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!


January 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 3rd December

On sale Thursday 10th December

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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.

October update

Dear Readers

Autumn is always a busy time of year for knitters, as we take stock and think about some serious knitting. Having said that and as I write, it’s difficult to imagine chillier months ahead, as the days in both the North and South are still warm and sunny. To start the ball rolling, we’ve huge savings from Nina Miklin on Page 6, yarn offers on Page 8 and Page 52, as well as free patterns on Page 23 and Page 34. If you’re someone who knits Teddy Bears, has a huge range of knitting patterns in every shape and size imaginable. Some patterns are free to download and the full selection is at

Ahead of your autumn knit-in, don’t forget Lionel and Carol at HKC, if you need help with a Brother knitting machine. Lionel is a Brother-trained engineer, so he knows all there is to know about servicing and repairing them. He can also arrange a carrier service to all mainland destinations in the UK. You can buy a fully refurbished machine with a parts and labour guarantee, at a sensible cost and not the ridiculous prices some folk are charging on eBay for rusted up metal. You can collect your machine and have a thorough demonstration, giving full and accurate meaning to the expression: “Try before you buy”. It’s always useful to remember that Brother stopped marketing and distributing machines sometime back in the late 1990s and that’s a mighty long time ago! Lionel’s knowledge of Brother knitting machines and accessories is immense. So, if you’re a knitter who feels you can’t switch to a Silver Reed machine, I suggest you take the gamble out of buying secondhand and ask Lionel for help and advice you can trust.

We’ve a tremendous selection of patterns for you this month, with Susan Guagliumi, Clair Crowston and Bill King as our guest designers. You’ll also find designs in the new Drifter DK range from King Cole and if you knit for tiny tots, you’ll love the hoodie on Page 24. Simply thread up your machine and watch as stocking stitch unfolds into a stunning, multi-colour pattern. However, if you don’t have an LK-150 mid gauge or a chunky machine, don’t panic. There’s also a four ply version of this amazing yarn. Simply follow the instructions we give, to knit the designs on a standard gauge machine. There’s also no drama required for those of you with or without a ribber. Hand knit the ribs whilst watching the TV, use a ribber if you have one, drop the stitches down and reform them, or work mock rib following our guide on Page 62. As Sally-Ann often says: “It’s entirely up to you!” so, until next month, knit happy!


December 2020

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 5th November

On sale Thursday 12th November

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September update

Dear Readers

This year has skipped by far too quickly for many of us and I can hardly believe that our magazine year is now well into the autumn and winter season. One thing I learned recently is that there’s an annual event called Chesterfield High Street Awards and there are 15 categories. Basically, it celebrates the mix of independent and High Street businesses in the town. At the end of July, one of the three finalists named in the Best New Store category is The Wool Cabin. The 2020 winners are to be announced at a virtual awards ceremony in October 2020 and we all wish Jason Hampson and The Wool Cabin the best of luck.

 I’m especially cold a lot of the time, so I’ve an assortment of hot water bottles. I love unusual covers for them and I can’t resist a new throw to wrap myself up on a cold winter’s evening. Our recent spell of hot weather dismissed all thoughts of cool evenings, but there’s now a nip in the air and autumn is definitely around the corner.

For a while, I’ve had my eye on some lovely throws I spotted on the Woolyknit website. They’re 100% Pure British Wool in a crunchy deep traditional Aran-style patchwork pattern with a knitted sheep border. They’re a very generous size (140 x 200 cm, 4½ x 6½ feet) so could double up as a blanket on a bed or breathe new life into a sofa. They can be hand or machine washed on a wool setting and there are some lovely colours. Mine had to be red, it’s just arrived and the word ‘gorgeous’ doesn’t do it justice.

If just under £30 is an amount you’d spend, either to keep yourself warm or for a lovely gift, I promise you won’t be disappointed. All the contact details for Woolyknit are in Newsline this month and I’ve just remembered that we’ve a reader offer, so if you order soon, you’ll get 20% off!

 Until next time, very happy knitting.


