Outworkers needed urgently


Editor Anne writes:-

I’ve been speaking to a knitwear designer who desperately needs some outworkers based in the UK. Until recently she had a wonderful small team of domestic machine knitters, but last year three of them retired after many years of happy knitting and a fourth is unable to knit at present, whilst recovering from a major illness.

She’d very much like to keep her business going, which she loves and adores. She arranges for work to be collected by a courier every couple of weeks or so and uses the same company to deliver yarn.

She has a large order to complete for the end of August and another for September, so there’s lots of urgent knitting to be done.

The shapes are plain and simple stocking stitch, or have a small amount of Fair Isle pattern. A standard gauge machine with patterning facility is a good start.

If you think you’d like to help, please email me with your name and address plus a phone number. I’ll pass on every response and the designer will contact you personally. You can then discuss everything in detail and hopefully, we can all rally round.

As a reminder, my email address is mail@machineknittingmonthly.net and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

June 2021 update

Dear Readers

It’s been a good month, as news begins to trickle through that clubs are planning to meet up again. The lockdown isn’t over, but we’re starting to see light shining at the end of a long dark tunnel. We’ve begun to add changes to our Clubs Directory, but it’s going to be a few months before the list will be anything like up-to-date. As soon as you’ve any news, do please let me know and I’ll update everything as quickly as I can.

 Last month’s Dream Machine feature has brought lots of response, as many of you want to knit a baby’s shawl. I’ve included one for Silver Reed, Brother and Toyota machines and you’ll find it in Dear Anne on Page 12. The centre square isn’t the problem, it’s how to shape the mitres at the corners of the border. There’s not much coned 3-ply white acrylic to be had these days, but Uppingham Yarns has a high bulk 1-ply acrylic in Optic White. It’s ideal for a baby’s shawl, as the yarn is soft and machine washable. This 1-ply 2/28 Nm yarn, also known as 2/30s, was previously on big 1265 gram cones and the 17,710 metres went a long way! We can now buy it on 250 or 500 gram cones. It’s been tried, tested and well-loved by machine knitters for years, so you can’t go wrong. Knit two strands together for a 3-ply thickness and three strands will make a lovely 4-ply fabric. There’s a huge colour range and you’ll find details on the website at www.wools.co.uk or call 01572-823747.

One of our two Designer Special patterns this month is from Beverley Ward, known to us all as the designer and name behind In-Ex. Beverley and I have been friends since the heady four-day Nationwide Shows. I remember visitors flocking to her stand for her latest patterns and one design in particular was a firm favourite. You’ll find it on Page 31 and I can guarantee that those of you who bought a Shadow Pleated Steaming Kit will be rummaging in your knitting room to dig it out. Sadly they’re no longer available, but using it will give Beverley’s lovely top a superb finish. I can’t thank her enough for sharing it with us and do catch up with her at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BeverleyWardDesigns

My final thank you this month is to our own, wonderful Bill King. He’s stretched his imagination and extended his iconic Gold Star top to give a longer, more draped silhouette. Tie it in any number of ways, or leave it to fall into graceful points. His design is on Page 41 and if you thought you knew how to knit cables, I guarantee that Bill’s Masterclass feature on Page 56 will open your eyes a little wider. With clubs starting up again, there’s growing confidence that our freedom to meet and mingle is set to return, so let’s all smile and knit happy!

NEXT ISSUEAugust 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 1st July

On sale Thursday 8th July

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy or order a subscription now

July 2021 (Issue 282) with designs by Bill King and Beverley Ward, the name behind In-Ex

Our full-colour July 2021 issue has an easy summer top on the cover, with all the colours of the rainbow in just one ball. We’ve our usual mix of designs and we always tell you how to knit all our patterns on standard gauge machines. This month, Designer Special shines the spotlight on two of our top designers with their original designs for standard gauge machines. We’ve a new Bill King design, as well as a sideways-knitted shadow-pleated top from Beverley Ward, the name behind In-Ex. We’ve a quick and easy top for Passap machines and Iris Rowe has knitted more animals to fill her Noah’s Ark. Susan Guagliumi has free downloads for everything you need for machine knitting and Nina Miklin has a great yarn offer. We take a comprehensive look at the Brother KA-8300 transfer carriage and Joan Lafferty bends the rules with some personal techniques that worked for her. Sally-Ann Carroll has some great summer looks for anyone who can get away, or stay at home for a break. If you thought you knew how to knit cables, I guarantee that Bill King will open your eyes a little wider!There’s always lots of help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details for lots of ideas and inspiration.

