Thursday, 22 November 2007

November meeting and AGM

Our new executive:
Convener - Merrin
Secretary - Cheyne
Treasurer - Rosemary

Workshops - David
P.R. - Rosemary
Hospitality - Yvonne
Library - Lesley
Blog - Lynne

Congratulations to all incoming executive and volunteers, thanks for taking on these roles. A big thank you to the outgoing treasurer [Merrin] and convener [Kate] - you both did a tremendous job in your respective roles, thank you.

After the official business was ended, a workshop on grafting [Kitchener stitch] for stocking stitch and garter stitch was held - thanks, Raelene, as usual you were helpful, thorough and easy to understand.

Show and Tell brought many beautiful items from knitted lace to a colourful no-pattern cardigan.

The raffle was won by Merrin, second prize by Cheyne.

The December meeting will be a Christmas party; everyone is asked to bring a small plate of food. Ainsworth Books will also be present for some retail therapy - please bring cash only as Ainsworth Books does not take debit/credit cards.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

October meeting

We had a visit from Jenny Dunn from Virginia Farm Wool Works - some retail therapy was involved! Jenny also gave us an inspirational talk on needle felting and dyeing.

Some lovely items were displayed in Show'n'Tell: David's "Henry VIII" is progressing well. Perhaps some photos at the next meeting! Lynne's lace wrap was much admired. The surprise jacket from the front of the last Guild newsletter was shown by Jo - very cute and so small!

The raffle of a gift voucher from The Wool Inn [Penrith] was won by Lois.

Members and guests are reminded that next month's workshop will be on grafting [Kitchener stitch]. Please bring two samples of stocking stitch [2in x 2in - 5cm x 5cm] and two samples of garter stitch to the workshop with you. Make sure all four samples are still on the needles [i.e. four needles - one for each sample]. You will also needs a wool sewing needle and some yarn.

Members are also reminded that next month is our annual general meeting - the position of treasurer is vacant; please consider putting yourself forward - it is not a time consuming task but some mathematical acumen and computer skills would be helpful!

Monday, 17 September 2007

September meeting and lace workshop

It was a long but fruitful day for those who attended Raelene's workshop on lace. Is that knitted lace or lace knitting? Is there a difference? Yes, but you had to be at the workshop to find out! We learnt a provisional cast on and a crocheted cast on. We then knitted several repeats of Feather and Fan before beginning the knitted-on border - a six row pattern that kept increasing and decreasing in stitch numbers - concentration was definitely required! A sample was blocked - it's amazing how big that handful of knitting becomes! And the best thing about traditional lace (apart from it's beauty) - little or no sewing!

The long-awaited scarf exchange took place - some beautiful, interesting and colourful scarves were swapped and admired.

Diane Schebli won the raffle: a $25 gift voucher from the Wool Inn - thanks Anita.

David's work in progress - Alice Starmore's fair isle pattern: Henry VIII - was much admired! Has he really only been knitting again for just over a year?

There has been a change to the calendar: the November meeting will have a workshop on grafting - both stocking stitch and garter stitch; thanks, Raelene, we are all looking forward to it so that we can join our lace pieces together! Members wishing to attend the workshop are asked to bring two small pieces of garter stitch and two small pieces of stocking stitch on the needles; please do not cast off! You will also need a wool needle and a length of the yarn that was used to knit the samples.

The October meeting will feature a talk on dry felting by Jenny Dunn and a display from Virginia Farm Woolworks.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

July meeting

Congratulations to Merrin on a well-run meeting in the absence of our leader, Kate, who was sick at home.

Members were reminded that the Begleys in Victoria are not accepting any more donations of jumpers for AIDS orphans; however, Denise, who represents Operation Christmas Child, is accepting the jumpers for inclusion in the shoe-boxes.

After the general business of the meeting, some members offered their favourite knitting tips. One, learnt from Liz Gemmell, is to weigh a finished article if you need to knit a second article and can't remember how much yarn you actually used. Of course, this only works if knitting in a similar yarn; one can't compare 8ply mohair with 8ply pure wool. An extension of this idea would be to weigh the first sleeve to determine if you have enough yarn to complete the second sleeve. Also, if knitting small items, like babies' jumpers, using odd balls, weigh the original garment to determine if you have enough yarn to complete another! You can mix and match odd balls of yarn to create the right weight! Digital kitchen scales are ideal for weighing yarn as they weigh as little as 1 gram.

Another tip: use corks from wine bottle (some non-alcoholic wines also use corks) as point protectors for your needles and to keep the knitting from sliding off the needles while travelling. One member has been using the same cork for over 30 years!

A workshop was held on the use of two circulars for knitting in the round. Each participant who didn't bring two circulars was given two to practice with - great preparation, Margaret. The technique, while relatively simple, was much easier to understand when practised rather than observed. Margaret also gave a demonstration and practical help to anyone wanting to try knitting in the round on one circular, also known as the magic loop method. Thank you, Margaret, for simple and clear instructions on both methods.

