Mid-summmer nights and shows

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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.

Projects for Christmas

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I also had the pleasure of taking with me a watercolour painting of Joan and her grand-daughter. It had been copied from the photo of the two of them in October 2009 on page 59. I know you’ll all remember Ruth Cox. When she retired from Pippin Designs, Ruth took up painting as a hobby and I asked her if she’d accept a commission to copy the photo for me. It was absolutely lovely, so it went with me and I was delighted that Joan loved it. It’s to be framed to fill just the right size gap on one of Joan’s walls. Now I need to nudge Ruth’s son Chris into action, because it would be nice to have his cartoons in the magazine again.

My other good news came as a result of Glenys Taylor’s plea for help in the December issue (Clubline, page 10). Joyce Monks has run a very successful club in Warrington for 37 years and she’s offered to be a new Knitting Buddy. Joyce wrote a very useful and popular series on setting up a club from scratch and running it. It was first published in World of Knitting and I’m sure the ideas might help Glenys and others wanting to start a small group. Some of the suggestions may also be useful for giving existing clubs a new lease of life. We’ll bring Joyce’s articles up-to-date and start the series next time. Clubline will therefore take on a new look but please continue to send in your club news, because we’ll include it elsewhere in the magazine.

Now all that remains is for me to join everyone at MKM in sending you the compliments of the season and wishing you a very happy New Year.

Guild Event

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This will be followed on Saturday 11th July from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm by A Day with Ruth Lee and the cost this time is £5. Uppingham Yarns are also attending. Both days are to be held at Wilnecote Parish Hall, Watling Street (old A5), Wilnecote, Tamworth, Staffordshire B77 5AD. Drinks will be provided but bring your own lunch. Cheques made payable to the Guild of Machine Knitters Ltd and please enclose an sae. For information and tickets contact Lidia Higson at 54 Main Road, Wigginton, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 9DZ. Tel 01827-63992 or e-mail lidia.higson@btinternet.com

Uppingham Summer School

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On Monday and Tuesday you’ll make a small garment including hems, shaping with tools and holding position, plus neckbands, making up and so on. Basics are there for beginners and more experienced knitters can try intarsia and cables. Wednesday and Thursday will be two days of ribber work including setting up, basic ribs, buttonholes, shaping and knitting a variety of ribbed fabrics including jacquard. Beginners and those who want to can continue with the project from Tuesday if they choose. As every machine can produce a variety of lace fabrics, Friday will be a lace day covering as many variations of machine knitted lace as possible.

Further details are available from:

Uppingham Summer School, 34 Stockerston Road, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9UD
Tel 01572-820800
Website www.uppinghamsummerschool.co.uk

Calling Liverpool

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She bought a recent copy of MKM and was so interested in the articles that she’s dug out her Brother 830. It’s some years since she’s done any knitting and if you think you can help, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch.

Knit ‘n’ Natter

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Our guest speakers are Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer of Woolly Thoughts. Each year we like to support a charity through knitting and this year the club members decided that they would like to knit Trauma Teddies. CSV have sent me a hand knitting pattern but I do remember that there was a machine knitting pattern in your magazine some years ago. Please can you help? I will send you details of other exhibitors and details of how to buy tickets a little nearer the time. Meanwhile if anyone has any queries they are welcome to contact me by e-mail at pat@banyardsmith.freeserve.co.uk or telephone 01788-822091.

Kind regards from
Pat Banyard Smith

It’s Ewenique

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As our club has such good knitters, help is always on hand for the less experienced. We had ten members at the week including our one male member, who is a very experienced knitter. I took along my cousin as a guest and everyone made her very welcome. I’m going to attach a couple of photographs and hope this will inspire other clubs to try it.

Members of the Ewenique club meet every second and fourth Monday of the month at The Folk Hall in New Earswick at either 1.45 pm if we’re having a guest speaker or 2.00 pm if one of our own members is going to do a demonstration for us. We arrange two of the knitting weeks each year in the spring and autumn. If any readers live in the area and would like to join us, we’d be very pleased to welcome them. The contact for the club is Mrs Greta Morton our Secretary and her phone number is 01423-860923 or e-mail themortons@talktalk.com.

