Lighter life

Dear Anne

I’m in my 70s and suffer from arthritis in my hands and back. I now have a Silver Reed LK-150 and this machine has meant I’ve been able to start knitting again. I love the LK-150, as I’ve been unable to knit for several years since the other machines were too heavy. It’s so light and easy to use. I loved the Mint Set pattern for the baby’s cardigan with a hood which you printed in May on Page 37. Like everyone else we’re having to cut back and I used yarn from Aldi. Best wishes, Tricia


Hi Anne

If you still have to hand the address of the charity that takes knitting machines, tools and so on, please could you let me have it? Kind regards, Alma

Tools With A Mission (TWAM) is a Christian charity that collects unwanted tools and equipment including knitting machines, sewing machines, yarn and accessories. Items are refurbished and sorted into kits for Sub-Saharan Africa, where TWAM works closely with local grassroots organisations. The head office is at 2 Bailey Close, Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 0UD. They’re open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm, but you must ring first. Their number is 01473-210220 or email

Tuck in

Dear Anne

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see the word ‘Passap’ in MKM. To be honest, I feel it’s a bit one-sided in favour of Duo 80 knitters, so here are some nice tuck stitch patterns for E6000 knitters. Thanks again and best wishes, Lydia in Rotherham

Single bed tuck stitch Use Stitch Pattern 1004 and T133. Using Col 1, K 4 rows. Using Col 2, K 4 rows. Repeat this 8-row sequence.

Double bed tuck stitch Use Stitch Pattern 1021, Colour Reverse and T139. First, let me tell you a little more about colour reverse. It’s the seventh option in Alter/Directions and reverses the pushers. This means that in a four row sequence, rows 3 and 4 become rows 1 and 2 and rows 1 and 2 become rows 3 and 4. Try doing this for a motif and making it a single motif and you’ll find the results are very interesting!

To obtain a single motif After enlarge position, go into Position and press ENT. Now press ENT three more times, then press No and ENT, No and ENT.

Eyes right

Dear Anne

Sadly my eyesight isn’t what it used to be and threading a tapestry needle with the garment yarn is more ‘miss’ than ‘hit’. As I was sewing up a sweater I’d made for him, my grandson watched me struggle. In the way they seem to know everything these days (!) he told me to put a loop of thin yarn through the eye, then thread the thick yarn into the loop to pull it through. I quickly worked out that sewing thread was the obvious choice and the answer to a prayer. Happy knitting, Mary in Exeter

A bit of fluff

Hi Anne

You might not approve of this one but I love all the fluffy yarns around these days. Yes, the fibres get caught up in the sinker posts if you use the normal knitting carriage, but not if you use the ribber carriage. I’ve used my ribber carriage this way on my standard gauge punchcard, electronic and chunky machines with great success. You can only do it for stocking stitch, but who wants to knit a complicated pattern in mohair anyway? Thanks for a great read every month and I love all the hints and tips, so this is mine. Best wishes, Sarah in Romford

All shook up

Dear Anne

The letter from Doreen in the December issue gave me lots more inspiration. My empty cones are part-filled with anything that rattles, such as sea shells or pasta. I close up the small hole at the top, cover and seal the base and the cone turns into a great ‘musical accompaniment’ for my grandchildren. In all honesty, it makes a big noise rather than a tune, but they love shaking and banging as loudly as they can! Best wishes, Christine in Plymouth

Who’s in charge?

Dear Anne

I smiled when I read the Child Care letter from Denise in the December issue. When granny is in charge, my 2-year old grand-daughter paints patterns (mostly splodges!) on empty cones and we use them for a game of skittles. She’s also allowed to play with empty plastic cones in the bath. Whilst I’m distracted for half a second, she ends up in charge and I miss her hurling a part-used cone of yarn into the tub, along with the empty cones. I have to fish out the soggy yarn from the bath, once it comes into view as the water drains away and the bubbles subside. All I can think to do is roll the dripping cone in a towel and leave it to dry, but methinks Joan (Lafferty) would smack my wrists and have the answer if she was still with us! Happy memories and she lived not far from me before she moved to Cornwall. Maureen in Horsham

Hey presto!

Dear Anne

Would you like to pass on my non-knitting tip, which may prove useful to any readers who still have a holiday to come? To prevent the frustrating search through your luggage for appropriate earrings, cut a small length from a punchcard roll. Insert earring shanks and fasten butterfly clips on the reverse side. Hey presto! Neat storage and no bulk. Happy knitting, Iris in Kingston

On the edge

Dear Anne

As we now have some nice chunky patterns in the magazine, you don’t seem to have mentioned something you told us donkey’s years ago about getting a quick but nice cast on edge on a chunky machine. It was to e-wrap all the needles you need on the main bed. Using the tightest possible tension knit one row very carefully, to take the needles back to non-working position. Transfer every alternate stitch to the ribber, insert the ribber comb then carry on in rib. It’s always worked for me. All the best, Irene in Stafford

Tunnel vision

Dear Anne

I have a use for my empty cones that you might find amusing. I use those with wide tops for our gerbils, as the larger openings make them like tunnels. After several weeks, the cones have been reduced to flakes of paper and since we use peat in the cages, we have a good garden mulch. We also have very happy gerbils… having started with two, we now have twelve! Keep going Anne and all the best, Sandra