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Knitters' Guild NSW Inc

News Desk

News Desk

Historic Mamre House Blue Mountains Group Meeting.

The Blue Mountains group had their May meeting in the historic grounds of Mamre House. The event was well attended by members and visitors with a Devonshire tea being provided by the Tea Rooms. Congratulations and thanks go to Group Convener Helen, Group Secretary Sharon and Group Treasurer Janette, as well as all those involved in putting together such a delightful and interesting occasion.

Anita and Bess from The Wool Inn at Penrith displayed a wide and colourful range of yarn and accessories from their stock as well as donating to the Lucky Door Prizes and raffles. Spotlight and Mamre House also contributed to the prizes.

Mamre House, built c1820, was the home of colonial chaplain, magistrate and pastoralist, the Reverend Samuel Marsden, who pioneered the Australian wool industry by importing and breeding the famous Merino sheep.

Epping's Biggest Morning Tea

Once again, the Epping Group is holding a Biggest Morning Tea at 10am on Monday 20th May at Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley St, Epping.

All money raised goes to the Cancer Council.

$8 entry donations covers entry to Morning Tea and one entry in the Knitting Competition.

$2 for each additional entry in the Knitting Competition.

Raffle tickets $2 each or 3 for $5. Donated items for the raffle are most welcome. Send them along before the event or bring them on the day.

We ask you to please assist us by bringing along your own cup, saucer & plate and one for any guests you invite to join you.

Prizes will be awarded for each category in Knitting Competition as well as a lucky door prize.

NEW Knitting Competition Categories are:

1. Hats, Caps and Beanies for Cancer Patients

2. Wraps for Cancer Patients

3. Other items for cancer patients e.g. scarves, mittens, socks

4. Cosies for teapots, coffee pots, plungers and mugs

All items in first 3 categories should be made of soft yarn suitable for cancer sufferers.

Please note that the Cancer Council has advised us to make only smaller sized hats/beanies so they fit heads without hair. Cotton ones are really appreciated in summer. Knitters will have the choice of having the hat returned or donated to the Cancer Council.

Watch the Knitters’ Guild website closer to the event for entry forms and details of how to mail in competition entries if you are unable to attend in person or if you want to mail donated goods for the raffle.

Enquiries: Anne can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “BMT enquiry” as the subject of the email.

President´s Report - Merrin Marks

President´s Report

Merrin Marks

President Knitters’ Guild NSW

2010 - 2013

Just over three and a half years ago it was suggested to me that I take on the role of President of this Guild. I thought long and hard about it, particularly given the number of other commitments I have. In the end I agreed basically because I have a great love for our craft since I first learnt to knit as a child and enjoy its artistic and social nature and I felt that the Guild was at a pivotal point in its history. On the one hand were members who didn't think about the Guild as being an entity bigger than their Group but there were those who wanted the Guild to  utilise new technologies and ensure the Guild was legally compliant in its processes and there were those who didn't see any need for any changes and were concerned about their possible impact. So, because I believe in the value of the Guild as an important entity to facilitate the sharing and growth of our craft in our society, I thought that I would do what I could to assist the Guild in the implementation of what was needed to keep in step with cultural technological changes whilst ensuring that those who needed to or wished to keep to non-technological processes could do so and also to assess the Guild’s compliance with changes in statutory legislation.

This Guild was formed 27 years ago by small number of ladies, most of whom are still members to this day. The reason they formed the Guild was to further our craft and this aim is reflected in the Objects of our constitution:

a) To encourage and promote hand knitting, crochet and other associated crafts;

b) To encourage and maintain high standards in design and techniques;

c) To provide a forum for the exchange and provision of information;

d) To provide an opportunity for education in the craft;

e) To encourage the exhibition of members’ work;

f) To do all things which may seem proper to further the interests of the craft.

Over the past three years the Guild has continued to fulfill these Objects in a variety of ways, some of which have been happening for some time and others have been implemented more recently.  Several of these recent changes have been made in order to take into consideration changes in the demographics of Guild members, changes in technology and changes in legislation. These are a few highlights of how the Guild achieves its Objects and how the changes which have taken place assist the Guild to do so.

