Calling all knitters and stitchers

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Help create a river of yellow and blue on Sunday April 30, to line the route of the Tour de Yorkshire when it comes to the Bradford district.

Stage three of the world-class cycle race starts in the city centre and goes through large parts of the Bradford district. Bradford Council is encouraging individuals, groups, organisations and companies to get involved in helping to dress the entire 60 km of the route that comes through Bradford, with colourful bunting and flags. They are looking for people to knit or stitch bunting and flags of any shape or size in yellow and or blue, the colours of the Tour de Yorkshire. They’re also looking for textile or yarn companies who would be get involved by donating materials.

They are calling on individuals and groups including schools, Women’s Institutes, community organisations and companies to pull out all the stops to help trim up the city centre and the  towns, villages and communities along the route with knitted, stitched, quilted, crocheted, felted and woven bunting.  When the Tour de France Grand Depart went through the district in 2014 and they put out a similar appeal they got a great response. They want to inspire anyone whatever their craft be it knitting, sewing, stitching or crocheting to take part. Bradford is built on the wool trade and famous for its textiles so would like to bring this element to the celebration of this fantastic sporting event. For information about how to get involved please contact

Bournemouth & Nottingham Shows 2017

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Spring 2017


As you’ve read and no doubt heard, it’s possible that the 2017 shows at Bournemouth and Nottingham will come to an end. Over the years, these two early shows have always been organised by machine knitters, for machine knitters. They’re not a hotchpotch of lots of crafts, they concentrate through and through on machine knitting. At both friendly events we always offer free help, advice, demonstrations and encouragement. New machines and accessories are on sale, including reconditioned models at bargain prices. There’s always a wide selection of yarn as well as designers, books, patterns and quality lectures. Our Bournemouth event also includes a full Fashion Show, presented by members of Carbery and Ringwood clubs. Refreshments and free parking are available and both shows are supported by leading names in machine knitting. If you want these shows to continue, you need to make every effort to attend this year. Your presence and vote will count towards the decision to carry on or close both shows. Tickets cost £5 in advance, £6 on the door so call Anne Smith on 01628-783080 to order your advance tickets now.

Andee Knits, Anne Baker and Karabee Designs, Anne Croucher, Arnold Bennett, B Hague & Co, Bill King, Brenda Gould with KMJ, Carbery Machine Knitting Club, Clair Crowston, Dave Hampson, Elaine Cater, Erica Thomson, Fiona Morris, Framework Knitters Museum, Guild of Machine Knitters, Iris Bishop, Knits ‘n’ Bits from Wendy Piper, Machine Knitting Monthly, Mapperley Machine Knitting Club, Metropolitan Machine Knitting, Nina Miklin, Ringwood Machine Knitting Club, Rob Fountain, Spinners, Weavers & Dyers, Sue Booth, Sue Castro, Uppingham Yarns

All of these exhibitors support MKM and please check beforehand to see if they will be exhibiting at the show of your choice.

2017 Dates

Bournemouth Saturday 4th March 2016 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at Bournemouth School for Girls, Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ

Nottingham Sunday 9th April 2017 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at West Park Leisure Centre, Wilsthorpe Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire NG10 4AA

All the hints and tips for success

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I spoke to Joan Fielding-Browne recently and she’s a fabulous offer for you, running right up to Christmas week. I’m not sure all of you know that she has masses of stock in her shop at Galashiels, as well as online. It includes machine cones from King Cole, Woolcraft and Robin, as well as knitting and sewing machines, tables, cabinets and accessories. She has gift packs, knitting patterns and everything for tapestry, crochet and embroidery. Her special promotions cover all crafts and change each week up to Christmas. Visit or, if you’d like to talk to Joan personally, give her a call on 01896-850734.

Reader offers are coming in thick and fast right now, including price reductions on cones for MKM readers and Club Leaders from The Wool Cabin until the January issue goes on sale in December. You can call the order hotline on 07854-121067 or email but make sure you put The Wool Cabin in the subject box. Personal shoppers are always welcome and you’ll find full details on Page 28.

