February Meeting Wrap-up

February is our Annual Meeting where the MKG board updates the membership on the state of the Guild over the past year. Members can view our 2021 Annual Report on their Dashboard under Guild Business. Non-members who would like to see the report can request one from our secretary.

Even more important than looking back at the last year, we took time to discuss some of our goals and plans for 2022 and beyond. Here is a recap of that discussion:

(Click HERE to view a recording of the meeting.)

Meetings and Events

  • We will continue to offer virtual programming, especially as our membership is spread across 23 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. Meeting attendance has nearly doubled while we have been virtual.
  • As well as virtual programming, we hope to start hosting more in person events as COVID allows. Some of the things we are working on are:
    • Yarnover
    • WWKIP (Worldwide Knit In Public) Day
    • Stitch ‘n’ Pitch
    • Great Guild Getaway

Grants

  • We had planned to award two Yarnover Grants in 2022, but we are thrilled that we were able to award four instead. (We were actually able to offer grants to all five applicants, but one had to drop out.) These grants were funded through sales of Great Guild Getaway (GGG) yarn, an anonymous donation, and a corporate match donation from Wells Fargo.
  • We are launching new Educational Grants for our members this year. These grants are for members who wish to build on their knitting knowledge by taking certification level classes, such as Master Knitting, Tech Editing, Pattern Writing, Fair Judging, etc. Members can apply for an Educational Grant in the Grants section of their Dashboard.

Board Changes and Openings

  • Kathy Lewinski (President) and Kate Westlund (Technology Director) will be ending their terms on the board at the end of June 2022. Both have served six years on the board.
  • Kelly Amoth (Vice President) will be moving into the President position for the next two years. Having a Vice President that moves into the President position is really helpful to keep the Guild moving forward.
  • Melissa Mintern (Marketing Director) will be moving to the Technology Director role being vacated by Kate.
  • This will leave two open board positions. There are job descriptions for both positions on the Volunteer page. If you are interested in learning more about either position, please contact Kathy.
    • Marketing – This person is in charge of the Guild’s social media presence, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry. They work with the Technology director on website content as well. They also coordinate the Guild’s presence at non-Guild events like Shepherd’s Harvest, the MN State Fair, and other community or fiber related events. This position has a three-year term.
    • Vice President – The Vice President works with the President in strategic planning for the Guild. They are responsible for coordinating the Guild’s three grant programs and fund raising activities such as Give To the Max Day. The Vice President fills in for the President when they are not available.  This position has a two-year term and then moved into a two-year term as President.

Volunteering

  • The Guild is only ever as strong as its members.
  • Volunteering is vital to the success of the Guild.
  • While the board strives to create programming and events they hope the membership will enjoy, we are only 9 people out of a membership of 500+. The more members that are involved with the Guild as volunteers, the more the Guild’s activities will represent the Guild as a whole.
  • There are numerous ways you can volunteer
    • Apply for an open board position (see above)
    • Volunteer at Yarnover. Yarnover is completely volunteer run and there are many ways you can help. Volunteers are eligible to win Yarnover door prizes. Volunteers who are not taking a class can also purchase lunch at a discounted price. Yarnover volunteer sign-up is open now.
    • Write a blog post. You might think you have nothing interesting to write about, but we are all knitters and love to read and talk about knitting. Have you taken a fiber related trip? Learned a great new tip or trick? Worked on a special project? Given yourself a knitting challenge? We’d love to hear about it and your fellow members would too! Contact Melissa or Kate if you are interested in writing a blog post.
    • Suggest and present a designer of the month. The board has been choosing these designers for over a year and we could use some help finding more! We are looking for designers that are up-and-coming, so not people with hundreds of designs that have been made over and over again. These are designers who could use a little publicity. We are especially interested in designers who are from the Upper Midwest or are BIPOC. Contact Rose or Melissa if you have a designer we should spotlight. (By the way, if we spotlight your suggestion, you get a free pattern from the designer as well.)
    • Suggest ideas for meeting speakers or topics. Virtual meetings give us the option to have speakers join us from all over. We’d love to know who you’d like to hear from. You can make suggestions through the form on the Dashboard or email Sandra.
    • Volunteer on a committee. We will be needing volunteers on the Yarnover and Great Guild Getaway committees later this year. Watch for more details about those opportunities.

Thank-yous

Kathy also took the time at this meeting to thank those people who have been so helpful this past year and more!

