Foot warmer

Dear Anne

I thought I’d send you the sock pattern our club has been using. We’re making socks, hats, bonnets and cardigans for our local SCBU. I’ve enjoyed knitting tiny garments and all the nurses are so grateful. The socks are a big hit, as they stay on! I use 4-ply acrylic and find it washes well in hot water. Seeing the pattern for the prem baby cardigan in the April issue, gave me the push to drop you a line. Thank you so much to Phoebe for sharing your pattern with us all. Yours sincerely, Dorothy

Four ply baby’s sock

Using MY and Tension 0, cast on 15 sts at left and right of centre 0 in 1×1 rib. Set RC at 000. Using Tension 1, K 10 rows in rib. Transfer sts for stocking stitch. Set RC at 000. Using Tension 6, K 10 rows. * Push 15 Ns at left to HP and cont on rem 15 sts at right. Push 1 N to HP at same side as carriage on next 10 rows. 5 sts rem in WP in centre. Push 1 N back to UWP at same side as carriage on next 10 rows *. Cancel hold and with all Ns knitting, K 12 rows. Rep from * to * once more then using WY, K a few rows and release from machine. Unravelling WY as required, graft toe stitches.

You might like to know that if you double up all the stitches and rows in the baby’s sock pattern, it makes bed socks for the elderly in care!

October update

Dear Readers

I’ve fallen in love all over again with a knitting machine. A while back I introduced our grand-daughter to a toy model and each time she comes, she slings it under her arm to do some knitting. A short time ago she asked if this was the machine I knitted on. I’ve been really interested by your recent letters about tension dial settings and wondered what yarn thickness we could push through a Silver Reed LK-150. Here was an opportunity!

My machine was in pristine condition in its box, so my grand-daughter and I went on a voyage of discovery. I set it up, whilst she rummaged through my yarn stash. Out came a ‘cake’ of multi-coloured King Cole Carousel DK, with an instant request for a new scarf and hat. With barely time to do some basic maths, I’d cast on 92 stitches in 2×1 rib and we’d knitted the turn-back brim on Tension 3 with the top on 5. I made the hem, changed to stocking stitch on Tension 5 and 70 rows later we’d made a hat. The remaining yarn in the cake gave us 282 rows for a scarf. With ends pulled in on a bodkin and the hat seam sewn, the set was ready for school and she was eager to knit a scarf for daddy. One 200 gram cake of King Cole Carousel Chunky over 49 stitches on Tension 10, with the top still on 5, knitted 262 rows and made a scarf five feet long. The yarn is a lovely blend of 70% Premium Acrylic, 30% Wool and beautifully soft.

For anyone with doubts, my machine knits from a standard hand knitting tension of 5 stitches and 7 rows to an inch around Tension 3, to the classic chunky tension of 7 stitches and 10 rows to two inches at Tension 10. What more could any machine knitter ask for? In all truth I panicked at first with the chunky yarn and set off for some ribber weights, convinced that the slightly ‘hairy’ texture of the yarn would clog up the needles. Oh ye of little faith! The carriage took it all in its stride. Apart from me casting on with waste yarn, my grand-daughter stood between my legs with a hand at each side of the carriage and knitted all 262 rows. Yes, it’s basic beyond belief compared to punchcard, electronic or Passap machines – but it’s an absolute joy. Beautifully textured hand-knitting yarns slide through with ease. Complete with accessories, what more could any standard gauge knitter want than this absolute treasure?

When the Silver Reed LK-150 was first launched my first reaction, which remained ingrained for far too long, was that it ‘wasn’t proper machine knitting’. Since then I’ve eaten my words many times; it’s an absolute gem. Incredibly light to use and with nice big needles we can see easily, it sure packs a punch! If you’re asked what you’d like for Christmas this year, start an LK-150 slush fund and ask for contributions. I promise you’ll have hours of fun and rediscover the joy of machine knitting. Until next time, start saving and knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE

December 2019

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 7th November

On sale Thursday 14th November

Order a subscription now and it will be delivered straight to your door.

September 2019 Current issue

Our cover design is a cross-over top in King Cole Opium, with a similar short-sleeved top in a large size range. We’ve a selection of twelve designs including two versatile Phyllis Moran patterns for Passap machines and we include details for converting mid gauge and chunky patterns for standard gauge machine​s​. Denim makes the perfect season stretcher and will instantly update your favourite knit says Sally-Ann Carroll and Bill King shows us how the slip stitch setting has lots of potential for creativity. Fay Butcher is our new Passap contributor and this month she passes on another trick to help all knitters and Karin Rogalski creates a fabulous lounge lizard, as the finale in her mini-series showing us how to knit toy scarves. Claire Newberry shows us how to design a motif and put it into a repeat in DesignaKnit and we’ve Part 2 of our series on Colour Changers, looking at attachments that may never have come out of their box. We always ​include news, books and fashion plus great reader savings on new craft books from Search Press.

It’s competition time!

It’s competition time and we’ve some exciting news to share with you all.

