August update

Dear Readers

Last month’s heatwave in the south increased to a ‘fry-up’ this month, as our local temperatures hit 40C degrees. It’s been too hot to even potter in the garden, so spare a thought for me juggling press invitations to view Christmas goodies! It’s part of the joy of having to work so far ahead, but made me bring thoughts of autumn into the magazine.

I love the colours of our cover design and I’m blown away by Alison Dupernex’s Fair Isle cardigan on Page 32. One thing Alison chooses to do for us is cut down, from her original pattern, the amount of colours she uses. You’ll see this clearly comparing the photo of her cardigan on Page 32, then the modification on Page 35. Do head for your stash, pull out any suitable shades and enjoy making your own modifications to the colourway. You’ll have a huge amount of fun and create your own unique garment. When it’s finished, please take a photo to share with us all and that’s what reader Alex Raw has done. He started with a design from September 2009 and made it his own. He’ll be sharing it with us in the magazine soon and I hope it encourages more of you to ‘do your own thing’.

There are many lovely yarns around now and the new cake yarns are our best friend. The shape looks just as if we’ve pulled it from a wool winder. The cake sits behind the machine and the yarn pulls from the centre to thread straight through the tension mast. We also don’t need a pattern! Something plain will do, then add loads of colour and interest to stocking stitch. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I also hope you’ll enjoy this month’s Techniques feature on Page 52. Yes, we can all read a manual but how many of us gallop off at top speed, before falling flat on our faces. Of all the problems machine knitters face, using a cast-off linker comes top of the list, so I hope you’ll be persuaded to have another go.

Finally, I’ve a new book to mention from Crowood Press in their Knitting Techniques series. It’s again for hand knitters, this time breaking down the construction and process of knitting socks. I know many machine knitters want to knit them, but struggle to fully understand what to do. Socks by Rita Taylor (ISBN 978-0-71984-062-3) costs £9.99 and shows us how to knit comfortable, neat and perfectly fitting socks. If, on the other hand, you’d love someone to work it all out for you, head for Beverley Ward’s Etsy shop. Her sock pattern costs £4.80 and the instructions are suitable for all standard gauge knitting machines with a ribber including Silver Reed and Knitmaster, Brother and Toyota. It’s available as an instant download at www.etsy.com/uk/listing/852358165/machine-knitting-sock-pattern

Until next month, knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE October 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 1st September

On sale Thursday 8th September

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

September 2022 (Issue 296) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour September 2022 issue has a wide size range and is in gorgeous shades of self-striping yarn that flow from the yarn 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 pretty prem-baby cardigan from Anne Baker’s Karabee Designs. Alison Dupernex shares ideas for adapting one of her Fair Isle designs to use oddments from your stash and we’ve four more multi-size family classics in our Tuck Stitch series. We look at the basics and pitfalls of using a cast-off linker and bring you a family story of manufacturing yarn sourced from sheep grazing in the Yorkshire Dales. Bill King has lots of fun working out ways to simulate the look of crochet in a knitted fabric and the exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice. Summer isn’t quite over, so we’ve two more relaxed-fit tops and Sally-Ann Carroll’s frock report features dresses that are perfect for this time of year. Our mail order shop is restocked and we always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

July update

Dear Readers

It’s been another busy month, as you’ll know if you tried to call me when we’d to make a quick trip to Scotland. (Is a round trip of over 1000 miles by car ever quick these days?) There wasn’t too much of a problem, just the family support we’re all pleased to have as we get older. Our garden fried in temperatures of 37C, whilst I shivered in 14C degrees with rain pounding down. I was glad of the extra layers I’d taken, along with a cardi or two and it brought back memories (with a wry smile!) of how we change over the years. The evening before we left there was a ‘prom bash’ at the hotel and fortunately the rain held off until all the selfies had been taken. Big party, huge dresses and stretched cars spilling out their squealing passengers. Hours had been spent perfecting hair, make-up, eyelashes and nails. Glasses were overflowing and they were (of course!) the first generation to strut their stuff as teenagers. I giggled, Lafferty fashion, as I watched them. Back then, I’m sure we could all hobble a bit better in our three inch stilettos, but perhaps not?! The next morning all traces of the party were whisked away, as the room was transformed for a wedding. With everyone frantically searching their phone for a positive weather app, we started our trek south.

