Archive for May, 2012

Watch this assembly!

Watch the mystery of this assembly of MaggiKnits Big Cowl. Today you see the scarf-like pieces knit with MaggiKnits Cotton and Misty Slub. Next post will show the pieces lined up….and then the finished garment. This has been a fun knit and I am eager to complete the assembly. Stay tuned for a summer knitalong on this project.

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Shari of our Saturday morning workshop recently saw the most exquisite knitted dress at the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit. It is more than beautiful!

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We celebrated! We lunched at Picante’s in Berkeley…we moved to the outdoors as the afternoon moved along. Terry was showing us her Crytal Palace kit shawl when a young man walked to his table. He and his friends were so impressed with her work…we all struck up a lively knitting conversation. They were impressed to meet the “knitting” Fire Captain.

Terry will be moving to Shasta area….she promises to come back and see us on a regular basis. I sure hope so…her knitting energy is surpassed only by her own personal energy! We agreed…we all have many stories and tales to tell and share.

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Freshly off Shari’s knitting needles!

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20120518-200301.jpg When Carol asked us to help her find out the details of a dog show in Vallejo tomorrow (which is now today), we were all over it. We dropped our knitting needles and pulled out our technology! Don’t let Debbie fool you…the one with knitting needles in her hands. When she saw me pull out my iPhone camera…she grabbed her needles. Love you Debbie!

As always….another fun knitting workshop. In just a moment or two, I will post what Debbie has crafted. In the meantime, Mary is finishing a hat for a fellow knitting workshopper who is undergoing cancer treatment, Marsha is working I-cord on yet another one of her versions of her E-Z Tomten sweaters, and Grethe shared the work on her Simple Vest designed awhile ago by Lorna Miser, Carol shared the progress on her Japanese inspired bolero sweater….and I shared the progress on my MaggiKnits Large Cowl design.

We missed Phylis, Debbie G, and Helen!

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Who knew?

I had the best customer phone call this afternoon….I was gardening…the trusty cell phone rang….and there I was talking to Maxine from Cleveland, OH at 4 P.M.  She was looking for a Laurel Burch design listed on Skein Lane’s online store. I said I’d call her right back…needed to look at the listings…I was thinking needlepoint. Oh, the power of the internet….I called her back…she sent me the link…and then I realized we were talking buttons.

Maxine is a button collector and belongs to the National Button Society. Who knew there was a society for buttons? Now maybe Kimberly does but I haven’t heard her mention this when she has talked about her button collection or when she has attended trade shows…maybe her trade show attendance has been knitting and/or beads and not included buttons.

Laurel Burch Button

The conversation with Maxine was so much fun…not only did she find buttons from Skein Lane to purchase….I learned a lot about the buttons and the National Button Society. It seems that many buttons have a history that is recorded on this site. I’ve found the site but have yet to “dig in” or is that “click in”.

We talked about passions…button collecting, knitting, and genealogy (of course I was able to slip that into the conversation). She told me that Cleveland has the Western Research Historical Society Research Center. Really…I’ll be all over that later this evening! Deb K…are you there?

I so enjoyed this conversation/transaction that I wanted to share. Knit onas Elizabeth Zimmerman said and which I often chant now!

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I save almost everything…my grammar school report cards, 1st bookmark I made for my mother, my autograph book from 5th grade….you would think I would have saved the program from the field trip to Fort Mason to the Norway Day Festival. This was just last Sunday….where did I put the materials? Oh well….the power of the internet comes to the rescue!

Vista on our walk from bus to Ft Mason

A few of us knitters and a spouse boarded Bart and headed to San Franciso ….we then hopped onto a Muni-bus…..rode to the last stop on that line….then trekked for a distance from Bay St to Pope passing Aquatic Park on our right. It was a lovely hike and majestic to see the Golden Gate Bridge come into view.

Overlooking Ft Mason view into Golden Gate Bridge

Overlooking Ft Mason view into Golden Gate Bridge

We walked a little further until we came upon the staircase that would take us down to Pier Level to Fort Mason….and there it was…the 20th Norway Day Festival.

Guess what drew us to the festival…yep it was knitting! One of the first vendors we saw was the Lacy Knitters Guild – Spindles and Flyers. The spinners were comfortably seated…spinning. In the background was a woman of 90 arranging knitted works….one of which was knit by her grandmother from an original rayon. This is a bit of family history that I would love to have explored!

Spinners of Lacy Knitting Guild

Woman of 90 years of age arranging display

Woman of 90 years of age arranging display

Display knit piece with original rayon!

We began walking up the first aisle of two…and we were quickly taken with so many visual wonders. The Norwegian arts are bright and inviting. We stopped at RanDisign booth which was stocked with knitted and felted wonders as well as beautiful crocheted jewelry.

RanDisign – Felted Scarves

RanDisign Jewelry

RanDisign – Owner Randi Adams

One of the next booths of visual delight was Viking Pottery….I love pottery.. if I had more rooms or even space in existing rooms I would have brought something(s) home from this booth. I first chatted with the woman in the booth…assuming that she was artist and that she was accompanied by the man next to her…..wrong he was the artist and she was accompanying him.


At random some of the other delights included the tole work, the painted clogs, the Norweigan dress, the skaters….


Norwegian Dress

Clogs at Mi Disign

California Rosemalers Assoc

….now I was off  to a “movie” break in the Festival. The rest of the gang was doing their personal tour…the joy of such friendships is that we can travel at our own pace and meet back to share our discoveries.