November 2020

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 1st October

On sale Thursday 8th October

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September 2020 (Issue 272)

Our full-colour September 2020 issue cover design is simple stocking stitch, given a stunning effect knitted in a new King Cole yarn which gives a different look with each ball you knit. We always tell you how to knit all our patterns on standard gauge machines and we’ve lots of designs this month. Karin Rogalski helps us adapt a cardigan or knit something new to put us at ease after lockdown and Sally-Ann Carroll has some ‘knit-hot’ ideas in Style File. Claire Newberry returns to show us how to make curves in DesignaKnit 9 and Bill King turns a basic stitch into some gorgeous fabric designs. By very popular demand, we’ve sold out of the original magazines, so Bill King’s one-piece waterfall design is repeated in this issue! Fay Butcher shows Passap knitters how to knit Norwegian Fair Isle and we’ve free downloads from a huge selection of books from Search Press. We always include news, reviews and club details and everyone has been knitting in lockdown so we share lots of ideas, hints and tips.

Thank you NHS

Iris Rowe has designed this rainbow for us to knit and hang in a window, to thank care workers in our area

PATTERN RATING * Easy to knit.

MACHINES This pattern is written for all standard gauge machines. Use a mid-gauge or chunky machine and thicker yarn for a larger version

MATERIALS Any suitable 4-ply yarn Small amounts in Lilac (L), Magenta (M), Blue (B), Green (G), Yellow (Y), Orange (O), Red (R).

MEASUREMENTS Height around 8 cm, 3¼ in. Width 32 cm, 12½ in.

TENSION No tension gauge is necessary. Iris used Tension Dial setting 5 as main tension (MT) throughout unless otherwise stated. The knitting needs to be tighter than for a garment.

ABBREVIATIONS For a list of abbreviations we use, please turn to page 62 in any magazine.

NOTES Iris used knit side of knitting as right side. ‘Thread off’ means break yarn, using a bodkin, thread end through stitches and release from machine. Always leave a long length of yarn when casting on and casting off to use for making up.

TO KNIT Push 21 Ns to WP. Lilac curve Using L make a woven or automatic closed edge cast on. Set RC at 000 and K to RC 015. Place a WY marker on centre N, then K to RC 025. Place a WY marker on centre N, then K to RC 035. Place a WY marker on centre N, then K to RC 045. Place a WY marker on centre N, then K to RC 055. Place a WY marker on centre N, then K to RC 070. Thread off.

Magenta curve Using M knit in the same way placing WY markers on rows 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60, then K to RC 080. Thread off.

Blue curve Using B, work in the same way placing WY markers on rows 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65, then K to RC 090. Thread off.

Green curve Using G, work in the same way placing WY markers on rows 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70, then K to RC 100. Thread off.

Yellow curve Using Y, work in the same way placing WY markers on rows 35, 45, 55, 65 and 75, then K to RC 110. Thread off.

Orange curve Using O, work in the same way placing WY markers on rows 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80, then K to RC 120. Thread off.

Red curve Using R, work in the same way placing WY markers on rows 45, 55, 65, 75 and 85, then K to RC 130. Thread off.

MAKING UP With right sides tog, pull up stitches at each end of tubes, secure then join seams. Turn right side out, making sure roll is even. Using a long piece of red yarn, make a large knot in one end Start at centre and thread lilac tube onto yarn followed by correct sequence of colours, removing WY no longer needed. Lay tubes on a flat surface and straighten out. Pull tubes together lightly then make a small stitch at top of red tube to hold in place. Fasten off on inside of tube. Repeat this process each side of centre join. Using a very long length of red yarn thread a bodkin with a double length. Make a large knot in the end. Thread through the tubes starting with lilac and keeping in line with last set of WY markers. At top of red tube make a small stitch, take yarn across to WY marker on the other side leaving a long loop at top of rainbow to hang it in place. Adjust length as required. Make a small stitch before threading yarn through each tube until you reach the bottom. Pull slightly and fasten off inside the tube. Hang in your window.

July 2020 new subscriptions

This is July 2020 and our latest issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION If you select a new subscription, no money will be taken with your order and it will start next month with the August 2020 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 2nd July. If you’d like to start with this July issue, you need to order a Subscription Bundle.

SUBSCRIPTION BUNDLE If you select a subscription bundle, you pay for our current July 2020 magazine and we’ll send you a copy straight away. Your magazine will then be mailed direct from the printer on the first Thursday of each month and the August 2020 issue goes out to subscribers on Thursday 2nd July.

