December 2021 update

Dear Readers

At this time of the year, we often reflect on times past and look forward to a New Year with hope in our heart. This year, Carol and Mark Hocknell have reached such a crossroads in life. It’s taken a while, but they’ve signed the contract and Metropolitan has been sold. To be honest I’ve known for a while, but I didn’t want to put a spanner in the works by spilling the beans too soon. Carol has started to let people know, but when we chatted recently we agreed that someone was sure to be forgotten, so please spread the word.

It’s going to take a while to register that it’s all gone. Everyone who spent time in the shop found a bargain and, during Dream Week, we’d many laughs. Bill King and I often struggled to keep a straight face at some point in our lectures. Dream Week was usually held at the time of year when a new gentleman visitor was brought along to get ‘up close and personal’ with the two resident lady pigs. Sadly the girls were rather choosy, so he spent more time in hope than expectation. Their sty was just outside our building, so we all had to take their squeals and grunts in our stride! Alison’s cheery smile always welcomed us in the café and Carol was the first to admit that Kath managed to drag her ‘kicking and screaming’ into the 21st century. There are so many stories to tell that they’d fill several books, so smile awhile as you remember your own happy times in Nantwich.

Metropolitan has now moved to Leeds and the new owner is Helena Bondarcuka. She’s asked me to pass on that after a short period of transition, the new company will continue offering machine knitting courses and sell knitting machines, yarns and other merchandise. Everyone is having to make changes and we don’t seem quite sure how to meet with the world again. I’m sure she’ll let us know her plans in due course.

I’m also certain that Carol and Mark must have mixed feelings. On the one hand they’ll be delighted that Metropolitan is going forward into the future, but they must be equally sad that they’ve reached the end of an era. We all agree that our craft needs new young blood to take it forward, but I’m not sure how they managed to pack up everything and watch the lorry drive away. It must have been quite a challenge for them all. Over the years Carol and Mark have put an enormous amount of effort into flying the flag for machine knitting, so we say a huge ‘thank you’ for their immense contribution. I also send them my own best wishes and hopes for as smooth and as eased a transition of their circumstances as is possible. As one year draws to an end and another begins, I join all our contributors in wishing you a happy and peaceful New Year, filled with good health and good fortune for us all.

NEXT ISSUE – February 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 6th January

On sale Thursday 13th January

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

January 2022 (Issue 288) with Designer Special and lots of multi-size designs

Our full-colour January 2022 issue is on sale and our cover design is a block colour sweater, that’s incredibly easy to knit from cuff to cuff plus a back and front. The yarn flows from the centre of a cake and there are no yarn changes or ends to sew in. Karin Rogalski returns with a stash-busting design and our usual mix of patterns is for all machines. Karabee Designs from Anne Baker are so well loved, we’ve two comfy men’s sweaters and much-requested leggings. They’re in opaque, slightly stretchy tuck stitch in eight sizes to fit 92 to 127 cm, 36 to 50 inch hips. Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice and Sally-Ann Carroll has some winning winter warmers. Bill King moves from one machine to another, combining standard gauge and chunky knitting in one fabric and we’ve four classic tuck and stocking stitch designs in ten sizes from 87 to 132 cm, 34 to 52 in (finished 140 cm, 55½ in). Don’t miss our step-by-step guide to easy cables and Passap knitters have a classy woman’s sweater to knit, along with a feature on knitting reversible two-colour double bed tuck stitch. There’s always help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details for ideas and inspiration.

January 2022 new subscriptions

This is January 2022 and our current issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION The January 2022 magazine was mailed to subscribers on 2nd December, so 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 February 2022 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 6th January. If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

November update

Dear Readers

Last month I promised you some captivating reading and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with our centre four pages this month. It tells the remarkable story of a circular knitting machine and its owner. The machine is restored and in full working order, having started a remarkable journey almost 100 years ago in Essex. Milissa Ellison Dewey has researched and written our fascinating story and she lives in America with her husband, Alan. Master Turner Alan is originally from Hull in the North East and he’s the world’s foremost restorer of antique chess sets and spinning wheels. Together, they’re superheroes of the spinning world and are the fibre-tool restoration couple known as Bobbin Boy. Milissa has one of the world’s largest research collections of circular knitting machines. They range in age from the early 1870s and come from 13 countries, including many from the UK. She now has about 80 circular machines, as well as ten or so rigid ‘V’ bed models. Whenever possible, she tries to identify machines with known provenance as it’s the machines, together with the folk who struggled to find the money to buy them, that are of equal interest. Thank you so much Milissa for all your historical research, which has brought one of this country’s knitting machines to life.

I’m pleased to have heard again from Carole Dunkerley, whose Father Christmas hat pattern was a huge success in our December 2018 magazine. Lockdown has given Carole lots of knitting time and she’s been busy making an assortment of knitted ‘heads’. They can be attached to all manner of items such as gift bags, key rings or a Christmas tree. If you’ve run out of time to knit garments for everyone, they’ll be thrilled with a personalised gift bag and you’ll find Carole’s happy collection on Page 27.

Another alternative that’s homemade and original could be one of Bill King’s cards. Uncover a wealth of possibilities in your stash of oddments. The fabric to make 80 or 90 cards will soon be knitted with eight single motifs across the width of the needlebed and Hobbycraft has 50 plain white cards and envelopes for £5.50. Bill tells us what to do and how to do it on Page 52, so you really can knit something for all your friends and family this year.

