This is our June 2018 magazine but July 2018 has gone out to subscribers and just been delivered from the printer, so it’s now our latest issue, officially on sale on 14th June. If you order a latest issue and subscription bundle, we’ll send you July and your August 2018 magazine will be posted on Thursday 5th July. Look out for the cover and all the July details next week.
This month’s Slice of Life rang lots of bells and made me smile. Fran hooked a couple of teenagers and I may well have added my three-year old grand-daughter to the list of knitting machine enthusiasts. There’s always lots to do when she comes, as I’ve loads of paper and pens, books and crayons. She sits on my knee at the desk and we flip from stickers to dinosaurs and stamps to Play-doh as we while away many happy hours.
The last visit included mummy, daddy and her other granny, so we were all sitting round chatting when she announced that her bunny was cold and needed a scarf. I was ‘volunteered’ to make one, so we went up to my knitting room and she pounced on a luscious ball of multi-shade bright lime and emerald yarn with lots of shiny green knobbles. (Smooth DK? Not a hope!) I found a short pair of knitting needles and we went back to join the others. Having cast on six stitches and knitted a bit to start us off, I sat on the floor with her between my legs and we managed two rows. She held the ‘sticks’ and lassoed the yarn round the top of the needle, until dismay set in. She stood up. pulled it off the needles and with her hands about eight inches apart, announced she needed it ‘this long’, not just a tiny square!
For years I’ve had a Mattel toy knitting machine tucked away in a corner, which was holding much promise as we opened it up. There were balls of lemon, mauve and pink yarn sitting neatly on the top, soon destined to become a scarf for dolly. Instructions? What self-respecting machine knitter needs a manual? Having used one of those little French Knitting machines for years, I worked out a way to cast on and, with an easy turn of the handle, we were soon knitting. Round and round she turned and out of the bottom popped the knitting. We changed colour twice and, in no time at all, made a very fetching scarf to keep dolly warm. Slightly in danger of strangling herself, she pulled the rather short strip tight round her neck and waltzed through to the adults. She pushed the hand knitting out of sight behind a cushion, with the style of Joan Lafferty and announced: “I’ve made a scarf for my dolly, but this is proper knitting on a machine and I can do it”. It was huge fun and if ‘each one can teach one’ we’ll soon have a full-scale revival on our hands!
Do come and join us on Saturday 3rd March at Bournemouth School for Girls in Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ. There will be lots to see, try and buy and do bring a hand-knitting with you. We could try conversion tactics or, at the very least, have a really good knit ‘n’ natter!
April 2018 – our 32nd birthday issue
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Is it that we’re all getting older, or where did last year go? Before I seem to have turned around, it’s time to get into gear again for our Bournemouth and Nottingham shows. Machine Knitting LIVE! is on Saturday 3rd March at Bournemouth School for Girls in Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ. We then return to West Park Leisure Centre in Wilsthorpe Road, Long Eaton NG10 4AA for the Nottingham Machine Knitting Show on Sunday 8th April. After last year’s many concerns about these two shows continuing, please make every effort to join us and support our craft in 2018.
It’s with great sadness that we say goodbye to Dennis Wright, as he’s made the decision to finally retire. Dennis and I go back into the mists of time, to the glory days of machine knitting. He was always a much-loved exhibitor and long before they became popular, he’d bring a selection of immaculate circular sock machines in full working order to many of the shows. Often his wife Freda would come along too, as No. 1 demonstrator and I loved the soft purr of the rise and fall of the needles when I gently turned the handle. Advancing years and increasing health problems have finally caught up with both Dennis and Freda. I thank them both for many years of camaraderie and Dennis especially for all his help and trustworthy advice. Our warm friendship will continue, but we’ll no longer have Dennis as a contributor and Knitting Buddy. I hope life is kind to both of them and that their future problems are few and far between.
Whilst we say goodbye to Dennis, we welcome back Clair Crowston as a regular contributor and we’ll be featuring a selection of her designs in the magazine. She’s been one of our Knitting Buddies for a long time and she’ll also join us at the Nottingham show. You’ll find many of her designs on her website at www.machineknittingdesigns-by-clair.co.uk and the patterns are a very reasonable £4 each. For a limited time, she’s offering three patterns for the price of two. Order the first two in the normal way and then send Clair an email with your choice of a third free pattern. Call her now on 01724-342130 or email email@example.com if you’d like more information.
This issue goes out at the beginning of January, so all that remains is to send you my very best wishes and hopes for a happy, a healthy and a prosperous New Year.
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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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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.
Hooray! Our telephone lines have been upgraded and we’re up-and running again if you need to give us a call.
All my best wishes, Anne
Publisher & Editor of Machine Knitting Monthly
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
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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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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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!