Local Nordic knitters gather for symposium in Seattle

  • Mon Oct 11th, 2010 9:56pm
  • News

By Kristi O’Harran Herald Columnist

There is always something new to learn in the knitting world.

Karin Lowe of Snohomish, who has been knitting for 30 years, suggested that the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle offer a conference on the hobby.

The third annual conference begins Friday.

“I was taught by a cousin while traveling in Sweden,” Lowe says. “My mother’s parents were Swedish. I have a great interest in handicrafts from all the Nordic and Baltic countries, but mostly knitting.”

In 2005 she studied Scandinavian knitting in Wisconsin. She heard about a Nordic knitting symposium and thought it would be a wonderful event in this area.

“I collected information on national and international instructors and approached the Nordic Heritage Museum. Mary Ann Forsblad, the former director, said it was a good idea as that was exactly what the museum was there for.”

Lowe says this third conference will help educate the public, keep traditional techniques alive, showcase contemporary designers and support the museum.

“Knitting is very popular right now,” Lowe says.

There is an international knitting and crocheting web community at www.ravelry.com. Lowe says Charisa Martin Cairn and other volunteers created Snohomish Knitters Guild at www.snohomishknittersguild.org.

Wendy Sundquist, who lives in Clinton, plans to attend the program.

“I have been interested in knitting since I was a child,” she says. “I taught myself how to knit when I was about 9 or 10 from a book while I was home sick from school with nothing to do.”

She took several classes in the United States and Scandinavia about knitting and weaving. She says she was a professional weaver for more than 15 years.

“My interest in Scandinavian textiles has been something that has always been a part of me. My ancestry is as my father says, ‘A mutt.’ But one quarter of the ‘mutt’ is Swedish-Finn. This branch of the family came to the U.S. in the 1880s and settled in Minnesota and Washington.

The Nordic Heritage Museum, Sundquist says, is a link to the Scandinavian community in this region and abroad.

For more information about the conference, go to www.nordicmuseum.org or call 206-789-5707.

A return guest will entertain at an organ concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.

Halden Toy, 17, a junior at Marysville Pilchuck High School, played at the church in April as a substitute organist.

“All who heard him were amazed by his skill at the organ,” says Janet Kelly, administrative assistant with the church.

Halden has played in recital around the country, and performed in the “Rising Stars” recital for the 2010 American Guild of Organists convention in Washington D.C.

A year ago, a Froula Memorial Pipe Organ was rededicated in a concert at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. Halden was the first player at the concert.

He played Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1, and the G Major Toccata by Chip Davis.

Admission Sunday is a $10 donation at the door.

Generous folks donated $3,639 for a fundraiser to help Becky Veatch as she is treated for cancer.

They also gave 51 units of blood.

Veatch, who lives in Snohomish, didn’t want the gathering to be just about her. She requested there also be a blood drive.

Folks gathered at Garden City Grange in Snohomish where hairstylists offered buzz cuts and there were baked goods and T-shirts for sale.

Cancer is no stranger to the family. Veatch is the third of six siblings struck by the disease.

Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, oharran@heraldnet.com