In this issue, I always remind you that we need to turn our attention to the kitchen in six weeks’ time. This year, though, I’ll not worry if I haven’t made the cake. Carole has come to the rescue with a last-minute recipe and it’s on Page 12. A drop or two of whisky is essential, but it will be the ‘merriest’ cake you’ll ever make! Until next month, cheers!

NEXT ISSUE

January 2022

Subscription copies sent out

Thursday 2nd December

On sale

Thursday 9th December

Ask your newsagent to

Reserve a copy – see page 61

December 2021 new subscriptions

This is December 2021 and our current issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION The December magazine was mailed to subscribers on 4th November, so 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 January 2022 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 2nd December. If you’d like to start with this December magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

December 2021 (Issue 287) with a feature by Milissa Ellison Dewey, who has one of the world’s largest knitting machine collections

Our full-colour December 2021 issue is on sale this week and our Designer Special shines the spotlight on Milissa Ellison Dewey. Together with her husband Alan, they’re the fibre-tool restoration duo better known as Bobbin Boy. Milissa has one of the world’s largest and most important knitting machine collections and she tells us the remarkable story of one of the machines and its owner. Our usual mix of patterns is for all machines, with designs from Alison Dupernex and Bill King along with lots of festive cheer including novel Christmas heads, to attach to a gift bag or hang on a tree. Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice and Sally-Ann Carroll has some seasonal ideas to help you and your knits sparkle and shine. Bill King shows us how to knit some spectacular 3D fabric, Karin Rogalski has a great stash buster and Iris Rowe’s Mother Goose is heading straight for the Toy Box. Passap knitters have a classy man’s sweater to knit, along with a feature on using the Japanese holding position technique. There’s always help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details for ideas and inspiration.

October 2021 update

Dear Readers

It’s been a happy month, with a steady flow of news that clubs are starting face-to-face meetings again. There are lots of changes in Clubline and our Clubs Directory and I’ll include full details next time that Middlesex Machine Knitters has a new name and new venue. Members used to meet in Hounslow, then kept in touch via Zoom when Covid-19 appeared. They were planning to go back in September, but had a problem with the venue so have found somewhere new in Ealing, West London. This has needed a name change as well. They now call themselves West London Knitters: Machine, Hand & Other Textile Crafts. They’re meeting at the Open Ealing Art Centre at Unit 14 Dickens Yard, School Lane, London W5 2TD. It’s easy to get to by public transport and there’s a car park nearby. Meeting times have also changed to the second Friday of the month, from 1.30 to 3.30 pm. For the most up-to-date details, contact Elaine Cater at info@elainecater.com or call 01305-852255.

Similar news came from Janet Shuttleworth in Christchurch. You may remember me telling you that Carbery Machine Knitting Club had closed and I was especially sad, after a long association with the club and its support for the Bournemouth show. Their new name is Dorset & Hampshire Coastal Machine Knitting Club and members will meet on the first Wednesday of the month from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon. The new venue is St Catherine’s Hall at 17 Marlow Drive, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 2RR. For up-to-date details, email Janet at jan.knitting@outlook.com

Lots of clubs have enjoyed Zoom, but you’ve all told me that seeing each other in the flesh is wonderful. There’s no hugging (of course!) but meeting in person feels as if things are returning to a new ‘normal’. I’ll include full details for Ealing and Christchurch in Clubline next month, along with updating our Clubs Directory. There are also some gorgeous samples from Ealing. In the meantime, do contact Elaine or Janet direct for their latest news.

Next month, the magazine goes out to subscribers on 4th November and it will be time to mention that the ‘annual event’ in December will be just seven weeks away. I’ve promised many of you that I’ll include a selection of your most popular requests. However, if it’s one time of the year that passes you by, you’ll be spellbound reading the remarkable story of a restored circular knitting machine and its owner, who lived in Essex and achieved financial miracles using it. Karin Rogalski has been knitting for us once more and we’ve an Alison Dupernex design. Do join me again next month and, until then, knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE

December 2021

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th November

On sale Thursday 11th November

Ask your newsagent to

Reserve a copy or order a subscription NOW

November 2021 (Issue 286) with a Designer Special feature from Susan Guagliumi

Our full-colour November 2021 issue is now on sale. Remember the poncho? Well it’s back and you couldn’t have an easier item to knit, so we’ve two patterns. 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 Susan Guagliumi with Part 2 of her exclusive new Bubbles design and technique. The 6-page feature includes step-by-step full knitting instructions and techniques. We’ve two designs for Passap machines, one in a lace pattern that doesn’t need transferring, along with the final part of three articles on converting Passap patterns for Japanese machines. We’ve a hugely popular Anne Baker Karabee Design for a his ‘n’ her Aran-style roll neck sweater for standard gauge machines. Sally-Ann Carroll reminds us that it’s all about the detail for the new season ahead and Bill King is on the move again sending stitches in every direction except, of course, straight up and down! There’s always help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details for ideas and inspiration.

November 2021 new subscriptions

This is November 2021 and our current issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTION The November magazine was mailed to subscribers on 7th October, so 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 December 2021 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 4th November. If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

Hand knit and chat

Enjoy your Sunday afternoons with a lively group of likeminded people who show each other their knitting and offer hints and tips to each other. If you knit on an LK-150 and combine a little hand knitting with your fabulous machine knitting, why not show off your skills! The link is Knit and Chat, 4pm to 6pm, every Sunday (free)