October 2018 Meeting – Knitting Adventures!

Sue Yarborough, the Guild’s Co-President, welcomed returning and new members to the October 2018 Buffalo Knitting Guild meeting and briefly discussed guild business prior to the program portion of the evening.

·         The 2019 Weekend Seminar dates are May 4 & 5, 2019 and will feature guest instructor Lorilee Beltman (https://lorileebeltman.com/).  Class registration will begin in November!

·         Becky Swanson will be issuing a newsletter for each month (Thanks Becky!).  If you did not receive October’s (or any) newsletter, let the guild know at contact@buffaloknittingguild.com or providing your information at the next meeting.  No one has been requesting a printed copy at the guild meetings so, they will only be provided by Sue upon direct request.

·         Guild members will receive an email with the password to the ‘Members Only’ section of the guild’s website after November 1st.

·         A lovely tribute was given by Darlene Honadale for former guild President Arch Behrans.

·         Alternate Meeting Location – Unfortunately, the list of volunteers to help Adrienne Kotler look into other meeting options is missing.  If you’d like to help her in this effort, please contact Adrienne at contact@buffaloknittingguild.com (the guild’s email).

·         Meeting Cancellation & Weather – Guild meetings will be cancelled due to inclement weather based upon the closing policy of the Amherst School District closings for day or evening events.

·         Charity Knitting Reminder – Andrea Kuettel has yarn for both projects if you need it!

·         Jericho Road – Mens hats and scarves (in washable wool please!) are requested by November; patterns available on the Guild website.

·         Knitted Knockers –handmade prosthetics for women who have had mastectomies.  A local representative will speak to Guild members at the December meeting.  Patterns and yarn requirements are available at the website, https://www.knittedknockers.org/

·         It isn’t too early to start bringing in yarn for this year’s Yarn Auction!

·         The guild’s Windows based computer is available for purchase (condition as-is) by guild members before it is listed on Craig’s List for sale. Contact the guild at contact@buffaloknittingguild.com if you’re interested.

·         Room Configuration – Two tables were provided during the October meeting and more may be provided in future meetings.

·         Eight members provided a ‘Show & Tell’ of their finished projects; photos provided below.  The finished items included a ski hat, several shawls/scarves, a pair of socks, sleeved and sleeveless pullovers and a crocheted afghan.  Three of the members received ‘$5 Gift Certificates’ which may be used towards the May 2019 Seminar.

Gina Passantino, Program Co-Director, reminded everyone that there are still many openings available for this year’s mini-classes to be held during the November meeting. Refer to the Guild website for more details.  She then introduced the evening’s panel to discuss Knitting Adventures: Conferences, Retreats, Festivals and More!  The panel included Sharen Gertsman, Cindi Spriegel, Darlene Honadale and Andrea Kuettel.  Below are some highlights from the discussion and photos from their excursions:

·         Cindy discussed her visits to retreats such as Super Summer Knittogether (SSK) in Nashville and Zombie Knitpocalypse in Minneapolis.

·         Cindy learned about the events from the knitting podcasts she listens to.

·         Both events provide classes given by the podcasters.

·         Both offer goody bags and door prizes.

·         SSK has a Tasting Room for yarn, needles, etc. and a Marketplace.

·         Darlene discussed her visits to the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck.

·         Essentially a knitting festival on steroids.

·         Book your lodging far in advance (at least a year, places book up quickly!).

·         Tickets to the event may be purchased in advanced or at the door.

·         The event includes workshops (on knitting and other crafts such as making shawl pins), animals, programs such as sheep shearing and of course a huge Marketplace.

·         There is also a building dedicated to NYS foods and wine.

·         If you volunteer for at least several hours, you get free admission and a lunch voucher.

·         Andrea discussed her trips to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC.

·         VK Live is similar to Stitches, a show rather than a retreat although still a great place to meet other knitters.

·         There are classes, lectures, fashion shows (our own Holly Olmstead has participated in these) and a 2 floor Marketplace.

·         VK Live is held in NYC every January while central and western US locations rotate every year.  The central US location in 2019 will be in Columbus, OH.

·         Sharon discussed her trips to Stitches, Rhinebeck, various knitting retreats and knitting cruises.

·         Stitches was the first large knitting show in the US. It features classes, lectures, fashion shows and a large Marketplace.

·         Knitting cruises offer classes while sailing and may have special knitting-oriented excursions.  Check our Craft Cruises (http://www.craftcruises.com/).

·         Retreats such as Strung Along in Port Ludlow WA, offer you a great way to make new friends.

