Last month I promised you some captivating reading and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with our centre four pages this month. It tells the remarkable story of a circular knitting machine and its owner. The machine is restored and in full working order, having started a remarkable journey almost 100 years ago in Essex. Milissa Ellison Dewey has researched and written our fascinating story and she lives in America with her husband, Alan. Master Turner Alan is originally from Hull in the North East and he’s the world’s foremost restorer of antique chess sets and spinning wheels. Together, they’re superheroes of the spinning world and are the fibre-tool restoration couple known as Bobbin Boy. Milissa has one of the world’s largest research collections of circular knitting machines. They range in age from the early 1870s and come from 13 countries, including many from the UK. She now has about 80 circular machines, as well as ten or so rigid ‘V’ bed models. Whenever possible, she tries to identify machines with known provenance as it’s the machines, together with the folk who struggled to find the money to buy them, that are of equal interest. Thank you so much Milissa for all your historical research, which has brought one of this country’s knitting machines to life.
I’m pleased to have heard again from Carole Dunkerley, whose Father Christmas hat pattern was a huge success in our December 2018 magazine. Lockdown has given Carole lots of knitting time and she’s been busy making an assortment of knitted ‘heads’. They can be attached to all manner of items such as gift bags, key rings or a Christmas tree. If you’ve run out of time to knit garments for everyone, they’ll be thrilled with a personalised gift bag and you’ll find Carole’s happy collection on Page 27.
Another alternative that’s homemade and original could be one of Bill King’s cards. Uncover a wealth of possibilities in your stash of oddments. The fabric to make 80 or 90 cards will soon be knitted with eight single motifs across the width of the needlebed and Hobbycraft has 50 plain white cards and envelopes for £5.50. Bill tells us what to do and how to do it on Page 52, so you really can knit something for all your friends and family this year.
In this issue, I always remind you that we need to turn our attention to the kitchen in six weeks’ time. This year, though, I’ll not worry if I haven’t made the cake. Carole has come to the rescue with a last-minute recipe and it’s on Page 12. A drop or two of whisky is essential, but it will be the ‘merriest’ cake you’ll ever make! Until next month, cheers!
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