Category: President’s Message

From the President – August 2022

From Your Outgoing President
 
As I transition out of the Presidency, I’d like to recap my journey. When I first took the position of President, I had plans to reach out and get to know more than just SoCK members by going to at least one other chapter meeting a month. Then COVID hit. I, along with our guild and the world, went into lockdown. We all went into survival mode. For many of us, this time confined at home resulted in a whole lot of yarn craft. As a Guild, we discovered ZOOM and met through our computer screens. We delayed our annual retreat for a year, we forgave our annual membership dues, the virus raged. We continued to knit, crochet, etc. The next year we canceled our annual retreat. We hung on as best we could, continuing to meet via ZOOM. We extended the terms of both chapter officers and Executive Board members. As time went on, things got brighter health-wise, there was a vaccine. We began to have hybrid meetings, meeting both in-person and via ZOOM. We instituted dues again. We continued to knit and crochet for charity. We shipped 60 pounds of items to the Ukraine. Most Chapters now meet in-person. With each meeting, we share our knowledge. Our skills improve. We connect with each other. 
 
As a result of this worldwide crisis, our membership went from over 200 members to ~130. Two chapters folded. Yet we survived. Most especially we survived because of the leadership of the Executive Board and the Chapter Officers. I want to take this opportunity to thank those leaders. Folks like our Executive Board Newsletter Chair, Gail Close; our two webmasters, Kate Wilson and Lauren Levy; our Charity Chairs, Dolores Rose, Sarah Hartman and Marie Knappenberger; Janet Neberman, our Social Media Chair who also stepped in as our Secretary for Ann Wohn when her obligation pulled her away from us; our wonderful crochet master, Rosanna Maggi, our Membership Chair; and our ever-faithful Treasurer, Crystal Smith. Our chapter representatives to the board, both the following women and their predecessors, Connie Blakley, Barbara Hass, Natalie Salter, Karen Fern, Amy McMahon, and Laura Sawyer. These are the women that have held our Guild together for the last three years. To each of them, I am forever grateful. I hope you, as a member, are as well.
 
I am also grateful to each and every one of you who hung in with us. It’s been a very interesting ride. I simply could not have done it without the wonderful women above and many more like Debbie Smith, Melony Metzler and Nancy Threadgold who shared their counsel with me.
 
It’s now time for a new beginning for our Guild. With this new beginning, I’m stepping down as your President. Lauren Levy will be taking over. We met one-on-one the last week of July to transition. I know she’s going to be great in the position. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Lauren as a SoCK member, a webmaster and teacher (I learned to weave from Lauren). But, you aren’t getting rid of me totally, I’m stepping in as Guild Treasurer. I met with Crystal Smith this past week to learn her position. Hopefully, I can fill her shoes. 
 
Please keep each other and our tumultuous world in your prayers. Please remember, you are each a bright spot that spreads joy and hope with each stitch. 
 
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as the Guild for the last three years. Here’s wishing all a wonderful, wet August.

Priscilla Graham
(Outgoing) Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From Your Incoming President
 
Hello to all of KANG:
 
To both new and returning members! Many of you may know my name from
having served as the Webmaster, or perhaps you’ve seen me from the SoCK Chapter.
 
A little about my exposure to the world of fiber arts. My roots were established in needle and shuttle tatting, and later I became a self-taught knitter, crocheter, and weaver. Although I have dabbled
with spinning, bobbin lace, Kool-Aid yarn dyeing, and kumihimo, I still have so much to learn!
 
Thank you for your confidence in voting me in as your new KANG President. I can only tip my hat to Priscilla and the Guild for their dedication and overcoming the many hurdles thrown at them these last couple of years. Their efforts have certainly not gone unappreciated.
 
I am looking forward to getting to know more of you at YOUR chapter meetings. I hope we can continue to gather more frequently by hosting more events (workshops, day and weekend trips,
charity events, etc). I would love to see our Guild getting out there: growing, supporting, and expanding our love and knowledge on everything related to fiber arts!
 
Quick shout out for all our local yarn shops in and around the Houston area! Our Houston-based “Texas Yarn Trail” returns for the 4th year at the end of August! If you are around, get out there and support the small businesses! Details can be found on the website and social media! Can’t
wait to see what squishy/fluffy/notion treasures you find!
 
