Guild meets the second Tuesday of each month, September through May, from 7-9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2225 East Fourteen Mile Road, Birmingham, Michigan. see a map »

Bring your knitting and join us for an evening — we’re sure you’ll want to become part of the flock!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 2015 BSGK Meeting

posted by Kathy Stasys

The November 10th Black Sheep Guild meeting welcomed four new members to the flock. We are growing!

Kate P. generously donated many great items for the monthly raffle. The second infinity cowl from the retreat was also raffled off.

We heard reports from the committee chairs, but we are still in need of a chairperson for the Events and Field trips committee. Interested? Tell Donna or Kathy.

The orders for this year's swag were due this month. Kate P. designed the fabric and Tanya T. is sewing the bags. They should be completed in January. It has turned out to be a very popular item.

In November, of course, the guild members vote for a  new vice-president. The nominees were Tracy K. and Vangie A. and the voting results will be announced at the December meeting.

One of the most popular events of the year also takes place in November when we do the Brown Bag Swap. Since "stealing" is allowed, it makes the evening more fun. Ask Erika.

Next month's meeting is December 8th. Tanya T. will be our speaker and we will discuss the Sneaky Sheep project for the spring.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 2015 BSKG Meeting

submitted by Kathy Stasys

One new member was welcomed to the flock. She has often joined us at the Tuesday night gatherings at Panera’s. These informal get togethers are a good way to get to know more of your fellow guild members. Come join us!

Judith D. Charity Committee, proudly showed the huge pile of knit men’s chemo caps people made and another big bag of caps knit for donation at the annual Stitch and Pitch. Good work everyone.

Two members were nominated for Vice President: Vangie A. and Tracey K. Elections will be held at the November meeting.

Raffle donations: Vangie A., Tanya T. and Katy K.  Winners: Merritt C., Barb C., Sarah T., Heather P., Pat K., Stacey T., Brenda D., Ernestine B. and Valerie K.

Members shared their Tips, Techniques, and Tools with the group. Great ideas!!

-      do not use Woolite or detergents to wash your knits. Use tepid, not cold water.
-      cure for the slipperiness of silk, sand the needles with a nail file, rub it with an eraser or run the needles through your hair!
-      alternates skeins along the side of the project if the colors do not match        perfectly.
-      knit in the back loop after ripping out a row.
-      color codes lace charts.
-      figure out how much yarn to use in a long tail cast on by wrapping the yarn   around the largest needle. Remove and measure the yarn adding a little extra for the tail.
-      to keep track of repeat patterns and your place while working a project. Copy each line on a separate card; flip the cards after each row is worked. Keep cards in a plastic baggie or rubber band together.
-      use swatches to learn new skills and check gauge.

-      instead of slipping a stitch on the side of the heel flap, do 3 garter stitches on either side of the flap, pick up the heel flap in the purl bump to leave a smoother edge.
-      when picking up stitches for the gusset of a sock, pick up the number of stitches required plus TWO (not one) in the space between the two needles (gusset instep). Then on the first round decrease one stitch on each gusset leaning toward the instep to prevent any gaps. Then decrease as written for remainder of gusset.
-      crochet version of the Chinese waitress cast-on for a smooth looking edge.
-      German Double Stitch Short Row technique was explained.

-      the yarn spinner, the THING, on one end crochet hook with pick on other end and cute little yarn swift.
-      using erasers from the Dollar Store as point protector
-      an old Mattel knitting toy makes great tubes for trims, straps, and headbands
-      Harriet A.’s 100 g skein chart to be invaluable. In lace weight 100 g equals 800 yards; fingering equals 800 yds.; sport equals 275 yds.; DK equals 230 yds.; worsted equals 210; Aran equals 190 yds.
-      stitch markers to know a project was made correctly. Put one in every decrease and increase and leave them until the work is finished.
-      A stitch marker at 25 stitch intervals when casting on lots of stitches.

