Latest update

Dear Readers

Last month I promised you some new and exclusive designs for Christmas from Alison Dupernex, so I hope you’ll fall in love with our centre seven pages. Only Alison could give us such a gorgeous array of colours and she doesn’t disappoint. If you don’t have sufficient time to make them this year, her baubles could be an on-going project, so let me pass on something personal. My mother died almost twenty years ago, having spent sixteen years as a widow. In those lonely years and in due course, she joined some groups and also went to craft classes. One year she made us nine Christmas baubles by carefully folding different colours of ribbon, in a specific pattern, around polystyrene balls. It can’t have been easy with painful fingers and limited sight, but each one is perfect and they’re still absolutely beautiful. Every year I carefully take them out of storage and hang them on our Christmas trees. They remind us of her and all the family Christmases we shared when she was alive. Think of the joy you’d give to young relatives or friends, if they received such a handmade gift from you. They really would become treasured heirloom knitting and perhaps could be your 2023 stash-busting project.

One of the designs I like especially this month is Snow Orchid, on Page 28. It’s not so much the shape or stitch pattern, but more the understated way the colours of the self-striping yarn merge. We can’t deny that we love the instant pattern these new yarns give us. However, let’s not necessarily dismiss the delicate changes produced by some colourways. The shade used for this sweater would look equally nice knitted in plain stocking stitch. Made up with the wrong side facing, it would become a timeless classic.

Last Minute Gifts – for you and for giving! There’s just time to tell you that if you’ve still got some last-minute gifts to make, check out the free patterns for mittens and Loopity Loo hats (and loads of other items!) at Guagliumi.com. You can access all the free downloads by clicking here. The Pedicure Socks (not a freebie) are a downloadable pattern on the web site. All purchased patterns are for download only so watch for instructions when you place your order. Until next time, knit happy.

NEXT ISSUE January 2023

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 1st December

On sale Thursday 8th December

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

December 2022 (Issue 299) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour December 2022 issue is a comfy sweater with cosy trims in rich colours that knit straight from the ball. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for men, women and children on standard, LK-150 mid-gauge and chunky machines including lots of seasonal ideas. Alison Dupernex has designed some gorgeous Christmas baubles, lavender bags and pin cushions bursting with colour and stash-busting ideas. They’re also a lovely handmade gift at any time of the year and destined to become heirloom knitting.  Check out Alison’s outstanding new 250-page book Creative Machine Knitting filled with designs, ideas, tips and advice to help us get the most from our machines. It’s written for both experienced knitters and absolute beginners of all ages and abilities. Bill King has one or two tricks up his sleeve and Roni Knutson shares a design that even beginners can knit with confidence. The exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice and Sally-Ann Carroll helps us sparkle and shine over the festive period. Our mail order shop is open and we always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

December 2022 New Subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Our magazines are mailed to subscribers on the first Thursday of the preceding month, so the January 2023 magazine is sent to subscribers on Thursday 1st December.

If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st December, your subscription will start with the January 2023 magazine.

Orders received on or after 2nd December will start with the February 2023 magazine. No money is taken with your order and February will be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 5th January. If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

October update

Dear Readers

It’s been a long time coming, but Alison Dupernex’s new book has at last been published. As you’ll read on Page 10, it’s the most comprehensive book to date for machine knitters. Whatever your age or ability, you’ll learn so much about our craft. I know of no other book, written by a professional machine knitwear designer, that generously shares so many original design ideas, tips and advice. When have we ever had over 100 designs in a book? Alison has included sweaters and cardigans, jackets and coats, waistcoats and sleeveless pullovers for all shapes and sizes. There’s also a lovely section of children’s knitwear designs. To dress us from head to toe, she includes lots of scarves and hats, gloves and wrist warmers, socks and slippers. Our homes are not forgotten, with patterns for new cushions and throws. It really is an amazing collection, not to mention 100 Fairisle colourways and stitches. There’s also a pattern directory of 70 inspiring examples, as well as 50 machine-knitted cable stitches.