July 2021 new subscriptions

This is July 2021 and our latest issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine, no money will be taken with your order and it will start next month with the August 2021 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 1st July. If you’d like to start with this July magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

Get Stitching!

Fabric transformation of Llangollen Bridge

The world-renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME) is calling out for people to help transform the landmark Llangollen Bridge into a giant work of art to launch this year’s festival.

The Eisteddfod has commissioned internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram to create the new artwork. He plans to wrap the 60 metre-long bridge in a giant patchwork reflecting the crafts and cultures of Wales alongside the festival’s participating nations. Whilst the festival will mainly be held online this year, organisers hope the eye-catching Festival Bridge will also attract people to visit the town this summer.

Held in Llangollen every summer since 1947, the Eisteddfod is a truly international cultural festival with a world-class diverse programme that celebrates a message of international peace and friendship through singing, dancing and performance.

Luke Jerram’s new bridge artwork will connect and extend the Eisteddfod’s creativity out from the field where it is normally held each year into the town, transforming and animating Llangollen for the whole world to see.

The festival is offering anyone, from local residents in the area and fans of the Eisteddfod to the friends and families of people participating, the chance to get involved.  They are asking for 1m x 1m fabric squares which will be stitched together into a giant patchwork and hung over the bridge. Ideally the patches should be bold in design, so the image stands out when seen from a distance.

People are asked to submit their patchwork by 30 June 2021 and to visit https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/ for details, information and terms and conditions.

Creating an ever-changing artwork, depending on the angle, light and weather conditions, the bridge will become an incredible sight to view and visit and a powerful symbol connecting this year’s online festival with its physical roots. Even the water below it will be transformed with the reflections and colours from the bridge.

Usually attracting over 4,000 performers from around the world and 35,000 visitors to Llangollen, this year’s unique celebration of global peace and harmony will be largely held online in July 2021, with the main programme being presented over the weekend of the 9th to 11th July.

In keeping with the Eisteddfod’s tradition of celebrating of the broadest possible range of musical genres from classical, opera and choral, to jazz, soul and rock, this year’s online programme will continue to share the message of peace and connect with existing and new audiences in preparation for its physical return in 2022.

May 2021 update

Dear Readers

It won’t be long before you read the sad news on Page 9 that David Hilton has died. He survived Phyllis for just six months and I’d spoken to him recently, so the news was as much of a shock to me as it had been to members of his family. Whilst we all thought that Phyllis and David sat for much of their time in front of knitting machines, they actually spent lots of evenings doing jigsaw puzzles. David also loved playing cards, especially at Christmas or when they enjoyed a family Sunday lunch. At the last Bournemouth Show, David came to see me on the Friday evening. He’d phoned earlier in the week and I arranged for the huge number of garments Phyllis and David had made over all the years to be donated to Julia’s House children’s hospice. Their designs were then used to raise funds to provide support for families caring for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Even then his health wasn’t good, but he made several taxi journeys to bring in all the beautifully kept garments.

David cared for Phyllis at home until his amputation meant she had to be moved into a care home with vascular dementia. Although they spoke on the phone, his health problems and Covid-19 restrictions meant that they were unable to see each other again before she died. It was a truly sad ending for a devoted couple and I’m pleased to have spent the time I did chatting to him. One thing never revealed is their generous financial support for the Bournemouth Show. Even when they no longer came as exhibitors, they’d pop in for a few minutes with a contribution in a ‘plain brown envelope’, but specifically asked that it wasn’t made public. Now they’ve both passed, I’d like to record my personal thanks for their unwavering support and may they together rest in peace.

