Nov Meeting Recap

Hello knitters!  Here is the recap of the Nov meeting.  We had quite a few new guests join us…so welcome!

Show & Tell: This is always my favorite part of every meeting.  Check out all of the projects!

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Program:  Toy Knitting

Tricks & Tips of knitting toys:  Knitted toys (often called “softies” on Ravelry) have many benefits.  First, their super fun, fast and you don’t have to worry about what size to make.  Also, it’s a great way to use up your stash yarns and small bits of yarn, felt and fiber…of course then you’ll start saving everything for future projects.  Here are 10 tricks and trips:

  1. Fabric-if you plan to stuff the toy, make a dense fabric by going down 2-3 needle sizes (some patterns already do this, so just check as you knit)
  2. Fiber -any fiber can be used, but pay attention if you would like it to be ‘washable’ and make sure that the stuffing is also ‘washable’.
  3. Stuff along the way…if they toy is knit in the round, try to stuff as you go…especially if you have a neck or small opening.  I use knitting needles, chop sticks, pencils or other items to help push the stuffing in.  Make sure you “over-stuff” as much as you can.  As soon as you seam it up, you will wish you had stuffed it more.  The stuffing seams to compact quickly.  I’ve even used the leftover yarn to stuff it.
  4. Weights – if you can all sorts of items to act as a weight.  I’ve used rice, dried beans, bells, rattles and crinkly paper to get different effects.  Make sure you double ziploc bag the rice/beans or I have also used pantyhose.
  5. It’s all in the eyes!  Different eyes can make the same animal appear compeltely different.  Safety Eyes have been improved dramatically over the past few years!  Check these out…there are all different shapes, colors and some that move and are realistic with an iris even!  You can’t pull these out!  If you are still worried, you can always embroider them with satin stitch or french knots.  I’ve also cut them out of felt and whipped stitched them on.
  6. Features – have some fun with your animals.  Add facial features, polka dots, hair, clothes, ears, tails and friends.  I like to knit a mini-animal as their tag-along friend. Here is a tutorial for embroidering faces.
  7. Finishing – yes, there are often lots of colors and attaching of arms, legs and other things…but the good news is you don’t have to weave in ends.  Just tie a knot and make sure the ends are tucked into the animal.
  8. Belly Tricks – often you will see an animal that has a fun, striped belly full of colors.  I’ve always shied away from these patterns because I don’t want to take the time to do intarsia or other colorwork techniques on a toy.  But, you can knit the striped patch and just sew it on over the plain knitting.  Check it out here!
  9. Needlefelting – put those skills and extra fiber to work!  It’s super easy to lay fabric over the knitting and needlefelt it in place..or create the design on felt and then attach it.  Easy way to add fun stripes & color without a lot of work.
  10. Just knit one…give it a kid and watch them smile!  It’s totally worth the few hours that they typically take to make.  Join us in knitting a toy for charity…bring it to the December meeting and they will be given out to kids in need.

Here are some great video tips:

Stuffing tips/techniques

Picking up stitches for legs, tails, etc

Seaming – Ladder Stitch

Fringe for hair

There are tons of videos.  Just search for “knitting twisted stitches” and you will find Continental-style videos as well.

Holiday Knitting – easy ideas:

We toured ravelry for a bunch of trendy, easy ideas for holiday knitting.  We have started a Gift Knitting thread on our Ravelry group page.  Please post patterns that you are knitting for someone, ask for tips, post ideas and share the joy of knitting for our friends & loved ones!  I can’t wait to see what others are knitting…since I need to get started ASAP!

Announcements:

  • Winter Woolfest 2014!  Mark your calendars for Saturday, Jan 11th.  Check out all the details here.  *We might put together a caravan!
  • Charity Knitting: We are knitting toys to donate to children this holiday season.  Dive into your stash and knit up a quick stuffed animal or toy.  Bring them to our December meeting for a group photo.  Email us if you can’t make it to the meeting & we can make arrangements to pick it up!
  • Fiber Exchange:  We are having a fiber exchange at our December meeting!  Details will be emailed out this weekend.  Basically, bring a skein of fiber, wrapped to the meeting.  We will draw numbers and select a package to unwrap!  Yippee!  This is open to anyone who would like to participate.

The Dec Guild meeting on Tuesday Dec 10th!  This is our annual “catch up on your holiday knitting” time, so come and enjoy food & friends while you finish up (or start – in my case) all of those holiday gifts!  We will have a potluck, so bring your favorite holiday food item if you have time.

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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