The content Alison has given us is truly mind-blowing. I remember saying that her book Machine Knitting: Designing With Colour was nothing short of amazing. Having seen Creative Machine Knitting, I now need to adjust that comment, because I didn’t think it was possible to give machine knitters any more. If you have neither book, please add one or both to your Christmas wish list. If you’re a very new knitter and just starting out, Creative Machine Knitting will fill you to the brim with the joy, excitement and possibilities machine knitting has to offer. It’s impossible to recommend it too highly and I send my personal congratulations Alison. It’s a phenomenal amount of work, a splendid new book and you should be immensely proud of your achievement and major contribution to our craft.

The next thing I must do is thank our many overseas readers who sent me their condolences at the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II. I’ve included a very small selection in Dear Anne this month, but a huge number poured in. I know our UK readers will join me in asking all those who wrote to accept our personal thanks, at our time of national sorrow.

Finally, when you turn to Page 37 you’ll see that next month we’ve a selection of new and exclusive designs for Christmas from Alison Dupernex. They’re gorgeous knitted baubles in two shapes and sizes, some beautiful lavender bags for handmade gifts at any time of the year and pin cushions as another lovely gift for sewing enthusiasts. You’ll need just ten grams of many assorted colours so it’s time to sort out your stash, ready to make a start when your December magazine arrives. Until next month, knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE December 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 3rd November

On sale Thursday 10th November

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

November 2022 New Subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Our magazines are mailed to subscribers on the first Thursday of the preceding month, so the November 2022 magazine was sent to subscribers on Thursday 6th October.

If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st November, your subscription will start with the December magazine. No money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 3rd November.

Orders received on or after 2nd November will start with the January 2023 magazine. Again, no money is taken with your order and January will be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 1st December. If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

November 2022 (Issue 298) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour November 2022 issue is a versatile chunky jumper with a low crew neckline to show off a shirt or jewellery. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for men, women and children on standard, LK-150 mid-gauge and chunky machines including a simple child’s cable cardigan from Anne Baker’s collection of Karabee Designs. Alison Dupernex has given bold stripes a makeover and her classy jacket is incredibly easy to knit. Make it for casual daytime dressing or as this year’s eveningwear hero! We also review Alison’s outstanding new book Creative Machine Knitting for knitters of all ages and abilities. Bill King explains how to use 2×1 industrial rib to knit power cables and the exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice. Passap knitters will love our two designs for the E6000 and Sally-Ann Carroll helps us get our knits bang on trend for the coming season. Joan Lafferty plans her summer wardrobe, though you might wonder why (?!) and reader Alex Raw finds lots of inspiration in one of our designs. (Look out for his YouTube channel.) Our mail order shop is open and we always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

September update

Dear Readers

It’s been another sad month for me, as you’ll read on Page 10. Frank Dineen, who brought about the foundation of the Guild of Machine Knitters, has died peacefully at the grand age of 90 years. I’ve spoken at length with his wife Jan and we found ourselves sharing many happy memories of a life well lived, rather than tears.

As you’ll read, Frank and I go back as far as 1994, when he sent a letter to To & Fro. Hazel Ratcliffe was working with me at the time and she felt very strongly that old machines should be thrown away, not preserved. I’m still of the opinion that if someone hasn’t used a knitting machine before and they buy what Hazel called an ‘old rogue’, it could be enough to put them off machine knitting for life, especially if the machine was in poor condition with bits and pieces missing. To be honest, they may not be old Record, Girotex or Turmix machines but folk are still being caught out today with rusted relics sold on eBay with missing parts and essential accessories.

I think it’s fair to say that Hazel and I ‘humoured’ Frank at the time and, besides, Rosemary Sheath at Knitcraft had masses of spares and instruction manuals for old Knitmaster machines. One letter led to another and before long Frank and Jan were frequent visitors in my office, with their parrot and dog safely tucked in as well. Yes, I wasn’t alone in having more than one ‘run-in’ with him, but no-one could ever doubt his dogged determination in those early days.