·         Stitches and VK Live may be done ala carte and you can find less expensive lodging near the event.  Retreats tend to be all inclusive and may be pricey once you include travel however you can find shops and other guilds offering shorter and less expensive retreats.  Check out the Knitter’s Review website (http://www.knittersreview.com/upcoming_events/) for knitting events throughout the US, Canada and Europe all year long.  Ann Falcone will also be listing events close to WNY in the guild’s newsletter as she learns about them.


A Jam-Packed Welcome Back Meeting!

Sue Yarborough, the Guild’s Co-President, kicked off the September 2018 Buffalo Knitting Guild Season by welcoming new and returning members.  In addition to introducing this year’s Board members, Sue briefly discussed the following items prior to the introduction of the evening’s featured speaker:

  •  This year’s theme is Participation. Gift certificates will be given to members Participation in Guild meetings and activities throughout the year. The ‘$5 Gift Certificates’ may be used towards the May 2019 Weekend Seminars featuring guest instructor Lorilee Beltman (https://lorileebeltman.com/).
  • Results of 2017/2018 member survey:
    • More Social Time for Members – Meeting room will be open from 6:30 – 9:00 pm to allow members social time before and after meetings.
    • Room Configuration – Provide tables along with seating.  This is not possible in the September meeting but will be implemented when possible depending upon the meeting program and turnout.
    • Alternate Meeting Location – Adrienne Kotler will look into other options but is looking to other members to provide her with ideas and join her in this effort.  You can get in touch with Adrienne at contact@buffaloknittingguild. com (the guild’s email) if you’d like to help her in this effort.
  • Charity Knitting for this year will benefit the following:
    • Jericho Road – Mens hats and scarves (in washable wool please!) are requested by November; patterns available on the Guild website.
    • Knitted Knockers – these are handmade prosthetics for women who have had mastectomies.  A local representative will speak to Guild members about them at an upcoming meeting.  Patterns and yarn requirements are available at the website, https://www.knittedknockers. org/
  • Two members provided a ‘Show & Tell’ of their amazing finished projects; photos provided below:
    • Monica showed us her knitted yellow afghan, a triple ribbon winner of the 2018 Erie County Fair.  Monica has been a frequent winner at the Fair over the years.
    • Barbara displayed a beautiful baby blanket she knitted for a friend’s baby. The blanket featured a fleece lining for extra warmth, wear and an additional color element.

Ann Falcone, Communications Co-Director, gave a quick tutorial on using the website.  New items include upcoming fiber events in the WNY area and the upcoming password protected Members webpage which will have a Members Directory; Newsletters will eventually be archived here.

Gina Passantino, Program Co-Director, provided the list of this year’s mini-classes to be held during the November meeting. Refer to the Guild website for more details.  She then introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Dr. Arlesa Shephard, professor at Buffalo State College in the Fashion & Textile Technology department.  Dr. Shephard discussed Textile Care & Preservation including:

  • A lengthy discussion of the Buffalo State costumes and textiles and how they are stored and labeled.  Garments in the collection are from the 1860s to present day.
    • The textiles are stored in climate-controlled storage areas and protected from dust and light.
    • Textiles are placed on padded hangers to preserve their integrity.
    • Textiles not placed on hangers are stored in acid-free boxes with acid-free paper.
    • Accessories (hats, shoes, jewelry) have special storage areas.
    • Paper labels are currently used but, they are slowly transitioning to sewn labels.
    • Donations to the collection are made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Recommendations for personal textile collections:
    • Use padded hangers (crochet the padding yourself with colorfast yarns on sturdy wire hangers).
    • Storage areas should be cool (65 – 75 deg F) and dry (65% relative humidity).
    • Store in paper boxes (acid-free only), wood boxes (must have a liner of muslin or acid-free paper), or plastic (using muslin or acid-free paper liners; drill holes to allow for air flow).
    • Roll rather than fold larger textiles to prevent permanent creases.
    • Don’t clean the textile if possible but if you must, hand wash with a mild detergent and support the item with a screen or muslin.
    • To restore older, damaged textiles, go to a professional.
    • Place garment in a Ziploc bag and placed in a freezer to kill any existing insects.  Dried herbs such as lavender or basil may help keep them away but, be sure to place them in a sachet bag to avoid direct contact with the textile and replace the dried herbs regularly.
  • A brief discussion of the mid-20th century knit and crochet garments she brought.
  • A tour of the Buff State website:
    • Go to https://library.buffalostate. edu/archives/ digitialcollections and then go down and click on Historic Costume & Textile Collection or go directly to https://digitalcommons. buffalostate.edu/ftt/

Clearly the Buffalo Knitting Guild is off and running to an exciting season.  Be sure to join us in October when we will have a panel of members discuss Knitting Adventures such as retreats, festivals and conferences.

click here to see some pictures from the evening

written by Cathy Frega

Resolve to be Part of Your Knitting Guild!

