Cosy up

Dear Anne

My July magazine arrived today and I’m really pleased to see the ‘Home Comforts’ feature, as not everyone fancies tackling a garment every time they knit. Can we have a tea cosy pattern, please? It might be ‘old hat’ to some, but not to me! Also the hooded cardigan and the other patterns are lovely. I had some issues with DesignaKnit recently and wondered if Claire would consider a feature on ‘Knits that Fit’ covering shaping with DesignaKnit. I knitted a tuck stitch sleeveless summer top in size 38, however when I tried it on I found there was masses of room at the armholes and it gaped at the side of the bust. Quite frankly it looked awful, so I had to go to work on my linker. (I hate sewing, the linker is a godsend.) I improvised with some bust darts and had to take out four inches each side around the armhole for the darts then cut off the excess fabric. I’m sure it would be much easier to integrate shaping into the pattern rather than ‘cut and sew’ darts! The top is now wearable and I’m pleased with it. Kind regards, Jane

Tea cosies are back in fashion, Jane, so here’s one from the late Joan Lafferty.

INTRO Tea cosies are back in fashion and this one is guaranteed to be a best seller on any bazaar stall or fund raising event

QUOTE “To display it effectively on your stall, make a teapot-shaped cardboard cut out and hang a tea bag on the ties.


Use any pattern of your choice including an all-over Fair Isle or single motif, noting cosy is knitted from the top down.


This pattern requires a machine capable of knitting Fair Isle.


Oddments of 4-ply yarn in colours required. 2 strips of Velcro, each one approximately 15 cm, 6 in long.


No tension swatch is required and choose tension to suit yarn used. Use tension dial approximately 7 for stocking stitch and 8 for Fair Isle.


Make 2 pieces the same Cast on over 76 Ns in 1×1 mock rib (see Page 62) and K 40 rows. Make a hem by placing loops of first row worked in MY onto alt Ns. With all Ns in WP, K across then set RC at 000. Cont in pattern, noting pattern should finish on or before RC shows 64. Cont in st st until RC shows 68. Set RC at 000. K 68 rows in st st for lining. Catch up along edge of closed rib and K across at Tension 10. Cast off.


Close edges and sew strips of Velcro along the edges. Join ribs. Knit a circular cord over 5 Ns in contrast yarn and thread through rib. Gather to form top.

Drifting along

Dear Anne

I’ve been doing a tension sample for the Drifting Along pattern in your May issue using the recommended King Cole Drifter DK yarn on my Silver Reed LK150. The recommended tension dial setting for that particular machine is listed at 6, but after trying this I have found that 3• gives the correct tension for the pattern. Is this just a mistake in the pattern instructions? I find your magazine very helpful, having come back to machine knitting after a very long break. Many thanks, Anne. I’m looking forward to the next issue of MKM as I love finding all your useful tips and recommendations. Best wishes, Lennox

I’m so pleased you’ve written, Lennox, as this will re-assure all readers that every machine is different. I’m always reluctant to give any approximate tension dial settings in the magazine, because they can vary so much. Yours will be a gem, as you’ve lots of availability to open up your tension dial beyond 3• for DK. I once had a Brother standard gauge machine which needed 8•• to knit 4-ply, whilst my Knitmaster had to be down at 5•. For years I wrongly assumed that Brother machines knitted tighter than Knitmaster! It’s a joy to hear that you’ve matched the tension and I hope you enjoy knitting the design. Best wishes, Anne

The Humpty People

The Humpty People

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

But it wasn’t the usual sorrowful scene

As Humpty was made on a knitting machine!

Hi Anne

I remember making several ‘Humpty People’ on my machine, probably in the 1990s. I’ve got rid of all my books (just had too many!) so do you know where I might look for them? They were made from small amounts of yarn and I think a competition was held to let machine knitters’ imagination run riot. They were about four inches or so tall and my friend still has a couple that I made for her grandchildren. Thanks for any help, Diane

The original Humpty Dumpty design was first published in the Oct-Nov 1993 issue of To & Fro magazine. Audrey Harrison was the designer and we held a Mini Competition inviting readers to knit their own adaptation with either the ‘friendliest face’, the ‘naughtiest look’ or an ‘upper crust’ humpty. They’re such fun, make great stocking fillers or charity knits and we hope you enjoy them as much this time around. Make lots… they get lonely!

