March 2016 Newsletter
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Save the Date - The Toronto Knitters Frolic returns April 30 & May 1 at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Workshop registrations are open and filling up fast! Full details are available on the Frolic website.

LYS Classes and Charitable Events. As a reminder, a discussion thread has been set up under the Ravelry Toronto Knitters Guild group, for yarn stores to post classroom availability and charitable events that are being held. There may be an event posted of special interest to members. What a great way to learn of opportunities in and around the GTA!

YarnOver SleepOver Retreat. April 15-16, 2016 Orillia, Ontario. Choose from 13 different classes over two days from 8 teachers. You’ll find everything from brioche to basic crochet instruction, knitting a gaugeless hat in any yarn to cast-on and cast-off variations, needle felting and machine knitting, can’t-live-without-them tips and tricks for both rookie and seasoned knitters, plus mosaic knitting, dyeing your own yarn, and the inside story on fibres of all kinds. Full details available at 

Message from the President

I am a Knitter. There are people who knit, and there are knitters.  We are passionate about knitting, teaching, helping others, providing warmth and comfort like nobody else. We are knitters.

I am a Volunteer. I started volunteering when my twins were 5 months old.  I was the editor of the twin club newsletter, and when my kids entered kindergarten, I became the Attendance Check coordinator at the school.  I was the “craft owl” with my daughter in guides, and the “hockey mom” when my son was playing rep hockey.
My profession is interior design. I returned to school when my kids were in Grade 6, anticipating the time when they would not need me to be so involved in their lives. I would need another career to follow “MOM”.  In my last year of school I still managed to knit 6 Afghans! (I am a knitter). After graduation, with ARIDO (Interior Designers of Ontario), I found another way to volunteer.  I was the student/intern liaison with ARIDO, and organized 2 golf tournaments.  I discovered the Downtown Knit Collective via another Interior Designer at our AGM. 

Shortly after joining the guild, I looked for ways to become more involved. These were my people! People like me!  Knitters!

I take my role as President seriously, and still working on my mandate to make the guild more transparent, increase membership, increase accountability and document the running of the guild. More importantly, to maintain the history of our guild, and honor all the wonderful people who have been involved over the past 19 years. 

Thanks to Our Volunteers! 

Almost our entire current executive is new to post, and I have been very lucky to have some very talented people to work with.  Patrick has been a wonderful Communications Coordinator. He has managed our Ravelry page, given us a Facebook presence, and I believe he also Tweets!  He has constantly stepped up to help me whenever and wherever the need was. Patrick is the best kind of “work husband”. 

Bree’s first meeting was the Fashion Show last year, and she stepped right up to lead a Skill exchange at the March meeting. As Programme Coordinator she has been a breath of fresh air, and I have appreciated her calm spirit. Bree will be pursuing her own business challenges this year, and I wish her the best of luck.

I had to convince Vivian to take on the role of Webmaster last year. Her wealth of experience and knowledge has created a vibrant website, and thankfully she has agreed to continue managing our site next year.

Cindy stepped forward to take on the role of Local Yarn Store Coordinator at the end of last year. Since then, she has made an amazing contribution to increasing our relationship with Local Yarn Stores. I am not going to ask her about stash enhancement!  Cindy’s well-defined position is available for next year.

Roberta brought a proposal forward at the beginning of last year to take on the monthly Newsletter, and through the challenge of also being a new mom, has given us some thoughtful, colourful and insightful editions. Thank you Roberta (and Anastasia and Allison) for great work over the past year, and for remaining on board for next year. 

Our past President, Carole Adams, will increase her portfolio and take on the combined role as Treasurer for both Guild and Frolic. I look forward to a continued happy relationship with a wonderfully supportive person.

Joan Kass will be (gulp) reigning over the Frolic for one more year next year. Joan has managed this epic event since its inception. These will be some rather large shoes to fill! 

Thank you to Fiona Ellis for coming forward to coordinate our Frolic workshops for our spring Frolic. Fiona has been a tremendous asset to our Frolic. 

There is another invisible person to mention too…  Heather Brady (daughter of one of our members Marilyn Brady) gleefully produces the Frolic Mascot “Sheep”.  Y’all have no idea what happens on an ongoing basis to make this guild rock and roll.  Or maybe you do?

Get Involved!