With the New Year Upon us, it’s time to think about resolutions.  How about making a New Year’s resolution to get more involved in your Buffalo Knitting Guild?  The Guild belongs to all of its members and can only be great through the work and participation of all of its members. Here are some ways you can get involved in your Guild :

  1. Teach a Class ! Every year the Guild holds member- to-member mini class and always need instructors. People feel they don’t have the skills to teach a class but you all have a specific knitting skill or talent that someone wants to learn. Resolve to help other members improve their knitting 1-4

    2. Write for the Newsletter ! The Guild puts out a bimonthly newsletter and is always in search of interesting articles. Write,reflect  about your experiences with knitting, review a fiber fest you’ve attended, review a knitting retreat , a knitting book you’ve recently read —the possibilities are endless and we are always looking for articles. Submit them via the guild email at contact@buffaloknittingguild.com1-7

    3.  Like us on Facebook ! Did you know the Guild has a Facebook page where members interact ? Like us on Facebook,share our posts , Resolve to get the word out about your Guild.1-2

    4. Follow Us on Instagram ! Yes we’re on Instagram  post all sorts of fun photos . Resolve to follow us, like our posts,  even repost our pictures! 1

    5.  Join the Guild Group on Ravelry ! We share  a ton of information on Ravelry about Guild programs,  knitting experiences, and we use Ravelry  to sign up for classes . If you are not on Ravelry you are missing out!  Resolve to join us on Ravelry – it’s the  place to be!  1-3

    6.  Present or Suggest a Program!  Every month the Guild holds its monthly meeting with a speaker presenting on a specific topic. That could be you! Talk to our Programming Department to suggest a program and offer yourself as a speaker .

    7.  Check out  the Guild Website!  Find out what is happening  and stay up-to-date on any last minute programming and KAL details.


  1. Volunteer to Work on a Committee! The Guild is an all volunteer organization and we need you to work on committees such as Yarn Fest, Seminar, Community Outreach, Charity — the possibilities are endless.


  1. Show and Tell – Be part of our Show and Tell, Knitted Displays and Fashion Shows. Resolve to be proud of your work and show it off to the world!

  1. Run for a Board Seat The Guild holds elections every year. Perhaps this is your year to be a Board member!

The Crunch is On!

Christmas and the New Year are  just a few days away!! Are you done with your holiday knitting? Maybe you have not yet started?  Maybe you are already thinking about next year!  We put together a rundown of easy knit patterns you can still get done before the 25th — or start for next year!Christmas-Stockings-002

Over 50 patterns for quick knit ornaments and decorations


More easy ornaments


10 FREE Christmas knitting patterns that we all think are full of heartwarming holiday cheer!

Patterns for free wreaths and snowmen


Roundup of Christmas themed patterns


12 weeks of Christmas gift patterns from Red Heart Yarn


Best and Worst Ugly Christmas Sweaters from KnitPicks


Christmas  themed sweaters for the whole family


Knit for a Lifetime!

“Activity is the essence of life” said Dean Carroll OT/R, at the Guild’s October meeting.  Dean was our featured speaker and taught us  how to keep our bodies healthy so we can  knit for a lifetime.20171005_195439

Here are some tips Dean shared:


Don’t Knit for Hours

     Change your posture frequently and don’t sit for more  than 20 minutes. Get up and move, do something else, stretch. Frequent stretching is essential.





The Position of Comfort = The Position Of  Deformity

That favorite ,worn out, soft chair you sit on may not be the best for knitting and your body.  The pelvis supports the spine and tilts forward and back. Use a lumbar roll to support your pelvis and  spine. The softer the chair the more likely you are to round your pelvis  in a bad  way so think about what you are sitting on!sit1

Mind Your Elbows

Elbows are the most neglected joint in the body. Don’t let your  elbows stay in one position for too long. You could develop a bursitis and/or  joint issues  and   have problems knitting down the road.elbow

     Adequate Lighting is Essential

Eyes can become strained and injured when  lighting is not sufficient.  Also, you may position yourself in an awkward position if  lighting is too dim which could then cause injuries to the body.lights

      Temperature is Important

Repetitive movements in cold environments can lead to arthritic conditions and repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel  syndrome.  If your hands feel cold raise the heat or wear compression style  fingerless gloves while you knit to keep  joints warm and to provide support to  your hands. temp

What do you do to ensure you can Knit for a Lifetime?  Share in our comments section!