The Knitting Fairy will look after all your crafting and gift needs, The Wool Cabin has yarn bargains and Anne Baker has the perfect Karabee pattern for a mermaid snuggly. It’s quickly knitted with Card 1 on chunky machines. Anne has made one for my little grand-daughter to snuggle up in and it’s gorgeous. There have been hand-knitting versions around for a while, but this is the only one I’ve seen for machine knitting. The pattern has been so popular that Anne has had to add teen and adult sizes. As Sally-Ann would say, it’s ‘bang on trend’ and everything I’ve mentioned is available by post. Order now and all that remains is to settle down to some festive knitting!

January 2017
Subscription copies sent out
Thursday 1st December
On sale
Thursday 8th December
Ask your newsagent to
Reserve a copy : see page 61

December 2016
Subscription copies sent out
Thursday 3rd November
On sale
Thursday 10th November

Hello Anne
Do you have a running order for this year’s show at Bournemouth on Saturday 5th March as I am driving and don’t want to miss anything?
Best wishes Mary

Hi Mary
We open at 10.00 am and the cafeteria is already buzzing because they serve hot bacon rolls which none of us can resist!

Ann Brown is our Guest Speaker and her talk will start around 11.00 to 11.30 am to allow those travelling from a long distance to arrive. Members of Carbery Machine Knitting Club and Ringwood Machine Knitting Club will present a combined Fashion Show at about 2.00 to 2.30 pm. Again we need to leave sufficient time for everyone to have lunch which can sometimes be tricky if the school canteen is busy. Demonstrations will take place throughout the day in many of the classrooms. The cafeteria closes around 3.15 to 3.30 and we close at 4.00 pm.

We look forward to seeing you and it promises to be a great day Anne

Mary Lowe
2016-02-18 20:55:19
Dear Anne
I am so sad to hear of the passing of Joan Lafferty I have read her articles for many a year as I have been a machine knitter since the late 60s. She often made me smile and gave so many easy to understand hints and tips.
Thanks for continuing to produce a great magazine without which many of us would be lost.
Best wishes
2016-02-18 20:51:41
Dear Anne
So sorry to hear you have lost another friend and colleague with the death of Alice Wilmshurst. She worked tirelessly over the years and her Machine Knitting Journals have been such an inspiration to machine knitters all over the world. I still read through my collection of PKMJ every so often and enjoy all the hints tips and encouragement that Alice put together.
Kind regards
Sue P
2016-08-12 07:30:46

Brand New Range of Crafting Storage Solutions coming to Create and Craft TV

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This on-the-go storage comes in six different but co-ordinating designs that customers can purchase as one off pieces, or invest in the whole collection. Create and Craft has the UK TV Exclusive availability of the Macbeth Spinning Tote, Utility Tote, Portable Craft Station, Craft Tool Tote, Paper Folio and Shoulder Tote. These designer totes and bags master the art of portable organisation – simple storage solutions which are both stylish and functional.

Macbeth Collection is a global lifestyle brand that’s a true extension of the personal style and sensibility of its Founder and Designer, Margaret Josephs. The collection, known for eye-popping colour, bold prints and whimsical detailing includes ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, beauty, home and tech accessories. Margaret Josephs launched the Macbeth Collection in 1999 with unique, stylish home decor in signature prints. Margaret’s reinvented classics and bright preppy bohemian prints resonated with ‘taste makers’ from the very beginning. Over its 16 years, the brand has expanded its portfolio to include a vast array of products, all in Margaret Josephs signature prints.

The Macbeth Storage Range will be available on Create and Craft TV 19th August @ 10:00 and 13:00 as part of the Summer Carnival Event on Sky 674, Freeview 23, Virgin 748 and Freesat 813 or live at and use social media to keep up-to-date.