The Board

  • Kelly Amoth – Vice President
  • Rose Tobelman – Treasurer
  • Kelsey Sorenson – Secretary
  • Betsy Preston – Service
  • Sandra Wright – Programming
  • Nikky Heidel – Membership
  • Melissa Mintern – Marketing
  • Kate Westlund – Technology

The Yarnover Committee

  • Janese Evans – Committee Chair
  • Becky Huerta – Registration
  • Anna Turk – Teacher Liason
  • Diane Mountford – Marketplace
  • Caitlin Maier – Door Prizes and Sponsorships

The Great Guild Getaway Committee – The GGG didn’t happen last year, but this group had it all planned and was ready to go.

  • Courtney Tambornino
  • Roxanne Richardson
  • Janet Ungs
  • Carrie Sazama
  • Laura Haave 

The Service Committee

  • Deb Parker
  • Andrea Zuckor
  • Dawn Baddeley

Others

  • Jess Dahlberg – Monthly Newsletter Editor and creator of our Mystery Minis Sale and Knit Along (KAL).
  • Anne Rojas – Librarian
  • Bonnie Swierzbin – Ran the Variations on a Theme challenge for service knitting and hosted Sunday virtual knitting when Kathy was away.
  • Deepa Nirmal – Photographed the Broadway Ave Sock pattern and presented a Designer of the Month.
  • Halee Graham – Was so patient to release her Broadway Ave Sock pattern when the Great Guild Getaway was canceled two years in a row.
  • Lindsay Eggers – Helped the Guild with some design work.

Yarnover

  • Registration is open! There are lots of great classes, so we hope you join us.
  • As mentioned above, we are looking for volunteers to help out throughout the day. Sign up here!
  • The Yarnover Shawl Contest is going to be a hybrid of virtual and in person this year. You can read all about it here.
  • If you have registered, but haven’t uploaded your Proof of Vaccination yet, make sure to do it by April 15th. You can upload it here.
  • Free timed-entry tickets to the Marketplace will be available soon. Those taking classes or volunteering do not need to get a ticket.

Service Knitting

  • We are knitting for two organizations this year: MoveFwd and Sanya’s Hope for Children.
  • These organizations have asked us to make hats and mittens (sizes to fit kids through adults), scarves, warm socks and slippers for young adults, lap blankets, and cotton washcloths.
    • Think warmth! Warm enough to wear outdoors in winter.
    • Fiber: Any fiber type is acceptable, provided it is machine washable.
    • Hat specs: Finished size between 18” – 22” around and long enough to cover ears. (Try on your own head to make sure it covers the ears before starting to decrease) Consider cuff or double thickness over ears.
    • Please wash finished items before donating.
  • We have a goal of giving Sanya’s Hope 550 hats and pairs of mittens by July! Hats & mittens do not need to match.
  • Our next Donation Drop-off Event will be Sunday, March 27th from 11am – 2pm at the Textile Center back parking lot.
  • You can also donate at Potomac Bead Co in Alexandria, MN or contact Betsy to arrange a drop-off.
  • We are also accepting yarn donations. (Yarn is used for service knitting, given to other organizations who request it, or sold in our garage sale or auction.)
    • Full skeins with labels.
    • Natural fiber or natural fiber blend.
    • Please do not donate 100% acrylic, partial skeins or balls, tangled yarn, dirty yarn, or yarn that is musty or smells of cigarette smoke.
  • Please do not send or drop donations off at the Textile Center.

Designer Spotlight

Our designer of the month is Brienne Moody. You can read more about her here.

Door Prizes

Brienne Moody Pattern – Vicky Harris

Brienne Moody Pattern – Kris King

Digital copy of Interweave Knits Spring 2022 – Chris Caldarale

Two knit, beaded wrist cuffsBarbie F. shared the Act Deco Beaded Wristers she made with the pattern from our December Designer of the Month,  Diane Augustin, that she won as a door prize.

Have you made a project with a pattern you won as a door prize? Let Kelly know, we’d love to show it off at a meeting.

 

 

 

 

Announcements

  • The Norwegian Mitten exhibit at the Norway House has been extended through March 13th. All the mittens will be auctioned off after the exhibit closes.
  • Led by Rage to Order Artists Initiative, the people that brought you St. Paul Cozy, Minnesota artists and crafters are invited to share their fiber art skills and create faux “blooms” for display in downtown St. Paul. The project will be on display at CHS Field to celebrate the 30th anniversary season of the St. Paul Saints from April 12 – May 14, 2022 and in downtown St. Paul this summer. Find out more details and sign up here.

Mini Skein KAL (Knit Along)

We followed up the business portion with a slide show of our Mini Skein KAL entries. You can vote for your favorite through Tuesday, February 22nd.

