with Skacel

We're happy to announce that Karin Skacel's visit has been rescheduled for June. So we only have to wait a few more months to get to play with Art Felt.

In the meantime, Skacel has other ways to keep us happy. There is a national knit-along contest celebrating 20 years of Trekking yarn. Each month there will be a new pattern and technique on the KnitPurlHunter website. The contest started on the 1st of January, and runs through the first six months of 2011. Each month features a specific color of Trekking yarn that can be purchased at specific participating local yarn shops. The prizes in this contest are really sweet. The grand prize is a trip to Seattle to visit the Skacel warehouse where the winner will get a $1000 shopping spree in yarn and needles of her choice. Five great prize winners will receive a year of Trekking -- i.e. a new skein sent each month for a year. It's a sort of yarn-of-the-month club that I think would be welcome by any sock knitter. Each month of the contest, there will be at least seven winners. One will win an addi Clicks needle set of her choice -- Turbo, lace, Natura, or crochet . Two will win a stuffed promo bag. And at least four people who have been to the websites will win other random goodies. For full details on the rules and prizes and yarn availability, follow this link.

The second contest is for us AKG members. Karin graciously sent us a generous supply of red Skacel shopping bags. Inside each bag is a skein of Simplicity yarn and a color card. Karin also included a letter with instructions. She is looking for more patterns for this yarn and would like AKG members to submit design ideas. She plans to gather at least five of them into a pattern book! So members, if you'd like to call yourself a published knitter, here is your chance. Karin lays out in her letter what she needs in terms of swatch, drawing, and other information. She needs it all mailed to her by the 4th of February. So as long as we are all snowed in for a couple days, here's your excuse to swatch a little with the new free yarn you just got at the meeting! This yarn is budget-friendly and washer friendly while still being soft and knitter-friendly.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Late Link

This video has been making its way around the Internet this holiday.

Notice it took about 400 knitters. And I love the comment that the yarn stores in Norwich ran out of green wool. The project goal is not just beauty and holiday spirit, but also a chance to raise money for a worthy cause -- a group home in Norwich, United Kingdom for people with disabilities.

(Thanks to Linda F. for the link!)