Back safely at home, I’d two lovely books to read and both have been published by Crowood Press in their Knitting Techniques series. The first is Patchwork Knitting by Fiona Morris (ISBN 978-1-78500-979-2). Fiona guides us through the essential techniques of creating individual units of knitting and joining as you go. The second is Entrelac by Molly Brown (ISBN 978-1-78500-983-9). Molly explains how to produce intriguing knitted pieces with a woven look. Both books are for hand knitters, a handy size (172 x 242 mm) and affordable paperbacks at £9.99.

You might wonder why I’ve mentioned this and the reason is that it’s brought back memories of Beryl Jarvis, who died in August 2016. She wrote about knitting entrelac on a machine and set out to make her Info Sheets affordable information on lots of machine-knitting subjects. It seems the right time to make them available to you all. It was a quite different approach to her teaching series, so I’ll start working on them now. As Anne Croucher says in Dear Anne: “There are so many things we used to do ‘in the old days’ which seem to have been forgotten about, with some more complicated technique now used”. If there’s any topic you’d like explained in simple terms, do please ask and look out for this new series in the not-too-distant future. Until next month, knit happy!

NEXT ISSUE September 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th August

On sale Thursday 11th August

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

August 2022 (Issue 295) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour August 2022 issue is an A-line top that’s perfect when the sun shines. It’s in easy-to-knit stocking stitch with colours flowing from the yarn 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 two Anne Baker Karabee Designs. We’ve the final two patterns in a series of three mix ‘n’ match slip stitch designs from Alison Dupernex as well as a feature taking a new look at the old technique of felting.  Dee Crew has another design for us in her Show & Tell series and this time it’s a plated top with lace motifs and step-by-step instructions. It’s time to smile as Bill King makes a feature of the ‘grin-through’ of Jacquard fabric and the exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice. We’ve a summer top to run up in ribbon yarn in Stash Box and Sally-Ann Carroll guides us through the summer ‘must haves’ to update our knits with practicality and comfort. Our mail order shop has been restocked and we always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

August 2022 New Subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS The August 2022 magazine has been mailed to subscribers. If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st August, your subscription will start with the September magazine. No money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on 4th August.

Orders received on or after 2nd August will start with the October 2022 magazine. Again, no money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on 1st September.

If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

June update

Dear Readers

One way or another there’s been lots going on this month and my first mention has to be the time, effort and energy my friend Irene Krieger is devoting to raising funds to fight a special type of cancer. Each week I speak to many of you, either having to overcome problems of one sort or another or losing your nearest and dearest. As you’ll read on Page 10, Irene’s story is remarkable and if you’ve access to a computer, please visit her website at https://beads4research.com/. I so wish I still had her as a Passap designer, but hugely admire the wonderful work she’s doing for such a worthy cause. To put life and its troubles in perspective, I’ve never forgotten something Irene said years ago: “A brain surgeon looks the same as a labourer when they’re in T-shirt and shorts, lining up for the toilet”. It may make you smile, too, when you’re struggling to get by.

Bill King isn’t a brain surgeon, but he has to be our ‘boy wonder’ this month. No electronics, no patterning devices, just a couple of basic tools… and a steady hand, of course! We’ve included his photos and it somehow brings the knitting to life, in much the same way that Susan Guagliumi shows us how to manipulate stitches. This month Alison Dupernex shares the second of her trio of designs using slip stitch. It’s a much neglected technique but if you’d like to learn and use it more, there’s a substantial section devoted to it in her book Machine Knitting: Designing With Colour. Machine knitting has some real stars and it’s such a joy to share their incredible knowledge in the magazine.

One thing that’s surprised me a little is the struggle many of you have had to understand the diagrams in last month’s Show & Tell. We routinely insert a card in the machine, lock it on Row 1 and release it when we’re ready to knit the pattern. It often doesn’t matter if our knitting isn’t quite in the centre of the machine, but once in a while it’s vital and this is one such time. To help many readers, I’ve written out in words what you have to do to knit last month’s tuck stitch edgings and it’s on Page 13.

Finally, with no fuss and few words, I’m letting you know that a very dear friend, for more years than I can remember, has died. His wife Freda called to tell me that Dennis Wright, champion of circular sock machines, has passed away. He asked me for no fuss in the magazine so, to respect his wishes, I’ll quietly say: “Rest in peace, Dennis, I’ll miss you”. Until next month, let’s hope the sun will have his hat on!

NEXT ISSUE August 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 7th July

On sale Thursday 14th July

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

July 2022 new subscriptions

This is July 2022 and our current issue

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS The July 2022 magazine has been mailed to subscribers. If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st July, your subscription will start with the August magazine. No money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on 7th July.