The Humpty People

MATERIALS Any 4-ply yarn in Red or Main Colour (MC) and White (A). Oddments in Black (B). Polyester stuffing. Crochet hook.

MEASUREMENTS Height around 10 cm, 4 in.

TENSION Use tension dial setting 7 as main tension (MT) throughout, unless otherwise stated.

Girl Humpty


Push 41 Ns to WP. With carriage at right and using MT and MC, make a woven or automatic closed-edge cast-on. Carriage is at left. Set RC at 000. K 20 rows for body. Using A, K 10 rows for face *.

HAT Using MC, K 1 row. Using MT+1, K 2 rows. Using MT+3, K 1 row. Using MT+1, K 2 rows. Using MT, K 1 row. Make a hem by placing loops from first row worked in MC onto corresponding Ns for brim. K 1 row. Using A, K 2 rows. Using MC, K 7 rows. Transfer every alt st onto adjacent N and push empty Ns back to NWP. K 2 rows. Break off yarn, thread end through sts and release from machine. Draw up sts at top of hat, secure and join back seam.

ARMS (2) Push 12 Ns to WP. Using MC, cast on by hand. Set RC at 000. Using MT, K 10 rows. Break off yarn, thread end through sts and release from machine. Draw up sts and secure, then roll up and join seam.

LEGS (2) Push 14 Ns to WP. Using MC, cast on by hand. Set RC at 000. Using MT, K 14 rows. Break off yarn, thread end through sts and release from machine. Draw up sts and secure, then roll up and join seam.

MAKING UP Stuff body. Pull up sts at bottom and secure. Sew arms to top of body. Sew legs just below arms. Using B, embroider eyes and nose as shown. Using MC, embroider mouth as shown *. Cut two 25 cm, 10 inch lengths of B for hair. Fold each in half and using a crochet hook, pull one loop through each side of head just below hat. Work chains along length.

Boy Humpty


Work as for Body, Head & Hat of Girl to *.

CAP Using MC, K 1 row. Set carriage to hold. Push 12 Ns at opposite end to carriage to HP on next 2 rows. Push 3 Ns at opposite end to carriage to HP on next 4 rows. Push 3 inside Ns at opposite end to carriage from HP to UWP on next 4 rows. Push 12 Ns at opposite end to carriage from HP to UWP on next row. Push rem 12 Ns at opposite end to carriage from HP to UWP. Make a hem over centre 17 Ns by placing loops from first row worked in MC onto corresponding Ns for peak. K 10 rows. Transfer every alt st onto adjacent N and push empty Ns back to NWP. K 2 rows. Break off yarn, thread end through sts, release from machine. Draw up sts at top of cap, secure and join back seam.


Work Arms and Legs as for Girl and Making Up to *.



Hello Anne

I saw your page in MKM and read about your grand-daughter machine knitting. How time goes by for us all and I see you were surprised at how the LK-150 knits, so I thought you’d be interested in my information about this brilliant machine. It’s my best seller of all the machines I sell for beginners, but most of all for hand knitters. The hand knitters love it, as I do myself, to get something done a bit quicker. Hand knitters love the various wools it can knit and creating patterns by hand is also great. I try out all yarns on it, to see how they will work. At first it was guess work, but the LK-150 is now listed in DesignaKnit 9. King Cole yarns from 4-ply to fine chunky are great on this machine and it loves knitting Aran. My buyers enjoy the machine and after short instructions they’re soon making garments. In my opinion, the LK-150 is far better than the old Bond used to be and the machine is magic, because it has everything except a ribber. Love to all, Joan Fielding-Brown

The Little Knitting Fairy, Old Redhead Cottage, Clovenfords, Galashiels, Selkirkshire TD1 1UG

Tel 01896-850734



A clean sheet

Dear Anne

I wonder if you might like to put this in your magazine, as a lot of readers may be pleased to have the information. Over the years, I’ve had quite a lot of experience buying, reconditioning and selling various bits of machine-knitting equipment. More than once, whilst servicing machines and attachments, I’ve been faced with the problem of cleaning a KL-116 Knit Leader sheet. Often the pen marks simply won’t come off with soap or washing up liquid, so today I tried some kitchen cleaner. First of all I was a bit dubious that it wouldn’t work, but then I became more worried that it would work but take off the lines as well as the pen marks. To my surprise the kitchen cleaner worked beautifully and didn’t take off the permanent lines! It’s called Cif Multipurpose Ultrafast cleaner and I’d recommend it to clean all knitting machine pattern sheets. There may be some permanent marker lines that might not come off using anything, but the marks I used it on were coloured permanent marker lines. Use a damp micro cloth, spray a small amount on the sheets and gently rub it off. Clean the Cif off afterwards with a clean cloth, to make sure the cleaner has been completely removed. Kind regards, Sandy

