May 2021 new subscriptions

This is May 2021 and our latest issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine, no money will be taken with your order and it will start next month with the June 2021 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 6th May. If you’d like to start with this May magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

March 2021 update

Dear Readers

Welcome to the 35th birthday issue of MKM and you’ll find articles and designs from many popular names in machine knitting, all doing our best to fly the flag for our craft. We’ve some lovely designs from Anne Baker, Sue Booth, Heidi Cleary, Susan Guagliumi, Bill King and Nina Miklin, along with the start of a great project for our toy box. Iris Rowe has designed and knitted a Noah’s Ark, with Mr and Mrs Noah to keep the menagerie of animals in order. It’s been a huge undertaking and all the little ones will love it.

I’ve recently had a great conversation with one of our subscribers. She runs a care home in West Yorkshire and as a Christmas ‘thank you’, she knitted cardigans for all her staff. She started by hand knitting the ribs, then whizzed through the stocking stitch on her LK-150, using a pattern from the magazine. Everything was fine, except for one member of staff whose size needed more stitches across the Back than the number of needles available. First we’d a short discussion about knitting the ribs first, or at the end and she always knits them first. She then puts the stitches onto the machine, but this time she decided to insert a panel to make the Back wider, so she hand knitted more stitches for the larger size. Using the normal DK tension, 15 extra stitches gave her three much-needed inches. To knit the Left Back and then the Right Back, she picked up stitches starting at each end and added an extra stitch at the centre for making up. When it came to knitting the panel, she replaced the stitches to use the purl side as the right side. Having added an extra stitch at each edge for making up, she mattress stitched the panel in place. She used a lovely heathery shade and it looked like a gorgeous design feature, because you simply couldn’t tell it had been inserted. It’s a lovely idea to pass on, instead of knitting a more usual back in two halves, with a centre seam or adding a chunk of extra stitches at the sides.

My giggle of the month came from another subscriber living in Cheshire, who asked how I was coping with Tier 4 lockdown in the south. My usual reply is that the drawbridge was raised and the portcullis lowered a year ago but, following on from his suggestion, I’ll make sure I don’t overfeed the crocodiles swimming around the moat! Machine Knitting Monthly has the most amazing readers and each one of you has played a vital role in keeping the magazine alive. My very sincere thanks to you all, for your enduring help and support over the years; I simply couldn’t do it without you. Knit happy!

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May 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 1st April

On sale Thursday 8th April

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March 2021 (Issue 278)

We’re pleased to let all our readers know that the March magazine has been mailed out to subscribers and is officially on sale on Thursday, 11th February.

March 2021 new subscriptions

This is March 2021 and our latest issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine, no money will be taken with your order and it will start next month with the April 2021 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 4th March. If you’d like to start with this March issue, please buy it as a back issue.

February 2021 update

Dear Readers

I’ve been glad of a few extra layers this month to keep snug and warm and hopefully the weather will soon improve, so we can all look forward to Spring. I write this letter to you in January and we’ve just had the first snowfall of the winter. It doesn’t snow much in the south-east and our temperatures are well below freezing. The snowman the kids next door made at the weekend is still standing and looking pristine. It’s definitely been the time to bring out my chunky knits and we’ve a couple of nice designs this month, as well.

I still hugely enjoy machine knitting and putting the magazine together and I’m especially proud of the fabulous line-up of designers we have this month. They include Alison Dupernex, Susan Guagliumi and Nina Miklin plus, of course, our own amazing Bill King! Between them they offer so much to machine knitters and if you do nothing else, please check out their websites. You’ll find them at https://alisondupernex.co.uk as well as https://guagliumi.com and www.exclusiveyarns.co.uk There’s a wealth of knowledge and expertise at your fingertips, all offered freely. If you get in touch with Nina and mention the magazine, she’ll always have a special offer to tempt you.

Another knitter who needs more than a passing mention is Sally Butcher, known to many of you for her Facebook page. Her letter is in Dear Anne this month, where she shares her method of casting on with a nylon cord on the LK-150. As users will know, this machine has no sinker posts so there’s nothing to hook the nylon cord round for a quick and easy cast on. Sally has worked out what to do and how to do it and neither of us knows of any previous mention of the method. We think, therefore, it’s a first and how generous of her to share it with us. Sally gives masses of free help and advice, so check out her video demonstration on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kalamundakrafts She also has a variety of videos showing techniques on the SK280, LK150 and SK155 Silver Reed machines. She’s just started transferring some of them to YouTube and she’ll be re-making several of the older videos, for better clarity. The link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSDxy6pQHAs4gd5XBztYWmw and you need to look for Sally Butcher’s Kalamunda Krafts Machine Knitting.

Last but not least I say it each year but do please join me next month, as each one of us can take personal pride in celebrating the 35th birthday of MKM. We’ve kept our craft going for all these years and it’s a huge achievement, for which we should all be immensely proud. Knit happy, Anne

NEXT ISSUE – April 2021, our 35th birthday magazine

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th March

On sale Thursday 11th March

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January 2021 update

Dear Readers

I know we’re all getting older, but where did last year go? None of us could ever have anticipated the last twelve months, but some good things did happen and I’ll start by passing on a bit of gossip. You’ll all recognise the name Fay Butcher, as she’s our Passap guru. I’m certain though, you won’t know that back home in Australia she’s rather good at golf. In fact, she won the Gold Medal at her club last October. Not only that, she became the oldest player, either male or female, at the club to achieve this. She’s also keeping it in the family, as her mother won the same Gold Medal in 1973 and they must surely be the only mother-and-daughter combination to have achieved this accolade? To win the medal, you have to qualify and every month a Club Medal is won in Grade A, B and C. At the end of the year, all winners of the Club Medal play for the Gold Medal. The best nett score for the day wins over the field, with no grades. Fay tells me she did break her handicap, but was more pleased that her score held up sufficiently well to win. So there! In Fay’s words, not mine: “There’s life in the ‘old dog’ yet”.

            We start 2021 with a new online publication for machine knitters. I had a long chat recently with Alison Peck, who has remained a friend since we met as fellow Directors at the Guild of Machine Knitters (GMK). Back then, as well as a quarterly newsletter, members had an online publication called Beyond the Gatepegs. When the GMK merged with the Knitting & Crochet Guild (KCG), everyone’s membership was transferred free for a year. If yours has lapsed, you may not know about Across the Needlebed, which is freely available to all members three or four times a year. The aim is to include articles, a bit of news about the machine knitting world and other items of interest, perhaps with a bit of show-and-tell. If you already use social media, it could be another way of sharing your knowledge and ideas, as well as showing others the things you’ve made. It’s not an alternative to Slipknot, but will complement it by publishing more in-depth articles and highlighting items of special interest to machine knitters.

            The first issue looks at using a hand-knitting pattern on a machine and knitting with a Brother KH260. There’s an article on charting devices, alongside a discussion on who would want a Passap/Pfaff, especially an E6000. (Fay Butcher, of course!) A raglan cardigan pattern for a 6-month-old baby is also included. Members can access the new publication via the pull-down menu on the Members’ Area of the website. We must give Alison and the KCG our full support. Non-members will find a taster at https://kcguild.org.uk and perhaps it’s time to renew your membership?

You all know by now that this issue is printed before Christmas, to go out at the beginning of January. There’s not a mince pie in sight so I need to turn myself into a domestic goddess, but not before sending you my very best wishes and hopes for a happy and a healthy New Year.

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March 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th February

On sale Thursday 11th February

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy or order a subscription now

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.

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February 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 7th January

On sale Thursday 14th January

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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!

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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.

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.