From the 31st July to the 2nd September King Cole is running a competition using its Raffia yarn. There’s a prize each for the UK, the USA and ROW worth £50 – three prize packs in total.

The competition is being run through Facebook and Instagram with entries being submitted via these platforms. However if you know of anyone who would like to enter who doesn’t have access to these platforms please send all entries to roland.parker@kingcole.com

It’s an excellent opportunity to see what the knitting community can produce with this quirky yarn and how countries differ in their submissions. King Cole can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter

Ready for Fair Isle

Dear Anne

Most of the punchcards that come with the colour changer are ready for Fair Isle. I find it’s useful to remember that if you think you might want to use an ordinary Fair Isle card with the colour changer, it saves a lot of hassle if you punch another card in reverse. If you want to use a reversed card for normal Fair Isle, you need to swap the main and contrast yarns over in the ordinary sinker plate. I’m a punchcard knitter but yes, I do know that on electronic machines you just have to use the colour reverse lever to make a Fair Isle pattern suitable for using with the colour changer. Best wishes, Lisa

On guard

Dear Anne

I’ve just had fun and games using my colour changer for the first time in years. So, here’s a tip if you’re working with three colours rather than four. I left the fourth roller empty and accidentally pressed the button by mistake. With no yarn in it every single stitch dropped, so you can imagine the language! Now I’ll always thread it up with yarn. However, it needs to be a strong contrast or, as I did first time, you’ll knit away in the wrong colour! I now always thread it up with a colour such as black against pale shades, so I notice at once if I select the wrong feed accidentally. My theory is that it’s much better to unpick a wrong colour, instead of having all the dratted knitting falling off the machine. I’m now a little older and wiser! Kind regards, Margaret

Split ends

Dear Anne

Here’s a tip I think Joan Lafferty passed on years ago and I always use it. When you get near the end of a cone of yarn and you’re not sure if the new one is an exact match, use the old and new yarns one row at a time alternately and you’ll not notice the changeover. Best wishes, Irene

August 2019 Subscriptions

This is August 2019 and our current issue.

New subscription If you select a new subscription, it will start with the September 2019 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 1st August. If you’d like to start with this August issue, you need to order a Subscription Bundle.

Subscription bundle If you select a subscription bundle, it will start with our current August 2019 magazine and we’ll send you a copy straight away. Your magazine will then be mailed direct from the printer on the first Thursday of each month and the September 2019 issue goes out to subscribers on Thursday 1st August.

New Lanark Makers Market

The next Makers Market brings Scottish craft and creativity to new and
exciting levels. There will be stunning photography and portraits to brighten up your home and even doggy bandannas to brighten up your dog! You can find ceramic yarn holders, homemade cakes and chutneys, beautiful metal-worked jewellery and more!

New Lanark Visitor Centre is at New Lanark Mills, Lanark, South Lanarkshire ML11 9DB. The Makers Market is a brand NEW market and will continue throughout the Summer on the following weekends – 27th & 28th July and the 10th & 11th August, showcasing the best of hand-made products from across Scotland in the Exhibition Gallery from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

When visiting the Markers Market, take a moment to visit the award winning visitor attraction and you can step back in time and rediscover life of this working mill village. Following on from this, explore the industrial heritage, pick up a gift in the Mill Shop, have breakfast or lunch in the Mill Café or New Lanark Mill Hotel Restaurant, enjoy dinner, play in the park or simply take a seat by the waterwheel and soak up the history of this magnificent 18th century cotton mill village.

To find out more about the Makers Market at New Lanark World Heritage Site, click here.

Band Aid

Dear Anne

I’ve never liked sewing on neckbands and saw this method in MKM years ago, so it might help someone coming back to machine knitting who may not remember it. First do a cut and sew neck and leave the left shoulder open. Set the ribber up and using the same number of stitches needed for the neckband, knit something like ten rows at Tension 7 or some 1×1 rib in a bit of waste yarn. Transfer all stitches to the main bed and knit a few more rows. Knit a row with a nylon cord then one row at Tension 10 with main yarn and one row at Tension 6. Take it all off on waste yarn, still with the ribber comb in place.

Hang the neckline on the empty needles, push the knitting behind the latches and then put the neckband stitches in the hooks. Carefully push the needles back through the neckline and I usually knit another row at Tension 4 or 5. Change to rib, add weights to the ribber comb and knit the rows required. Leave the ribber set on P and with the stitches in place on the ribber, move it to H. Knit the rows needed at Tension 3/3. Transfer stitches to the main bed then remove the ribber comb and pick up the first row you knitted at Tension 10. Put the stitches into the hooks, but make sure you leave the other stitches behind the latches. Take all the needles back, then remove the cord and waste yarn and latch off. It seems a lot of messing about, but it’s easier than writing it down and a lot neater than backstitching through the open loops. Over the years I’ve learnt such a lot from the magazine and what goes around, comes around. Thanks for all you do, Anne. Best wishes, Chris