July 2020 (Issue 270)

Our cover design also has a V-neck version with a hood and we always tell you how to knit all our patterns on standard gauge machines. Sally-Ann Carroll brings us a bright and sunny summer and Bill King keeps the lockdown boredom at bay in Masterclass. By very popular demand, we’ve sold out of the original magazines, so Bill King’s Spider’s Web design is repeated in this issue! Lorna Roach uses jelly beans to add colour and life to her knitted socks and Karin Rogalski shows us how to knit our own face masks to match our knitted wardrobe. We’ve instructions for quick and easy head bands and back straps for front line workers and a rainbow to knit and hang in a window to say: “Thank you NHS”. We help each other through the lockdown and always include news and reviews, letters, club details and book offers with great savings from Search Press.

May 2020 update

Dear Readers

First of all, I hope my letter this month finds you as safe and as well as we are here. I’m fine, as are all the MKM contributors and everything is ticking over, albeit in a slightly different way than before. We all continue to be in lockdown, along with Susan in the States and Fay in Australia. Many of you have called to say how thrilled you’ve been that a number of companies who support our magazine are continuing to dispatch orders, so we’re all managing to keep things going. I’m indebted to the staff at King Cole, who have moved mountains to send us some of the vital things we need, to bring you this month’s magazine. So let me send a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone helping to keep the home fires burning.

One new thing which might be of interest is that Aldi now has a hobby and craft range, which can be ordered online. There’s lots to interest crafters such as threads for embroidery and tapestry, fat quarters for sewers, magnifying table lights and yarn for hand knitting. As you’d expect, prices are keen and is the place to visit to check it out. As we all try to work our way through this lockdown, don’t forget that Hobbycraft always has a huge range of beginner step-by-step guides, crafting materials and lots of free downloads at

Sally Butcher has written to tell us about her lockdown knitting and remind us about her Beginners Circle Facebook Group. If you’d find it of interest, email her at and she’ll let you have the details. We’ve also asked on our Clubline page if you’d let us know if you come across a new way to keep your members connected. We’ve had the sad news from Joy Hopkins that Carbery Machine Knitting Club in Christchurch is set to close, so it’s even more important to try to keep as much of our machine-knitting community going as possible. If you stay connected with virtual options such as Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom, please share. I’ve kept our website updated as much as possible, passing on requests such as knitting hearts for Covid-19 patients. Iris came to the rescue with a machine-knitted pattern and it’s in Dear Anne this month. Please email me with any ways you’ve found to keep in touch, such as the Long Buckby Machine Knitters special monthly newsletter. It’s posted on their website at and available for everyone to access.

Next month we’ve a treat in store for you when we’ll be At Home with Lorna Roach in Australia. She’s sent us her step-by-step guide to dyeing yarn all the colours of the rainbow with jelly beans. Yes, we really are going to head for the kitchen and have some fun! Until next time, we’re still saying to each other… keep well and stay safe.


July 2020

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th June

On sale Thursday 11th June

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Reserve a copy – see page 61

Current update

Dear Readers

As we all tried to navigate the unknown of the coronavirus situation, it became very clear, incredibly quickly that we had to follow the government’s advice. Therefore, it was with a heavy heart and great sadness that I cancelled this year’s Nottingham Show. Shortly after, of course, West Park Leisure Centre received the order to close its doors with immediate effect.

Many knitting clubs have called to say that they’ve decided to suspend their meetings and our Clubs Directory list gives you all the contact details, should you have any queries. Michelle Ferguson has told me that The Scottish Machine Knitters have cancelled their Spring Workshop on Saturday 18th April. For the most up-to-date SMK details, please visit

Many of the companies who support the magazine are following the Government’s Public Health England advice on Covid-19 and have closed their shops to the general public. However, a large number are currently working online as normal and continuing to dispatch orders until they’re advised otherwise. With so many of us spending more time at home, perhaps a little more knitting will be done and mail order is always a reliable and excellent option.

It’s business here as usual and I hope to stay that way. If the situation changes, I’ll let you know on the website and you can always email with any queries. Our printers remain open and Royal Mail is still delivering, so the May 2020 magazine will be sent out as usual next week. The readers who may be affected are those buying their copies in local outlets, as small shops have now been ordered to close. If you buy your magazine this way, I can always send a copy from the office.

As we all work together to protect ourselves at these unprecedented times, I’d like to thank you all for your continued support. As others in a similar situation, I’ll carry on mailing orders until notified otherwise and I’m only an email away if you need my help. Stay safe and look after one another.