Jan ’21 Meeting Wrap Up

Service Knitting 2021

At this month’s meeting, we kicked off our service knitting campaign for 2021 by meeting our three new community partners.

Hats and Mittens collects and distributes hats and mittens to those who need them in the 7-county metro area (though that area is expanding). They can use hats and mittens in sizes from babies to adults. They do tend to get a lot more hats than mittens, so if you are a mitten knitters those would be really appreciated. While they can use all sizes, they do have a need for items that fits ages 12 -15 years. They can except items made from any fiber.

Hats for the Homeless knits, collects, and distributes hats in the Twin Cities area. They need simple adult hats made for warmth. Hats need to be long enough to cover the ears and those that double over the ears are best. Hats that are knit with worsted yarn in a tight gauge. They prefer darker colors without a pattern or embellishments. There are free patterns on their website and they also highly suggest The Minnesota Hat. Acrylic yarn alone is not warm enough, so they suggest using washable wool, acrylic/wool, or other wool blends.

The Range Center helps people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to build skills and self-esteem in Northeastern MN. They can use all items hats, mittens, fingerless gloves, scarves, and lap blankets. This is your time to have fun with color and patterns, but please use washable fibers. Clients get to pick their own items and having fun things to choose from can be a highlight in someone’s day.

We will have drive up drop-off days at the Textile Center throughout the year with the first being in April. You will also be able to pick up yarn to use for service knitting on those days. If you can’t make a drop-off day, you can send items to us care of the Textile Center (address is here). We are also planning on having drop-off days at other locations around the state, stay tuned for details on that!

Service Knitting Thank You Gifts

This year we want to thank those of you who use your time and talents to help with our service knitting with some small gifts. We have curated a set of progress/stitch markers and as you donate more items through 2021 you will receive more parts of the set.

When you make a donation, we will keep track of how many items you donate. When you reach the levels below you will receive a marker.

  • 5 items – sheep
  • 15 items – yarn
  • 25 items – scarf
  • 35 items – mittens
  • 50+ items – a custom Minnesota Knitters’ Guild logo marker. (These will be awarded at the end of the year as we will have them made based on how many we need.)

Online Auction

Thanks to everyone who participated in our online auction. All the lots were sold and there was quite the bidding war on some! The Guild made just over $2,000 to use towards our service knitting and other activities. Because of the positive response, we will have another online auction later in 2021 as it is a way to include our members who live outside the Twin Cities.

Sunday Knitting Brunch

Our next Sunday Knitting Brunch is Sunday, January 31st 11:00am – 1:00pm. This is a purely social knitting get-together. We plan to continue them every other Sunday through at least February.

Upcoming Meetings:

February Annual Meeting

Our February 16th meeting is our required annual meeting. We will give a brief overview of how the Guild did in 2020, including financials and some goals for 2021. Our annual report will be available on the website after the meeting.

We’d also love to see how our members did in 2020 and invite you to submit a photo of the project you are most proud of from 2020 for the slideshow. Please email a picture, name of the pattern (if there is one), yarn used, and why you are proud of this project. This can be something that was a challenge for you, something that was sitting in your WIP for years, a first sweater or other items, etc… Email your submission to Nikky.

March Meeting

Our March 16th speaker will be Kim McBrien Evans who will speak about size inclusive knitting. Her yarn company Indiogodragonfly Yarns will be featured in our 6:30 trunk show before the meeting.

April Meeting

Our April 20th speaker will be Sarah Schira of Imagined Landscapes.

Programming Committee Members Needed

Do you like our monthly Newsletters? We do too! But they’re getting to be too much work for one person to put together each month!

We’re starting a Programming Committee and we need your help! This committee will help come up with monthly programming ideas and compile components of the monthly Newsletter. If you’re interested, email Jess.

Featured Designer – Lindsey Fowler

Read all about this month’s featured designer. She has some wonderful patterns that use up all those mini skeins you got in your holiday countdown calendar!

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We awarded prizes to eight random members who renewed or joined by the end of December 31, 2020. All the prizes will be purchased from local fiber related vendors, many of who have been Yarnover vendors.

Ada Vanderwiel – Knitting/Crochet Notions Bag from Becka Rahn

Susan Bathory – Yarn Bowl from Blue Room Pottery

Shirley Nygaard – Stitch Marker Set from Blue Room Pottery

Maressia Twele – Project Bag from Crafty Like a Monkey

Kristine King – Shawl Pin from Knitter’s Journey

Heather Hart – Stitch Saver or Crochet Hook Set from Stunning Strings Studio

Zoe Cohen – Equivalent 2 skeins yarn from Lavender Lune Yarn Co.

Judy Ellis – Mini-Skein Set from Stunning Strings Studio

Door Prizes 

Nomad Knits Issue 8 (Washington) – Christine Caldarale

Lindsey Fowler Pattern – Andrea Zukor

Lindsey Fowler Pattern – Becky Huerta

Trippin’ With Dixi Trunk Show code – Susan Boinis

Textile Center Fiber Arts For All

The Textile Center will be hosting an in person and virtual Fiber Arts for All festival February 21 – 27th. The event will feature interviews, talks, workshops, and an online auction. Watch for details in the Textiles on the Town newsletter and on the Textile Center website.

Recent Posts

Show & Tell



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Fit check for my Warrior Tank test knit! A few more rows, cast off, and some duplicate stitching and this piece is ready for some warmer days!

