Double up

Dear Anne

I so enjoy reading the hints and tips, but haven’t seen this one mentioned for ages. Back in the day, when we were all too scared to put a pair of scissors anywhere near our knitting, one of the cut ‘n’ sew enthusiasts passed on a gem. When you have to work a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine for a cut and sew neckline, use a double sewing machine needle. The job’s done in half the time! Best wishes, Grace in Stockport

One direction

Dear Anne

Have you a magic trick up your sleeve for getting needles back to working position from holding position. I don’t mean upper working, when you can set the carriage but from right out to right back. It’s such a fiddle doing it all one by one and please don’t say use a treble or 7-prong tool. Dropsy is my middle name and I can never get more than one safely back from the transfer tool, so it has to be one at a time. Thanks for any help, Sheila in Walsall

Thanks for writing Sheila and it won’t work every time, but try this if the pattern allows. It’s especially useful when we’ve pushed all needles to holding position to knit one side of the neck and need them all back in work to knit the other side. Reset the pattern card if necessary. Push the needles in hold to upper working position and knit one row across using a spare piece of yarn or the ravel cord. It’s a simple matter to pull out the cord and unpick the stitches. We now have the needles in working position, the carriage is on the correct side for knitting and the pattern is also memorised at the same time.

Chill out

Hello Anne

I hope this email finds you fit and well and thank you for the mention in the March edition of MKM. It’s brilliant of you and thanks also for the article on full needle ribs. I’m as indecisive as ever and know I’ll just have to try to do them. In the meantime, I’ve been asked to knit some mittens for children. It’s many years since I’ve done mittens and I can’t fully remember how the thumb was done. All the patterns now seem to be for hand knitting so is there any way you could help me again, please? Keep up the good work and many, many thanks, Marilyn

We surprised ourselves, Marilyn at just how long ago we may have published a straightforward pattern for children’s mittens, so here’s a stash box knit. Knit them on any standard gauge machine with a ribber or work ribs in mock rib. You’ll need an oddment of 3-ply wool or fine 4-ply plus safety pins and stitch holders. The tension is fairly tight, to keep the child’s hands nice and warm.

Measurements Length 16 [17.5, 19] cm, 6½ [7, 7½] in.

Tension 30 stitches and 44 rows to 10 cm, 4 in measured over stocking stitch with tension dial around 5.

RIGHT MITTEN With carriage at right and using MY, cast on 36 [40, 44] sts at centre of machine in 1×1 rib. K 5 tubular rows. Carriage is at right. Set machine for 1×1 rib knitting. Set RC at 000. Using MT-3/MT-3, K 24 rows. Transfer sts for st st. Set RC at 000. Using MT, K 2 rows. Shape sides by inc 1 st (2 sts in) at each end on next and every foll 4th row until there are 44 [48, 52] sts. K 3 rows. K 1 row extra for Left Mitten *.

** Thumb opening Using a length of WY, K 7 [8, 9] sts at extreme left as for a buttonhole. K 20 [24, 28] rows. Shape top Push 22 [24, 26] Ns at left to HP. Cont on rem sts. When shaping in HP, always take yarn round first inside N in HP to prevent a hole forming and push 1 N at opposite end to carriage to HP on next 10 [12, 14] rows. Break off yarn. Push Ns to HP. With carriage at left, push 22 [24, 26] Ns at left from HP to UWP. Push 1 N at opposite end to carriage to HP on next 10 [12, 14] rows. Break off yarn. Push all Ns from HP to UWP. K 1 row. Slip sts onto 2 stitch holders and graft. THUMB Place 7 [8, 9] st loops from thumb opening on 2 safety pins. Push 15 [17, 19] Ns to WP. With P side facing, replace sts from safety pins on to 7 [8, 9] Ns at each edge and pick up 1 st at centre. Using MY, K 18 [20, 22] rows. Break off yarn, leaving long end. Thread end through sts, release from machine, draw up sts and secure **.

LEFT MITTEN Work as for Right Mitten to * noting alteration in number of rows worked, then from ** to ** reversing shaping by reading right for left. Join side and thumb seams. Press.