Will be back in the morning with the conclusion to this wonderful adventure!

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We are blessed!

There is often so much to share and it doesn’t make it to “press” as quick as I would like. But today…Saturday, May 5…I am “driven” to share on a timely basis. The last 36 hours have truly been the blessing of friendships that have blossomed, grown, and are now cherished….these friendships sprouted from our coming together to share our love of knitting.

Yesterday Jean returned to our group after a few weeks off sorting out some health issues…she came to knitting…we cheered…we toasted Jean! This morning the Saturday group came together to share the same kind of friendship…and love of knitting..we celebrated our latest creations and upcoming events.

Last evening Kimberly of our Friday group  was inspired to host a spontaneous knitting gathering in her backyard this afternoon…again…we knit…we toasted….we shared our continuing stories.

Jean says it so well……..

“The loving friendships we have created are extraordinary and enormously enrich my life.  All this, and knitting too.”

I wish to echo Jean’s thoughts!

Photos from Saturday morning will post later this evening…..knit on!

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Captain Terry

Captain Teresa Pace….we know her as “firewoman” Terry who knits and knits…has retired! She will be leaving the Bay Area soon….but not before we celebrate her accomplishments and her friendship. Join us at Picante’s on 6th Street in Berkeley on Saturday May 19 at 1 p.m. Please RSVP to skeinlane@aol.com  so that we can reserve tables.

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Whoops…..fell down into several holes again with the “family history research hole” being the primary one….can hardly believe my fingers have not been tapping, or is that typing, on this Skein Lane blog.! I have been knitting (of course)…writing on two of my other blogs.. namely Fred and Alta: Memoirs by Their Grandchildren….and What Are We Doing Now.

As always much to share….tonight it is an invitation to join PJ and Terry B….and many others who knit for Afghans for Afghans.

Here is the invitation from PJ…. afghans for Afghans is a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted wool blankets and garments to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan. Join us!


Dear Knitters and Crocheters for Afghanistan,

We are starting a new campaign and invite you to join us!

We are supplying Aschiana with wool SOCK, MITTENS, and HATS for sizes 5 years to adult.

Aschiana is a long-time, well-respected non-governmental organization in Afghanistan. Our wool gifts will be transported through their
American support group here. Aschiana is known for their service to street children. In fact, in the past, some of our hand-made items have been distributed to Aschiana programs by our former partner Church World Service.

We are in need of wool socks (knit only/no slippers), mittens, and hats ONLY. (We will NOT be collecting sweaters, vests, or blankets.)

Aschiana serves those with the most hardship, those with the least opportunity — with centers for street children, vocational training
and education, and a medical clinic. Aschiana distributes humanitarian supplies to internally-displaced people in the large camps (refugees
in their own homeland) — where the least assistance gets through. Our wool socks, mittens, and hats will be most useful to the children and
adults without permanent homes.

Aschiana representatives have reviewed samples of our wool socks, mittens, and hats and are pleased with the high-quality durable wool,
the cheerful colors, and the individuality of each item. Most relief organization want only cash donations to buy bulk goods closer to the
need. We’re honored that Ashiana would like to take our handmade gifts directly to Afghan children, women, and men.

You can read more about the organization and transport methods on the Afghans for Afghans website.

Some notes for your review:

  • Hats
    • Be sure that hats cover ears.
    • Hats need some stretch for comfort over forehead.
  • Socks
    • Basic socks with proper heels and coverage for the lower leg (no booties or slippers or tube socks).
    • Any foot length (measuring from back of heel to tip of toe) from about 5.5″ – 10″ will be useful.– Socks for knitters only (crochet   does not work well for socks).
  • Mittens
    •   No fingerless styles.
    •   Make sure wrist-ribbing is long enough for warmth.
    •   Careful to avoid holes at the thumb increases.

Use wool (or other animal fiber) to provide maximum utility in harsh weather. Please review our memo on wool and fiber content —

Please avoid white and very light colors that soil more easily. Afghans like all colors — bright and cheery palettes! No camoflage/military-looking yarn. Use up those wool oddballs.

Knit or crochet your favorite pattern or try something new. Classic patterns are best.

Avoid lacy or airy patterns. Items must be very warm and durable for the harshest winter weather. Most of the recipients will have few or no possessions.

Test your garment on your own children or a neighbor’s child or yourself … to double-check proper fit.

Please remember, send only what is specifically requested in our guidelines. Cargo space is precious, and we can only send what is specifically requested and needed.

At this time, we are aiming for a July due date to receive your gifts
here in San Francisco. We will likely need to have our cartons sorted
and repacked and at the domestic departure location in August, when
they will await their September airlift.

You may send in your packages whenever ready. We sort and pack as the packages arrive to monitor our progress.


In partnership with the San Francisco office of the American Friends Service Committee, we’ve been at this together for more than 10 years
— reaching out to the Afghan people on the other side of the world with our handmade, practical wool gifts to express friendship and caring during wartime. We’re determined to continue our tradition.

Our deepest gratitude to the volunteers who have been contributing for many years, and welcome to the new volunteers who keep our momentum

For your summer-time knitting, these small items should be appealing! We hope you will join us.

Thank you for your generosity and support and for taking action with your needles and hooks and your hearts and hands.

We’ll write again soon with a new link on our website with campaign details. In the meantime, we didn’t want to wait any longer to get this campaign going!

Ann and colleagues


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