Knits That Fit

Our September meeting started off by welcoming local knitwear designer, author, and master knitter Heather Lodinsky. Heather  taught us how to create knits that will will actually fit us as individuals so that we wear what we spend so much time lovingly creating. “One-size-fits-all should only be for afghans and tote bags,” said Heather


Heather offered these tips for making Knits That Fit:

 1. Size is a standard we use; ” know how you like your clothes to fit. Fit is subjective. We all feel different in our own fit.”


2.  Get your favorite fitting top or sweater and measure it: sleeves, bust, length. Once you have these numbers you will know how to fit patterns for your size.

3.  Gauge is critical for knits that fit. Don’t think of Gauge and  swatching as a task or as a waste of time. Heather says think of gauge as” playing with your yarn and know that it will tell you what your yarn will do. Without gauge there’s no fit. “

4 . Generally stitch gauge means more than row gauge. Stitch gauge needs to be perfect. Even being a quarter of an inch off from your stitch gauge can make a sweater too big or too small. Always check your gauge and never think it will simply work out in the end.”Without gauge there’s no fit.”


5.   Ease is the difference between your bust size and the garment’s bust size. Negative ease means the garment will be smaller than the actual bust size. No ease means you will have a close-fitting garment. Positive ease means a garment several inches bigger than your bust size, generally 4 inches  is the standard for positive ease.

What did you learn at the September meeting? How has Heather’s discussion changed your thoughts on knitting and pattern design? Share in our Comments Section!


January Meeting Reminders

We thank everyone for their understanding in the rescheduling of our January meeting.  We specifically thank the Hyatt Place for their flexibility in offering their space on a different night, we thank the speakers who are willing to change their schedules, and we thank the membership who seem appreciative of the postponement rather than the cancellation of our meeting.   That tells us our programs are of interest to the group.

Oh, and look what a little extra time at home has brought to reality; cold snap collars knitted by one of our members [follow the link for the pattern].

Let the rest of this post serve as reminders:

  • The delay of one week  does have a silver lining as it will give us a bit more time to collect what our furry friends need along the non-knitted items:

Wish List Items:
Pooper scooper, long-handled preferred
Paper towels
Dishcloth(s) (do not need to be new)
Hand and bath towels (do not need to be new)
Pillowcases and sheets (do not need to be new)
Dog biscuits (small or medium size)
Pet carriers (medium size)
Stuffed animals (6″ or larger)
Cat Toys – NO catnip, please
Collars and 6′ Leashes
Non-Clumping Cat Litter
Liquid Laundry Detergent with bleach
Gentle leaders
Hand sanitizer
Advantage flea products, Frontline flea products
Note: The Erie County SPCA especially always needs fleece blankets and infant sized receiving blankets

  • Please know that the patterns we will be using are posted on our Resource Page for easy access.  You could either print up the pattern or simply use your phone during our meeting for easy access of the directions.  (There will not be any patterns printed or passed out at the meeting due to cost.)  There will be tables set up for people who are knitting for dogs versus people who are knitting for cats just to make it more fun.  Also, please know that you can bring in an already knitted object to be added to our donations.

In looking ahead, the weather looks pretty clear for next Thursday; in fact temps are supposed to rise by then to be in the glorious 40s, a typical Buffalo winter.

On another note, classes are filling for February’s meeting and sign-ups for classes will be available during the meeting.  Do not forget about our Guild notebook of Newsletters and information for your perusal convenience.  And, Sue is available for help sessions from 6:30 – 7:00pm if you are taking on the KAL and have a question about your project.   We will also continue collecting yarn donations for our Yarn Auction, as always.

We look forward to seeing everyone Thursday, January 12 and once again, we thank everyone for their flexibility as that is what helps to make The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo a successful Organization.


The Library Page

Are you wondering what happened to our resources, that is our tangible resources?  In particular, those hard cover books that used to be in the cabinet that you could look at and borrow?  (You might even be wondering where are the cabinets?)  I believe it was called The Lending Library.    Well, this post is explaining our new procedures regarding the existing collection of hard cover books and how you may continue to take them out on loan.  Also, towards the end of the post, there are two other announcements that may be of interest to you.

Continue reading “The Library Page”