Be sure to join us for the November meeting:  Election of vice-president. And the Brown Bag Swap. The rules are simple. Find something knitting related with a value of at least $10; choose something you would like yourself. Then pop it into a brown bag (or any bag). Decorate the bag or leave it plain and bring it to the November meeting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

BSKG 1st Guest Post

Posted by Kim Whelan

"copyright Geneve Hoffman Photography"
I have this friend; maybe you have one like her? She’s the kind of friend that has all these crazy, great ideas, and somehow, before you know it, you’re smack dab in the middle of something!

This friend is the reason that I found myself starting a knitting guild (BSKG) with her a few years ago and found myself president of said guild a few years later. She is also the reason that I started designing patterns. I was just drifting along, calmly knitting away when she said “write a pattern, challenge yourself” That is how I came to write my very first pattern “Etta” which appeared in Lace One Skein Wonders. Now writing a pattern didn’t come easy, there were many mistakes along the way, but I stuck with it and finally I had a pattern I was proud to publish on Ravelry. After that first pattern I wrote a few more that I was lucky enough to have printed in some local publications. But that friend of mine, she was at it again, “there is this call for submissions” she said and that is how I ended up having my very first pattern ever included in the Lace One-Skein Wonders book.

There is nothing quite as thrilling as being included in a “One-Skein” book so you can imagine my glee when I was notified that my Monarch blanket was picked to be in the One-Skein Wonders for Babies Book. From past experience with the one skein series I knew to expect beautiful photography and the highest quality and this book does not disappoint! As soon as it came, I couldn’t wait to show this beauty around. My non-knitting family was oohing and aahing, and even my hipster nieces were impressed. This book has a wide range of patterns that are suitable for many different skill levels. Believe me when I tell you, if you need something for baby you will need to look no further than this book. From the adorable booties and sweaters, to the cute as can be toys and hats, this book is chock full of projects I can’t wait to cast on. I know you’ll feel the same way!

I am extremely proud and humbled to have my blanket included among all the wonderful projects in this book.

Oh and that friend of mine? Well she’s at it again, “learn a new knitting skill AND publish a new pattern by the end of September, challenge yourself” ………….

Just Keep Knitting,

Kim Whelan

Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 2015 Meeting

On September 8th, the Black Sheep Knitting Guild returned home from “camp meetings” to our regular monthly meetings.  There was one visitor, Dorinda Balanecki.
As our new year begins, we’d like to start each meeting with a Trivia Question. September’s query asked “Who are our Founding Mothers”? The answer: Tanya Thomann and Kim Whelan. If you have any good ideas for questions about the BSKG or knitting, tell Kathy Stasys.

Val Koyl has graciously taken over for Chris Hamel as chair for the raffle. Thanks to them both!  Donors for the raffle were Mary Moylan and Stacey Totzke and the winner were Pat Kreilling, Noreen Slank, Karen Sanders, Mary Moylan, Ernestine Bains, Linda Francisco, Linda Dean, Rita Perrone and Linda Doros.  Thank you Mary and Stacey for donating.   

Although new swag will not be announced until the October meeting, some swag from previous years was available for sale: umbrellas, hats, BSKG bags. Sorry, sheepies, the cowbells are all gone.

An important point in business portion of the meeting was to look for volunteers for various committees. Please consider signing up to help the guild.

It was a pleasure to listen to our guest speaker, Aviva Sussner. She is about to open her own knit shop in Birmingham, Woolly&Co. after spending several years as an instructor in another knit store. A lively speaker, Aviva generated “oohs and ahhs” when she gifted us all with a tape measurer. We’re easy to please. After being peppered with questions from the group, she turned and asked us questions about what knitters want to find in a knit shop. If you have a suggestion, look at your measuring tape for her contact information.

One of our sheep, Katy Race Koelb, has moved to Florida and passed along some beautiful yarns, some will be used for crafts, some will show up in the raffle and some will be used for charity knitting.   Thank you Katy, we will miss you.

Show and Share

October 13, 2015 is the next meeting, BSKG swag will be announced and it is amazing and wonderful, the program is Tips and Techniques, turn in your charity items.