February Meeting Recap!

Hello knitters!  Here is the recap of the meeting last week for you to enjoy (hopefully snuggled up inside).  We missed a few of our regulars (darn flu bug) and welcomed a a guest to our meeting.

Show & Tell:  You all know that this is ALWAYS my favorite part of every meeting!  Pictures are not ready at this time, but we will post them with the March agenda next week.  Sorry!

Competition Knitting:  Last summer, CKKG was asked to help with the knitted entries for the Harvey County Fair.  Several members volunteered their time to help staff the event and came back very excited about submitting items at local fairs.  So, we asked Lois’, who has had the pleasure of judging knitting at local fairs if she could tell us what judges are looking for and some tips to help you win that blue ribbon.

Lois gave us quite a few tips and items that judges look for:

  • First of all NO KNOTS!  Judges are looking for ends that are woven in neatly and that also maintain the stretch-iness of the fabric.  The fabric shouldn’t “pull” or look any different in the areas where you have woven in your ends.
  • Perfection.  The knitted item(s) should have no mistakes.  Judges are looking for all of those minor mistakes that knitters are able to correct as they knit.  It is better to rip back and re-knit any areas.  For example if you add a stitch and realize it on the next row and k2tog to compensate…it usually can be found.
  • Seaming – needs to maintain the same qualities as the knitted fabric…should pull to tight or be too stiff or too loose and sloppy (same for buttonbands).
  • Gauge issues-needs to be consistent.  You shouldn’t be able to look at your stockinette fabric and see the difference between your knit and purl rows.
  • Cast On and Bind Off need to be the same width
  • Straight edges
  • Ribbing should be firm but loose
  • Pairs – items that are a pair need to be an exact match, for example both socks need to be the same size (and we all know that’s harder than it sounds)
  • Finally, pay attention to the yarn, color and pattern that you select.  All need to work together nicely.

For most fairs (except Sedgwick, we think), you don’t have to be a resident of that County to enter your knitted items.  Also, most fairs have a time period that the item has to have been knitted during (for example, you shouldn’t enter a sweater you knit 5 years ago…even if it is awesome).

2013 Fair handout  (if you hear updates or find Fair info for another county, please let us know)  We are working on Butler County and more details for all of them.  None of the Fair websites have the rules or details posted yet, so we will provide more info by the April meeting, but this handout at least gives you an idea.

We also have a thread on our Ravelry page that will host discussion as people work on projects, so if you have a question or are thinking about entering something, join us for a coversation here.  Thanks for the tips Lois!  Now let’s win some ribbons!  (Several members brought home ribbons from last year’s fairs!)

Program:  Mattress Stitch

After hearing from Lois about the importance of finishing, we thought a program on Mattress Stitch would be perfect.  Even though the technique is super easy, if done correctly it is virtually invisible (even if using a contrasting yarn) and really awesome to see your two pieces of knitting come together magically!  So much fun!

I kept re-doing my swatch, just to see it in action.

Check out this cool video tutorial, if you missed the meeting.  To practice along with the video, grab 2 stockinette swatches (they don’t have to match), yarn needle and a contrasting color of yarn…then wait to be amazed!  It is so fun pulling it all together!

*The trend in today’s knitting patterns seems (no pun intended) to be seamless patterns with as little finishing as possible.  But, seams can play an important role, especially in certain sweater styles and fibers.  Seams can give your garment structure and support.  So, pay attention to the pattern and fiber you are selecting before you decide to convert a typical sweater pattern to a seamless pattern (I do this a lot, but you need to make sure the pattern and yarn selection are appropriate).  Yarns that don’t have a lot of elasticity, such as bamboo, silk, etc can benefit tremendously from seams…and last a lot longer without sagging.  Just something to consider.

This technique also works great for afghans and large blankets, so that you are not knitting the entire blanket on your needles…more portable.  Hmm….that would be an easy and very portable project for using up scraps and stash yarn.  I’m off to Ravelry to hunt for patterns (I’m easily distracted).

Announcements:

  • The Midwest Weavers’ Conference is coming to Kansas in June!  Yes, this says weaving, but there are also vendors and knitting classes throughout the event.  This is a huge event that will take place at Emporia State University.  In fact, classes are already filling up!  Click here for details!  Maybe we can carpool there.  And, the Shepherd’s Mill is supplying this year’s yarn!  Woo Hoo!  This conference rarely comes to KS.
  • The CKKG Board met for our Annual Retreat on January 5th.  We reviewed the guild By-Laws, meetings, events and programs for 2013 and much more.  We will give an update, present the changes to the By-Laws for discussion and have a vote by our membership at the March meeting.  Please feel free to send us a quick email, telling us what you think/want to us at CentralKsKnittersGuild@gmail.com or on our Ravelry page.  You can also chat with one of the Board members individually if you prefer.
  • Charity Knitting: check out our Ravelry thread for organizations looking to help provide kitted items for the community.  We plan to update this throughout the year, so the holiday rush doesn’t creep on us!  If you know of any charity projects, please post them in the thread!!!

Thank you for the yummy snacks ladies!  You really out did yourselves!

See you next month for the March Guild meeting, Tuesday March 12th from 6-8pm  –  Harvey County Courthouse (Newton with carpools from North & South).

Happy knitting,

Kim

PS – Not sure what a Knitting Guild is about?  Grab a friend and come check us out!  Find us on Ravelry and Facebook as Central KS Knitters Guild.

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