I hope that you consider stepping forward in one of our vacant positions for next year.  We will be having elections in April in case of 2 or more people stepping forward to fill one position.  The positions up for grabs are:
  • Programme Coordinator
  • Secretary
  • Local Yarn Store Coordinator
  • Registrar 
These are 1 or 2 year commitments. We are attempting to overlap some terms to ensure that continuity is maintained. Next year we will be updating our constitution, and truly celebrating our 20th year.
If you are not sure, or wish to find out more, please give me a call. I am more than happy to answer any questions, and welcome your praise or critiques. Send me an e-mail, and I will give you my number. Also stay tuned to the website for full descriptions of the roles and information about the upcoming elections.
Knittingly  yours, 

Debra Rowland, TKG President

February Meeting in Review

The February meeting gave us the chance to break out some of our best knitting projects from the last year!

Vendor Table

Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs brought an amazing selection of yarns from three Irish Girls, Colinette, Crystal Palace, Manos Del Uruguay, Mirasol, and luscious Qiviut.  If you want more of this yarn, or want to see their complete product line, visit Bobbi Jo at her store on Eglinton Avenue near Oakwood, or you can order online through their website.

News and Announcements

Guild President Debra Rowland was our MC for the night, and she got the meeting started with a welcome to first time visitors. There was quite a few new faces attending as part of the February "Bring a Friend" promo. 

There were some great prizes in the raffle! Many thanks to member Suzie Larouche for donating the pattern book New England Knits, Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist, and a special thank you to Bobbi Jo Quigley of Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs, for her generous donation of a skein of Colinette Jitterbug nestled in a lovely Coffee Mug.  The Guild also donated skeins of Mirasol Miski Llama and British Wool Bluefaced Leicester.  Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

Main Event

The main fashion show was a great opportunity to see fantastic knits by our own! There were beautiful creations from the seemingly simple to impossibly complex!

A big thank you to all our creators/models for strutting your stuff:
  • L'Enveloppe knit by Christine Maggs, pattern by Sally Melville, yarn - Ístex Álafoss Lopi in Chartreuse Green Heather
  • L'Enveloppe knit by Sara Gibson, pattern by Sally Melville, yarn  - Punta Yarns Merisoft hp in Topazio 2014
  • Stitch Block Cowl knit by Susan Loube, pattern by Purl Soho, yarn - Dream in Color Calm (in Atomic Blue, Crying Dove, and Prince William)
  • Crystal Lattice Shawl knit and designed by Denise Powell, yarn - Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze – Peppino (pure merino) in Sapphires and Emerald
  • Sunflower Wrap knit by Pat Eldridge
  • Viking Hat knit by Christine Maggs, pattern by Becky Veverka
  • Viking Beard knit by Christine Maggs, pattern by Melissa Campbell
  • Crabby Hot Water Bottle knit and designed by Christine Maggs
  • Super Birthday (Knitting Olympics Sweater) knit by Christine Maggs, pattern by Jenifer Stark, yarn Cascade 128
  • Frost Flowers Pullover knit by Pat Eldridge, pattern by Venezia by Eunny Jang for Interweave Knits
  • Royal Persona Pullover knit and designed by Michelle Porter, yarn Yoke is handspun art yarn by Cindy Bennett of STUDIOLOO, colourway: Royal Persona, the body is Diamond Luxury BABY ALPACA ARAN, colour: 2214
  • Otis Sweater knit by Bree Zorel, Pattern: Brown Betty Sweater by Barbara Kopacek. Colourwork designed by Bree Zorel.
  • Stonecutter knit by Pat Concessi, pattern by Michele Wang, yarn Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester Aran
  • ZEN Mesh Dolman knit and designed by Michelle Porter, yarn Zen Yarn Garden, Serenity Chunky, Colour : Spring into VOG - B
  • Pixelated Roses Sweater Dress knit and designed by Pat Eldridge

March Meeting

Skills Exchange Mini Workshops
You’ll have the opportunity to learn a number of useful new techniques in three 20-minute sessions.

It will be a fun and social evening, with many valuable skills being shared by our volunteer teachers.

Please read below to see our instructors, techniques, and the materials you'll need to bring to participate! Please come prepared for three of the six sessions.

Navajo Plying for Knitters - Mary Pat 
A method to easily transform fine yarn into more like DK or worsted weight.
Bring: any yarn and needles to learn the method.

Adding Beads to your Knitting with a Crochet Hook - Pat
Bring: yarn with appropriate size needles beads with a large enough hole to fit two strands of yarn through a crochet hook that will fit through the hole of the bead pencil and paper to make notes

Adding a Picot Crochet Edge to a Knitting or Crochet Project - Kim
Bring: a 4 x 4 knitted stockinette or crochet swatch if possible. (Some will be provided).