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Jess Dahlberg

Newsletter Editor

Jess learned to knit in middle school and attempted (but never quite finished) a few garter stitch scarves. Years later, she picked up crochet with her best friend in law school and eventually fell back into knitting. Ever since then, she's been a daily knitter (commuting time for the win!) and has never looked back. She enjoys knitting gifts for friends and family and loves trying new techniques. (she, her, hers)

Laura Haave

Great Guild Getaway Committee Chair

Laura learned to knit in 2003 by taking a four-week class during MIT's annual January Independent Activities Period. The class project was a striped hat knit in the round, and since that time, Laura has been a big advocate of 1) helping other adults learn to knit for the first time, 2) hats as a manageable first project, and 3) circular needles for everything. She enjoys thinking about knitting and planning her next project almost as much as she enjoys actually knitting. Laura is highly motivated by knit-alongs and loves to knit in community. (she, her, hers)

Anne Rojas

Librarian

Janese Evans

Yarnover Committee Chair

Bio to come. (she,her,hers)

Kate Westlund

Social Media and Technology Director

(Term 2, Year 3)

Kate became enthralled with knitting when she was a young girl and saw a fellow young person knitting on a plane. She implored her mother to teach her everything she knew, which as it turned out was only casting on and the knit stitch. Once Kate learned to purl froma beginner's kit, there was no end in sight. Kate is the type of knitter who doesn’t always swatch, which is often obvious in her finished projects.

Melissa Mintern

Marketing and Outreach Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Melissa has been knitting for 15 years. She loves socks and sweaters. She is a new member who hopes to use her marketing background to lift up the MKG. While she isn't local to MN, she really loves the atmosphere created by the Guild. Melissa and significant other Al enjoy traveling, wherein Al graciously offers to drive so Melissa can knit in the passenger seat. (she, her, hers)

Nikky Heidel

Membership Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Nikky was first introduced to knitting in 2012 when her visiting sister-in-law taught her the basics of casting on and the knit stitch. A few weeks later, she learned how to purl from her mother-in-law. From there, it quickly became a passion and she has taken on each new project with a desire to expand her skill and discover new techniques. She loves a good mystery (knit-a-long) and knits way more shawls than a single person can wear in a month.

Betsy Preston

Service Director

(Term 1, Year 1)

Betsy never had patience for knitting, until she found herself spending a lot of time at little league games and waiting for the last kid to emerge from the locker room after swim practice. With her background in graphic design, stranded colorwork has a natural appeal. Not to mention the practicality of an extra layer of warmth. Betsy has recently begun publishing her original hat and cowl patterns, which are available on Ravelry. (she, her, hers) (See our Service Knitting Page for more information about our current projects and donation process.)

Position Currently Open

Programming Director

(Three-year term)

This board position is currently open. If you are interested in helping to source and book teachers and speakers for Guild meetings, please contact Kathy at [email protected]

Rose Tobelmann

Treasurer

(Term 1, Year 3)

Rose learned to knit from her mother at the age of ten. She started knitting on the ends of small paint brushes. She continued to knit off and on through her teenage and young adult years and became a more avid knitter after taking a Norwegian sweater knitting class through community education. Today, knitting has become a passion and she knits for charity, herself, and her family her stash. She enjoys meeting other knitters and learning new techniques.

Kelsey Sorenson

President

(Term 1, Year 2)

Kelsey learned the knit stitch from her grandmother in middle school, and filled in the gaps enough to make lots of scarves for quite a few years. She began expanding her skills in college and is always looking to learn more. Kelsey is drawn toward projects that are seamless or include stranded colorwork. (she, her, hers)

Kelly Amoth

Vice President

(Term 1, Year 2)

A visiting friend from Seattle taught Kelly the very basics of knitting (a twisted loop cast on and just the knit stitch) in 2008 before flying home. Turning to the internet (thanks knittinghelp.com!) Kelly taught herself through a lot of trial and error. Uncontent to keep knitting the scarf she’d started as her first project, she jumped into knitting a pair of striped mittens for her non-knitter, but very knitworthy, twin sister. Twelve years later the mittens are still in her sister’s glove box, and Kelly is usually horrified when she pulls them out and sees the mistakes she made using double pointed needles for the first time. Kelly loves knitting socks and is thankful for the many months of cold weather when she gets to exclusively wear her handknits. (she, her, hers)

Kathy Lewinski

President

(Term 1, Year 2)

Kathy has always been into crafts, but didn’t teach herself to knit until after college. She really got hooked while living in San Francisco when a friend opened a knitting store. To pitch in, Kathy started knitting up fun (and odd) things for window displays, as well as teaching classes. In the last couple of years, she has started designing her own knitting patterns (many of them available for free on Ravelry!) with toys and mittens being her primary obsessions. (she/her/hers)