It’s showtime 2018 once more!

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Dear Readers

There’s been lots to think about for the last month or two. We’ve said a final goodbye to some much-loved names this year and many of us have already started to plan our 2018 diary. Keeping domestic machine knitting alive has been my lifetime’s work and many of you have reminded me that without our dedicated shows, machine knitting may well fade away. It will require lots of hard work, but I have the energy and enthusiasm to once again organise the Bournemouth and Nottingham shows. Many of you supported both events this year and said how much you’d like them to continue. However, none of us is as agile as we used to be and travelling isn’t quite as easy, so getting to the shows is no longer an option for some knitters. We’ve also lost one or two names, as designers and companies have closed down. Nevertheless there are lots of us still flying the flag for a craft we hugely enjoy and it will be my pleasure to gather us all together again.

The dates for your diaries are Saturday 3rd March 2018 for Machine Knitting LIVE! at Bournemouth School for Girls in Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ and Sunday 8th April 2018 at West Park Leisure Centre in Wilsthorpe Road, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 4AA for the Nottingham Show. Over the next few issues, I’ll bring you details of our exhibitors as well as events on the day. Whether you travel to the north or the south, do please try to visit one or both shows, to keep the flag flying.

Just as we go to press, I’ve some last-minute news to pass on. Alison Dupernex tells me that she’ll be at the St Ives Arts Club, Westcott’s Quay, St Ives, Cornwall for two weeks in 2018. Alison will be moving her machine and stock down to Cornwall and working there and I’ll give you full details next month. The diary dates are from 10th to 23rd February 2018 and she’s asked me to say that it would be lovely to see any readers who might be in the area at that time. Alison is also working on a book to be published soon and, again, I’ll let you have full details once I have the launch date. By now, you all know my reluctance to launch into Christmas when this issue goes to press in September. However, I promise to include lots of seasonal ideas next month so, until then, happy knitting our way.

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National Day

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Dear Readers

I recently attended a great day spent with members of the Guild of Machine Knitters, at their National Day. The event moves around the country, to give everyone the chance to attend and this year it was held in Westbury, Wiltshire. Entry is free for Guild members and non-members are welcome if they pay £5 on the door. It’s a really good day out for any machine knitter, so you might want to make a Diary Date for next June. Nick Traylen brought lots of Uppingham Yarns to tempt us and Elaine Cater was there with her latest designs and new books, which you can read about in Newsline. Marianne Henio showed us some of her current collection and Jan Truman gave an amazing and inspiring talk as Guest Speaker. There were lots of demonstrations, including Jane Harrisson’s sock machine ‘purring’ gently in the background.

Many of us had stayed in a hotel the night before and it was far too hot for food to survive the searing heat overnight. We confidently walked to a local supermarket to grab some lunch, only to discover their fridges and freezers had broken down. It was getting hotter by the minute, so we were hugely grateful to Elaine’s husband for driving into town guided by a member of Westbury Woollies. They returned with a welcome selection of chilled salads and sandwiches.

The Guild has a number of knitting clubs as members and local club Westbury Woollies supplied refreshments for the event. Members meet monthly on the second Tuesday from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm at the Heywood & Hawkeridge Village Hall, 5a Church Road, Heywood, Westbury BA13 4LP. They were a lovely group, who looked after us so well throughout the day. Pat Brain is the contact so, if you live in the area, do call her on 01747-833672 and join in the fun.

Marianne Henio gave a talk in the morning and the masterplan was for her to present the closing fashion show. However, we’d all wilted in the heat by then, so she improvised by holding up many of her designs, telling us about them and you’ll find all her details on Page 46.  I’m now off on holiday and we’re staying with my great friend Susan Guagliumi. It’s a while since I’ve been to the States and I can’t wait to see her again. No doubt there will be a mention or two of machine knitting and I’ll tell you all about it next time!

 

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Speed knitting

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I returned recently from a trip to visit family in the North. We drove out of Scotland with gale force winds blowing, as well as sleet and hailstones pounding down on the car. As I write, the sky is a cloudless Mediterranean blue and it’s a balmy 17 degrees in the South East. It’s a good reminder of how easy it is to knit something quickly on our machines. We may need light and lacy if Spring arrives sooner than we anticipate, or warm and woolly to keep out the chill for a few more weeks. For a truly quick chunky top, there’s nothing faster than to adapt the design on Page 22 of the May 2017 issue. If you need speed, forget the side vents and make two rectangles for the back and front. Add another rectangle for each sleeve and put it all together in a jiffy. Worn over a comfy top, you’ll have an extra layer of added warmth and reduce your stash a little!

Suzette Williams tells us that in association with The Guild of Machine Knitters, Timberdine Machine Knitting Club and Malvern Enthusiastic Machine Knitters will present a Knit ‘n’ Natter in Sacred Heart Church Hall, 208 Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 8AZ. The date for your diary is Saturday 15th July 2017 from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm and there’s a large car park at the rear of the church. The Guest Speaker is Melissa Warren. They’re planning workshops and will have a few trade stands, as well as yarn and a premature baby charity table. Tickets will cost £6 in advance, which includes tea and coffee. Tickets will be available from Suzette and all are welcome so email her at sue@incoming-email.co.uk for details.

