Meetings Archive

May 13, 2017 – Nancy Roberts – Machine Knitting to Dye For yarn dyeing technique

Our May program will be a hands on dyeing workshop with Nancy Roberts. We’ve all seen the beautiful and impressive knits she has created with her Machine Knit to Dye For technique and we are so fortunate to have her share her expertise with us. Come prepared with knit blanks and knit samples to test the dyeing before dyeing your larger blank. Directions for knitting the blanks was taught at the March meeting as well as included in last month’s newsletter. If you still need directions, please drop me an email and I will forward Nancy’s instructions to you. The cost for this special workshop will be $50 which includes the cost of the dyes.
June will be our end of the year sale/swap and potluck. Start gathering up your extra items to bring to the sale. This is a great chance to purge your stash and start on a new one.

April 7 & 8, 2017 – Iris Bishop

Seminar Topics

Evolution – Looking at the ‘evolution’ of a whole garment from the selection of yarns and creation of the fabric, to garment shaping, fitting and finishing. Then we’ll take a closer look at the ways of using garment ‘shaping’ techniques to enhance the stitch pattern, when the fabric is worn and draped on the body. And not forgetting the edgings…

Both Sides Now – Truly reversible fabrics using a number of MK techniques. Some combine 2 layers of fabric, while others require some handwork to complete. Iris will demonstrate her unique experimental work in creating a cloth that is ‘knitted’ on one side, but ‘woven’ on the other ie. two for the price of one! Also how to construct a ‘moebius’ strip in one piece, on a single-bed machine, to make good use of such fabrics.

Openwork – Using MK strips and cords (rouleaux) to create skeletal structures that then become a canvas for the application of other materials and techniques. And introducing new ways of using the ‘intarsia’ carriage (or setting) to create softly draping, textural lace fabrics, rather than the pictorial patterns and images for which they were intended.

Shreds and Patches – Starting with the practical and basic techniques for knitting patches and mitred squares, then using them to create unique, 3-dimensional fabrics that come to life when draped around the body. Also experimental ways of integrating other fabrics (including some of Iris’s latest digitally printed fabrics) and re-cycled materials into new MK fabrics.

Design Inspiration – A ‘pot-pourri’ of Iris’s latest designs, working samples and ideas, not covered in any of the above topics. This will include a variety of textured and decorative fabrics, plus the development of garment shaping that makes the best use of MK techniques, eg. taking a fresh look at ways of producing effective pleated fabrics on the single bed.

Please join us Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8th and be prepared to see the amazing things that Iris is able to do on a knitting machine. She will be bringing her patterns to sell. You won’t want to miss this one. The cost is $50 per day if paid by April 1, 2017. After that, it is $60 per day.

March 11, 2017 – Members Helping Members

March will be a members helping members meeting. These are a few techniques that will be demonstrated.

a. 1 x 1 Fairisle plating

b. Knit Leader

c. Cast ons and Bind offs

d. Flat edges

Feel free to bring your machine. If there is something that you have been pondering, bring it up as our talented membership is always eager to share their knowledge and expertise.

Nancy Roberts to talk about preparing your knit blank for May’s dyeing workshop. She will also be selling yarn that will be appropriate for dyeing.

In April we are thrilled to be able to bring Iris Bishop back for a two day workshop. Iris lives in England and she is one of the most inspirational presenters we have had. She will be bringing her amazing patterns for sale as well as teaching us new techniques to really take our knitting to the next level.

February 10 & 11, 2017 – Carolyn Barnett

In February we will have a special two day seminar with Carolyn Barnett from Canada. “Humans have adorned themselves since time immemorial. Clothes are a necessity, for modesty, warmth and comfort so they are always there. I just decided to have fun with them”.

Carolyn learned to knit as s child in England and studied Fashion Technique and Design at Sheridan College. As an artisan for twenty seven years Carolyn has worked her knitting skills for men and women, old and young, short and tall.

She works only in natural fibres, mostly wool and cotton. Embellishments include beads, ribbons, fancy yarns and her own hand made polymer clay buttons and shawl pins and sticks.

Starting with hand knits and moving to the domestic knitting machine she has honed and exercised her colour mixing skills over the years which as had her knits travel all over the world, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Japan and to the Cannes Film Festival.

Theatre work has figured in also, along with advertising, she worked the knit part of costumes for The Who’s ‘Tommy’, plays at the Stratford Festival and the Canadian Winter Olympics.

Carolyn uses Garment Designer for patterns for her knits and has taken her love of technology into web design using her creative juices.

Fall of 2008 found her learning wet felting to use in embellishing her work. Colourful felted collars are appearing on her jackets.

‘I love teaching what I do as I find it so fun and exciting that I think others should do it too! There is the technical side which enlarges the knitter’s repertoire but also the creative side. Though it can’t be taught in itself it can be encouraged to lead to more experimentation and individuality’.

Carolyn makes beautiful sweaters incorporating very interesting details on colorful backgrounds. Please check out her website for a peak at her beautiful work.

She will be teaching two days. She will begin by talking about design-ideas and inspiration, and move on to casting on and hems, waist shaping, armholes, bands and buttonholes,design techniques and accents, garter bar, and single bed fairisle, motifs and color changer.