To encourage and promote hand knitting, crochet and other associated crafts –

The Guild’s website is increasingly being used to showcase members’ work, provide information to the community about what the Guild does and to advertise events for both members and non-members.

Guild members and Groups continue to provide a presence at Exhibitions and both craft and regional shows and festivals. Two major events over the past year have been the display at the Royal Easter Show and the organisation by the Goulburn Group of a scarf for the Big Merino which came to fruition in March of this year and gained national news coverage.

Several new Groups have started with two new ones commencing in the next few weeks.

To encourage and maintain high standards in design and techniques –

The Standards Committee continues to provide judges for shows and the assessment of members’ work through the Achievement Certificates and the members of the Committee have been researching various techniques for new Certificate modules. To assist members to improve their skills or learn new ones, they have also prepared a schedule for a Guild Competition and Exhibition which was proposed  for 2012 but the major events of the RAS Display 2012 and the Camp 2013 have meant that it is now scheduled for 2014.

The Guild now has a closer involvement in the RAS Arts & Crafts Competitions and has been able to implement some changes in classes which have increased community interest in entering and wanting knowledge of techniques.

To provide a forum for the exchange and provision of information –

The Newsletter is increasing in variety of content and size with every issue with many photos of members’ work and Guild activities. The Newsletter remains our main avenue for communicating with all members and can be received by email or post.

In addition to the website, the Guild now has a Ravelry Group with more than 250 members and a Twitter Account. Several Groups are now utiilising the Ravelry Group to communicate with their members, notices and questions about the Guild events and activities can be posted and answered quickly to a wide audience. The Twitter Account is able to communicate Guild avtivities and events to both members and non-members and show photos of exhibitions. On occasions both Ravelry and Twitter have been used to call in emergency volunteers for shows when other members have not been able turn up due to illness or suddent changes on work commitments.

To provide an opportunity for education in the craft –

Workshops continue to be a key factor to achieve this Object. We have had workshops run by international tutors as well as local members and non-members  within Group meetings , at shows and at specially organised events. The advertising of workshops on the internet and the implemenation of on-line bookings has seen an increase of attendees at workshops and a subsequent increase in memberships.

The Library continues to provide books for borrowing by members and Groups and has recently added several DVDs to its collection.

To encourage the exhibition of members’ work –

As already mentioned above members’ work is exhibited in the Newsletter, at various shows and it is increasingly being displayed on the internet via the Guild website, on Ravelry, Twitter and in Group blogs or member blogs.

To do all things which may seem proper to further the interests of the craft

In order to do this the Guild has had to make sure that it complies with current legislation so that it can continue to operate and not be prosecuted for non-compliance. The process of formulating a new constitution, begun in 2009, was completed in 2011 with the ratification of a Guild Constitution which complies with the new State Associations Legislation of 2009. Changes to our remuneration processes have been implemented in order to comply with NSW State laws and we have been endeavouring to also formulate a Records Management Policy and firm up our financial procedures.

The implementation of direct deposits and on-line payments for memberships and workshops, as well as bookings for workshops, has been very popular and, as mentioned above, has seen an increase in memberships, with several people rejoining.

We have also implemented the ability to pay our suppliers and reimburse members’ expenses by direct deposit rather than using cheques with are slower, more costly and prone to getting lost and a substantial portion of our reserve funds is deposited in an interest bearing term deposit.

Over the past three years I have greatly enjoyed visiting Guild Groups, unfortunately due to work and uni commitments I was unable to get around to all the Groups but I am hoping that I may be able to visit those I’ve missed once my degree is finished this year. It has been my aim to make sure that changes have been communicated and that processes are left in place for those without access to technology and recently Groups have been encouraged to follow the Southern Group’s example and set up a buddy system to regularly pass on inforamtion to these members.

