We’ve recently returned from a fabulous week’s holiday in the States, spent with Susan Guagliumi and her husband at their home in Connecticut. This gorgeous green and pleasant corner of the USA isn’t called ‘New England’ by accident. The only notable difference between here and there was something called ‘sunshine’, which bathed us in warmth. Susan and I have been friends since the 1980s and it was so good to catch up again.
Susan set up a meeting for me to visit the Stoll Fashion & Technology Centre in New York. Stoll covers the huge American knitting industry market and supplies it with all the necessary services and supports. At the New York showroom they work with a wide range of highly skilled specialists, to develop the shapes and patterns used by famous major American retail companies and knitwear designers. They inspire develop, produce, source and train both people and companies.
As Bill King says this month: “A knitting machine is a very versatile piece of kit” and I was able to take a close look at some newly released fancy swatches. I also handled the prototype fabrics and structures of the knitted Nike trainers I’d spotted on one or two pairs of feet on the subway. Stoll combines the abilities of smart and highly-productive flat bed knitting machine technology of today, with the innovative textile functions of tomorrow. Bill King would have loved it and moved in immediately. If the product of your dreams could be knitted, Stoll will source the materials and find a way to do it. The 21st century machinery was there, sitting very comfortably alongside a room of well-used domestic Knitmaster machines. I saw knitting which I’d never believed was possible, so we should never doubt what our machines can do, or put down our craft.
Susan is making progress with her fourth machine knitting book, which she’s tentatively titled Hand-Manipulated Stitches: Exploring Open Spaces. Susan has let me have some samples to show you, which she was busy knitting on her LK-150. Don’t miss next month’s magazine for an update from her and a sneak preview. I’m sure the swatches will whet your appetite for more Open Space designs and techniques and finally dispel the myth that this simple mid-gauge plastic bed model isn’t a ‘proper’ knitting machine. In the meantime, you’ll find free downloads on her website at www.guagliumi.com. There are currently three Open Space designs – Swirling Eyelets (first seen here in MKM), 3D Nops & Eyelets and the newest one, Slit Topper. There are also some how-to videos on her blog at www.susanguagliumi.com so, until next month, happy knitting!
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September 2017 is our current issue and was officially on sale on 10th August. If you order a subscription and latest issue bundle, we’ll send you this magazine and your subscription will start with October 2017, to be sent out to subscribers on 7th September.
August 2017 is our current issue so if you order a subscription and latest issue bundle, we’ll send you this magazine. Your subscription will start with September 2017, to be sent out to subscribers on 3rd August.
I recently attended a great day spent with members of the Guild of Machine Knitters, at their National Day. The event moves around the country, to give everyone the chance to attend and this year it was held in Westbury, Wiltshire. Entry is free for Guild members and non-members are welcome if they pay £5 on the door. It’s a really good day out for any machine knitter, so you might want to make a Diary Date for next June. Nick Traylen brought lots of Uppingham Yarns to tempt us and Elaine Cater was there with her latest designs and new books, which you can read about in Newsline. Marianne Henio showed us some of her current collection and Jan Truman gave an amazing and inspiring talk as Guest Speaker. There were lots of demonstrations, including Jane Harrisson’s sock machine ‘purring’ gently in the background.
Many of us had stayed in a hotel the night before and it was far too hot for food to survive the searing heat overnight. We confidently walked to a local supermarket to grab some lunch, only to discover their fridges and freezers had broken down. It was getting hotter by the minute, so we were hugely grateful to Elaine’s husband for driving into town guided by a member of Westbury Woollies. They returned with a welcome selection of chilled salads and sandwiches.
The Guild has a number of knitting clubs as members and local club Westbury Woollies supplied refreshments for the event. Members meet monthly on the second Tuesday from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm at the Heywood & Hawkeridge Village Hall, 5a Church Road, Heywood, Westbury BA13 4LP. They were a lovely group, who looked after us so well throughout the day. Pat Brain is the contact so, if you live in the area, do call her on 01747-833672 and join in the fun.
Marianne Henio gave a talk in the morning and the masterplan was for her to present the closing fashion show. However, we’d all wilted in the heat by then, so she improvised by holding up many of her designs, telling us about them and you’ll find all her details on Page 46. I’m now off on holiday and we’re staying with my great friend Susan Guagliumi. It’s a while since I’ve been to the States and I can’t wait to see her again. No doubt there will be a mention or two of machine knitting and I’ll tell you all about it next time!