The cost to our members for this very special workshop is $50, each day if paid in advance-$60 if paid at the door. You can register at the January meeting.

January 14, 2017 – Sarah Etchison

“Calculating and Knitting Raglan Sleeve Styles”

Sarah Etchison will teach how to fit and design raglan sweaters, both for electronic machines and hand manipulated machines. Programming an electronic machine can be done so that the entire sleeve is made automatically.

The topics will include:
types of raglan decreases
neck down and bottom up shaping
using short rows to knit in a raglan sleeve
using the electronics to shape a raglan
using the raglan shape to create other styles

November 12, 2016 – Rebekah Younger

We are pleased to have Rebekah Younger, one of our former members doing a hands on workshop at our November meeting. Rebekah has had 25 years of experience knitting and writing patterns for her own line, Younger Knits, along with companies like Margaret O’Leary and Duna Designs. She stopped producing her line of contemporary knits for women but she is selling her knitting patterns. She will be teaching her charting and finishing techniques that set these designs apart as well as sharing her timesaving techniques.

In the afternoon, we will be working with plant fibers-linen, cotton, rayon and bamboo. We will learn what the swatch can tell you and how to work with the natural properties of the fiber to create garments with finished edges that make the most of these properties. If time permits, we will move on to designing a simple garments based on the swatch using the techniques of pattern writing covered in the morning.

Rebekah suggests bulky or mid-gauge machines, but if someone only has a standard that’s fine too. As for yarns, cotton, linen, bamboo or rayon are fine. She will be bringing yarns to sell too, so that’s an option. It would be great to have a variety of yarns so people can see how they respond differently, so smooth, boucle or ribbon, etc. are all good. I’d stay away from any that have a stretch fiber in them.

If you know in advance that you will be attending the afternoon session, please let me know. This will help us determine how many tables we need to set up. You are still welcome to come even if you don’t let me know in advance but it is helpful to know in advance for set-up.
It sounds like the plastic mid-gauge machines would be fine, if you have one of those machines.

Lois Stevens and Nancy Roberts

October 8, 2016 – Debbie Anderson

Debbie Anderson will be coming to teach us how to make buttons that will enhance our knit items. You can check out her website at

In February, we are having Carolyn Barnett for a two day workshop. She uses polymer clay buttons on her garments so you should check out her website for some ideas and inspiration.

Debbie will be bringing polymer clay, stamps, inks, and assorted items to decorate our buttons. You can stamp dye based inks and they will become permanent additions to your buttons. Stamps can also be used for texture. If you have any favorite stamps, bring them. Debbie will also bring some button molds and will show us how to make our own molds from buttons or jewelry.

Debbie will bring ~ 2 oz of polymer clay per person for the afternoon hands on session. She will have black, white, primary colors, probably an off white or beige. If you have specific colors in mind you should bring them with you. If you use more than 2 ounces, you can buy more from Debbie.

If you have any clay tools, bring them. There will be tools to share but if you have your own, you won’t have to wait to share. This is a suggested list but not necessary to buy things:

clay blade for cutting clay- an x-acto knife will work, too
non-porous surface to work on so we don’t scratch the tables 10×10 or larger-plexiglass, formica, tile, glass, cookie sheet. A cookie sheet is good so you can carry your buttons home to bake if we don’t get around to it that afternoon
Pasta Roller- if you have one
Acrylic roller or brayer
Different shape cutters- like small cookie cutters that would make interesting shaped buttons rubber stamps, for texture
stamping inks
toothpicks or wooden skewers to make holes in the buttons

Please don’t let this list intimidate you. These are just suggestions- you should still come and experience our first button play day even if you don’t have anything.

Lois Stevens

September 10, 2016 – Helen Koshak

Morning Demonstration – 1 hour: Is it Tuck or Is it Slip

“Tuck or Slip Stitches”

In Tuck stitch the needles in “B” position do not knit and the yarn adds an extra loop with the pass of the carriage. When these needles return to upper working position all of the loops in the hook of the needle knit resulting in a texture fabric. Slip stitches are created on the knitting machine when the needles in “B” position do not knit and the yarn slips in front of the needle. Helen will show how to combine Tuck and Slip stitch for new interesting solid color and multicolor surface textures.

Afternoon Demonstration – 2 hours

Shawl Shapes “The Final Five Shawl Shapes”

Helen will review how to knit Five Basic Shawl Shapes. These shawls can be knitting on any stockinette machine with any yarn. Learn how to knit Square Shawls, Circular Shawls, Triangular, SemiCircular, and HeartShaped by changing the number of increases and knitted rows. Adding different stitch patterns allows you to further expand the look of the shawls.

Helen Koshak is a creative knitting instructor and the co-owner of Newton’s Yarn Country in Anaheim, California. She has been designing ladies and men’s knitwear since 1976. As a professional designer, she created hand and machine knits that were produced domestically and overseas. Retiring to begin a family, Helen became involved at Newton’s Yarn Country once her sons started school. At Newton’s, Helen gives machine knit instruction on Silver Reed/Studio, Brother/KnitKing, and Toyota/Elna, as well as DesignaKnit through her DAK Directives. Helen constantly creates knitwear patterns for both hand and machine knitting. With her husband Norman, they have combined her love of design and his expertise of twisting and dying to create unique yarns.