Lauren Levy
(Incoming) Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – July 2022

Happy 4th of July to all. Last year at this time we were up to our waders in water from one of the wettest Springs I can remember. Now we are begging for rain. The June heat was 95+ continuously. Oh, the joy of living in Texas. I did finally get my front yard landscaping replaced. I’m really pleased with the result. Very different from what it was. My bank account has not appreciated the lack of rain, let me tell you, what with trying to keep the new landscaping alive.
The terrible thing about all this hot, sticky weather is who wants to deal with wool. Looks like I need to pull out the skill of knitting with my yarn hanging over the side of my chair not touching again given our weather. 
   
As I looked back over prior newsletters, I’m always looking for inspiration, I realized that I still have not completed the charity Afghan I started for the folks in Louisiana last year. It sits next to my knitting chair in plain sight. No out of sight, out of mind excuses. Additionally, I talked about the dozen gorgeous, unique yarn bowls donated by Sony Hartley of Knitting Lagniappe. We are so blessed to have members like Sony. Many have been used as door prizes, yet we still have some left. What do you think, should I bring some out to the next charity event? We could award them to the folks that donate the most at that event? Or raffle them off?
 
As for me, I continue to work on the Feza Baby Gradient Blanket in their Baby Hand Dyed yarn in shades of green. I’m up to 22″ on size 3 needles, so that’s only 14″ to go. The Baby Shower is looming, it’s going to be close. Just last Wednesday I attended the weekly Knit at Night gathering at Yarn Store Boutique so I would focus on the blanket. I shared with the group I send WAY too much time popping bubbles and not knitting. (Popping bubbles is Priscilla code for playing on my iPad…). YSB knitters, look forward to seeing more of me as I rush to get this completed by July 16th. I really want to get this done for the shower. 
  
I’ve made no other progress on other yarn projects. Between home repairs and Guild business my focus has been elsewhere. As you’ve already read, we are desperately working to keep the Guild viable for the 2022-2023 year. Please, please help out in any way you can. 
 
Please keep each other and our tumultuous world in your prayers. Please remember, you are each a bright spot that spreads joy and hope with each stitch.  
 
That’s all for now, here’s wishing all a wonderful, wet July.  
 
Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – June 2022

With June comes a number of more serious and timely topics related to our Guild:
  • It’s time to renew your membership. There are three ways to do this:
    1. In-Person: Fill out a membership form at any chapter meeting and pay $25 by cash or check.
    2. By Mail: Download a membership form and mail it with a check for $25 to the address on the form.
    3. Online: Fill out a membership form online and pay by Paypal or credit card for $27. Go to https://knitatnight.org and click on membership on the home page for the online form and these instructions.
 
  • It’s time to elect a new Executive Board of the Guild.
    The following offices are open: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership and Newsletter.
    We look forward to hearing from the nominating committee with a slate of officers for your vote in the June/July meetings. The official handover meeting is scheduled for July 30th. Depending on the office, there will be additional training to ensure the new officers are up to speed on their duties during August.
 
  • It’s also time to elect new chapter offices. Per the by-laws, no chapter can continue without at least a chapter President.
 
The Executive Board met in May and agreed to pursue a 2023 retreat. A committee is currently being formed to plan the retreat. Additionally, plans are in the works to do another ZOOM training sometime in the fall.
 
About my knitting… I continue to work on the Feza Baby Gradient Blanket in their Baby Hand Dyed yarn in shades of green. I’m up to 12″ on size 3 needles. As it turns out the blank is only 36″ long, not 60″ like I originally thought, so that’s only 24″ to go. Given the progress I’ve made, odds are good I’ll get it done in time for the Baby Shower in July. Last month I mentioned my carpool buddies Alex and Alyssa. Alyssa graduated from College in May. We’re all so proud. Her major was mass communications. She starts an internship with Disney World in August. How cool is that? As part of Alyssa’s graduation gift, I knitted her the Yeva Shawl by Berroco. It’s a bulky knit done on size 13 needles. I choose a beautiful green that should keep her warm during the fall nights of Florida.
 
I’ve also made progress on a prayer shawl for the Knitting Ministry at my Church, St. Mary’s in Cypress. The shawl is a simple stockinette pattern with a knit boarder on the bottom, top and edges. It’s made from Lion Brand Homespun on size 15 needles. The purpose of these shawls is a gift to church members going through tough times so that they know they are held in the hearts of others.  
 
The Blue Jean Saturday Shawl has taken a back seat to these other three projects. What can I say, I got intimidated by that lace…What that really means is that I have two active projects going, the prayer shawl and the baby blanket. 
 
Please keep each other in your prayers and thank you all for spreading your knowledge and kindness with each other. I hope to see you soon.
 
Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – May 2022

Can you believe it’s May already?!?! I can’t. This time of year, as we approach Mother’s Day, has me reminiscing about all I learned from my mom, most especially my love of yarn craft. This is an especially difficult holiday for me since my mom passed away in June of 1988 after a tough battle with cancer. Florence Graham was an extremely talented and fearless crafter. If she wanted to craft something, even if she’d never done it before, she just did it. This was way before YouTube. She’d go to the local shop, the Yarn Barn in Spring Valley, New York or the local quilt shop to work with the staff and just do it. I still have the hand quilted blanket she made me to take to college. In my dining room I have two framed crewel (embroidery with yarn) pictures she made. I have a sweater she made me in my hope chest, which was her hope chest before it was mine. All of these things are so precious to me. She not only taught me to love yarn crafts, she is who I learned them from. More than one of you has heard me say, “My mom told me only a machine can make a perfect item, mistake in a project prove it was done by a human.” 
 
I never had the blessing of my own kiddos so over the years I’ve become “Miss Priscilla” to all me friends’ kiddos.  Basically their aunt from another mother. If you ask those kiddos, they’ll tell you, Miss Priscilla is that pesky adult that sits them down when they are at odds with mom’s and tells they need to treasure them. 
 
Speaking of those kiddos, two of them that I’m especially close to announced impending milestone events in April. Amanda and Jake are expecting their first child, a girl, in September. Amanda’s mom, Joy is my BBF. After one shopping trip for baby stuff, my husband texted Amanda and told her the Moms (Joy & I) were losing their minds. We are having the best time and are so excited about this little one’s pending arrival. I’ve started the Feza Baby Gradient Blanket in their Baby Hand Dyed yarn in shades of green. I’ve completed 3″ on size 3 needles. Only 57″ to go. Think I’ll have it done for the Baby Shower in July? The other couple, Alex and Rose are engaged. Alex’s mom is my longest Houston friend. We’ve been friends for 36 years. Alex and Rose are getting married in the Hill Country next April. I’ve known Alex since he was born! He and his sister Alyssa were my car pool buddies when they were little. I knit wedding shawl’s for the special people in my life, so after I finish the baby blanket I’ll need to start one for Rose. 
 
Last month I told you guys my husband and I were finally headed off to Wimberly to stay at a wonderful bed and breakfast, the Blair House Inn. We had a great trip. This was our first trip away together after getting Lainey, our doggo.  We are both retired, but once Lainey became part of our family we could no longer lounge around in bed in the mornings. As you animal lovers know, doggos need to be fed and walked early each day. Neither of us realized just how much we enjoyed sleeping in until we ended up missing the breakfast part of the trip more than once as we slept late. Very nice. As promised by the weather reports, we had a weekend of temps in the 80s and lots of sunshine.  
 
All the reminiscing got me thinking about how I got backing into knitting after a 20-year hiatus. Beside yarn craft and jewelry making I’m an avid reader. Back in 2004, I read Debbie Macomber’s the Shop on Blossom Street. For those that don’t know the Blossom Street series, they are about a yarn shop, the women who take classes there, and become friends through the shop. In the first book the shop owner teaches these women to knit by having them make baby blanket for the Linus Project. I had not knitted for about 20 years before I read that book. It motivated me to pick up my needles and knit for the Linus Project which donates knitted blanket to hospitalized children. All together I knitted 15 blankets for them. Needless to say, I love knitting for charity. Speaking of Charity, make sure you check out the plans for the next charity event later in this newsletter. I was so motivated by our last event that I joined the Knitting Ministry at my Church, St. Mary’s in Cypress. This wonderful group makes prayer shawls for church members going through tough times. It’s yet another great opportunity to give back. 
 
I’m still working on the Blue Jean Saturday Shawl using Queensland Uluru Rainbow. I am finding the lace portion of the shawl a little challenging, so I’ve started using a lifeline. So that means I’ve got three active projects that I trade out depending of my motivation. The prayer shawl, the Blue Jean Saturday Shawl and the Baby Blank. I am actually making progress on all of them.
 
Please keep Ukraine in your prayers and thank you all for spreading your knowledge and kindness with each other. I hope to see you soon.
 

Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – Apr 2022

Here’s looking forward to a wonderful April. So far in late March we are having a lot of sunny days and warm temps. I’m really looking forward to more of the same in April. We will head out to Wimberly in a few hours for that LONG planned weekend. Originally it was to celebrate my husband’s 66th birthday back in 2020. While he did get to retire that year, it was to hang at home as COVID raged. Then it became our 20th wedding anniversary celebration in 2021, also called off on account of COVID…And then last month, our 21st wedding anniversary celebration was called off on account of the weather. SO, today we head off with no celebration intended, just to enjoy one of our favorite Texas destinations. The temps are going to be in the 80s so I’m sure we will enjoy a lot of sunshine.  
 