There’s one other important thing to mention this month and it’s the very special offer you’ll find on Page 23. Nina Miklin has slashed the price of her Cesari and Maestro cashmere blends to just £42 for any 350 gram cone. There are assorted colours and qualities in the offer and she’s also including free postage and a free PDF pattern for you to download. While stocks last, it’s a great opportunity to buy a cone of beautiful yarn at such a low price. There are also unwelcome big price rises in the pipeline for many of the yarns sold by suppliers who support the magazine. They’ll no doubt start to come through at the end of May, so don’t be caught out by waiting too long to stock up.

Finally, I’d like to pass on my sincere thanks to all the contributors who have helped me to put this issue together. With summer on the horizon, hopefully better days are ahead for us all so, until next month, knit happy.

NEXT ISSUE – July 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 3rd June

On sale Thursday 10th June

Ask your newsagent to reserve a copy or order a subscription now

July 2021 (Issue 282)

We’re pleased to let all our readers know that the July magazine has been mailed out to subscribers and is officially on sale on Thursday 10th June.

Save the date

Save the Date! Full schedule now available!
Three days of crafting fun from Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd May 2021

Search Press is bringing you a whole host of amazing FREE art and craft tutorials and projects to give you plenty of inspiration this spring. Enjoy brilliant author demonstrations and tutorials, as well as plenty of great offers and giveaways!

The free virtual art and craft festival is to get everyone into the spring mood and you can enjoy from the comfort of your own sofa.

The dates are from Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd May, 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on the Search Press Facebook PageIf you don’t want to forget about the festival make sure to join the events page here.

It’s completely free and there will be demos from some amazing artists and crafters.

New, free Knit-A-Long

Dear Anne

I’m a subscriber to your magazine and have an announcement which may be of interest to your readers. I know printing deadlines are such that an announcement in print will be at least a month away, but the schedule I’m putting together will allow machine knitters to join partway through. A KAL (Knit-A-Long) is starting up for machine knitters who wish to explore the techniques of UK-based Alison Dupernex as described in her new book, Machine Knitting – Designing With Colour, though Alison is not participating.

GOALS

  • Inspire and encourage each other to try new techniques, colour combinations, stitch combinations, yarn combinations shown in Alison Dupernex’s book
  • Internalise the proven fact that doing more swatches, trials, sweaters (or whatever) ultimately yields more quality than trying to achieve just one quality object ⇒ so we will encourage ‘more trials’ rather than ‘perfection each time’
  • Find joy in personalising some aspect which we find inspiring within Alison’s book and use them in our future fabrics and garments

You must have her book to participate. We will not be posting online any stitch patterns or garment designs to preserve Alison’s copyrights. It will be hosted on MeWe dot com, a social media site. Search for KAL Alison Dupernex Spring 2021.

Our Zoom meeting days and times are as follows:  1st Monday and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6.00 pm PST (West Coast USA) for Mondays and 10.00 am PST for Tuesdays. The early time was specifically for our current UK members.

Our first meeting is Tuesday April 20th 10.00 am PST.  I will post a Zoom link on the site closer to the date. The link to join the group is https://mewe.com/join/kalalisondupernexspring2021 or go to MeWe.com and search for KAL Alison Dupernex Spring 2021

There is no fee to join and people can join midway through, since we are all going to choose our own projects. The requirements are (a) to have Alison’s book and (b) to do machine knitting.

Thank you for your help and best wishes, Donna Hinshaw

Any interest?

A reader wonders if any person or organisation might have an interest in this old (1956) Japanese machine? It was left on her doorstep but, sadly, unless someone wants it then it will have to be consigned to the tip. She feels it would be a shame as it’s standard gauge and looks as if it’s in good condition. It might also be in working order, so get in touch with Anne at MKM and she’ll pass on details.