You may not know that the Guild of Machine Knitters has a new-look A4 Newsletter. There are 24 pages in full colour including two or three patterns and it’s all dedicated to machine knitting. If you’d like a couple of free issues just drop me a line. There’s no obligation and if you’re a machine knitter, I’m sure you’ll be interested. Come rain or shine, happy knitting!

Nottingham Show

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Hi Anne

You did it for Bournemouth, so do let us know who will be at the Nottingham Show and give us some info about the talks please. Looking forward to it.

The show takes place this Sunday 9th April from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at West Park Leisure Centre in Wilsthorpe Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire NG10 4AA. Although the centre’s kitchens were decommissioned at the New Year, we’ve some great local caterers who will supply freshly-made hot and cold drinks and food throughout the day. 

 Tickets are available and cost £6 on the door, plus tickets to our talks at just £1 each and we’ve three Guest Speakers.

BILL KING is first to speak at 11.00 am and his talk is called Strange Shapes. There’s always a huge interest in his holding position garments, so he’ll  go into detail about the short row garments you love and include fresh ideas and possibilities. He’ll bring his knitting machine and be available all day to explain techniques personally.
ELAINE CATER  follows Bill at 12.30 pm and she’ll be talking about cables. Let’s Twist Again takes the fear out of knitting a cable and Elaine will explain the cheats cables  suitable for  all single bed machines.
SUE BOOTH is our final speaker at  2.00 pm and she’ll talk about  Finishing Touches.  Sue will include feature seams, zipper enclosures, reversible joins and all sorts of other things using her garments as samples.
Confirmed exhibitors are Anne Baker and Karabee Designs, Sue Booth, the popular button man Arnold Bennett, Elaine Cater, Bill King, Brenda Gould and Knitting Machine Journal, David and Jason Hampson from The Wool Cabin, B Hague & Co with twisters, linkers and accessories, Mary Hawkins representing the Framework Knitters Museum, Guild of Machine Knitters including Ann Matthews from Mapperley Machine Knitting Club demonstrating throughout the day, Knits ‘n’ Bits from Wendy Piper, Machine Knitting Monthly also with Anjo Designs, Metropolitan Machine Knitting, Nina Miklin, Rob Fountain, Erica Thomson and Uppingham Yarns. We also welcome Patricia Dyson and a team of six representing the Nottinghamshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.
I hope this is all the information you need, but do please ask if you’re unsure about anything. 

Do I need to register?

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Hi everyone
We’ve received a few enquiries about registering on the site, so I’ll post the answer here in the hope of making things clearer.

The short answer is you only need an account to buy something from the shop, and you can create an account when you’re checking out (at which time you would be entering all of your details anyway).

If you had an account on the old MKM site, then you can reset your password here or get full instructions here.

You can make comments on posts just by leaving an email address – no account is required.

I hope you enjoy using the new site, and we’ll keep making tweaks to make it more usable for you as time goes on. If you have any more questions about any aspect of the site, ask me here.

Had a user account on the old MKM site?

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If you had an account on the old MKM site, just go to the lost password page, enter your email address and, if it’s in our records, we’ll email you instructions on how to reset it.

If it’s not in our records, you can create a new account during the checkout process. We hope you enjoy using the site but if anything’s not clear, just let us know via the contact page.

Happy New Year, and Happy New Website!

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Dear readers
As we approach the 31st birthday issue of the magazine, I’m delighted to welcome you to our new website. All the old content is still here, so do please browse around to find all the things you’ve previously used and found interesting. One additional feature you’ll notice is that you can now comment on new articles, including this letter, so do let us know what you think!

Perhaps the biggest change is that we’ve made ordering subscriptions on the website much easier and more attractive for your purse. Instead of paying for all your copies at the start of the subscription, you now pay for each magazine monthly, with no hidden charges and no minimum term. First of all there’s a massive saving of 65% on the cover price, so you pay just £2.30 for each issue instead of £3.80. We then add to this postage at cost, which is calculated for each country. Shipping is worked out on packages rather than single items and this means that if you order several back issues, the cost of sending them will be considerably less than before. We’ve simplified and upgraded our payments system to a new method, which is so much easier to use with a credit or debit card, wherever in the world you live.

Some readers like to use iPads, tablets and phones, so we’ve made the website much easier to read on them. You might also like to know that Machine Knitting Monthly now has its own Twitter feed. We’ll be posting up details about each issue of the magazine, as well as following and re-tweeting anyone and any company involved in machine knitting in any way. So, if you’re on Twitter then please follow us at https://twitter.com/MachineKnitMag.

There are even more exciting times ahead, as we make new content available online and I’ve left perhaps our best news to the end. Should there be sufficient demand, you’ll be able to choose between having a printed magazine or an online version each month. It’s taken us a while but I’m pleased and proud to invite you to take a look at our new website and come and join us!