Romford Autumn Spectacular

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Raffle We always hold a raffle, with fantastic prizes.
Exhibitors Our impressive list of exhibitors so far includes Anne Baker with her Karabee Designs and Sue Booth with her designer patterns. Sue Burns will offer make and take sessions and Sue Castro will demonstrate machine knitting techniques. Edwina Dunham has a selection of patterns and Rob Fountain brings his innovative sponge bars. Brenda Gould comes along with Knitting Machine Journal and The Guild of Machine Knitters flies the flag for our craft. David Hampson will bring packs of yarn at knock-down prices from The Wool Cabin. A huge choice of pre-owned and new machines and accessories will be on sale from Wendy Piper at Knits ‘n’ Bits. Nick Traylen will bring a great selection of Uppingham Yarns and Diana Bensted returns from The Crochet Chain – loving life, crochet and yarn.
Demonstrations Our two local clubs will be demonstrating machines and accessories.b>Talks We’ll hold free talks throughout the day.
Come and join us Organised by machine knitters for machine knitters, it will be a lovely day out. There’s easy access from the M25 and the only show of its kind in this part of the country.
Advance tickets Entry is £6 on the day or £5 in advance and you can buy tickets in Trading Post.
It was full to bursting last year, so this time the exhibitors will spread out all over the rooms on the ground floor and we’ll use the small hall, down the flight of six steps, for our talks. If required, there’s access to this hall round the outside of the building, avoiding the steps.

Goodbye Joan

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Dear Anne
I’ve just received my March magazine and I’d like to write a short note to you about Joan Lafferty. She will be sorely missed, I really used to enjoy her articles and they were entertaining as well as informative. I’ve recently come back to machine knitting and I’m finding it a bit daunting. However, I have joined a local knitting club so things are on the up and being able to go back to Joan’s articles will be a great help. Thanks, Joan, for so much. Best wishes, Angela Reed

Christmas jumper lovers

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New research from the consumer campaign has revealed that over ten million people are likely to buy a Christmas jumper and 40% of Christmas jumper wearers plan on wearing them just once or twice this festive season. Love Your Clothes is launching a 12 Jumpers of Christmas competition to inspire people to upcycle a pre-loved jumper as an alternative to buying a new one.

And those consumers that don’t feel that handy with a needle and thread are being encouraged to consider buying a pre-loved Christmas jumper or swap and share last year’s with friends and family instead.

The clothing industry has the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry. Upcycling an old jumper gives it a new festive lease of life. It is a great way of keeping clothes in use for longer offering a significant opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. Extending the length of time we wear clothes by just three months would lead to a 5-10% reduction in their carbon, water and waste footprints.

The new research from Love Your Clothes revealed that over seven million people across the UK would currently consider decorating their own jumper to make it festive. To encourage more budding stylists, the consumer campaign is offering tips and tutorials on their website: and will publicise the top 12 creations in December. A Janome sewing machine will be awarded to the best design with subscriptions to Simply Sewing and Reloved magazines up for grabs for runners up.

To enter, people just need to either decorate a jumper or cardigan they already have, or a pre-loved one (e.g. from a charity shop), so it can be worn instead of purchasing a new Christmas jumper. It can be for adults or children and should feature a creative Christmas theme. It also needs to be washable and designed so the decorations can be easily removed after it has been worn so it can continue to be used after Christmas. The designs will be judged by the Love Your Clothes team based on creativity, what inspired the design, how the design was made and what materials were used (extra points are available for incorporating re-used materials).

Sarah Clayton, Head of Clothing at WRAP, the organisation behind the Love Your Clothes campaign, said:

“We are really excited to be launching our 12 Jumpers of Christmas competition and hope it will inspire lots of people to get upcycling. With most Christmas jumpers being worn only a handful of times over the festive season transforming an existing jumper into a one-off Christmas master piece is a great way of adding some ‘green’ style to your wardrobe this Christmas and saving some cash at the same time.

““We know that the average lifetime of clothes is just over two years. Entering the 12 Jumpers competition is a great way for people to extend the lifetime of their old jumpers and make a jumper last for life not just for Christmas!”

Love Your Clothes recognises that buying a Christmas Jumper is often in response to charity fundraising appeals but would urge people to jazz up a jumper and make a charitable donation with the money they’ve saved to their chosen cause instead.

Competition entrants should submit a good quality colour photograph (at least 72 dpi resolution) of their jumper plus a description of what inspired the design how the design was made and what materials were used by e-mail to: with the subject ’12 Jumpers of Christmas Competition’ in the e-mail title by 10 am on Monday 7th December.

