December 2020 update

Dear Readers

This month I’m delighted to bring you our first design from a long-time friend, Sue Booth. Mention her name in any machine-knitting circle and she’s undoubtedly one of our most highly-respected designers. For our two garments, Sue has used Uppingham Yarns 2-ply Lambswool, but has also achieved the same tension using two ends of Filigree for those who don’t like or can’t wear wool. Sue’s knitting and finishing are superb and her pattern, in 13 sizes, will be a firm favourite in your pattern library.

I’ve squeezed in some quick and easy stash-busters from Helen Lewis. Helen has been busy turning her stash into cash and her fingerless mitts have proved to be immensely popular. She’s had multiple orders from some folk and when we last spoke, she’d reached a total of 54 orders. She’s selling them at £10 per pair, to raise funds for the Village Hall roof. She’s already made 40 pairs, so has quite a few more to go. As she said, it’s not costing her anything because she’s just using her stash and still has plenty of odds and ends to use up, in lots of colours. She also passed on the news that only two copies remain of her book Inspirational Machine Knitting. So, if it’s been on your wish list for a while, perhaps it’s time to make a move before it’s too late!

Finally, it’s been a sad year for many of us and especially so for David Hilton, who lost his wife Phyllis in September. They’ve been friends of mine for years and their intarsia sweaters were a familiar sight at many machine knitting shows. They always supported the Bournemouth Show and lit up the gym with their sweaters. As their health started to fail, they continued to come as visitors, always making a most generous financial contribution, with the hope that the show would continue. As we were setting up our Bournemouth Show in October 2019, David was able to come over on the Friday evening and we chatted for a while. Phyllis was frail by then and she went into a nursing home at the end of the following month, whilst David dealt with the unwelcome news that it was necessary to have one of his legs amputated. Along came 2020 and Covid-19 filled everyone’s life. We all went into lockdown and although they could speak on the phone each week, David and Phyllis were not able to see each other again. I’m sure many of you will join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to David at this sad time in his life.

Whenever a year draws to a close, many of us reflect on the recent past and look forward to the Spring. Without exception, we all hope the coming year will bring us restored health and normality so, until next month, my compliments of the season to you all.

NEXT ISSUE

February 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 7th January

On sale Thursday 14th January

Order a subscription now or ask your newsagent to reserve a copy

January 2021 (Issue 276)

Our full-colour January 2021 issue has a cover design knitted from single balls of yarn, to give a stunning Fair Isle and stripe effect in stocking stitch. We always tell you how to knit all our patterns on standard gauge machines and we’ve around 12 designs this month. Our Designer Spotlight shines on Sue Booth and her exclusive tuck stitch design has two versions. The size range is fabulous (13 sizes to fit from 32 to 56 inches) and Sue is undoubtedly the UK’s most highly-respected designer. Sally-Ann Carroll helps us to keep warm in Style File and Bill King shares his love for the garter bar and dazzles us with some amazing colour blends. At this time of year, we simply had to repeat your all-time favourite Gold Star design. Helen Lewis helps us to bust our stash with some quick ‘n’ easy mitts and leg warmers and we look at knitting intarsia patterns on the LK-150. We always include news, reviews and club details and everyone has been knitting in lockdown so we’ve lots of letters from you with ideas, hints and tips.

January 2021 new subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Over the Christmas period when the office is closed, all new subscriptions will need to be processed in the New Year. Subscription copies are mailed direct from the printer on the first Thursday of each month and the February 2021 issue goes out to current subscribers on Thursday 7th January.

November 2020 update

Dear Readers

I must admit to having a complete change of heart recently. As some of you know, I’ve said that Christmas would be a non-event in the magazine this year. With many of us continuing to self-distance, if not already placed in compulsory lockdown, what did any traditional Christmas have to offer? Well, by chance I came across my collection of Bill King’s Christmas cards. I don’t have his full set, but I’ve kept every one he’s sent me and I bring them out each year. He designs, knits and makes up each individual card and they’re absolutely gorgeous, as well as something money can never buy.

This year, although we’ve little chance of getting out and about, we could all make something to be treasured. Do look at Book Review, as I’ve included lots of different crafts and simple projects. I think I’ll stick with my usual cake, but I’ll need half a bottle of tipple to feed it, as it will no doubt last until Easter with just two of us eating it! With the thought of making small, personal gifts, I’ve included lots of bits and bobs for some inspiration. It’s also why I’ve decided Chez Smith will have the Full Monty this year. I usually groan about battling round supermarkets filled to bursting with Christmas, long before we’ve had the fireworks. Well, I’ve hardly seen the inside of any shop this year. We now have delivery groceries and, I can hardly believe I’m saying this in October, our Christmas slot is already booked. I won’t, therefore, have to do battle with aisles filled with Brussels sprouts, so I’ll ‘deck the halls’ instead!

Talking of supermarket deliveries, I think we need a Gigglebox in the magazine, but I need you to join in with your snippets. I won’t mention any names, especially the identity of the supermarket, but laugh along with this gem a reader passed on.

