Projects for Christmas

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I also had the pleasure of taking with me a watercolour painting of Joan and her grand-daughter. It had been copied from the photo of the two of them in October 2009 on page 59. I know you’ll all remember Ruth Cox. When she retired from Pippin Designs, Ruth took up painting as a hobby and I asked her if she’d accept a commission to copy the photo for me. It was absolutely lovely, so it went with me and I was delighted that Joan loved it. It’s to be framed to fill just the right size gap on one of Joan’s walls. Now I need to nudge Ruth’s son Chris into action, because it would be nice to have his cartoons in the magazine again.

My other good news came as a result of Glenys Taylor’s plea for help in the December issue (Clubline, page 10). Joyce Monks has run a very successful club in Warrington for 37 years and she’s offered to be a new Knitting Buddy. Joyce wrote a very useful and popular series on setting up a club from scratch and running it. It was first published in World of Knitting and I’m sure the ideas might help Glenys and others wanting to start a small group. Some of the suggestions may also be useful for giving existing clubs a new lease of life. We’ll bring Joyce’s articles up-to-date and start the series next time. Clubline will therefore take on a new look but please continue to send in your club news, because we’ll include it elsewhere in the magazine.

Now all that remains is for me to join everyone at MKM in sending you the compliments of the season and wishing you a very happy New Year.

Christmas is on the way!

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We’ve another fabulous idea worked out on the machine by Dianne Bunyan and you’ll find her pattern for a scarf and hat on page 24. Diane has produced a fascinating stitch design that shows on the right side and is completely hidden on the reverse. This means that the beanie can be pulled down and worn as a plain navy hat, or have the brim turned back to show the intricate eyelet holes with a navy backing. Any small pattern repeat of six rows can be used and it really is a new technique to try. Our packed issue has meant we’ve had to hold over news from Anne Reid about Undy YarnCrafts’ move to a country park outside Lydney. We’ve also had to postpone Norman Whitfield’s return to our pages, but they’re both waiting in the wings.

Our cover design this time is from Clair Crowston and knitted in a gorgeous DK acrylic yarn from James C Brett. Marble is 100% acrylic in 15 marled and variegated colourways. Texere is selling it online, so it’s sure to be a website winner as well. At just £1.75 per 100g ball, you’ll just go into the third ball and there can be no grumbles at looking as good as our cover girl for £5.25!

Finally, don’t miss Carl Boyd’s easy-to-make clutch bag on page 16. You need just 100 grams of yarn plus a few bits and bobs to be bang on trend. There’s still time to check if there are any vacancies for Carl’s Hands On week at Metropolitan. The date is Monday 23rd to Friday 27th November, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm each day, at a fee of only £175. Call Carol Hocknell now on 01270-628414 to see if she can fit you in. Carl will be with them for the whole week as a tutor. It’s a unique opportunity to absorb and put into practice his innovative ideas. If you wish you can make this bag or any of his designs, with his special finishing touches and expert guidance.

Sheepskin for babies

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As lambskin is hypoallergenic, it’s a ‘must have item’ for any baby with sensitive skin. There are also Merino clothes, booties and accessories all made in New Zealand. All ranges are designed specifically with babies and toddlers in mind and are completely handmade in rural New Zealand with all the materials ethically sourced and each piece made of natural fibres. For further information please contact Babies In Sheep’s Clothing, 102 Abbeville Road, London SW4 9LU E

Tel 020-7720 9159
Email them
Website

Getting ready for MKLive Rochdale

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I’ve included a lovely story from Irene Krieger in this month’s magazine. A friend of hers was inspired to create an amazing four-panel mosaic, by a tea set given to her parents. When she was small she’d been fascinated by the picture on it and wanted to preserve the spirit of her childhood memory. I remember when Carl Boyd was giving lectures a while ago that he talked along similar lines. To create something original for yourself, find something that you love for the colour and it may be some china, a birthday card or picture. Whatever it is, match as best you can the colours in the object and then use those colours for your knitting. You’ll find it really does work and next time you need some inspiration, why not take a leaf out of Irene’s friend’s book? On similar lines, do look at Ann Matthew’s Alpaca designs in Newsline. Ann is a Knitting Buddy and she worked with a breeder to develop the yarn. Ann loved the warm, natural colours as well as the texture and feel. That, in turn, inspired her to make some gorgeous garments. It wasn’t easy going and Ann had to switch between standard gauge and chunky machines, as well as fiddle around a lot with the tension. However, her hard work has paid off and she’s produced a fabulous collection.