Thanks very much Anne and best wishes.
Hannah Ward, York

Welcome back

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I’ve been knitting jumpers for my (step) great grand-daughter who lives in Ohio. While browsing through some vintage magazines I came across the enclosed pattern from a November 1956 (I was eight then!) Modern Knitting magazine. The instructions looked intriguing, but proved to be a lot less complicated once I was actually knitting the garment. I decided to do the hem as a 2×1 mock rib. I use mock rib as I don’t have a ribber. I was using a Bramwell acrylic yarn to knit the waistcoat and although I love the colourful fabric it creates, blocking with a hot iron over a damp cloth is a definite no-no! Hence I wanted a hem which would lie properly.

The original waistcoat is plain and designed for a small boy, but in these unisex days I simply used pink, added a simple single motif of bunny rabbits and swapped the buttonhole band over to the other side to make a neat little top for a small girl. With the brown top, I used a sheep border all the way round the bottom. Instead of having it as a waistcoat with a front opening, I stitched up the front seam, added a false placket and half a dozen clear buttons to make it look like a waistcoat, but it simply pops over the child’s head. I also finished the armholes on the brown one with two rows of double crochet as I thought it looked better, being unable to press the armholes flat.

So, I thought I’d share it with you. There’s a wealth of inspiration from the 50s and 60s , beautifully neat collars, tailored jumpers and so on that can be adapted to today’s fashions. These are particularly useful, I think, to those of us who have older, more basic machines and no ribbing attachment.

Yours sincerely
Vivienne Fagan in Hanwell, London

Tumbling Blocks

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Always use all three colours in each colour sequence. If you don’t, you will not only find counting impossible, but also get a different colour on the back, which will show.

Have the colour changer set up so that you work from left to right {for example 2 rows red. 2 rows blue , 2 rows green = 6 rows). Now you are always working in multiples of 6.

If you are working with a punchcard machine, writing the pattern and punching it can be tedious! I have DesignaKnit 7 so I am able to input the design to it and then print out the template, {ST) in colour. Just have to make sure all three colours are bright and it doesn’t matter if they are not the ones actually used. If you have not got DesignaKnit 7, I’m sure someone in your club does and you could borrow their expertise.

Anne, if you could pass on my comments together with my e mail address, we might be able to discuss double bed Jacquard. Love the new look mag and the new contributors.
Best wishes
Nancy in Oz

Hi Nancy in OZ
This sounds very interesting, but alas I’m only new to all of this but I really enjoy reading the comments.
Best wishes from Maggie in OZ
2011-07-20 12:41:36

Getting ready for Machine Knitting Live

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Then there’s Fiona Morris with patterns and yarn; Forsell Yarns with Undy Yarns; the Guild of Machine Knitters; Heathercraft pre-owned machines and accessories; Iris Bishop and her new collection; Jane Woodward and Shades of Cashmere yarn; Nina Miklin with her new patterns and luxury yarns; Riverside Spinning with yarns plus home comforts; Sue Castro with her novel patterns and ideas; Undy Yarns who bring their shop to the show and Uppingham Yarns with a wide range of yarns. In addition, John Scotton and Hilary will help me and bring Hague linkers, twisters and accessories. New this year will be Claire Watson at Thread Yarn & Fabric with a selection of finer yarns including lovely Tussah Silk plus Tessa from Silkwood Angoras with hand-dyed angora yarns. We featured Les and Tess in Spotlight in April 2008, Issue 123. It’s looking good, so please try and join us on the day.

I’ve chatted with Alison Dupernex recently and she’s back at her machine designing for us, having been away at shows for several months. She tells me she’s stocked up on cottons and also knitted us some sumptuous throws for cosy autumn and winter months. Don’t laugh – the summer will soon roll by! Several readers have also mentioned the tremendous talents of Mark Fast. He truly is a knitwear sensation and it’s great to know that domestic machines are being used to produce such amazing catwalk spectacle. Sally-Ann has been on the case to feature him in MKM since we read about him in The Times back in February. So far she’s had no joy but she’ll keep trying and will hopefully succeed.

Finally, do turn to Newsline this month to see the fabulous new books now available from Iris Bishop, Elaine Cater and Nina Miklin. The trio are three of the best designers currently working in machine knitting and they present masses of expertise in their quite different approaches. Devotees of all three will be thrilled with their latest offerings and Elaine also has a special MKM offer on a garter carriage book. It’s been much requested, following on from our article on the garter carriage last time. At just £6 including UK postage, Simply Garter Stitch is not to be missed and the offer is open until the end of July.

I am thrilled to find this magazine and find that others share my love for machine knitting. It is one of my unfortunately guilty pleasures.
Media Student
2009-06-14 14:12:47