Meetings Archive

April 12, 2014 – Linda Handy and Lois Stevens

This month we have our two very talented Program Committee members teaching us how to make some creative garments.

Linda Handy started knitting 25 years ago on a Bond. She called the help line so much that they decided to make her a demonstrator at the local Calumet City store in Illinois.  She eventually purchased a 940 after taking lessons from Jill Stern, Bonnie Triola and Gene Bailey. Linda was living in Chicago in married-student housing with a little kid and a husband who left television news to go into Seminary. Knitting kept her sane (not really) as she moved every two years. The first thing she always did was join the local guild. It was a great way to meet new friends and knitting is a big deal in snow-blanketed states.

Linda loves to make flowing dramatic types of clothing and use texture and multiple fibers to create fabrics that she likes.  She is not one for complicated patterns, preferring simplistic lines with dramatic outcomes.  Oh yeah, her first degree was in fashion design.

Linda is going to take members through a step-by-step process to chart and then knit a fabulous cardi-wrap pattern by Susan Lazere.  In the class we will take point-to-point measurements for her chart.  No worries, this is not a fitted garment so no waist measurements!  Then we learn how to fill in the blanks to complete a customized pattern that you can knit over and over again using different textures and yarns.  You won’t believe how simple it is to create this fabulous jacket.

Susan, a friend of our Guild, has graciously agreed to send us 40 copies of the pattern and measurement chart and is only charging us $5.00 a copy so you can have your own pattern.

Please bring a tape measure if you can remember and your imagination. Linda is challenging you all to go home, knit something up and bring it to the May meeting to strut your stuff!

For those of you who have already made this pattern, please bring it in to show. Remember her motto, “if there’s no drama, there’s no point.”

Lois Stevens has owned a knitting machine for about 30 years but it has only been in the last six or so years that she got seriously involved in the use of knitting machines. Her degree is in Art with an emphasis in ceramics and she has been selling pottery since she graduated from San Jose State University in the 1970s. Recently, Lois stopped producing pottery for sale, but she takes her knitting to a few local arts and crafts shows.

Lois tries to knit items that she can produce quickly but don’t look like it and was thrilled to be asked to test a pattern for Michelle Goodhand. It is a lovely, drapey vest that is knit side to side in one piece and only requires two short seams from the neck to the underarm. She will be selling Michelle’s pattern for $5 as well as sharing her variations on this pattern.

March 8, 2014 – Richard Smith

Richard Smith started machine knitting in 1976. He has written numerous books about machine knitting patterns and techniques, and has demonstrated in over 200 machine knitting seminars.

Richard has been teaching machine knitting for 22 years, including techniques of garment knitting and machine operation; a semiannual 14-week adult education machine knitting course; and two-day, hands-on, workshops for each of the 910, 930, 940, 965, 950, 950i, 970 and 270 Brother electronic machines.

Richard sold and repaired knitting machines for 25 years. He has retired from active selling and teaching but remains an active machine knitter.

Richard will cover the main bed before lunch and the ribber after lunch.  Timing will fit the interest of the class, and questions from the floor are welcome. Topics will include:


  1. The A, B, C of machine knitting needles – or why your knitting just fell on the floor, and what to look for when things go wrong.
  2.  What happens with “B” position, “C” position and “D/E” position needles while using different settings on the carriage.
  3.  Using stitch pattern cards/programs to set needles for patterning including lace.
  4.  Getting friendly with your ribber:
  • Casting-on techniques and using weights
  • Ribbing for bands
  • Full-needle ribbing
  • Set-up and use of slip stitch, tuck stitch and ribber racking lever patterns
February 8, 2014 - Loretta Warner

Loretta Warner has been a member and friend of our Guild since the early 1980’s. Her philosophy is to create beautiful, handmade pieces with the true goal of serving others. She is always looking for opportunities to expand her capabilities both as a skilled artisan, mentor and lifelong learner.

Loretta is a Berkeley-based textiles artist and knitwear/couture fashion designer with more than 30 years experience. She is a native Californian who is inspired by her love of the colors and textures of the land that surrounds us.

Her work is both playful and deeply considered. Pieces are created from the best yarns and luxurious fabrics using a variety of tools-of-the-trade, including knitting machines of various gauges, sewing machines appropriate to the work, and the use of long practiced handwork skills.

Loretta’s website

Loretta’s Blog

Morning session – Slide show and talk with a group of pieces from Loretta’s Collection and other pieces as well. Note: Guild members are encouraged to bring their work using any and all “luxurious yarns”!

Luxurious Fashion: Winter–Spring 2014, A look at inspired street style, chenille, and a few designers. We will discuss the trends for the new season and chenille: what it is, characteristics, why it’s hard to knit, and what you can do about it.

Afternoon Session – Working with luxurious yarns that are often hard to knit.

Workshop Demonstration including:

  • Using the steam iron: like an artisan, like a seamstress, how to handle the knitting in order to get great drape ability without killing it.
  • Bulky chenille: (Touch Me, Valentina) Step by step from knitting to the finishing: the creation of panné velvet.
  • Standard knitting: chenille deluxe (1200, 1300) and baby chenille (2000); soft metallic (lurex), Fortuny, Slinky, Sleek and Fluffy. Chenille plaited, Chenille as fabric, seam finishes and more as time permits.