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It’s just over two weeks until the twins home opener. Of course, I needed mittens with the new branding on them. I like the new North Star inspired logo.
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Headshot of Roxanne RichardsonRoxanne Richardson is a knitting communicator who lives in Minneapolis. Her YouTube channel explores a variety of knitting-related topics, including knitting history and techniques, and she writes technical knitting articles for Interweave publications. She’s a certified master hand knitter and certified knitting teacher, and she can’t wait to answer your burning knitting questions.

Bonnie Swierzbin

Marketing Director

(Term 1, Year 1)

Bonnie comes from a long line of makers, so between their sewing and her own knitting, her Barbies had loads of one-of-a-kind dresses. She loves to buy yarn and knit while she travels, so she has a yarn stash the size of Cleveland and memories imbued with knitting; she can tell you exactly what baby sweater she was making on the overnight ferry from Rab to Split, Croatia, in 1985. When she isn't knitting, Bonnie is dyeing yarn and vintage textiles, embroidering, and making felt or silk paper vessels. She's happiest when she is learning a new skill or knitting technique. (she, her, hers)

Kelly Amoth


(Term 1, Year 1)

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)

Kelsey Sorenson


(Term 1, Year 3)

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)

Rose Tobelmann


(Term 2, Year 1)

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.

Open Position

Programming Director

(3-year term)

This position is currently open. If you are interested in volunteering for the Guild board, please contact our president, Kelly, at the email me link below.

Betsy Preston

Service Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

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.)

Nikky Heidel

Membership Director

(Term 1, Year 3)

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.

Melissa Mintern

Technology Director

(Term 1, Year 1)

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)

Anna Turk

Yarnover Committee Chair

While Anna learned to knit at some long-forgotten point in time, her commitment to the craft really began her freshman year of college. Sitting still has never been Anna’s strong suit, and giving her hands something to do while chatting with friends or watching movies in the dorm brought a sense of calm during this new chapter of her life. Once the sense of calm wore off (and no one else needed a scarf), she began trying new techniques, patterns, and projects, and until 2018 was primarily a self-taught knitter. After being intimidated early in her crafting, Anna feels strongly about creating a welcoming environment within the fiber community for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. She enjoys knitting and fiber traveling, test and service knitting, a good challenge (knitting or otherwise), and is likely to have at least 3 WIPs at any one time. She is also learning to spin and ply her own yarn! (she/her/hers)

A photograph of hands knitting green yarn against a black background.Project HandWork is an exhibit of photos by photographer Christopher Dykes. Using flash, a backdrop, and the infinite human variety, Christopher is collecting a series of images of hands at work in the fiber community. Manicures, hangnails, tattoos, wristwatches, cheap yarn, expensive silk, easy socks and exquisite lace all show the human diversity and the compulsion to create.

Yarnover attendees may have their hands photographed for a $50 sitting fee. Each sitter will receive an edited photo via email. The sitting fee goes to Help In Crisis, his local domestic abuse shelter. 

Anne Rojas


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)

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)

Meg Duncan

Vice President

(Term 1, Year 1)

Meg grew up surrounded by makers. Her mom, a master quilter, former Home Ec teacher, and 4-H club leader in Duluth, taught her to sew, embroider, and cook. She won a trip to the State Fair as the Dress Review Princess at 13! Another MKG member taught her to knit continental style 15 years ago. Meg can’t sit still and NOT be knitting, embroidering, rug hooking or sewing. Favorite thing to knit? Mittens! She loves taking classes and learning new things – absolutely amazed and inspired by all the amazing knitters in the guild! (she, her, hers)

Get Bentz Farm LogoOur spinning demonstrations are sponsored by Get Bentz Farm. 

After growing up in the city and suburbs, the owners of Get Bentz Farm felt a need to be closer to nature and to be more connected to where their food came from. 

In 2014, they found a farm house for sale and later that year they decided on and purchased their first two Icelandic sheep. 

Once they had a good size flock they began marketing the amazing meat and wool. Initially, they found that many mills in the area do not process dual coated long wools, which slowed down their growth in yarn, but they did find a great market for wool filled bedding products and batting for spinning. 

Today, they have a variety of yarns, batting and roving as well as finished products like dryer balls, sheepskins, and wool bedding. Most recently, they opened their own Get Bentz Wool Mill as well as their own line of yarn – Badgerface Fiber.

Mona McNeely been a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor since 2016 and has studied yoga since 2002.   

She has three grown kids and two, almost three, grandchildren. Her grandma taught her to knit when she was seven. She picked it up again in her early 20’s and hasn’t put the needles down since. She is also an avid spinner and has woven her share of rugs. In her spare time, she volunteers at a non-profit called We Can Ride where they use horses as therapy for people with disabilities. She also works full time as a Treasury Analyst for a fairly large company.  Somehow it all balances out.

Midwest Machine Knitters' Collaborative logo

The Midwest Machine Knitters’ Collaborative (MMKC) is a Minnesota based fiber guild established in 2011. We envisioned the Collaborative as a way to connect with other machine knitters who like to think (and knit!) outside the box. MMKC provides a forum to promote fun, interest, appreciation, education, inspiration, and camaraderie in the art of machine knitting. We welcome all levels of experience, as this is the best way to learn and inspire. We will all become better knitters through collaboration.  https://www.midwestmachineknitters.org/

Kathy Lewinski


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)