All the hints and tips for success

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I spoke to Joan Fielding-Browne recently and she’s a fabulous offer for you, running right up to Christmas week. I’m not sure all of you know that she has masses of stock in her shop at Galashiels, as well as online. It includes machine cones from King Cole, Woolcraft and Robin, as well as knitting and sewing machines, tables, cabinets and accessories. She has gift packs, knitting patterns and everything for tapestry, crochet and embroidery. Her special promotions cover all crafts and change each week up to Christmas. Visit www.littleknittingfairy.co.uk or, if you’d like to talk to Joan personally, give her a call on 01896-850734.

Reader offers are coming in thick and fast right now, including price reductions on cones for MKM readers and Club Leaders from The Wool Cabin until the January issue goes on sale in December. You can call the order hotline on 07854-121067 or email singlemalt48@hotmail.com but make sure you put The Wool Cabin in the subject box. Personal shoppers are always welcome and you’ll find full details on Page 28.

The Knitting Fairy will look after all your crafting and gift needs, The Wool Cabin has yarn bargains and Anne Baker has the perfect Karabee pattern for a mermaid snuggly. It’s quickly knitted with Card 1 on chunky machines. Anne has made one for my little grand-daughter to snuggle up in and it’s gorgeous. There have been hand-knitting versions around for a while, but this is the only one I’ve seen for machine knitting. The pattern has been so popular that Anne has had to add teen and adult sizes. As Sally-Ann would say, it’s ‘bang on trend’ and everything I’ve mentioned is available by post. Order now and all that remains is to settle down to some festive knitting!

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December 2016
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Hello Anne
Do you have a running order for this year’s show at Bournemouth on Saturday 5th March as I am driving and don’t want to miss anything?
Best wishes Mary

Hi Mary
We open at 10.00 am and the cafeteria is already buzzing because they serve hot bacon rolls which none of us can resist!

Ann Brown is our Guest Speaker and her talk will start around 11.00 to 11.30 am to allow those travelling from a long distance to arrive. Members of Carbery Machine Knitting Club and Ringwood Machine Knitting Club will present a combined Fashion Show at about 2.00 to 2.30 pm. Again we need to leave sufficient time for everyone to have lunch which can sometimes be tricky if the school canteen is busy. Demonstrations will take place throughout the day in many of the classrooms. The cafeteria closes around 3.15 to 3.30 and we close at 4.00 pm.

We look forward to seeing you and it promises to be a great day Anne

Mary Lowe
2016-02-18 20:55:19
Dear Anne
I am so sad to hear of the passing of Joan Lafferty I have read her articles for many a year as I have been a machine knitter since the late 60s. She often made me smile and gave so many easy to understand hints and tips.
Thanks for continuing to produce a great magazine without which many of us would be lost.
Best wishes
Joyce
JEDSBITS
2016-02-18 20:51:41
Dear Anne
So sorry to hear you have lost another friend and colleague with the death of Alice Wilmshurst. She worked tirelessly over the years and her Machine Knitting Journals have been such an inspiration to machine knitters all over the world. I still read through my collection of PKMJ every so often and enjoy all the hints tips and encouragement that Alice put together.
Kind regards
Sue
Sue P
2016-08-12 07:30:46

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.

Lots of advice and inspiration

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I’ve been to Italy before, but never to Florence and I very much looked forward to my week away. It’s a glorious time of year, but unfortunately the sun had shone from clear blue skies the week before. It drizzled when we arrived, poured down all week and I threw my umbrella in the bin at the airport as it collapsed for the last time. In the anticipated sight-seeing trek to visit the museums and churches, I spotted something amazing. The windows of almost every fashion shop in the city centre were filled with knitwear. If it hadn’t been so wet I could have jotted down hundreds of ideas, all of which had been machine-knitted in the first place. There was layer upon layer of fine knitting teamed with chunky tops and knitted scarves were everywhere. It was truly a machine knitter’s paradise.

When I got back, I looked at a number of boutiques selling knitwear on the Internet and was frankly staggered at the prices some folk are prepared to pay. It made me realise even more the huge potential our machines have to offer. I don’t think I’ve spent so long looking at women’s knitted fashion since I was at college and it might not have attracted my attention so much if the weather had been kinder. Taking shelter from the rain became essential and, after all, there’s a limit to the number of frescos and paintings of the Madonna and Child any one person can take in! All of us stick to the well-trodden path of patterns and styles we know, because they’re familiar old friends that won’t let us down. Nevertheless, it costs nothing to go window shopping and we don’t need to go as far afield as Italy because our own High Streets are filled with knitting. Perhaps the exercise to walk off the seasonal excess may also fill us with lots of fresh ideas for some inspirational knitting?

We probably need to avoid the January sales but, when the windows fill with the new season’s knitting, we can glean lots of ideas. Sally-Ann sets us on the right path each month with her up-to-date trends and colours, so we’ve no excuse. Let the New Year be filled with resolutions that we’ll all make a list of ‘must knits’ for 2013 : and knit them! Now all that remains is to send my very best wishes and sincere hopes for a happy and peaceful New Year, filled with good health and good fortune for us all.

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