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The Downtown Knit Collective


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Previous Meetings


October 17, 2007
Carolyn Franke loves mittens! She has been interested in traditional knitting and pattern motifs for over 25 years. She's made multiple trips to Great Britain and Scandinavia and owns over 50 books (and counting!) on the subject. She loves that they're quick to knit and an excellent way to test out new colour combinations. She also enjoys wearing patterned mittens and often finds herself admiring her own and others' handiwork while holding the bar in the subway!

Join us as Carolyn takes us on "The Mitten Tradition" -- a visual journey of mittens from around the world, highlighting techniques and sharing folk beliefs that still persist to this day. This meeting promises that you'll never look at a hand-knitted mitten the same way again, and will certainly pack a punch to your creativity when you think about your next mitten project.

You can read more about the October meeting in the November DKC newsletter.

September 19, 2007
New Yarns - Latest treads and colors from Yarn Reps
What a wonderful way to start off the season with new yummie yarns for Spinrite/Paton's Diamond Yarns, Estelle Designs, Crystal Palace Yarns, Needleful Yarns, and others. The representatives will showcase the coolest fibers, hot trends, and amazing colors of their latest yarns. Come and see and feel these new fibers, chat with the wonderful and generous distributors, and connect with your fellow guild members both new and old - at our season opening meeting.

You can read more about the September meeting in the October DKC newsletter.


June 20, 2007
Joanne Yordanou’s designs have graced the pages of Vogue Knitting, Family Circle Knitting, Interweave Knits – just to name a few. She’s also created designs for Patons, Bernat, Classic Elite, Lion Brand and others. In the winter of 2007, Potter Craft will publish Joanne's first solo book entitled, "12 Months of Knitting". Each month showcases an easy, intermediate and advanced pattern – perfect for when you want that quick knit or something that challenges your noodle! On June 20th, Joanne will give us a sneak peek into her new book and talk about her inspiration for the patterns.

You can read more about the June meeting in the September DKC newsletter.

May 16, 2007
Dreaming of quitting a boring day job and running off to a yarn paradise is every knitters dream. For our May 16th meeting four women, who have made that dream their reality, will share their experience in this special Q&A discussion. Susan Preston (representative and knitwear designer from Estelle Design & Sales), Robin Melanson (knitwear designer and Romni Wools employee), Julia Grunau (Prime Minister at Ministry of Fibre) and Jacqueline Sava (creator of Soak and Jacq’s Hats) are scheduled to participate in this Q & A discussion.

You can read more about the May meeting in the June DKC newsletter.

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April 18, 2007
Due to a family emergency, Carolyn Franke couldn't speak to us about her love of traditional mitten patterns and designs. Our own guild president, Denise Powell, stepped in and gave a delightful talk called “Inspirations In Knitting". Denise shared with us examples of other textile sources that gave some of her designs originality and flair. By pointing out how she considered style, colour, pattern, and texture of the inspiration, she was able to show us how she was able translate that into her knitting.

You can read more about the April meeting in the May DKC newsletter.

March 28, 2007
Amy R. Singer will discuss and sign copies of her new book, No Sheep For You! Amy was taught to knit by her grandmother at the tender age of 6 and discovered not too long after that she was allergic to wool and incredibly sensitive to most animal fibres. Not letting sheep-based knitting deter her from her favourite craft, she sought out other materials that would make any wool devotee swoon. In No Sheep For You!, she shares all her best non-wool knitting knowledge in this must have how-to and showcases beautiful patterns that you will want to immediately knit in cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo, and other scrumptious yarns.

No Sheep For You! is published by Interweave Press and is on the bookshelves now. To have a copy ready for you at the March meeting, contact Marsha at Needle Arts Book Shop by email ([email protected]) or phone (416) 530-7460).

Amy is the editor of the web only knitting magazine Knitty, (, launched in 2002). She also is the author of Knit Wit (HarperResource, 2004) and Big Girl Knits, co-written with her friend Jillian Moreno (Potter Craft, 2006). She is a contributor to Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales, edited by Kari Cornell (Voyageur Press, 2005) and Knitgrrl 2 by Shannon Okey (Watson-Guptil, 2006). She also writes a column for Interweave Knits magazine and keeps a blog on their website about knitting and the internet.

You can read more about the March meeting in the April DKC newsletter.

February 28, 2007: Skills Exchange Mini-Workshops
Back by popular demand, February saw the return of the skills exchange mini-workshops. At this meeting, several of our fellow guild members shared their talents in quick 15-minute hands-on sessions where they taught us new techniques to take home and practice.

You can read more about the February meeting in the March DKC newsletter.

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January 17, 2007: Sally Melville
The DKC is 10 years old! Time to celebrate again, this time with Sally Melvillle at the microphone. Every year Sally lets us in on her knitting life and shares with us her knitterly knowledge--and this year was no different! When asked what she might speak of this year, she answered:

"Sometimes you cannot know where you are going without examining where you have been. Sometimes the pattern makes sense and sometimes it does not. Sometimes we feel as if we're standing still or even moving backwards. What we most want to do is take the next step. How do we find the safe place upon which the next step will fall?"

This prolific designer, teacher, writer and all-around knitting phenom explored this topic further and shared her insight into all things knit.

Sally Melville is the author of The Knitting Experience Series and Sally Melville Styles.

You can read more about the January meeting in the February DKC newsletter.

Thursday, December 14, 2006: Show of Our Hands
Our December meeting showcased us, the members of the Downtown Knit Collective, at the annual Show of Our Hands. After the models cleared the runway, we celebrated our creativity with an array of tasty treats.

You can read more about the December meeting in the January DKC newsletter.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006: Donna Hancock and Wellington Fibres
Located on a farm outside Elora, Ontario, Wellington Fibres raises angora goats which Donna Hancock and her husband produce into wonderfully different natural, dyed and hand-painted yarns in their very own spinning mill. If that doesn't tempt you enough, they can even custom process natural fibres for you. Wellington Fibres doesn't just process their own yarn, they also have on onsite store offering their luscious yarns and fibre related products, plus they offer classes and workshops too. This is definitely not your typical farm!

Donna took us through the history of angora, gave us the skinny on mohair, showed us the milling process and introduced us to the 30 angora goats she raises on her farm. And as an extra bonus, we were able to fondle some of the yarns Donna and her husband have created!

You can read more about the November meeting in the December DKC newsletter.

Wednesday, October 18: Beryl Tsang's Tit-bits
October is breast cancer awareness month and we took great pride in having Beryl Tsang speaking to us about her battle with this terrible disease, her struggle finding a proper fitting prostheses and her fantastic creation, the Tit-bit!

Beryl Tsang is the Founder and Chief Executive Knitter of Tit-Bits: Hand-Knitted Breasts. Following university, graduate school and 15 years as women's advocate, knit therapist, mother, and all-around raconteur, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, Tsang found herself surrounded by courageous, inspiring, witty women who helped her make the journey more comforting.

Beryl is an amazing woman and had us in tears--of sadness and laughter--with the insight, inspiration and games she brought to the evening.

You can read more about the October meeting in the November DKC newsletter.

Thursday, September 14, 2006: What's new for the season
Representatives from Needful Yarns, Estelle Designs and Sales, Lily Chin Signature Collection, Mission Falls and Spinrite/Paton's showcased the hot trends, coolest fibers and amazing colors of their latest offerings at our season opening meeting.

You can read more about the September meeting in the October DKC newsletter.

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