March 2020

Our full-colour March 2020 issue is now on sale, with over 10 designs. Our cover design is a 4-ply lacy cardigan with a wide size range from bust 71-76 cm (28-30 in) to 112-117 cm (44-46 in) and we always show you how to knit all our designs in a different yarn on standard gauge machines. Sally-Ann Carroll tells us the colours, prints and styles for Spring and Summer knitted wardrobe and Bill King combines all needle rib and tuck for one of his favourite looks. Helen Lewis has fun with a bit of ‘make do and mend’ reconstruction for a new Spring jacket and we’ve a Phyllis Moran multi-design for all Passap machines. Claire Newberry begins a series of tutorials for DesignaKnit 9 and Joan Lafferty breaks every tension rule in the book! We always include news and reviews, letters, club details and great reader offers on new craft books from Search Press. There are great bargains this month, with all the books under £10.

Machine Knitting LIVE! Bournemouth 2020 is on Saturday 3rd October

Bournemouth School for Girls will, once again, welcome us all to Machine Knitting LIVE! Bournemouth School for Girls is in Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ and the show opens from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The school is on the A3060 (Castle Lane West) and once you reach Castlepoint Shopping Centre on the right, continue straight. First left is East Way, then take the next left turn into Castle Gate Close. Everything is on one level so disabled access is easy. If you want to bring a non-knitting friend, Castlepoint is a good dropping off point for shopping and free parking.

Unless something comes up at the last minute, most of our exhibitors join us every year and our 2019 exhibitors included Andee Knits who brought her shop to the show. She had machines and accessories, books and patterns, spares and yarn. Anne Croucher is our machine expert and she holds a Knit Clinic to help with any problems. Ann Brown brought a selection of her designs and garments. Rob Fountain had used machines and accessories plus spares, bits and bobs. Bill King had his machine and lots of samples to show you what to do and how to do many of his Masterclass techniques. David and Jason Hampson brought The Wool Cabin to the show with not-to-be-missed bargains on packs of quality yarns at knock-down prices. Designers Elaine Cater and Nina Miklin brought their designs, books and patterns and Fleet Knitting Club set up displays and demonstrations. Nick Traylen had a huge selection of coned and balled yarn from Uppingham Yarns and Anne had Machine Knitting Monthly current magazines, back issues, binders and Anjo Patterns.

We always have excellent displays and demonstrations from local knitting clubs Carbery in Christchurch and Ringwood, with some wonderful ideas to inspire us.

Last year we had a break with tradition and warmly welcomed Guest Speaker Sally Butcher. Sally is a prolific knitter and she runs a monthly knitting club in Bodmin. Her main focus is on all makes and types of Japanese machines and she talked about the huge presence of machine knitting on the internet. She told us how they set up the Beginners Group, talked about what they try to achieve and displayed some of their designs. She also brought a laptop, to show us photos of many interesting projects completed. Having set up one of her machines, she talked to everyone during the day whilst sitting and knitting.

The School Canteen opens all day with hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks.

Do come and join us and tickets will be on sale on the website very soon.

Celebrate St Blaise at a wool market in Bradford

A Wool Market is being held for the second time at Bradford Industrial Museum to celebrate the patron saint of wool-combers, Bishop Blaise and the history of wool in Bradford. The event, which takes place at the Bradford Council-run museum on the feast day of St Blaise, Sunday 2nd February, will have stalls selling woollen yarns, textiles and hand looms, as well as fun family activities including spinning and weaving demonstrations.

Delicious food will also be on offer from Café Maison Express and the Yorkshire Pie Bakery and there will be a pop up pub in the museum which will have beer from Leeds based Sunbeam Brewery, who will be service their specially brewed Blaise Ale. Entertainment will be provided by a local band and choir.

