A bright, new year ahead

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Dear readers

A bright new year is on the horizon. Our 32nd birthday issue is coming up in April and we’ve diaries waiting to be filled. So let’s look forward to the Spring and make a date to get together in Bournemouth on Saturday 3rd March or Nottingham on Sunday 8th April. The shows will have a slightly different look from now on and the letter I’ve received from Carol Hocknell will explain why. Carol writes: “Dear Anne, the decision has finally been made. We have held the last Dream Week and we are not going to do any further shows. It was not an easy decision to make but if I want to continue with the Shop, Mail Order and Courses this is our way forward. It was following Bournemouth that I was taken ill, so that settled it. As you would expect there has been much discussion and I am not yet ready for retirement, much as everyone thinks I should be! So that is my news for now and I hope all is well with you. Best wishes, Carol”.

I think everyone in the machine knitting world was worried as the news of Carol’s illness gradually spread. Since then there’s been much speculation, so it’s really good to hear direct from Carol that Metropolitan will continue. Of course we’ll miss them at the shows, but that’s a small price to pay for this long-established company to carry on serving us. Over the years, Carol and her team have put a huge amount of effort into flying the flag for machine knitting, so we must all try to support Metropolitan whenever we can.

We’ve always enjoyed putting together the Bournemouth fashion show and this year Marianne Henio is working with both the Carbery and Ringwood clubs to add a touch of her personal flair and pizzazz. It will be the first time Marianne has come to Bournemouth and she’s now working closely with Andrea at Andee Knits, so they’ll have lots of new things to show us. Marianne has been as a visitor to our Nottingham show but this time she’ll bring a selection of her fabulous designs and chat to you all. Now that her series on knitting for our shape and style has come to an end, she’s taking us on an exciting journey to look at the relationship between colour, birth signs and knitting.

With much ahead of us, all that remains is to wish you a very happy Christmas and a New Year which is filled with good health and contentment throughout 2018. Until next time, my compliments of the season to you all.

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February 2018

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On sale Thursday 11th January

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January 2018 (Issue 240)

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January 2018 is our latest issue. It went out to subscribers on 7th December and was officially on sale on 14th December. If you order a latest issue and subscription bundle, we’ll send you this issue and your February 2018 magazine will be posted on 4th January.

Check it out

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Dear Readers

I’d just returned from a family dash to Scotland, when Joan Fielding-Browne called to say hello. Sadly, we were in too much of a hurry to stop off at her shop and studio in Galashiels, but Joan tells me that her Aladdin’s cave is now fully stocked. She sells hand and machine knitting yarn, knitting and sewing machines, tables, cabinets and lots of accessories including DesignaKnit. She has gift packs, knitting patterns and everything you’d ever need for crochet, embroidery and tapestry. She’s very knowledgeable and always makes time to talk to old and new customers, so do call her on 01896-850734. Joan has recently rebuilt her website and you can check it out at www.littleknittingfairy.co.uk

I’ve heard from Maggie Andrews recently and she tells me that as she’s now nearly 80, she’ll be retiring very soon. She’s sold the copyright of all her booklets and pattern leaflets to our friend Linda Williams of Country Knitting of Maine at www.countryknittingofmaine.com and many of us go back a long way in machine knitting. Maggie reminded me that we go back 25 years to 1992. Her decision means that she’s selling off the residual stock of her booklets and patterns, at reducing prices, until they’re all gone. You’ll find them on eBay, so make sure you don’t miss the opportunity if there are any gaps in your collection as once they’re gone, they’re gone. I’m sorry to say that Maggie is no longer able to knit, but urges us to keep going and sends us all good wishes for the future. She’s made a significant contribution to our craft, whilst not enjoying the best of health for many years, so I know you’ll all join me in wishing her a content and comfortable retirement.

I’m so pleased to hear that members of Mapperley Knit & Natter will join us at the Nottingham Show on 8th April 2018. We’ve often mentioned Ann Matthews in the magazine and she’s an amazing knitter who is truly one of Joan Lafferty’s ‘old hands’. Ann’s knitting is superb and her finishing is outstanding, so it’s wonderful to know that she’ll bring her electronic machine to demonstrate, as well as display some of her garments. Fellow club members will join in the fun and this friendly group is always happy to answer any questions you may have, so it will definitely be a ‘hot spot’ at the show.

At this time of the year, all that remains is to settle down with a cuppa and dig out all your old magazines to knit some festive favourites for friends and family. Until next time, happy knitting!

NEXT ISSUE January 2018

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 7th December

On sale Thursday 14th December

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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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December 2017

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 2nd November

On sale Thursday 9th November

 

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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September 2017

Subscription copies sent out

Thursday 3rd August

On sale

Thursday 10th August

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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.