As we enter April, I ask again that each of us continues to take time with our higher power to pray for peace in the Ukraine. Let this act of aggression not be the beginning of yet even more violence in the world. If you follow our Facebook posting you know that the Guild shipped over 60 pounds of hand knitted and crochet items to Germany for the Ukraine refugees. I’m so proud of our Guild. There’s nothing like receiving a beautiful handmade item. Especially during hard times. It lets a person know they matter so much when someone takes their time and love to make this item for a complete stranger. We spread hope and blessings with each item.
 
Speaking of Charity, I attended the March event at the No Name Brewery. As it happens this event coincided with a farmer market of sorts. Not only was this a wonderful opportunity to get to know members better, I got some retail therapy! All those that attended made progress on their charity items and enjoyed a beverage or two. I enjoyed micro brew root beer, yum! It was a beautiful day, filled with love and kindness.    
 
March was a much more productive knitting month for me. I knitted the Kashimi scarf in Urth Yarns Kashmir Mono. As a skein, the yarn appeared to be variegated pale blues. It knitted up extremely soft, but rather monotone. That was a bit of a disappointment. I also began the Blue Jean Saturday Shawl using Queensland Uluru Rainbow. The colors vary from oranges through browns through purple. It’s knitting up just beautifully. This is a project of love for a friend battling cancer. I can’t wait to get it finished.
 
Thank you all for spreading your knowledge and kindness with each other. Each of you is what makes this Guild. So, enjoy flowers, pastels and sunshine this month.
 
Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – Mar 2022

I don’t know about you, but my February went completely sideways compared to what I planned. First, that trip to Wimberley was called off because of the weather. Knitting, I don’t think so — absolutely no progress at all. I had big plans for the charity knit in, but nope, again called because of weather … The Primary early voting, plans to take it easy, vote, knit. Ended up working an early morning shift as an election clerk for two weeks in downtown Katy. Any of you who know me well, know I’m NOT a morning person. Worked the 6am to 1pm shift. Up at 4-ish AM, oh brother! Of course I met really nice workers and did my civic duty so it was totally worth it.  
 
With March, I do have a couple of things for your consideration. First, I ask you to vote in the Primaries on Tuesday, March 1st. As citizens of the US we have that right and freedom. Unfortunately so many of us don’t exercise that right. As of the end of early voting, less than 3% of Harris County had voted. Also, I ask that each of us takes time with our higher power to pray for peace in the Ukraine. Let this act of aggression not be the beginning of yet even more violence in the world. Lastly, please take a minute to thank your chapter President and officers. Each and everyone of them is why your chapter is still with us. Remember those that served in the past and let them know how much you appreciate them as well. I appreciate your patience with me and my thoughts. As I said, these suggestions are just for your consideration.
 
Your board met on Tuesday, February 15th. Things around the guild are doing really well. We are making real headway against the challenges we weathered because of COVID. Financially we are doing well. Many of our chapters are meeting in person and working through the challenges of hybrid live/Zoom meetings. Members have really stepped up, putting on programs, sharing our knowledge, donating door prizes, and just being there for each other. Our Charity Chairs are encouraging us to fill our big blue bags with items for others. I love the extra events they are putting together for us to come across chapters, raise a glass of micro brew and knit.  
 
When I began as your President almost 3 years ago it was my intention to attend at least three meetings a month. My home chapter (SoCK) and two others. Basically I was going to visit each chapter once a quarter. Boy did the COVID keep me from doing that. As we continue to heal from this terrible pandemic, it’s my goal to visit each chapter before I pass the reins. I’m so proud of how each of you has kept with it. You guys are the best. 
    
As I mentioned last month, I’ve still got 5 projects that I’m currently working on or, given February, dreaming of working on. Hopefully actual progress will be made in March. As I said last month, each has its own challenges. I still haven’t sewn together the Evening Lights Poncho. February REALLY did go sideways…
 
Think green this month, have a little corned beef and cabbage along with a little green beer and enjoy!
 
Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – Feb 2022

February is all about love, kindness and togetherness. This month is special to me because it’s my wedding anniversary. This is twenty-one years for us. We are finally getting our getaway to celebrate as we head off to Wimberley and the Blair House Inn for a long weekend during the first weekend of February. Wimberley is one of our favorite places. It’s such a beautiful area of Texas and the first place we went on vacation together way back when. If you have a minute, Google the Blair House Inn. It’s a lovely bed and breakfast that we’ve visited over and over throughout the years.
  
