We meet in members’ homes once a month in the evening for ten months of the year, from March to December. The weather is just too unpredictable in January and February for us to try to meet! We also have an optional get-together the first Sunday of each month. This time is available for individual tuition, problem solving or brainstorming and it’s also the time to try a different machine or technique.
We set up the schedule a year in advance and decide on the topic, demonstrator, location and of course who’s bring the treats. Sometimes we have day-long workshops when the subject matter is too involved for an evening meeting. For example, last year we took a Saturday to investigate how to dye wool. The meetings are a great time to share and learn with friends who’ve a common interest!
As a club we take on a charity each year and we knit for them. This has included preemie blankets for the local hospitals, prayer shawls, Project Linus and animal shelters just to name a few. Our December topic was Kumihimo – the art of Japanese braiding and how does this relate to machine knitting you might ask? Well it doesn’t, or rather not just yet! It simply uses some of those exotic yarns in our stash. Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of ourselves with other knitters. Best wishes from us all, Corinne Borlase
Please could you add to your diary dates our exhibition of work on Sunday 22nd March at The Butterfly Garden, Dundry Nurseries, Bamfurlong Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL51 6SL.
Entrance costs £2. Refreshments and a raffle are both available. All proceeds go to The Butterfly Garden project which is an educational, therapeutic and recreational scheme. It is a project for people of all ages dealing with disablement of any kind. Its doors are open to anyone without obligation. The exhibition is of work produced by the students and volunteers who have been machine knitting on Thursdays for nearly two years now.
Thank you for your support and best wishes.
A couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Susan Guagliumi. As you’ll read on Page 6, she’s back in print with Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters. It’s one of the best source books of all times for machine knitting and I have one of the original hardback editions. It seems that Bond USA had the reprint rights for the book back in 2001 and it came to Susan’s attention two or three years ago that it was out of print. Bond USA was acquired by a very big outfit, but they only bought the assets. The original film was lost, so Susan spent months re-assembling photos and drawings and putting the book back together again. It was a huge amount of work and she’s republished through Book Surge, an arm of Amazon.com. She’s also had the video switched over to DVD. If you didn’t buy the book the first time round, then it really is one not to be missed. My hardback version is 210 x 260 mm and has 250 pages crammed with masses of ideas. This is the only book you’ll ever need on a desert island with your machine and a stash of yarn, I promise! I spent many happy hours with Susan when lots of us visited the States in the heyday years of machine knitting. It was around the time of the Bramwell Expos and I also joined in the fun with Susan and lots of American knitters and tutors at Camp Tuckanitslip. Her e-mails have brought back many happy memories for me and I hope we can meet up again.
I’m finishing this issue a little earlier than usual, because I’m having a few days off to go back up North. One of the reasons is to check out an alternative venue for Machine Knitting LIVE! in Bury. For a few years now, parking has been difficult and there’s been no room available for us to have talks. Things are looking very promising and I’ll let you know how I get on next time. When you read this, Machine Knitting LIVE! at Croydon will be just round the corner, so do come and join us for a lovely day out.
I have an old second hand Knitmaster Chunky 155, which I am just trying out. It has been cleaned up so is running quite smoothly for stocking stitch, tuck stitch and even weaving. However when I tried out Punch Lace using a very fine crepe yarn and both a double knitting and an aran weight yarn, I get lots of random floats on the back like Fair Isle. I checked the bottom of the carriage and all the levers seem to be moving okay. As none came with the machine, I punched a special card for this – as recommended for this type of stitch. It is totally inconsistent about where the floats appear and they seem to occur more on the left to right pass than the right to left. I tried various tensions and also double wrapping the thin yarn round the tension rings so it didn’t slip.
Can anyone help please?
Sorry to hear you are having problems. I have done a bit of research for you and found some information in Mary Weaver’s ‘Easy Fair Isle for the Brother Ribber’.
On page 66 she recommends a yarn between a 2 or 3 ply thickness for the finer yarn saying that Artistic is a good yarn to use. This is a crÃªpe type yarn but a bit thicker than fine crÃªpe. Also 2/30s singly can be used but this makes the eyelets bigger. Your fine crÃªpe might be a little too fine especially as you are having problems with it in the tension mast.
On page 99 of the same book there’s a pattern for a Chunky Thread Lace Top using two strands of 4 ply Acrylic as the main yarn and 1 strand of Artistic for the lace thread knitted at tension 4 on the Brother Chunky. If a finer lace yarn is used the tension needs tightening.
Hope this helps and that you soon master it!