We’ll be sharing top tips on Christmas jumpers and loving your clothes throughout November and December. Join in the fun by visiting following us on Twitter @loveyourclothes and #12jumpers.

how the design was made and what materials were used by e-mail to: with the subject ’12 Jumpers of Christmas Competition’ in the e-mail title by 10 am on Monday 7th December.

We’ll be sharing top tips on Christmas jumpers and loving your clothes throughout November and December. Join in the fun by visiting following us on Twitter @loveyourclothes and #12jumpers.”

Changes to shopping cart

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You won’t notice anything different when you’re using Trading Post – the changes are required because Paypal is changing its services. We’ve tested it as much as we can, but given how many different machines you all use, there are sometimes things that we can’t anticipate, so we’d really appreciate it if you could let us know straight away if you have any problems.


The Wool Cabin

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We’ll also bring a selection of machine and hand knitting yarns for you to buy at special club discount prices. Fancy a day out? Why not visit us at Chesterfield Market Hall? You’ll find us at Unit 12 in the indoor section. Don’t forget we’re your first choice for Wendy, Twilleys, Robin, King Cole, Stylecraft, JC Brett and Opal. Please mention the magazine and we’ll give you our best prices on the day.
The Yarn Cabin, Unit 12 (Indoor), Chesterfield Market Hall, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 1AR
Tel 07553-847483
Email and please put The Wool Cabin in the subject box

Helping Hand

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This seems to work very well for a 4-ply cardigan, but not for 3-ply yarns or when I’m using two strands of 2/30s so I’ve two main problems:-
1) If I knit a band using this method, it puckers when the garment has rested.
2) If I measure the length I need using the main tension and knitting this on MT-1 and MT-2, the bands are then too long. I’ve a standard gauge machine without a ribber and wonder if other knitters have this same problem? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Margaret Robinson

Let’s look at both options, Margaret. Firstly, if the band really puckers there are too many stitches in it. Reducing the tension for bands and welts to make them pull in is common sense. On the other hand, when you’re using fine yarns on a standard gauge machine, you’re already knitting at a fairly tight tension, so taking it down even further can make knitting very difficult. You need to calculate stitches for bands on the lean side, whatever thickness of yarn you’re using. If the band consistently puckers into ‘waves’ rather than fans out slightly, there’s probably an inch or two of excess knitting.

A typical 3-ply tension is 32 stitches and 48 rows to 10 cm (4 in). Let’s suppose that the front edge measures 51 cm (20 in) when blocked, then 51 x 3.2 = 163 (or 20 x 8 = 160 in inches). Alternatively, use the golden rule that we pick up two stitches for every three rows, so 51 cm x 4.8 (rows per cm) = 244.8 rows. 244.8 ÷ 3 x 2 = 163.20. 20 in x 12 (rows per in) = 240. 240 ÷ 3 x 2 = 160.

Whichever way you work it out, the result is about the same, so try reducing the number of stitches you pick up by around 8 or 10. In our example, you’d probably try picking up something like 150 stitches. (Don’t forget to leave an equal number of stitches between buttonholes.) You’ll have then taken out just under 4 cm or 1½ in and this should be ample, especially if you also tighten the tension by one whole number.

If the problem still persists, try a ratio of one stitch to one row twice and one stitch to two rows once. You can also knit the band sideways but separately and then sew it in position instead of picking up the stitches. You may simply be stretching the knitted edge too much and not pressing or blocking it back to the correct size. Years ago, when welt bars were supplied with machines, we always pushed the welt bar through the band and gave it a good tug before joining the ends. It closed the stitches nicely and straightened the edge. A clean, narrow ruler or smooth, flat length of wood can be used as a substitute.

Another ploy knitters used years ago was to block out the fronts of a cardigan, press if appropriate then leave to dry without removing the knitting from the blocking mat. They would then sew the band in place with the knitting still more or less pinned in position. It helped them keep to the correct measurement, especially if the band was knitted lengthways. It may be something else you’d like to try and I hope this helps your bands to lie flat in future!