Mum We’ve a delivery coming on Sunday morning, what do you fancy for lunch? Son How about chicken? I love roast chicken, then we could have a curry with the left-overs. Great idea, thought mum, as she added it to the list. On Sunday morning the groceries arrived, with a note to say they’d run out of medium size chickens, so they’d substituted it with six eggs! Grow your own, perhaps! If you’ve a similar gem to pass on, please share it, so we can all have a giggle. For sure, we need it right now.

One tradition I keep on these pages each December issue is to send you very best wishes for a happy Christmas, from everyone who helps to bring the magazine to you each month. Keep well and stay safe all of you, but most of all, knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE

January 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 3rd December

On sale Thursday 10th December

Order a subscription now, or ask your newsagent to reserve a copy.

December 2020 (Issue 275)

You won’t need a colour changer for the cover design on our full-colour December 2020 issue. The yarn knits stripes from a single ball to give a stunning effect in stocking stitch and a different look with each ball you knit. We always tell you how to knit all our patterns on standard gauge machines and we’ve lots of designs this month, with plenty of ideas for festive knitting. Once again, our Designer Spotlight shines on Susan Guagliumi and an exclusive design which will soon be for sale on her website at www.guagliumi.com. We’ve another corona cardigan design from Karin Rogalski, to put us at ease after the second lockdown and Sally-Ann Carroll helps us to look good and feel great this Christmas. Bill King knits a few plain stripes that, as if by magic, he turns into zigzags! Bill also turns a bit of two-colour Fair Isle into some amazing cards for friends and family. Fay Butcher shows Duo 80 knitters how to knit tuck stitch with the Deco and Alison Dupernex shares her design for a scarf and wrist warmers to cheer up any cold morning. We always include news, reviews and club details and everyone has been knitting in lockdown so we’ve lots of ideas, hints and tips.

January 2021 new subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Start a new subscription now! You pay for our current January 2021 magazine when you place your order and we send you a copy straight away. From the next issue, your magazine will be mailed direct from the printer on the first Thursday of each month and the February 2021 issue goes out to subscribers on Thursday 7th January.

Beverley Ward’s new shop

Beverley has written a circular sock pattern, which can be knitted on any standard gauge machine with a ribber.  It all started when she wanted to knit some socks to wear with her walking boots. She looked around for some to buy, but couldn’t find any she liked.  A friend had been on a course to knit socks on an old-fashioned sock machine, so she tried to buy one – until she saw the price of them!  This got her thinking that she must be able to knit socks on her knitting machine using the circular knitting setting.  It was important not to have a seam down the main part of the leg and she worked out how to do it. She’s uploaded the pattern to her Etsy shop, as she thought others might want to knit them as well.  You can see from the photos that she went mad, knitted loads of pairs and here’s the link.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/852358165/machine-knitting-sock-pattern

October update

Dear Readers

Autumn is always a busy time of year for knitters, as we take stock and think about some serious knitting. Having said that and as I write, it’s difficult to imagine chillier months ahead, as the days in both the North and South are still warm and sunny. To start the ball rolling, we’ve huge savings from Nina Miklin on Page 6, yarn offers on Page 8 and Page 52, as well as free patterns on Page 23 and Page 34. If you’re someone who knits Teddy Bears, LoveCrafts.com has a huge range of knitting patterns in every shape and size imaginable. Some patterns are free to download and the full selection is at www.lovecrafts.com

Ahead of your autumn knit-in, don’t forget Lionel and Carol at HKC, if you need help with a Brother knitting machine. Lionel is a Brother-trained engineer, so he knows all there is to know about servicing and repairing them. He can also arrange a carrier service to all mainland destinations in the UK. You can buy a fully refurbished machine with a parts and labour guarantee, at a sensible cost and not the ridiculous prices some folk are charging on eBay for rusted up metal. You can collect your machine and have a thorough demonstration, giving full and accurate meaning to the expression: “Try before you buy”. It’s always useful to remember that Brother stopped marketing and distributing machines sometime back in the late 1990s and that’s a mighty long time ago! Lionel’s knowledge of Brother knitting machines and accessories is immense. So, if you’re a knitter who feels you can’t switch to a Silver Reed machine, I suggest you take the gamble out of buying secondhand and ask Lionel for help and advice you can trust.

We’ve a tremendous selection of patterns for you this month, with Susan Guagliumi, Clair Crowston and Bill King as our guest designers. You’ll also find designs in the new Drifter DK range from King Cole and if you knit for tiny tots, you’ll love the hoodie on Page 24. Simply thread up your machine and watch as stocking stitch unfolds into a stunning, multi-colour pattern. However, if you don’t have an LK-150 mid gauge or a chunky machine, don’t panic. There’s also a four ply version of this amazing yarn. Simply follow the instructions we give, to knit the designs on a standard gauge machine. There’s also no drama required for those of you with or without a ribber. Hand knit the ribs whilst watching the TV, use a ribber if you have one, drop the stitches down and reform them, or work mock rib following our guide on Page 62. As Sally-Ann often says: “It’s entirely up to you!” so, until next month, knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE

December 2020

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 5th November

On sale Thursday 12th November

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy now

November 2020 (Issue 274)

I’m pleased to let all our readers know that the November magazine is officially on sale on Thursday, 8th October.