Knits to fit and flatter

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Although it’s a hand knitting book, sizes are from 32 to 34 inches up to 48 to 50 and measurement diagrams are included to give us an idea of the basic width and length required to achieve the look. Jane Ellison is a talented British designer with considerable success in knitwear design and she began designing for Debbie Bliss in London. The designs she’s created are innovative, modern and fun yet always totally wearable and it’s a great book for inspiration.

David & Charles, Brunel House, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 4PU
0870-990 8222
http://www.davidandcharles.co.uk
Publisher David and Charles Edition Paperback ISBN-10 0715331469 ISBN-13 9780715331460 Size 265 x 210 mm Illustrations 200 colour photographs Pages 128 RRP £14.99

New Carl Boyd pattern

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The pattern is written in seven bust sizes from 32 to 44 inches and has one of Carl’s signature necklines and pretty sleeve detail. The instructions are written for punchcard or electronic machines with a ribber and lace carriage. It costs £5 including postage and will be available to download from www.carlboyd.com

New Carl Boyd pattern

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The pattern is written in seven bust sizes from 32 to 44 inches and has one of Carl’s signature necklines and pretty sleeve detail. The instructions are written for punchcard or electronic machines with a ribber and lace carriage. It costs £5 including postage and will be available to download from www.carlboyd.com

Knitting Buddy

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If you’d like to become one of our Knitting Buddies, get in touch with Anne at the usual address and here are a few details. Our volunteers give help and advice to beginners or those returning to machine knitting after a long break. If travelling distances are not too great, they may even sit with you whilst you develop some basic knitting skills. Knitting Buddies are not trained professionals, so please don’t take advantage of their generosity by overloading them with your queries and remember also not to ask for or expect the impossible! It’s a free service for our readers and we ask you to keep your calls short. If you need comprehensive advice, simply make arrangements to call back at a time that’s convenient.

Festival of Quilts

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From 20th to 23rd August 2009 at the NEC Birmingham, over 250 companies will be selling masses of hard-to-find patchwork and quilting supplies. The Quilt Academy programme includes over 75 Masterclasses, workshops and lectures and the Quick & Easy workshops provide another 160 sessions for beginners. With over 1,000 quilts on display, The Festival of Quilts is a stunning visual feast. Book now and save money on advance tickets and here are contact details for more information.
The Festival of Quilts, Creative Exhibitions Ltd, 8 Greenwich Quay, London SE8 3EY.
Tel 020 8692 2299
Website www.twistedthread.com

Mid-summmer nights and shows

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A couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Susan Guagliumi. As you’ll read on Page 6, she’s back in print with Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters. It’s one of the best source books of all times for machine knitting and I have one of the original hardback editions. It seems that Bond USA had the reprint rights for the book back in 2001 and it came to Susan’s attention two or three years ago that it was out of print. Bond USA was acquired by a very big outfit, but they only bought the assets. The original film was lost, so Susan spent months re-assembling photos and drawings and putting the book back together again. It was a huge amount of work and she’s republished through Book Surge, an arm of Amazon.com. She’s also had the video switched over to DVD. If you didn’t buy the book the first time round, then it really is one not to be missed. My hardback version is 210 x 260 mm and has 250 pages crammed with masses of ideas. This is the only book you’ll ever need on a desert island with your machine and a stash of yarn, I promise! I spent many happy hours with Susan when lots of us visited the States in the heyday years of machine knitting. It was around the time of the Bramwell Expos and I also joined in the fun with Susan and lots of American knitters and tutors at Camp Tuckanitslip. Her e-mails have brought back many happy memories for me and I hope we can meet up again.

I’m finishing this issue a little earlier than usual, because I’m having a few days off to go back up North. One of the reasons is to check out an alternative venue for Machine Knitting LIVE! in Bury. For a few years now, parking has been difficult and there’s been no room available for us to have talks. Things are looking very promising and I’ll let you know how I get on next time. When you read this, Machine Knitting LIVE! at Croydon will be just round the corner, so do come and join us for a lovely day out.