Put simply: the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild is a group of 500+ people who knit, even if just a little.
Our members range in age from pre-teen to well into the golden years, have knitting abilities that span the entire spectrum, and live all over the world (but, you guessed it, primarily in Minnesota).
Our mission statement is to promote interest, appreciation, education, and fellowship in the art of knitting.
Membership is open to all who are interested in the purpose of The Guild, no matter their age, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, socioeconomic status, religion, gender identity, or political persuasion. We hope that you join us!
The Guild was founded in 1985 by a small group of women who were passionately dedicated to the art of knitting. They held monthly meetings at the College of St. Catherine (St. Kate’s). The first meetings were very similar to those have today. There was a short business meeting followed by a knitting or fiber related program with lots of opportunities for fellowship in between. The MKG library was a suitcase full of books purchased with Guild money and hauled to every meeting by the MKG librarian.
As the years went by, the group grew; it was incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) with the State of Minnesota in 1997.
In addition to the regular meetings, a day-long knitting workshop, Yarnover, was first planned and held for members and knitting enthusiasts in 1986. Yarnover began with local teachers offering classes; participants received a popular “goody bag” or knitting-related items, along with a thick syllabus of all class materials and instructions, so they could learn about more than just the class they were attending. Eventually the format evolved to include a keynote speech from a known knitting teacher. Now Yarnover is an event featuring many nationally known knitting instructors and designers; it attracts knitters from well beyond our Minnesota borders.
In 2001 the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild’s meetings moved from St. Kate’s to the newly opened Textile Center in Minneapolis. Membership in the Textile Center gave us a link to the greater fiber community, as well as a permanent place to house our library collection of knitting books and magazines. We are still meeting at the Textile Center today.
Our history is rich with enthusiasm and sharing of more than just knitting. Members can recall times when their only access to the Guild’s library books and magazines was during monthly meetings, when we hoped it wouldn’t rain on the summer picnic at Minnehaha Park (nowadays we hold it indoors),and how snowstorms — in back-to-back years! — didn’t keep members away from the annual holiday party or “spring” tea. We are a reflection of the energy and hard work of past members, and the ideas and enthusiasm of new and future members. And in the end we are the same now as when we started: a group of people whose love of knitting moves us to get together, share and learn.
As a card-carrying member, you get:
Complimentary entry to lectures by renowned textile artists and experts.
Priority registration and member pricing for events such as Yarnover and the Great Guild Getaway
Door prize drawings at our events
Free access to the Textile Center Library, the largest circulating textile library in the nation
Exclusive discounts at local yarn stores throughout the state
Connection to a larger knitting community (in-person and digitally!)
Access to recordings of past meetings
The Minnesota Knitters’ Guild in-person meetings are in Minneapolis on the third Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Textile Center.* Our meetings are currently virtual via Zoom due to Covid. We plan on continuing a portion of our programming virtual, especially in the winter, in the future.
*Some meetings, like our Members’ Appreciation Picnic in July and our Annual Tea in February, don’t follow this rule. We communicate that as best we can via this website, our various social media channels, and our member newsletter.
Monthly meetings can draw anywhere from 40 to 100 members depending on the programming, whether or not there’s free food, and, let’s face it, the weather.
Virtual meetings often open with a 30 minute trunk show from a dyer or other fiber-relate maker. This is followed by our featured programming. Programs range from special events like our annual picnic (when in-person) to demonstrations by wonderful local talent to presentations by internationally renowned knitters. After a break, where members can chat in smaller breakout rooms, the MKG Board presents current and up-coming Guild activities and business. At in-person meetings, the business section and the main presentation are usually in reverse order
Guests are welcome to “try out” a meeting before committing to paying dues. If we are hosting a speaker, we asks guest to reserve a ticket and make a donation if they wish. We hope if you’re new you’ll consider joining us! (And we hope if you’ve tried it out before you’ll re-join us!)
If you have any questions, contact our Membership Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
(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)
(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)
(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)
(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.
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.
(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.)
(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.
(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)
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/
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)
Bio to come.
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 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)
(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)
Our 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.
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)