March update

Dear Readers

It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve arrived at another milestone in the magazine’s life, as this issue celebrates the 38th birthday of MKM. Now, as then, I’ve tried to include a mix of articles and patterns that I hope you’ll enjoy. Over the years we’ve seen some big changes in machine knitting, but the craft is still strong. I pass on a huge ‘thank you’ from the magazine’s contributors and advertisers, for your continued support. After all, it’s each one of you reading this now who has kept our craft alive!

You’ll read on Page 39 that we’ve reached the end of another chapter in machine knitting’s life. After much careful thought, Brenda has decided that Heathercraft Machine Knitting Centre will close. It’s simply too big a task to try to keep the shop open on her own. It’s a good opportunity, especially for Brother knitters, to get hold of much-needed equipment and spares from a reputable source. From 11th March and including the Easter Bank Holiday, Brenda will be happy to help if you’d kindly make an appointment. Do give her a call on 01293-851339 or email brenda@heathercraft.co.uk

Over the years, she’s taught a huge number of people to knit, so it’s good to know that she intends to carry on with her excellent personal tuition. She’ll also continue to sell lights, threads and books for lace. They’re part of her lace hobby and she hopes to find more time for it when things settle down. Whilst running the Centre with her late husband Doug, she’s met some lovely people. She’s asked me to pass on her sincere thanks for all your past custom and friendship and here’s her personal letter to you.

“Dear Friends

Thank you to all our customers from around the world for your support over many years. We moved into Bunglebee more than 40 years ago with my first knitting machine, a Knitmaster 321 and all my yarns cluttered up the garage. Since then we’ve gone on to greater things and I’ve many more knitting machines. We made a lot of friends as we travelled the country, visiting shows. It’s been a wonderful journey and a fantastic learning experience. I will miss it very much. All our stock must go, so please come and make your final visit before and during the Easter Bank Holiday.

Sincerest best wishes, Brenda”

As she says, all the stock must go, so do take this opportunity to find out what’s available.

NEXT ISSUEJune 2024

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 2nd May

On sale Thursday 9th May

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy or order a subscription NOW!

New subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Our magazines are mailed to subscribers on the first Thursday of the preceding month, so our April 2024 issue was mailed on Thursday 7th March.

If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st April, your subscription will start with the May 2024 magazine.

Orders received on or after 2nd April will start with the June 2024 magazine. No money is taken with your order and June will be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 2nd May.

If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue and you’ll find lots of choice in our shop.

April 2024 (Issue 315) with Alison Dupernex, Barbara Faulkner and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour April 2024 issue is a short, boxy cardigan in a wide size range. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for standard, mid-gauge and chunky machines including a popular Anne Baker Karabee Design. We’ve two gorgeous Alison Dupernex wraps and a stunning Barbara Faulkner easy-to-wear jacket and dress as well as four more patterns, in ten sizes, in our tuck stitch series. Bill King knits mini cables that don’t slow things down too much and Susan Guagliumi (https://susan-guagliumi.teachable.com/) along with Alison Dupernex are our constant help and support. We learn how to make our own pattern for a personal fit with Ruth Horrocks and Sally-Ann Carroll shows us why skirts have replaced trousers as the everyday go-to. Karin Rogalski adds latex protection to her knitted gloves for a good grip and Roni Knutson’s lined, double mittens are a stash box staple. Claire Newberry has DesignaKnit updates and we’ve all the usual help and advice, news and reviews.

February update

Dear Readers

As Spring approaches I’ve some news to share, which will bring sadness to the many knitters she’s helped over the years. Alison Lee, known especially to past members of the Guild of Machine Knitters, has to give up machine knitting completely. If you were a lone machine knitter, often uncertain about what to do, you kept Alison’s phone number close at hand. She ran the Guild Helpline and dealt with a huge number of assorted knitting queries and problems. She ran classes at Cherry Willingham and often helped out on the Guild stand at knitting shows. She’s had serious health problems for many years and was hopeful that recent surgery would improve the quality of her life. Sadly this hasn’t happened and she’s now quite severely incapacitated. Like others in a similar situation, she can no longer knit and will have to drastically downsize. We send her our sincere thanks for all she’s done to help and promote machine knitting, along with our best wishes and hopes for as smooth and as easy a transition of her circumstances as is possible.