Stalls at the event, which takes place from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, will include local companies selling all manner of knitting gifts. This will include hand-dyed British wool, fibres and equipment for felt making and spinning, luxury and lace-weight yarns, haberdashery, knitting patterns and accessories and products made from alpaca wool. All of this will be alongside the museum’s fantastic displays that tell the story of Bradford’s industrial past. The free event is being organised by Bradford Industrial Museum.

Bishop Blaise is the patron saint of wool-combers. He was a physician and bishop in Sebastea, Armenia and was believed to have lived around the end of the 3rd or early 4th century. People went to him for cures of both spiritual and bodily ailments and he was thought to have also healed animals. He was reported to have been tortured by being flayed using pins from a wool-comb and beheaded because he refused to renounce his faith. Bradford was once known as Worstedopolis due to the number of mills and wool processing businesses, including wool-combers that operated in the district.

Up until 1825 the wool-combers of the district would hold a parade through the city to celebrate their patron saint. It was a four day festival where one of the wool-combers would dress as Bishop Blaise and parade through the town. A new Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company has been set up to support the wool festival with the ultimate aim to have a major citywide internationally linked celebration of the Bishop of Blaise’s Day in 2025 which will be the 200th anniversary of the last time there was a major celebration of the saint in Bradford. There are two ‘Bishop Blaise’ coats that were worn in the parades in the collection. One is from Bradford and one from Keighley. Some other memorabilia from past parades also be on display. For more information visit

February 2020

Our full-colour February 2020 issue has over 12 designs. Our cover top has a matching jacket that’s perfect for mid-gauge and chunky machines. There’s a wide size range from bust 71-76 cm (28-30 in) to 112-117 cm (44-46 in) and we always show you how to knit all our designs in a different yarn on standard gauge machines. Sally-Ann Carroll gets our Spring and Summer wardrobe one step ahead of the game and Bill King tells us how to bring shape into a garment using a simple machine-knitting technique. The final part of our series on colour changers looks at double jacquard variations and Fay Butcher helps all Passap knitters to reduce their stash. If you need some Boho Chic, we show you how to yarn-bomb a child’s chair and there’s masses of help for Silver Reed LK-150 knitters. We always include news and reviews, letters, club details and great reader offers on new craft books from Search Press.

January update

Dear Readers

As this magazine arrives at the beginning of January, we’ll welcome in the New Year with piles of sprouts replaced by even larger mounds of Easter eggs in the shops! We always have to go to press very early with this issue, so let me remind you of one or two things which may slip through the net.

The first is the very welcome news that a new club is starting up in Scotland. The Dunfermline Machine Knitting Club’s first meeting will be Thursday 30th January from 6.00 to 8.00 pm and thereafter on the last Thursday of each month. The venue is Fife College, Dunfermline Campus Media Centre, Room 7.10 and it’s open to all levels of experience. You don’t need to have a machine and you can just drop in to discover what machine knitting is all about. If you have a machine, you’re more than welcome to take it with you. It’s going to be a relaxed group, aimed at teaching and sharing in a warm and friendly atmosphere. If it’s within travelling distance, you’ll need to know more so email for all the details. Naturally, we’ll add the information to our Clubs Directory next time, along with other recent changes and we do wish them every success.

In Newsline last month, we told you about Susan Guagliumi’s video class that’s available for streaming. It’s a companion to her book Open Spaces: Machine Knit Eyelets, Ladders and Slits. With all the decorations packed away for another year, January is always a good time to take on something new. Don’t forget that Susan is offering a huge 20% discount to all MKM readers until 31st January 2020. If you want a more flexible option, sections are also on offer along with the original video for Hand Manipulated Stitches at a bargain price and also with a 20% reader discount. If your January magazine was thrown out with all the papers to make way for visitors, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Just give me a call and I’ll let you have full details, as it’s a one-time offer that’s not to be missed. You can also visit for everything you need to know, as well as find lots of free downloadable patterns, instruction and videos.

Finally, we’ve had a hurdle or two to jump over, but plans are now in place for our 2020 shows. Bournemouth takes place on Saturday 3rd October and Nottingham’s date is Sunday 5th April. West Park Leisure Centre now has new owners and undergone significant alterations, so we’ve a different path to tread and we’ll need to make a few small changes for this year’s show. Do give me a call for the most up-to-date information.

Now the visitors have gone for another year, it’s time to turn the ‘temporary’ guest bedroom back into a knitting room. So, until next time, let’s all enjoy a happy return to machine knitting.


March 2020

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 6th February

On sale Thursday 13th February