Many interesting items were shown during Show 'n' Tell, including a pair of knee high socks knitted on two needles that have been on the needles for over thirty years! No raffle was held due to unforeseen circumstances.

Our condolences to Merrin on the recent loss of her father.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

June meeting

We had a very inspirational talk from Wendy Townsend - the work she showed us inspired us and amazed us!

Wendy used to knit and crochet. She designed her own jumpers although she didn't always knit them - she had a team of knitters working for her (as many designers do). Here is a jumper she designed for one of her daughters. And this is what you do with those dozens of tension swatches you've made over the years.

Wendy has now turned to felting - this lovely summer blanket is made from felt.
Wendy's felt is made from roving, not knitted items which are then felted. After the afternoon tea break, Wendy gave a demonstration of felting - the blanket must have taken hundreds of hours because it is not a quick technique!

More of Wendy's work can be seen at this webpage.

Show and Tell revealed the usual array of style and items, including Diane's steeked fingerless gloves.

The raffle winner for this month was Janette Strong. Her prize was a voucher from The Wool Inn, Penrith.

Thanks to Susan for taking photos at this meeting.

Members reminders:
* if interested, please register for the camp (long weekend Sept/Oct)
* bring your favourite knitting hint/tool to the meeting next month to share with other members

Saturday, 19 May 2007

May meeting

This month, we had a visit from Evelyn and Rex from Reynolds Yarn (Austinmere).
There were lots of goodies to purchase - book, patterns and yarn, in synthetics, natural fibres and blends. Evelyn gave us some helpful hints on knitting ponchos - many members went away intending to look through their stash or use newly purchased yarn to make a poncho.

Judy's workshop gave further ideas for making ponchos and other garments from diagonal squares. Such a simple concept with some amazing possibilities.

The "one-skein challenge" was a great success. We had several entries ranging from bedsocks, gloves and scarves to ipod covers. Congratulations to Anne Davison for her winning entry - a Bundanoon cashmere scarf. Anne will be rewarded with a pair of Lantern Moon knitting needles of her choice kindly donated by The Wool Inn

During Show and Tell there was an audible gasp when Ruth showed this beautiful embroidered waistcoat.
Congratulations to Merrin on her award winning Aran jumper.

The raffle this month was won by Diane Schnebli.

Members reminders:
**Please complete the sheet regarding contact details and retutrn to Guild HQ.
**If interested, please register for the Camp to be held on the October long weekend at Kurri Kurri.

For more photos from this and other meetings/events, click here

Sunday, 22 April 2007

A quiet but productive meeting

This month's meeting was quiet with several members away at the TAFTA Fibre Forum in Orange. The planned workshop was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances and was substituted with a Q&A session.

We were pleased to welcome one visitor; Lois, we trust you enjoyed yourself and hope that we will see you at future meetings.

The raffle was won by Joanne, a fitting (if coincidental) thanks for putting all the tables and half the chairs out unaided before the meeting. Her prize was a gift voucher from The Wool Inn.

Many beautiful items were displayed during Show and Tell. Three ladies were or had been knitting for the Aids babies in Malawi. Janette had a whole pile of finished jumpers - they were so cute. The pattern has now been revised to include longer sleeves, and there are also patterns for a larger size and for an orphan's comfort doll. The links to these patterns and the story of the couple organising the project are now in the sidebar. Also, because it was requested by several members, the link to the online group, Knit4Charities, is also in the side bar.

Rosemary told us of a woman who spins her own yarn and sells it at the Blue Gum Markets, which are held at Springwood Public School on the 4th Saturday of every month. Rosemary also bought a handmade 'Knitting Nancy' (for French knitting) at the same markets.

Entries for the Scarf Exchange have now closed and participants will soon be notified about the knitting requirements of their recipient.

Congratulations to Merrin for running the meeting so well in Kate's absence.

Members are reminded that 19 May is the end of our one skein challenge, and that items will be "showed and told" at the next meeting.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Knitting at Windsor Library

Those who live in the Hawkesbury or surrounding areas and are free on Friday mornings are invited to join a group of knitters who will be knitting for Wrap With Love. The group will meet on the Friday 30 March, Friday 27 April, Friday 25 May, Friday 29 June and every Friday in July from 10:00am till noon. Morning tea will be provided.

Beginners are welcome so take the opportunity to come and learn a great new hobby. For more experienced knitters there will be the opportunity to knit for Wrap With Love. And, for those who don't knit but can sew, there will be opportunity to sew squares together to make the wraps.

BRING : 8 ply yarn & No. 8 needles (4mm); Some wool and needles available

for further information, see the Windsor library website

March meeting

The March meeting of the Blue Mountains Branch had a lot happening. Firstly, there was retail therapy with Anita from The Wool Inn, one of our local yarn stores. Bev, Anita's assistant, is wearing a capelet created from a kit available at the shop.

Anita brought many goodies to choose from, including some enormous 400g skeins (of Sirdar Yoyo) for our one skein challenge! The biggest challenge for many was choosing what to buy (or what not to buy).

