Incoming 2023-2024 co-presidents
Elections for new Board members will take place at the end of the January meeting. The slate includes two co-Presidents. Current 2021-2022 President Tania Marshall is returning for a second term. Tania is joined at the helm by Renate Kamm. Get to know our incoming co-Presidents, Renate Kamm and Tania Marshall! Welcome to both of you!
Renate published her first pattern in 2013 and currently lists 72 original patterns on Ravelry. Her designs have appeared multiple times in Interweave Knits, Knit Picks website, Knitty online magazine, and other publications. How did she accomplish these feats?
Renate has been knitting all her life. She grew up in Germany and learned knitting, crocheting, and sewing in school. It came as quite a surprise to her when she moved to the U.S. and learned that these skills are not taught in every country!
As a younger woman, you could find Renate knitting at church on Sunday, or at a disco Saturday night, usually near the side speaker where some light seeped through from the stage. She is an all-around crafter, completing many large needlework projects and crocheted blankets. She has sewn many of her own clothes, including her wedding dresses.
Her marriage to a U.S. Army soldier initially brought her to Northern California. She came to San Diego in the early 90s when he switched services to the Marine Corps. Divorce and a career change from bookkeeper led her to South Carolina. Returning to San Diego several years later, she worked as a Change Manager, building small phones at Nokia, and then building aircraft launch and arresting systems on aircraft carriers at General Atomics.
Her first encounter with our Guild came in 2015 when past president Liz Knapp invited her to the Holiday Luncheon. She won one of the prizes and went home with new yarn, many ideas, and memories. She knew the Guild was for her, and joined after her 2017 retirement from work. In Renate’s own words, her “in awe of so much talent” held her back from getting more involved in Guild activities. In 2019 she answered the call to volunteer at the Stash Sale and, with no Librarian that year, she also maintained a table at our monthly meetings to give away donated magazines and patterns.
When she is not crafting, Renate also enjoys jogging, swimming, biking, and walking. She now lives in Normal Heights (with her very patient second husband and their dog Maxxy). As incoming co-President for 2023, Renate offers this New Year’s message to Guild members, “Well, 2022 has come to an end. I hope you look back and find many things that will become wonderful memories for years to come. Let’s wish for a peaceful, healthy, and full of wonderful knitting projects 2023 that will make even better memories.”
Ravelry ID: oberpfalzerin
Born in Venezuela, Tania’s family returned to their Bronx, NY neighborhood when she was two. Accompanying the family was her 19-year-old aunt who had learned needlecrafts in school in Venezuela. From her, Tania learned to knit, crochet, and embroider before learning English in elementary school. She did simple projects – hats, scarves, mittens, and vests – but preferred crochet during the 1960s and 70s.
Her small college town had a yarn shop where she got a Boye Needlemaster interchangeable set on layaway. Her first job (teaching high school Spanish at a private boarding school) was in an isolated town in Northern Massachusetts. Needing warm wardrobe options, Tania got out her shiny needles and a learn-to-knit pamphlet so she could match the English terms to the stitches she had learned as a child in Spanish. Since her aunt never used patterns for her creations, figuring out patterns – mostly without photos – was an adventure! She learned she was a Combined Continental knitter and had to compensate for how her stitches sat on the needles.
Tania’s first Navy duty station was in Rota, Spain where she saw summer residents knitting on the beach while watching their children frolic in the ocean. Over the years, she was good for a sweater or two a year and some smaller projects. She came to San Diego in 1989. [Editor’s note: Tania “interviewed herself” for this article and was quite modest. In fact, her Navy career included teaching and writing leadership curriculum while on the faculty of the Naval Academy; XO of the San Diego recruiting district; and running the leadership school in Coronado.]
After retiring from the Navy in 1996, Tania took up her needles with a vengeance, enrolling in the Foothills Adult school knitting program. There, she met several long-time Guild members who encouraged her to join. As a South Bay resident, Tania attended Knit@Nite for years before venturing to General meetings, workshops, and retreats and finally becoming Guild President – just as the pandemic struck. Tania’s first in-person meeting as Guild President wasn’t until November 2022! She welcomes Renate Kamm as incoming 2023 co-President, which gives Tania the opportunity to enjoy some Presidential duties while sharing responsibilities for the next two years.
Ravelry ID: taniasews
— Tania Marshall, Guild President and News Coordinator