Have you seen the wonderful videos that Diana Sullivan from Austin, Texas is putting on YouTube? There are many on there but hers are very professional and are free to view and will eventually be offered for sale. I think the one on using the garter bar is already for sale and that one really got me able to use my garter bar with confidence. If you haven’t viewed them and are interested, go to www.diananatters and the videos and other lessons are all listed on the left side. A great one for beginner knitters is ‘How to make a child’s raglan sweater’.
As you may have heard we had the Olympics in our fair city and the warmest winter since records were kept. Just when we needed lots of snow, we got very little. Isn’t life amazing? I hope you are keeping well and wish you and all the staff a good 2010.
Sincerely, Barbara Tulip
Knitting a jumper, when you’re a beginner like myself, can be a daunting task. It would be nice to accomplish a small thing and feel we’ve achieved something and perhaps experimented with a new tuck stitch or a bit of Fair Isle at the same time. I seem to be always furtively looking through all the patterns I’ve collected for anything small to experiment with and use up some of the stash. A headband, hats, gloves, mittens for the grandchildren, a tea cosy, socks, bed socks and small dog coats spring to mind. I’m also asked to knit things for the local church, which go to help children in various parts of the world. I know that summer hasn’t arrived yet, but it would also be good to start putting a few things away for Christmas presents.
I knitted my grandson’s Dennis the Menace jumper and hat that you so kindly featured last December. Incidentally, he now thinks he’s an international fashion star and proudly announced that he needed a hot water bottle cover to match it! But where could I get a pattern? I bought the hot water bottle and worked out a few measurements, which was easy as I knew the number of rows for each of the black and red stripes and how much they measured. I began to realise I could adapt the hat pattern I’d used for him.
With the 4-ply acrylic wool in red, I cast on 130 stitches and worked 40 rows rib on the ribber at Tension 4. This covers the neck of the hot water bottle and there’s enough elasticity in it to stretch to get the bottle inside the finished cover and up over the top. I then started knitting the stripes on Tension 7, beginning with black and each stripe has 12 rows. These can be different colours using up all those odds and ends in the stash box. I worked nine and a half stripes in all, then cast off. I sewed up the bottom and side seam and this made one very happy grandchild at bedtime.
This pattern would also be good for practising Fair Isle, as the threads at the back would give added thickness to the cover. I then had to make one for his younger brother, who was determined not to be left out in the cold at bedtime. Perhaps we could have a small Stash Box column in MKM where we can all get small ideas from using up our odd cones? Perhaps other knitters have a well-used pattern that they knit for their local charity that they would not mind sharing with us. Anything along these lines would be gratefully appreciated.
Best wishes, Margaret Cummings at Donington Knitting Club, Lincolnshire
They could be anything we liked and the only criterion was that they had to be made in pure wool. As other crafts were also contributing including hand knitters, weavers and felters, I thought that our contribution should be in techniques that were essentially machine knitting and not easily done on two needles. I started with a couple of garter carriage scarves and then, in November, Bill King had his wonderful article on racking and release stitch. We also had Tony Bennett’s frills, so I did some of them too, also the faux crochet. Through the pages of the magazine, I’d like to thank them for their inspiration and MKM too for all the help it has given us over the years.
Best wishes from Nancy Marchant
I went to the show with two friends and we all enjoyed the visit and made a variety of purchases. We look forward to next year. Best wishes from Audrey Turner, West Bridgford, Nottingham
North Ronaldsay sheep live on the beaches of the Orkney island which gave them their name. They live on the sea weed blown on to the rocky shores and sandy beaches, as they’ve done since the Iron Age. Audrey told me that when she’d bought the yarn, there was a tiny piece of knitting inside the cone with a note to say the yarn had been scoured once. When finished, the shawl wasn’t as white as she would have wished, so she looked more into scouring.
Scouring is an essential process in the preparation of wool and removes grease, sheep’s dried perspiration, sand and dirt. Audrey’s yarn had been soured once, but she decided to do it a second time to hopefully remove some of the yellowness of the finished shawl. She took some Lux flakes and a bowl of seriously hand hot water and washed the shawl thoroughly but carefully – felting springs to mind! She then rinsed it in two or three lots of water, until the water was clear, then blocked out the shawl and left it to dry. You can see the splendid results in the picture on page 15 of the June issue and thanks for passing this on Audrey.
I’ve a friend whose daughter raises Alpaca and she arranges for hand knitters to make the yarn into various items, which she sells at shows when they exhibit the animals. She had a request for a greyhound coat and took some measurements. She gave me some of the yarn to see if I could knit it up on the knitting machine, so it would be firmer than hand knitting. I did a sample in 1×1 self-colour Fair Isle and it was fine.
Next I had to find a pattern. I searched on the Internet but couldn’t find one that was suitable. The shape was all wrong and the sizes were different. Luckily a friend of mine spotted a neighbour walking a greyhound with a coat. One day we knocked on her door and asked if we could trace the coat on to a Knit Leader sheet. I folded the coat in half to get it on, but unfortunately it was the wrong size. More problems! Then I had the bright idea to do one piece, increasing the size and shape to what I thought it should be. I decided to do the coat in three pieces, as greyhounds are notoriously sensitive on their spines and it could have irritated the buyer’s dog. Luckily the piece was okay and I knitted the coat and sewed it together, making a 1×1 double collar round the neck.
It was curling up round the edges but the normal ‘worm’ edge looked all wrong. I tried using the wool double, picking up every alternate needle and knitted one row, but of course if I’d cast off, there would have been several joins. I decided to just knit the one row and take it off on about ten rows of waste yarn before going on to the next section until I’d gone round it all. I cast off the last bit and worked backwards. It was time consuming but worth it.
The finished result looked good and I was able to press the whole thing and there was very little curling. The last touch was a long full needle rib strap to go all round the dog to keep it secure. Luckily the owner was very pleased and I understand the dog was happy as well. It took quite a while, but was worth it in the end! It was snapped up before I’d chance to take a photo. I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time with this!
Cheerio for now and best wishes, Denys Cave
I live in France and would love to make contact with other double bed knitting machine owners.
Kind regards, Penelope Skea
The first is a Flower Trimmed Sweater in Yeoman Sport to fit bust sizes from 82 to 112 cm, 32 to 44 in with 10 cm, 4 in ease. The trim is made in next-to-no-time with full instructions included and it’s also detachable for easy after care.
The Scarf Trimmed Sweater is in Metropolitan’s Metro 4-ply crÃªpe in the same size range. The lovely neckline is knitted in two sections and is easy to assemble during making up. For more information about Carl’s designs, please visit http://www.carlboyd.com/
I suppose it was not altogether mine but I did draw it for the Mylar sheet. I do hope Mary is well, she did so much for machine knitting. I enclose a couple of photos and a copy of the Mylar sheet. As you can see from the photos I just could not part with the dressing gown and it’s now being modelled by my grandson Sean. The garment was made with Argyll Ferndale 4-ply and knitted using my Knit Radar. It’s just a long length V-neck cardi with stocking stitch gold edged bands. My son is now 39 this year. Gosh was it really that long ago, seems like yesterday. Thank you so much for keeping the magazine going I look forward to it each month and will put the binders on my present list. Best wishes for your future health and happiness.
Yours sincerely, Carol Cochran
Thank you for all your efforts in keeping the magazine going. Every month gives me fresh inspiration – after a break for a year or two whilst having two cataracts removed, a knee joint replacement, a carpal tunnel operation and more recently major abdominal surgery, I am now back in full swing and coping with keeping ten grand children in knits! Keep up the good work!
Yours sincerely, Jean Herbert