Easy Invisible Short Rows - Denise
Bring: a small swatch on the needles, in stocking stitch, and preferably in a lightish colour smooth yarn.

Judy's Magic Cast-On - Cindy
Bring: Yarn and appropriately sized circular needles, minimum 24" long.

Waste Yarn Invisible Cast-On for 1X1 rib - Michelle
Bring: 5- 6 meters of very smooth and glossy waste yarn in a strong fibre, like mercerized cotton approx 10 grams of a worsted or aran weight yarn in contrasting colour from waste yarn. A pair of needles (or 2 dp needles or a circ) in a very small size, like
2.25 mm. A pair of needles (or 2 dp needles or a circ) in a medium large size, like 5 mm
Preparation: Cast on with waste yarn and larger needles (any method) approx 20 sts Knit one row, then purl 1 row Bring these stitches on the needles, ready to continue.

March Meeting Vendor: Passionknit. 
Passionknit will be adorning the hall at the March meeting with a colourful array of yarns meant to inspire.  Patti will be bringing a selection of yarns and kits from Koigu, as well as dovestone dk and Titus from baa ram ewe, and everyone’s favourite, Malabrigo.  Cash and Credit Cards accepted.


Vendor tables are SOLD OUT for the remainder of the 2015/16 season!   The line up for the balance of the season is exciting and varying for members to shop, and become familiar with the products offered by new and online yarn stores in the Greater Toronto Area … and beyond. 

Upcoming Meetings

March 16th

Innis College Town Hall
2 Sussex Ave.
7:30 - 9:30
Doors open at 6:45 

Skills Exchange Mini Workshops

You’ll have the opportunity to learn a number of useful new techniques in short 20-minute sessions. It will be a fun and social evening, with many valuable skills being shared by our volunteer teachers. 


Next Meeting: April 20th

Susan Fohr, Textile Museum of Canada

Susan Fohr is an avid knitter, spinner, sewer and natural dyer who lives in Toronto. Susan will share how her work as a museum educator has shaped her identity as both an educator and a maker.

She is currently the Education Programs Coordinator at the Textile Museum of Canada and formerly an historic interpreter at Black Creek Pioneer Village. She will highlight influential exhibitions and public programming initiatives that have revealed the powerful ways in which traditional craft practices have evolved to address contemporary issues. 

Vendor Table – Robin Hunter & Mary Pat MacDonald
Vendor Table – Artisaknity

Next Meeting: May 18th

Monika Stramaglia - Machine Knitting

Monika has been machine knitting for upwards of 25 years, and loves to combine hand and machine knitting and crochet to make trendy garments and great looking pieces in a timely manner. If you have been curious about using a knitting machine, this is your opportunity to find out more as Monika discusses and demonstrates how they work.

Vendor Table - The Knit Kabin

Visit the Toronto Knitters Guild website for more information on upcoming events.

Guild Member Show and Tell

The pattern is from the book “The Sock Report, Volume 1” and is titled “Tulip Dreams”. It’s actually on the cover of the book.  I liked the shawl, but wanted it finer. I had some green Skacel Merino Lace, which at 1375m/100g is much finer than the sock yarn used for the model. The yarn label doesn’t actually give a suggested needle size for hand knitting. I am pretty sure I used a 2.75 mm needle. 

As the shawl was going to be too small when knit according to the instructions, I extended the increases of the stocking stitch portion until I had double the number of stitches suggested for each repeat in the pattern. I then worked two repeats of the pattern in each section.  This gave me the extra length and width that I needed. I used size 11/0 glass seed beads but when I went to add the beads, I found that my usual 0.6 mm crochet hook was too big for the beads, so went searching through my crochet hook stash to find something small enough to use. I came up with my Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic, which is a very tiny crochet hook (not a latch hook as I mentioned in Show and Tell), likely used to correct machine knit items. It was small enough to fit through the bead’s hole, and I was able to finish the edging.  

This shawl is special because it is the finest one I’ve made so far, and I did the stocking stitch body while I was sitting with a friend through her chemo treatments several years ago. My friend is gone now, but I still have the shawl and the memories of our shared time.

And I will do another shawl in this fine lace weight yarn soon.

- Pat D

Pattern: Tulip Dreams from The Sock Report, Volume 1
Yarn: Skacel Merino Lace
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