Orders received on or after 2nd July will start with the September 2022 magazine. Again, no money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on 4th August.

If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

July 2022 (Issue 294) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour July 2022 issue is a cool cover-up with side vents, that’s perfect for trips to the shops or beach. It’s in easy-to-knit stocking stitch with colours flowing from the yarn as we knit. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for standard, LK-150, mid-gauge and chunky machines including four more multi-size raglan classic patterns in 4-ply tuck or stocking stitch. The sizes stretch from 87 to 132 cm, 34 to 52 inches (finished 55½ inches). We’ve the second design in a series of three mix ‘n’ match designs from Alison Dupernex as well as a feature on knitted appliqué to use up small amounts of yarn. Joan Lafferty has some short cuts to pass on and we include much loved but (you tell us!) frequently mislaid or lost strawberry tea cosy pattern. Bill King’s amazing Twist-Tarsia project needs one or (better still) two 7-prong tools and the exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice. We’ve a gorgeous jacket with interchangeable patterns to knit on E6000 Passap machines and Sally-Ann Carroll helps us to holiday in style. Our mail order shop has been restocked and we always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.

May update

Dear Readers

There’s a good feeling in the air this month, as more clubs go back to meeting in person and one in particular is hosting an exhibition of their work. Elaine Cater told me about the flurry of activity at the West London Knitters: Machine, Hand & Other Textile Crafts. The dates are from 10th June until 8th July and members will be showing off the knitting, crochet and felting they’ve done over the past couple of years. If you live or travel in that part of London, do visit the Open Ealing Art Centre at Unit 14 Dickens Yard, Ealing, London W5 2TD. Elaine will happily pass on details if you email her at info@elainecater.com and all other club details are on Page 58.

Now we’re in British Summer Time, Leicestershire Machine Knitters have restarted their evening meetings and we’ve added Knitting Stitches in Stevenage to our Clubs Directory. The Bath branch of the KCG is holding a Regional Day in June and the KCG Convention will be held from 16th to 18th September. We’ve had news that a scaled-back Shetland Wool Week will be going ahead in person this year, with the intention of delivering it, in full, for 2023. One disappointment for many is that there will be no Woolfest 2022. For the past two years, there have been online events, but the organisers have decided there will not be a Woolfest 2022, either live or online. Much has changed at the Livestock Centre near Cockermouth, so the organisers think the time has come to re-invent, re-design and re-imagine the format. I guess that’s what we’ve all had to do these past two years.

It’s been good to catch up with Pam Wigglesworth, as she’s taken over the Metropolitan Correspondence Courses previously run by Carol Hocknell. The arrangements were made two years ago, but it’s only now we’re all starting to find some sort of ‘new normal’. The good news is that Pam has updated everything, as well as adding more pictures and content and she now offers six courses.

1) Single bed work on every gauge of all Japanese machines.

2) The ribber attachment for every gauge of all Japanese machines.

3) Passap and Pfaff Duo and E6000 machines.

4) All Silver Reed and Knitmaster electronic machines.

5) All Brother electronic machines.

6) DesignaKnit 8 and 9.

The courses have been widely acclaimed by new and experienced knitters alike. They’re available for knitters all over the world and there’s no pressure, with two years to complete a course. Pam will send you full details of all the courses if you email her at pamwigg1489@gmail.com

Let’s now look forward to Sally-Ann’s ‘flaming June’ and knit happy.

NEXT ISSUE July 2022

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 2nd June

On sale Thursday 9th June

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

June 2022 (Issue 293) with Alison Dupernex and Bill King

The cover design on our full-colour June 2022 issue has a crisp summer look, in easy-to-knit stocking stitch with colours flowing from the yarn as we knit. We’ve our usual mix of patterns for standard, LK-150, mid-gauge and chunky machines including the first design in a series of three mix ‘n’ match designs from Alison Dupernex. We’ve pick ‘n’ mix ideas for different pattern options on a single punchcard and Joan Lafferty knits with DK yarn on a standard gauge machine. Bill King gives us some fresh, new ideas for simple transfers with great impact and the exceptional talent of Susan Guagliumi offers lots of free help and advice. We’ve the easiest summer top to knit on Duo or E6000 Passap machines, with a choice of crochet edgings and we share great techniques for lots of tuck stitch edgings on standard gauge machines. Sally-Ann Carroll introduces juicy citrus shades to our summer wardrobe and our mail order shop has been restocked. We always have help and advice in Dear Anne plus news, reviews and club details.