Join an autumn charity knit and crochet project

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This is the time of year when many of us turn our thoughts and needles to knitting gifts for Christmas and the UK Hand Knitting Association hopes we can find a bit of time to help with their Christmas Appeal. Last year they asked us to knit or crochet festive stockings which they turned into strings of bunting and sent them out to care homes, hospices, lunch clubs and even a food bank. They had more than 1,100 stockings arrive at their office and were amazed with the generosity of knitters.

This year they’re again asking us for Christmas stockings and there are three patterns on their website to help you. They’ll be turning the stockings into Christmas decorations, so feel free to decorate them with beads or sequins. If you’re visiting Yarndale or The Knitting and Stitching shows at Alexandra Palace and Harrogate they’ll be selling these stockings to raise money for Mind, a wonderful charity that works for better mental health for everyone and who are well known for their Crafternoon campaign.

Any stockings that are left over will be sent out to care homes, hospices etc, so if you know of an organisation that would like some stockings please do let them know by emailing

If you’ve a bit of spare yarn and half an hour, please consider making a stocking for their Christmas Appeal. You can drop your stockings off at the shows mentioned above or please send them to UK Hand Knitting, 60 Bridge Road East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 1JU and please include your name and address so they can be sure to thank you.

Thank you for being so wonderful.

Sewing and craft volunteers needed to help homeless people this Christmas

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National homelessness charity Crisis is calling on keen knitters, craft enthusiasts and people with sewing and alteration skills to help boost homeless people’s self-esteem at their temporary centres this Christmas.

In its 50th anniversary year, Crisis at Christmas runs from 22nd to 29th December 2017 with centres set to open across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh. One in four homeless people will face spending Christmas alone this year. With the homelessness crisis worsening, Crisis says the centres are needed now more than ever. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests will receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits. The sewing service team plays a vital role carrying out repairs to guests’ clothing and belongings, with a variety of roles on offer from experts at making and repairing clothes to keen enthusiasts who can help with basic tasks such as sewing on buttons and taking up hems. There are also roles available for people to run craft sessions in everything from knitting to T-shirt making, helping guests try something new and develop their skills. Crisis at Christmas centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life with registration now open at

Long-term volunteer Kerry Smith said:  “I started volunteering at Crisis five years ago after signing up as a general volunteer. Giving a little bit of my time to help others felt like the right thing to do. From the second I walked in I knew I had made the right decision. Seeing all the services available to those who needed it most and the enormous part the volunteers play in making it all happen blew me away!”

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “Without our volunteers, Crisis at Christmas simply wouldn’t exist to help provide a warm, safe place to those with nowhere to call home. It’s because of their generosity that we can bring thousands of people friendship, support, and life-changing services each and every Christmas. And though we work all year round to help people experiencing homelessness – we know that the Christmas season should be a special time for everyone and that no one should have to spend it alone. So as our charity turns 50, we will work harder than ever to make homelessness a thing of the past. And until then our volunteers will remain at the heart of what we do.”

Will you knit socks for hospice patients for Christmas?

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Terminal illness charity, Marie Curie, is calling on knitters to make socks for the 229 patients who will be spending Christmas Day in one of its nine hospices. The charity is hoping the socks will bring some festive cheer to the in-patients, some of whom will be trying to enjoy their last Christmas with their family and friends. A doctor at the charity began knitting socks for her patients after reading about three sisters who were selling special yarn in aid of the charity.

Dr Sarah Holmes, Consultant at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford and keen knitter, said: “Each year we give every patient who is staying at the hospice over Christmas a small gift bag. After reading about a special yarn in Marie Curie colours it sparked an idea – to knit socks using the yarn and then add them to the gifts bags on Christmas Day.”

While Sarah had set out on knitting socks for patients at the Bradford hospice she has now taken her challenge nationwide: “I’m now aiming to give socks to every patient who will be staying in a Marie Curie hospice on Christmas Day but need some help – I need to make 229 pairs in total. I can’t quite believe what I’ve started but it’s really great to see fellow knitters getting involved and sending me socks.”

Can you help Sarah achieve her goal? To buy the special Marie Curie yarn from click here.

Sisters Sally, Caroline and Julie, who run Christine’s Woolshop, are donating £2 from every sale of the yarn to the charity, after their mum was cared for by Marie Curie Nurses. If you need design inspiration Dr Holmes has posted a pattern for the socks here on Ravelry. You can also use yarn in Marie Curie colours – yellow, blue and white.

Please send your knitted socks to: Smita Mistry, Marie Curie Communications Dept. 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TP or you can contact her for more information on 020 7091 6650 /

Country Knitting of Maine

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Linda Williams publishes the Country Knitting of Maine News & Magazine and she’d like to let International friends know that her magazine is now only available direct through her. If you’ve been buying it elsewhere, please get in touch with Linda at for a full update. With the recent changes, Linda has decided to make the current issue available as a PDF file. This means you can now print it in full colour or use it direct from your computer. If you don’t have a computer the magazine will still be published in the usual printed format. Linda tells us the PDF file will be available on each issue for 60 days and then the next issue will become the current PDF version. Back issues will not be available as PDFs, but you can always order printed copies. Contact Linda direct at Country Knitting Of Maine, 351 White Schoolhouse Road, Madison, ME 04950-3202, USA or check out her website at

November 2017 (Issue 237)

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November 2017 is our current issue and officially on sale on 12th October. If you order a subscription and latest issue bundle, we’ll send you this magazine and your subscription will start with December 2017, to be sent out to subscribers on 2nd November.

Latest Issue

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August 2017 is our current issue so if you order a subscription and latest issue bundle, we’ll send you this magazine. Your subscription will start with September 2017, to be sent out to subscribers on 3rd August.

All good stuff

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Hi Anne

First of all I’d like to thank you for the many years of pleasure I have received from your magazine. I have issues going back to your very beginnings and I take great pleasure every once in a while in going through them, reading the articles, getting inspiration from the great designs and reconnecting with the great designers who are no longer with us. Every month there are always at least one or two must make designs — some months more than others. The June 2017 issue was so full of good stuff I don’t know where to start!

It’s also great after all these years to find a copy at the local Barnes and Noble. You can’t imagine how delighted I was, while browsing craft magazines, to find you there. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That being said, I do like the idea of a digital copy and look forward to subscribing to it.

Best wishes, Florence

All are welcome

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The Guild of Machine Knitters National Guild Day and AGM will take place on Saturday 17th June 2017 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The venue is Leigh Park Community Centre, Leigh Park Way, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3FN and it’s on the A3098 and not far from the A350 and the A36. Nick Traylen will take a good choice of Uppingham Yarns and you can pre-order anything special. He’ll also bring a selection of machine-knitting accessories including needle retaining bars.

Jan Truman is guest speaker and she’s exhibited widely. Her large floating sculptural pieces for ponds and lakes have been seen at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Jan knits smaller pieces, too, including jewellery and she works with wire and beads to create her wonderful pieces. Marianne Henio will also give a talk during the morning. She’s created her own designs on a standard gauge Brother punchcard machine for over 30 years and has now moved on from making bespoke clothes to selling her patterns.

The AGM is held just before lunch, usually takes no more than 40 minutes and often a lot less. You’ll need your own packed lunch, but there’s a local supermarket just across the road. The Westbury Woollies will provide tea and coffee and maybe a few cakes as well. Non-members are welcome to go along to enjoy the day, but obviously they’ll not take part in the AGM. (Members free, non-members £5.) Put Saturday 17th June 2017 in your diary now, to make sure you don’t miss this important day in the Guild year, or enjoy a day out with lots to see and do in a lovely area. For more details, visit