June ’22 Meeting Wrap-up

Our speaker last night was MKG member Abbie Kenyon who spent the past winter in Iceland as an artist in residence at the Icelandic Textile Center. She told us of her time there and her journey as a fashion designer and knitter. Members, watch for the video of the talk to be posted in the dashboard.

(Click HERE to view a recording of the meeting)

2022 – 2023 MKG Board Vote

Our current board term ends on July 31, 2022, which means the new board slate needs to be approved by the membership. Members should have received an email with the link to their ballot on the morning of June 22, 2022. If you did not receive your email please check your spam. If you do not see it there, email our secretary Kelsey, secretarymkg@gmail.com, for the link to the ballot.

We will announce the results of the ballot at our July 19th meeting.

Open Board Positions

We still have openings for a Programming Director and Vice President. The Guild works much better when we have a full slate of directors and other board members are not trying to do the work of two positions. Without members willing to step up and take their turn volunteering, it will become harder and harder for the Guild to put on programming, events like Yarnover, or even exist. We have over 570 members, yet only one person has shown any interest in joining the board.

People often say they don’t think they have the time or experience to be on the board. All of our board members have families, jobs, and other interests. We have split the job responsibilities up to make it work with the rest of your life. We also work as a team and cover for each other. Beyond the monthly MKG meeting, the board meets on the first Tuesday of the month via Zoom for an hour or two. Beyond that, most board members say they put in about an hour or so of work a week. As for experience, there is none required. If you can use email, you have most of the skills you need. It’s more wanting to make the MKG better.

About the two positions:

Programming Director – The Programming Director books the teachers and speakers or plans an activity for our monthly meetings. Knitting teachers and speakers want to work with us and it is as easy as reaching out by email to book them. With virtual meetings also means it is easy to book bigger named speakers from anywhere. If you enjoy the speakers at our meetings and would like to influence who those are in the future this is the position for you. This job can be done remotely if you are not in the Twin Cities. The Programming Director can also create a programming committee to help with any of the position tasks.

Vice President – The Vice President helps the President oversee and direct the board. They facilitate our grant programs, educational, Yarnover, and micro-funding, organize the Give to the Max day outreach, and handle the door prizes at MKG meetings. If there is not a board member on the Yarnover and Great Guild Getaway committees, they serve as the liaison to the board for those committees. They serve a two year term and then serve as President for two years. This really allows us to have a President ready to go at all times. This is a new position and one that allows the person holding it to focus on projects they think are important for the Guild. (The President’s role is much the same, as beyond the basics of running meetings and some business items, the President can choose their own focus.)

If you are interested in finding our more about being a part of the MKG board please email Kathy, presidentmkg@gmail.com or Kelly, vicepresidentmkg@gmail.com.

4 Day KAL logoSailaway 4 Day KAL Cast On Party

Are you joining in on Olive Knits’ 4 Day KAL for the Sailaway sweater? A few of us are and we thought why not get together for our cast on. We’ll be meeting Friday, July 1st at Venn Brewing from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Get more details here.

Twins logo in a baseball with knitting needles through itStitch ‘N’ Pitch

Stitch ‘N’ Pitch with the Twins will be Sunday, September 25th at 1:10pm against the LA Angels. Tickets will go on sale later in July. You can read all the details about this fun day out here.

Upcoming Meetings

Garage Sale

We had so much fun at last year’s garage sale we’ve decided to host one this year too on Saturday, July 23rd. Get great deals on yarn, books, and tools with all proceeds supporting the Guild. The address and all the details are here.

You can also drop-off donations for our service partners and yarn at the Garage Sale. Details on this year’s service partners, the items they needs, and yarns we’ll accept for donation are all on our Service Knitting page.

Designer Spotlight – Tamy Gore

Read all about this month’s designer Tamy Gore

Door Prizes

Tamy Gore Pattern – Julie Kelly

Tamy Gore Pattern – Nicole Galvan

Amirisu 2 Digital Download – Stacey Ross

PomPom #41 Digital Download – Jill Mead

Education Grants

Interested in taking your knitting skills and knowledge to the next level? The Guild offers Education Grants to members. These grants are for certifications such as Master Hand Knitter, Tech Editing, Design Writing, Fair Judging, and so on.

  • The grant is open for applications here!
  • Open to members of the Guild
  • Can apply for up to $100
  • Board will review applications at monthly meetings
  • Questions? Email Kelly, vicepresidentmkg@gmail.com

In Person Meetings

We had a couple questions about when or if in person meetings will start up again. The Textile Center is going to start allowing space rentals in July, but they are only renting 2/3rds of the space we typically use and have said they don’t want big groups like ours yet. We are also researching other places to hold meetings such as schools and libraries. We do still plan on keeping a good portion of the monthly meetings virtual. So many of our members are not in the Twin Cities, virtual meetings allow them to attend and be part of the Guild. We’ve overwhelmingly heard that people like the virtual meetings and don’t like going to the Textile Center. Virtual meetings also give us the opportunity to book bigger name speakers and teachers no matter where they are based. The hope for the future is to have a mix of virtual and live meetings, where virtual meetings are more about speakers and live meetings are more social activities. This, of course, will depend on having a full board and members who are willing to help volunteer at live events.

Recent Posts

Show & Tell

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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.

Currently Open

Marketing Director

The marketing director position is currently open. For more information contact the Guild President, president@knitters.org

Kelly

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)

Kendra

Secretary

(Term 1, Year 1)

Kendra lives in the Twin Cities and learned to hand knit from her mother in middle school. In the last few years, she has also learned crochet and machine knitting. Kendra enjoys knitting items to donate and challenging herself with new techniques. She prefers knitting in the round with colorful yarn. (she, her, hers)

Rose

Treasurer

(Term 2, Year 2)

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

Service Director

(Term 1, Year 3)

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

Membership/Programming Director

(Term 2, Year 1)

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

Technology 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)

Anna

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

Librarian

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)

Thyra

Newsletter Editor

I grew up watching my mom knit. She tried to teach me as a kid and I never enjoyed it, but after finishing college I found myself with extra time and no hobbies. In the last 20 years I have dove in all the way and love to learn new and challenging techniques. As my fiber love has grown, I have also started raising sheep in order to go from sheep to sweater. I love interacting with the sheep who have big personalities and learning to process and spin the wool has been a great adventure.

Meg

Vice President

(Term 1, Year 2)

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)

Our spinning demonstrations are sponsored by Get Bentz Farm. 

Theresa Bentz of Get Bentz Farm, Northfield, MNAfter 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

Webmaster

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)