Great thanks must go to Executive Committee members and all the Group Officers and Sub-Committee members and convenors for everything they do to support the Guild and its members. This is what makes the difference between the Guild and the casual social groups libraries, shops, cafes, pubs, clubs - to name a few - which many of us attend as well as our Guild Groups. When I submitted a proposal to Blacktown Council recently it was very satisfying to be able to outline to Coulncil the various ways in which a Guild Group can benefit a community, for example, by supporting local charities, shows and exhibitions and providing classes for all ages. I would like to encourage more members to get involved, even in small ways – the more people who do means that even more can be achieved.

I have been very proud to be President of the Guild. It has been very hard work but overall the Guild is a wonderful organisation with great potential and it will be exciting to see its continued progress in the coming years.


Blacktown and ACT Groups Announced

Two new Groups were ratified at today's Executive meeting.

The inaugural meeting of the Blacktown Group will be in the Max Webber Library, Patrick St Blacktown, on Saturday 8 June 10:00am - 1:00pm. The plan is to meet on the second Saturday of the month 10am-1pm.

A Group servicing Queanbeyan and the ACT has also been formed. It meets on the second Saturday of the month (first meeting 11th May) from 2pm - 4pm at Casuarina Room, R B Smith Community Centre, 262 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan.


Orenburg Lace Workshops Success

Galina Khemleva is a gifted knitter and a passionate teacher.

Participants at her 5 workshops came away enthused and delighted with her wealth of knowledge and skills.  The workshops were held in West Ryde, Potts Point, Newcastle and Mudgee.   Galina set a brisk pace for the participants who learnt the basic stitches used in Orenburg lace and produced samples of lace knitting and grafting.

The Intarsia Lace workshop was the most complex of all the workshops, but the knitters rose to the challenge.  Congratulations to those knitters who came to more than one workshop, when too much lace knitting is barely enough.

Galina has promised to be back in 2015.

Knitting Daily recently featured Galina in this article.

Intarsia Shawl


2013 AGM Results

Results of the 27th Annual General Meeting


The Twenty-Seventh Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 4th May 2013.

New members of the Executive Committee.

President: Sally Ogilvie (Inner City)   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Centre right)

Vice President: Mary-Helen Ward (Inner City)(Left)

Vice President: Elaine Dewey (Northern) (Right)

Secretary: Clare Hacker (Blue Mountains)   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Back, left)

Treasurer: Merrin Marks (Blue Mountains)   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Centre)


Ailsa Daly (Inner City) (Centre left)

Leanne Graham (Southern)

Joanne Kennedy (Southern)

Sue Scott (Northern) (Back right)


Sydney Royal Easter Show Photos & Results

The Cabinet of Excellence contains some of the 1st prize winners from all categories of the Arts and Craft Section of the Show, so includes leatherwork, pottery, handweaving etc as well as knitting and crochet.

The adult sweater shown is by Kate Morris who was a member of the Inner City branch of the Knitters’ Guild until she moved to the Seattle a few weeks ago.  Her Katesknitting’s large lace collar pullover won a blue ribbon in class 126 (partial stranded garment).

In the foreground is a prizewinning child’s cardigan by Kate Collins, meticulously knitted with Celtic cables.

Also in the Cabinet of Excellence is Helen Taylor's prize winning finest lace shawl, less than 4ply. Helen is the winner of the Francess Binnie Award and Margo Chick Award.

All the results from the Sydney Royal Easter Show Competitions are listed here.

Thanks to Jane (Roseredshoes) for sharing her photos of the Knitting and the Crochet cabinets.

Fair Isle Basics Workshop a success.

A workshop on Fair Isle Basics was held on 2 March at the Customs House Library in Sydney.  Participants enjoyed a  brief presentation on the history of Fair Isle and the characteristics of its knitting, before moving onto techniques.  Each technique was de-constructed and variations attempted to achieve similar results.  Keeping an even gauge is very important and some simple movements helped to do this.  Participants designed their own charts, incorporating elements of the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Mean, as applied to the traditional design elements of Fair Isle.

A demonstration of steeking was carried out, but time got away from us and some participants avoided  the challenge of putting the scissors through their work!  Next time....

Thanks to Lyndall Harrison who suggested the topic, and to Sally and Tanja for their help on the day.

Kerry Edwards

Workshop Cordinator