Patricia Dadson has also been in touch to let us know that the very well-known Knitaholics has had to close down. With Patricia at the helm, the club has had 23 really successful years with regular workshops, outings and speakers. Over the years, Romford was also the home of many popular knitting shows. A lot of clubs have found themselves in a similar position, with falling numbers and rising costs. However, all is not lost because the remaining members have amalgamated with the Knit ‘n’ Natter group at North Romford Community Centre. Now the days are getting longer, why not give Patricia a call to renew past friendships. The group meets on alternate Tuesday afternoons, with on-site parking. If you’d like an update or more details, please give Patricia a call on 07806-765876.

Finally, I’ve heard from his wife Janice that Alan Hunt has passed away. Alan was known to all old hands for his Hush Knit Yarns, especially Fine French Crêpe. He was also the man who brought us the Nottingham Show at Harvey Hadden Sports Centre each April and Just Knitting at Thornbury Leisure Centre in September. Alan had been suffering with ill health for some time and, sadly, his heart eventually failed. Rest in peace, Alan and we send our sincere condolences to Janice, their family and many friends.

I still hugely enjoy machine knitting and putting the magazine together, so do please join me next month. We’ll reach another milestone in the magazine’s life as the April issue celebrates the 38th birthday of MKM.

NEXT ISSUE April 2024

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 7th March

On sale Thursday 14th March

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy or order a subscription in our shop NOW!

March 2024 (Issue 314) with Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour March 2024 issue is a pretty cardigan in a wide size range. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for standard, mid-gauge and chunky machines including a popular Anne Baker Karabee Design. Bill King transforms a simple diamond into an intricate selection of squares and Susan Guagliumi (https://susan-guagliumi.teachable.com/) along with Alison Dupernex are our constant help and support. Claire Newberry looks at audible warnings in Interactive Knitting and it’s a ‘must-read’ for DesignaKnit users. You’ll find Claire at Patreon.com and her page is Claire Newberry’s Knitting School. Sally-Ann Carroll looks at the current trends for Spring/Summer 2024 – and we probably own most of the key elements! As always, our mail order shop is open and we’ve help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and the fabulous circular yoke challenge completed by members of Rumney Knitting Class & Club.

February 2024 (Issue 313) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour February 2024 issue is in a large size range. It’s a comfy round neck sweater and the largest finished measurement is 55½ inches. We’ve our usual mix of patterns and one of the highlights this month is a fabulous Persian Knot jacket in amazing colours from Alison Dupernex. It sits alongside an elegant serape Alison has designed using as many cone ends as you like. Bill King reveals his secret hoard and uncovers some retro-rack gems for us this month and Susan Guagliumi (https://susan-guagliumi.teachable.com/) is our constant help and support. Dee Crew knits some superior mock ribs you’ll not have seen before and Karin Rogalski is helping us keep warm on a budget. Sally-Ann Carroll shows us how to show off our knits to their full potential and our mail order shop is always open. We’ve help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

Great news from Craftsy!

When Susan Guagliumi shut down her website, she made arrangements with Craftsy.com to offer some of her most popular patterns on their website, including the carrying case for the LK-150 and other hobby knitting machines. It took a while, but there are now 5 patterns for sale and five FREE patterns available at https://www.craftsy.com/

You don’t need to be a member of Craftsy, just go the website and search for machine knitting patterns. You’ll be directed to the checkout for the free classes, but will not ultimately be charged for them. Enjoy!

To celebrate the patterns being available, Craftsy has also authorised a 30% discount on all three of Susan’s Craftsy classes through to the end of this month! Just enter the code SUSAN30 at the checkout. You can use the code three times for all 3 classes until 31st January 2024.