January was a very quiet month for me. I spent a week quarantining since I’d been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID. My test came back negative as did my husband’s, but what a frustrating week. I’ve been vaccinated and even had my booster, so I wasn’t too worried, but I would really hate it if I gave it to someone else. I continue to wear a mask when out shopping and places where I don’t know the status of others, like the gym. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that many people who are not wearing a mask are not vaccinated, so please be careful out there. 
 
I did complete my presentation on double knitting at the January SoCK meeting. We used a bookmark pattern to learn the technique. Of course, we ended up having technical difficulties with displaying the YouTube video, “Demystifying Double-Sided Knitting” by Lattes & Llamas on the TV at our meeting. We listened anyway and then did an in-person walk-through of the technique. I think most of us found casting on to be the most challenging part of the project. Our Webmaster, Lauren Levy, was able to complete the first block during our meeting with great success. This coming month Ann Wohn will be doing an ergonomics presentation. This should have great tips and tricks for keeping our hands healthy.     
 
As is normal for me, I’ve got 5 projects that I’m currently working on. Each has its own challenges, so I find myself putting down one and picking up another when I get frustrated. Of course, this is not a full list of all my unfinished projects, it’s just those I’m actually making progress on. These include the Vogue Scarf, the Yorkshire Collections’ Stars Falling Cowl (a double knitting project), the Intermezzo Cowl (a beading and chart project), the Simple Blocks Blanket (a charity project) and, of course, a new project, the Urth Yarn Kashimi shawlette (a lace project). I find my past columns to be helpful in keeping track of my in-progress projects. As I was looking back over old columns, I discovered that in my 2021 February column, I let you all know I had finished the Evening Lights Poncho, that it was blocked and ready to be sewn together. Would you believe a year later, I still haven’t sewn it together? Geez! It’s really beautiful, made out of Fangirl Hand Dyed Soft Rains of April yarn. It’s now back on the radar, so let’s see if I can make that happen this month. It would be a great addition to my wardrobe! 
 
Let’s spread the love this month!
 
Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com

From the President – Jan 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I certainly did. I headed off to Salt Lake City on Saturday, December 18th for a long girls’ weekend with my sister-in-law and niece. My niece is at the Ballet West Ballet Academy pursuing her dream of being a professional dancer. This year she was chosen to dance in the Ballet Company’s professional Nutcracker. We saw two shows while we were there. This is a company of extremely tall dancers including my niece. Most are between 5′ 9″ and 6′ 2″. The dancers make complicated moves look effortless, and it’s all done with the biggest smiles I have ever witnessed on a dancer’s face while performing. Apparently, Ballet West was the first US Company to do the Nutcracker, and their rendition is just delightful. The scenery and costumes were gorgeous! In case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m a bit of a Ballet Geek. I’ve been watching my niece dance for over a decade as she develops into a wonderful dancer. She’s auditioning for a professional spot this spring, and I’ve got my fingers crossed! 
 
Normally, this is how I kick off my Christmas Holiday, by traveling to see my niece dance. I was not able to do that last year, nor enjoy many other of our traditions, so 2022 is already looking better to me. We celebrated Christmas Eve with a dear friend who recently moved back to Houston with our traditional steak dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse on Westheimer. My sweet husband and I followed up on Christmas day with lunch out. FYI, this is how the childless celebrate! My Houston based niece hosted her New York family for the week, so we spent time with them between Christmas and New Year. All in all it was a fun filled time. 
 
With the new year, SoCK, my home chapter, has changed up how we do programs. Each month a member will present a topic. I’m doing a double knitting presentation in January. Look to the SoCK write up if you are interested in learning about this cool technique. 
 
YAY!!! I finished Kaylie’s Ziggy Baby Blanket. I was able to give it to her mom right before Christmas. Her mom appropriately gushed, which made my day. Since I finished this project, I thought I can start something else. Well, after further thought, I picked up the half finished Vogue Scarf that SoCK started as a KAL way back in the spring. As it turns out, the Intermezzo Cowl is much more challenging than I’d hoped, so I needed something easier to do as I watched the Hallmark Christmas movies. No progress on my Gnomes…looks like they will be a 2022 Christmas gift…
 
Here’s to a great 2022! Please stay safe and healthy. 
 
Priscilla Graham
Executive Board President
knitatnightguild@gmail.com