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First of all I’d like to thank you for the many years of pleasure I have received from your magazine. I have issues going back to your very beginnings and I take great pleasure every once in a while in going through them, reading the articles, getting inspiration from the great designs and reconnecting with the great designers who are no longer with us. Every month there are always at least one or two must make designs — some months more than others. The June 2017 issue was so full of good stuff I don’t know where to start!
It’s also great after all these years to find a copy at the local Barnes and Noble. You can’t imagine how delighted I was, while browsing craft magazines, to find you there. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That being said, I do like the idea of a digital copy and look forward to subscribing to it.
Best wishes, Florence
Subscription copies were mailed out on 4th May and the magazine was officially on sale on 11th May. Order this magazine now in our back issues.
I wanted to say ‘Thank You’ for printing my request for help in my search for a Fair Isle paisley pattern in the May issue. I want to say an even bigger ‘THANK YOU’ for the reply that you printed and to the reader who kindly passed on the detailed information. Yes, I recognised the picture straight away and I have now prepared the punchcard, even obtained some Shamal yarns from eBay and tonight I start! Oh, I am a happy knitter and very grateful for the assistance. Best wishes, Rhona
The Guild of Machine Knitters National Guild Day and AGM will take place on Saturday 17th June 2017 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The venue is Leigh Park Community Centre, Leigh Park Way, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3FN and it’s on the A3098 and not far from the A350 and the A36. Nick Traylen will take a good choice of Uppingham Yarns and you can pre-order anything special. He’ll also bring a selection of machine-knitting accessories including needle retaining bars.
Jan Truman is guest speaker and she’s exhibited widely. Her large floating sculptural pieces for ponds and lakes have been seen at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Jan knits smaller pieces, too, including jewellery and she works with wire and beads to create her wonderful pieces. Marianne Henio will also give a talk during the morning. She’s created her own designs on a standard gauge Brother punchcard machine for over 30 years and has now moved on from making bespoke clothes to selling her patterns.
The AGM is held just before lunch, usually takes no more than 40 minutes and often a lot less. You’ll need your own packed lunch, but there’s a local supermarket just across the road. The Westbury Woollies will provide tea and coffee and maybe a few cakes as well. Non-members are welcome to go along to enjoy the day, but obviously they’ll not take part in the AGM. (Members free, non-members £5.) Put Saturday 17th June 2017 in your diary now, to make sure you don’t miss this important day in the Guild year, or enjoy a day out with lots to see and do in a lovely area. For more details, visit www.guild-mach-knit.org.uk
I returned recently from a trip to visit family in the North. We drove out of Scotland with gale force winds blowing, as well as sleet and hailstones pounding down on the car. As I write, the sky is a cloudless Mediterranean blue and it’s a balmy 17 degrees in the South East. It’s a good reminder of how easy it is to knit something quickly on our machines. We may need light and lacy if Spring arrives sooner than we anticipate, or warm and woolly to keep out the chill for a few more weeks. For a truly quick chunky top, there’s nothing faster than to adapt the design on Page 22 of the May 2017 issue. If you need speed, forget the side vents and make two rectangles for the back and front. Add another rectangle for each sleeve and put it all together in a jiffy. Worn over a comfy top, you’ll have an extra layer of added warmth and reduce your stash a little!
Suzette Williams tells us that in association with The Guild of Machine Knitters, Timberdine Machine Knitting Club and Malvern Enthusiastic Machine Knitters will present a Knit ‘n’ Natter in Sacred Heart Church Hall, 208 Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 8AZ. The date for your diary is Saturday 15th July 2017 from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm and there’s a large car park at the rear of the church. The Guest Speaker is Melissa Warren. They’re planning workshops and will have a few trade stands, as well as yarn and a premature baby charity table. Tickets will cost £6 in advance, which includes tea and coffee. Tickets will be available from Suzette and all are welcome so email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
You may not know that the Guild of Machine Knitters has a new-look A4 Newsletter. There are 24 pages in full colour including two or three patterns and it’s all dedicated to machine knitting. If you’d like a couple of free issues just drop me a line. There’s no obligation and if you’re a machine knitter, I’m sure you’ll be interested. Come rain or shine, happy knitting!
Subscription copies were mailed out on 1st June and the magazine was officially on sale on 8th June. Order this magazine now in our back issues.