January 2024 (Issue 312) with Bill King

Our winter classic on the cover of our full-colour January 2024 issue is in a large size range, ideal for wearing all year round and it’s a comfy round neck sweater. We’ve our usual mix of patterns and a moving tribute to the life of Doug Bristow. One of the highlights this month is an Alex Raw design, with an interesting pull-up technique. It sits alongside a Carl Boyd classic in two, three or more colours. The tensions and shapes are the same for both, so you’ve the bonus of two patterns in one! Bill King has us multi-tasking to knit some truly amazing patterns, racking in Half Fisherman’s rib. DesignaKnit queen Claire Newberry shares her Italian trip to Bologna and Dee Crew knits six pretty edgings using simple lace. Sally-Ann Carroll rounds up some looks worth copying, to get us out of a mid-winter slump and our mail order shop is always open. We’ve help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

December Update

Dear Readers

As you’ll read on Page 10, Doug Bristow’s funeral has taken place and my sadness at his passing has been replaced by many happy memories. A year or two after I first published the magazine, Doug and Brenda opened Heathercraft Knitting Machine Centre and their shop has been running for over 35 years. At that time, machine knitting was one of the most popular crafts. There were a huge number of small shows and large exhibitions up and down the country. Anyone selling anything to do with machine knitting loaded up their vehicle and set off for a day trip or a five-day marathon.

In those heady days, exhibitors soon got to know one another. I was in a small group that included Nick at Uppingham Yarns, John at B Hague & Co, Chris at Riverside Yarns and designer Jan Wright. Doug and Brenda brought up an ‘honourable rear’, as timekeeping was never their forte! After setting up the day before the show, we’d all stay in a Premier Inn (or similar!) and enjoy an evening meal together. It was one such time when the five of us learned that Doug and Brenda had met at a flying club. It was the end of the 60s and Doug would take her on trips when she got her pilot’s licence in 1971. Love blossomed… as they say! The couple were married in September 1973, so were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary just before Doug’s passing in October. As their older son Alan said at the funeral, Doug was: “Curious, eclectic, gregarious and intelligent. He was full of mirth, quips and silliness. He was also patient, persistent and always responsible”. Alan describes perfectly the man I knew.

Doug’s funeral was one of those rare events, conducted by someone who actually knew him. For the first time I’ve seen, the coffin remained in view until the very end of the service, not enclosed in faded curtains and lowered on squeaking apparatus crying out for a drop of oil. Everyone was of an age to remember the comedy song written by Eric Idle for Monty Python. Courtesy of the Order of Service, there were all the words. The vicar whistled and joined in the chorus. Toes tapped, hips swayed with the beat and everyone smiled as they sang:-

If life seems jolly rotten

There’s something you’ve forgotten

And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing

When you’re feeling in the dumps

Don’t be silly chumps

Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing

And

Always look on the bright side of life

Always look on the right side of life

The video recording of the service is on Heathercraft’s website (https://www.heathercraft.co.uk/)and Brenda tells me she’ll leave it there for a little longer. It’s also her intention to keep the shop open. This lovely man fixed our machines and sorted out our wonky attachments. He found genuine sponge bars, needles and spares for Heathercraft, as well as many other shops in the country. He was also the best-ever dad and husband and a great friend to all those who really knew him. You have our love and support, Brenda, as we send our sincere condolences to you, Alan and Peter, your worldwide family and many friends. Rest in peace, Doug; you were one in a million.

NEXT ISSUE February 2024

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th January

On sale Thursday 11th January

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy or order a subscription NOW!

Season’s Greetings from Susan Guagliumi


Season’s greetings to you and yours!
May all your holidays be bright and beautiful and peaceful and may the New Year ahead be the best one yet!


Now through December 31, 2023 all of my teachable classes (susan-guagliumi.teachable.com) are on sale for 40% off! Perfect for the long, cold winter days still ahead of us. Just use the code HOHO40 at checkout and enjoy these full length classes at your leisure!