Size right

Size right

Hi Anne

I wonder if you can help me, I received my April copy today thank you, which I ordered for the fingerless glove pattern but I am very disappointed that there is no size guide for the pattern. There are four sizes listed, but nothing to say which size refers to what. Is the first size for a child, then teenage, ladies and then for a man maybe? Or is there a rough hand width and length you could suggest please. Thanks, Diana

Thanks for asking Diana and all you need to do is divide the 55 [60, 64, 70] stitches after the rib by 7, the average 4-ply tension to 1 inch or 2.5 cm. Without worrying too much about making up stitches and so on, this gives 7¾ [8½, 9¼, 10] inches or 19.5 [21.5, 23.5, 25.5] cm. The sizes therefore span roughly the hand size from a small woman to a large man.

Singer 9000 help needed

Can anyone advise me please? The mouse on my Singer 9000 Control is only operating up and down, but will not move left and right. I’ve done the usual checks on the rolling ball for dirt and so on. I think I might need a new mouse, as the connections all checked as well. Any advice would be greatly welcomed. Thanks, Margaret

Can you help?

Hello

I’m looking for a knitting machine repair shop or person in the West Berkshire area to repair my gorgeous, newly-acquired, bashed in the post Brother KH-881. Would anyone be able to help, please.

Thank you, Tracey

Help!

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with my Brother KR850? I’m knitting the band of a cardigan but the ribber keeps jamming up after I get so far – usually after I’ve made all the buttonholes. I must have tried six times, so please HELP. Thanks, Hazel

Looking for a pattern

Hi – I’m looking for a pattern for 4/5 year old girls summer dress. I need it for a standard gauge Knitmaster 700 machine with a ribber and lace carriage. Could anyone help, please? Thanks, Sue

Garter carriage problem

Hi, I have a Brother KH-940 machine and am using a KG-93 garter carriage. I did a sample of 2×2 ribbing which went well and wanted to try a pattern, but for some reason the garter carriage won’t work. I’ve checked all the steps and everything seems in order. It’s like there’s no power getting to the carriage. Any ideas as to why that happened all of a sudden? Thanks for any help, Jill

Hearts of Gold

Iris Rowe has designed and knitted these small hearts to help bring comfort to families who have not been able to see a loved one before they die. The original message asking for help appeared on Saturday 4th April on the BBC news website.

MACHINES This pattern is suitable for all standard gauge machines.

MATERIALS Any suitable 4-ply yarn in Pink (see Laura’s note at end). Polyester toy stuffing.

MEASUREMENTS Height is about 5 cm, 2 in.

TENSION Tension dial setting approximately 6.

TO KNIT Push 16 needles to working position. Using Pink make a woven or automatic closed edge cast on. Knit 3 rows. Increase 1 st at each end of next and every following alternate row until there are 30 stitches. With carriage at left, push 15 needles at right of centre 0 to holding position and set carriage to hold. Place marker at both ends of next row. Decrease 1 inside stitch on next 4 rows. 11 stitches remain. Break yarn then using a bodkin, thread end through stitches and release from machine. Return 15 needles at right to working position. Re-join yarn. Place marker at both ends of next row. Decrease 1 st at left on next 4 rows. Break yarn then using a bodkin, thread end through stitches and release from machine.

MAKING UP Pull up stitches at top of heart and secure. With right sides together, join seam up to markers. Complete other side in the same way. Join back seam and turn right side out. Stuff lightly, pull up stitches and secure.

Brighter Futures This original message asking for help appeared on Saturday 4th April on the BBC news website. It reads:- “Nurse Laura Kirby-Deacon wants people to send small handcrafted hearts to give to patients who contracted Covid-19 and their families. Laura, who works as a sister at the Great Western Hospital’s intensive care unit in Swindon, said the hearts could bring comfort to families who have not been able to see a loved one before they die. She said it was important to use clean yarn and seal the hearts in a taped bag, such as a freezer bag or bin liner. She also asked for the bags to be dated because 72 hours must have elapsed before they are safe to use. Laura urged anyone wanting to post hearts to send them to Brighter Futures at the GWH, Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6BB.” The BBC link is www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-wiltshire-52165537/laura-kirby-deacon-says-the-hearts-will-help-those-who-lose-loved-ones