Frank was never bashful about handing out advice and he’d often try to persuade me to delve into the highways and byways of the tools of my trade. I’d like to think I kept my feet firmly on the ground and was far happier knitting on my new punchcard machine than wondering how best to clean decades of oil and rust from something ‘vintage’. We laughed a lot as, back then, Frank had a wicked sense of humour. In one of his To & Fro articles he offered lots of advice about selling things and wrote: “Having successfully sold your machine, you will experience a great rush of adrenalin. You will run around the house dreaming up the wildest selling description for all the old and useless paraphernalia that one acquires over the years. I can just see it now. ‘New home required for husband. Recently retired. Reason for disposal, lack of space. Needs to be seen to be believed. First sensible offer secures.’ Difficult to guarantee a sale though, there’s a lot of them about!” Dearest Jan, how many times must you have felt like placing a similar advert? You’ve looked after him so well and given him such devoted and steadfast support over all these years. I know that you’ll tackle whatever lies ahead day-by-day and take it in your stride, as you’ve done for so many years. We all send you our sincere condolences and hope that the future brings you a happy and well-lit path to walk along. Rest in peace, Frank; our craft will never forget you.

NEXT ISSUE November 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 6th October

On sale Thursday 13th October

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

October 2022 New Subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Our magazines are mailed to subscribers on the first Thursday of the preceding month, so the October 2022 magazine was sent to subscribers on Thursday 1st September.

If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st October , your subscription will start with the November magazine. No money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 6th October.

Orders received on or after 2nd October will start with the December 2022 magazine. Again, no money is taken with your order and December will be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 3rd November. If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

October 2022 (Issue 297) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour October 2022 issue is a chunky jumper for the cooler months ahead. We love self-striping yarn that flows from the cake as we knit. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for men, women and children on standard, LK-150 mid-gauge and chunky machines including a children’s bodywarmer from Anne Baker’s Karabee Designs collection to keep out the autumn chill. Our Alison Dupernex design this month is a stunning cardigan in one of her signature Fairisle patterns. It’s another inspirational mix of luscious pot-pourri colours. We’ve more narrow edgings in Part 5 of our Show & Tell series and Joan Lafferty proves we’re wrong to ignore tension pieces. Bill King shares some racking tricks to knit some brilliant patterns and the exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice. Passap knitters will love our cosy V-neck Jacquard cardigan and Sally-Ann Carroll points us and our knits towards the colours and trends for the new season ahead. Our mail order shop is open and we always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

Frank Dineen 1932 – 2022

Anne writes:-

Having spoken with his widow Janet, I’m letting you all know that Frank Dineen has passed away peacefully at the age of 90 years. Frank had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, so Jan has asked me to help her spread the news of his passing to as many of you as possible.

Frank was especially known to us for launching the Guild of Machine Knitters in March 1998. By doing so, he hoped to ensure the preservation and growth of our craft and his initial aims were to:-

1. Increase the awareness of machine knitting as a craft.

2. Provide help and encouragement to all knitters, whatever their level of ability.

3. Encourage and maintain a high standard of craftsmanship.

4. Encourage young people to take up our craft.

5. Foster these aims for individual knitters by awarding certificates of quality.

6. Organise the Guild’s own shows and exhibitions.

7. Liaise with manufacturers and suppliers, to ensure that we all worked together for the greater good of our craft.

8. Foster links between UK knitters and those overseas.

9. Promote greater media awareness.

By doing all these things and more, it was Frank’s hope that we’d strengthen the bonds between clubs, individual knitters, manufacturers and suppliers to the overall benefit of machine knitting. Membership was open to all with an interest in our craft including knitters, designers, suppliers, manufacturers and journalists – all working together for the future of our craft.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

For those who would wish to know and attend, here are the details for his funeral.

His service will be held in the afternoon of Friday 2nd September at 1.00 pm at The Oaks Havant Crematorium. It’s on the outskirts of Havant in Bartons Road, just past the entrance to the Spire Portsmouth Hospital. For full details and directions by road, visit www.havantcrematorium.co.uk

For those using public transport, Havant train station is 1.7 miles away.

The funeral directors are The Co-operative Funeralcare at 96 Bedhampton Road, Bedhampton, Havant, Hampshire PO9 3EZ. Their telephone number is 02392-453549.

Jan has requested no flowers please. However, Frank had a lifelong love of birds and animals and an enduring love for greyhounds. Jan has asked that any donations in his memory should please be made to Greyhound Lifeline. For more details, please call The Co-operative Funeralcare on 02392-453549.

Frank’s funeral will mark his passing and if you’d like to attend his service, please join Jan in wearing bright colours as a celebration of his life.