The One Skein Challenge was launched with projects to be completed by the meeting on 19 May. The skein can be any size and any fibre, and the finished project can be as whimsical or practical as the knitter desires. The only stipulation is that it be knitted from one skein (or less); which, of course, means no colour work or stranded knitting.

Kate, our convener, reminded us that our preferences for the scarf swap must be completed and handed in at the next meeting, with finished projects due at the meeting on 15 September. Knitting angels are also needed in case someone has to drop out of the swap after it starts.

Our workshop this month, conducted by Raelene, was short row shaping. About twenty five people were taught how to shape their knitting, particularly good for sock knitting, adding shaping over curves or for shaping shoulders smoothly.

The lucky winner of this weeks raffle - a $25 gift voucher from the Wool Inn - was Judi; congratulations.

Our thanks to Mark for taking photos at this meeting.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Feral and Oddball Knitting Workshop

On Saturday, several members of our knitters' group met at Blaxland Community Centre
for a full-day workshop with Lynne Johnson.

Lynne's work is very colourful and highly textured.
Yet, by the end of the day, we realised that we could knit like that too!!
The basic shape for the day's workshop was a diamond and all the garments Lynne showed us were made without patterns. One of her secrets: lots of knitted samples (swatches, tension squares). And a time-saving tip: Lynne often leaves the ends of her work hanging out making a feature of them.
Lynne is writing a book so we can't publish photos of her finished works but here are some snippets to whet your appetite. The first photo shows three different projects: a vest in autumn tonings in the background, a red shawl in the foreground and an item in super garter stitch peeking in from the right. The second photo shows more of the item in super garter stitch, a technique which Lynne taught at the workshop.
Lynne has been invited back for another workshop in winter 2008 so book in early!

Thanks to Donna and her team for organising such a wonderful day.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Prize winners, glove orders, young blood, fabulous knitting and the very talented Inga Hunter!

This month's meeting had them all!

Firstly, congratulations to Janette who showed her entries to the Penrith Show - a (1st) prize winning afghan and cushion
and her adorable ladybug blanket which won an Honorable Mention at the same show.

And further congratulations - this time to Dianne Greenaway who has received orders for a large number of her fabulous fingerless gloves.

And speaking of prizes - congratulations to David who won this month's raffle prize: a $25 gift voucher from The Wool Inn, Penrith's only specialised yarn store. David also gets 10% discount because he is a member of the Guild, so it's a great prize. And, if he can wait that long, he doesn't even have to drive to Penrith - Anita from the Wool Inn will be at our meeting next month with lots of goodies with which to entice us!

Here is a picture of the lovely Vicki and her beautiful grand-daughter Saoirse, one of our youngest members.
This month Saoirse was knitting for the AIDS orphans in Africa. Saoirse's mum, Donna, is also a member of the Guild but she was too busy organising this weekend's workshop with Lynne Johnson to stop and have her photo taken! That's three generations in the same knitting group - does anyone else share this record?

Show and Tell is always interesting - and this month was no exception. From tiny baby garments to full jumpers and the most amazing lace shawl. Not to mention the lady who has sewed in 1600+ ends on her afghan made up of tiny patches of colour!

Our workshop for the day was a talk from Inga Hunter, a Blue Mountains artist who is very talented and has a wide variety art/craft skills. Inga is incredibly interesting to listen to yet down to earth and aware of what's happening in craft areas outside her own expertise. Several of our members have done workshops with Inga and quite a few more showed interest in upcoming workshops which are held at Inga's Katoomba studio. Inga will even conduct workshops for one person - what a wonderful woman.

Inga's speciality is bead embroidery but she also does workshops in drawing, collage, lino printing and journalling in altered books. Inga can be contacted on

Monday, 1 January 2007

Calendar 2007

Workshop: Raelene's Cardigan - Sleeves
Theme Day: I Need Inspiration, Ideas, Advice

Workshop: Inga Hunter Beading Demonstration

Workshop: Short Row Shaping – Raelene
Retail: Display from Wool Inn
• Anita will bring yarn for One Skein Challenge

Workshop: Diagonal Squares - Judy Stringer

19 MAY
Retail: Display from Evelyn & Rex Reynolds Yarn
Workshop: Evelyn will share a knitting tip
Theme Day: One Skein Showcase

Inspirational Talk with Wendy Townsend

Workshop: Knitting on two circulars
Theme Day: My Most Helpful Knitting Hint

Retail: Display from Belissa Cashmere
Workshop: Continental Knitting - Vicki Hughes

Workshop: All day Lace Workshop
(10:00 am start; break for meeting; continue with workshop)
Workshop: Frogging - Judy Stringer

Retail: Display from Virginia Farm
Workshop: Jenny Dunn will discuss Needle felting
Scarf Exchange Display

Annual General Meeting
Workshop: grafting [Kitchener stitch] - Raelene

Christmas Party
Retail: Display from Ainsworth's Books

Theme Days: These days give us the chance to focus on a topic, to share our ideas and knowledge about the topic and to show any completed or 'in progress' work related to the topic.