First of all, I hope my letter this month finds you as safe and as well as we are here. I’m fine, as are all the MKM contributors and everything is ticking over, albeit in a slightly different way than before. We all continue to be in lockdown, along with Susan in the States and Fay in Australia. Many of you have called to say how thrilled you’ve been that a number of companies who support our magazine are continuing to dispatch orders, so we’re all managing to keep things going. I’m indebted to the staff at King Cole, who have moved mountains to send us some of the vital things we need, to bring you this month’s magazine. So let me send a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone helping to keep the home fires burning.
One new thing which might be of interest is that Aldi now has a hobby and craft range, which can be ordered online. There’s lots to interest crafters such as threads for embroidery and tapestry, fat quarters for sewers, magnifying table lights and yarn for hand knitting. As you’d expect, prices are keen and www.aldi.co.uk/c/specialbuys/hobbies-and-crafts is the place to visit to check it out. As we all try to work our way through this lockdown, don’t forget that Hobbycraft always has a huge range of beginner step-by-step guides, crafting materials and lots of free downloads at www.hobbycraft.co.uk
Sally Butcher has written to tell us about her lockdown knitting and remind us about her Beginners Circle Facebook Group. If you’d find it of interest, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll let you have the details. We’ve also asked on our Clubline page if you’d let us know if you come across a new way to keep your members connected. We’ve had the sad news from Joy Hopkins that Carbery Machine Knitting Club in Christchurch is set to close, so it’s even more important to try to keep as much of our machine-knitting community going as possible. If you stay connected with virtual options such as Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom, please share. I’ve kept our website updated as much as possible, passing on requests such as knitting hearts for Covid-19 patients. Iris came to the rescue with a machine-knitted pattern and it’s in Dear Anne this month. Please email me with any ways you’ve found to keep in touch, such as the Long Buckby Machine Knitters special monthly newsletter. It’s posted on their website at www.longbuckbymk.com and available for everyone to access.
Next month we’ve a treat in store for you when we’ll be At Home with Lorna Roach in Australia. She’s sent us her step-by-step guide to dyeing yarn all the colours of the rainbow with jelly beans. Yes, we really are going to head for the kitchen and have some fun! Until next time, we’re still saying to each other… keep well and stay safe.
NEW SUBSCRIPTION If you select a new subscription, no money will be taken with your order and it will start next month with the July 2020 magazine, to be mailed out to subscribers on Thursday 4th June. If you’d like to start with this June issue, you need to order a Subscription Bundle.
SUBSCRIPTION BUNDLE If you select a subscription bundle, you pay for our current June 2020 magazine and we’ll send you a copy straight away. Your magazine will then be mailed direct from the printer on the first Thursday of each month and the July 2020 issue goes out to subscribers on Thursday 4th June.
Our full-colour June 2020 issue is officially on sale. There’s never been an easier one-size stash buster than our cover design and we include step-by-step instructions for knitting it on standard, mid-gauge and chunky models. There are over 12 designs and we always tell you how to knit all our patterns on standard gauge machines. Sally-Ann Carroll shows us how to add a flounce or frill to lift our moral this summer and Bill King gives some old favourites a new look in Masterclass. Lidia Higson’s How To… article describes how to knit bands that fit and add buttonholes and Fay Butcher’s Passap Duo and E6000 feature explains how to knit designs in carpet stitch. We help each other through the lockdown and always include news and reviews, letters, club details and book offers with great savings from Search Press.
Hi, I have a Brother KH-940 machine and am using a KG-93 garter carriage. I did a sample of 2×2 ribbing which went well and wanted to try a pattern, but for some reason the garter carriage won’t work. I’ve checked all the steps and everything seems in order. It’s like there’s no power getting to the carriage. Any ideas as to why that happened all of a sudden? Thanks for any help, Jill
I hope you’re doing well. As promised, here’s the XL pattern for Scrubs! Please click HERE to download it, and I’ve added a mask pattern if you’d like that too. We’ve sent the pattern out to over 15,000 people now! And that doesn’t allow for all the shares, so we’re totally overwhelmed seeing our scrubs being made! One lady even emailed this evening to say she’d shared the pattern with a charity in Calcutta, where they will begin making them for medical teams there. Cue more tears from me!
Please continue to follow and tag us online with your makes. Our business is suffering at the moment as I know lots are, so mentions on social media are more valuable to us than ever before. I’ve popped our links below.
Finally, many of you have been so kind to donate, to help cover our costs in producing the pattern, materials for scrubs, sending them all out etc. Thank you so so much. We’ve set up a page if anyone else would like to make a small contribution for your copy of our pattern. No obligation of course, but under the circumstances, more appreciated than I can explain. Here’s that link: https://ko-fi.com/themakery
If any of you would like to purchase Scrub-Making supplies, we have a section on our website with everything you’d need! Here’s a link for you and if any of you would like to purchase Scrub-Making supplies, we have a section on our website with everything you’d need! Here are all the links for you and thank you lovely people. Keep sewing, Kate xx
If you can sew and would like to help front line workers, Kate at The Makery offers a free ‘Scrubs’ pattern.
Kate writes: “I’ve made a FREE Scrubs pattern for you to do some useful sewing if you’d like to! My doctor friend asked if I could make her a set of Scrubs, as they’re very low at the hospital she works at. So it got me thinking and I made a pattern that anyone can use! Here’s a linkif you’d like to make some too. You don’t need to download or print anything – you’ll just need to copy my pattern onto your fabric. I used a duvet cover and it just needs to be washed at 60 degrees and not be brushed cotton. There’s also a linkto download the making-up instructions. I’ve only made SMALL so far, but MEDIUM and LARGE will follow very soon. If you don’t know any NHS workers who would benefit from these, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with someone who does. I cannot tell you how happy it made me to see my sewing directly benefitting people on the front line, so hope you can help too. I’ve also included instructions to make a scrubs bag, if the Scrubs themselves feel too complicated. Stay safe, Kate x”
Kate then let us know that the medium size was ready.
“As promised I’ve made the MEDIUM pattern for Scrubs. So many of you have been busy making them, it’s incredible to see. Thank you for all the kind words from everyone. I spent much of yesterday in tears after having lots of gorgeous emails and calls following our piece in the Mail! (If you’ve not seen it, you can have a look here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8214857/The-unsung-army-selfless-people-truly-playing-part.html ) Anyway, to download the MEDIUM pattern,please click here I’ve been promised a LARGE pattern this evening, so hoping to get that out to you tomorrow, followed by XL and XXL. Please, please continue to follow and tag us online with your makes. Our business is suffering at the moment as I know lots are, so mentions on social media are more valuable to us than ever before. I’ve popped our links below. Finally, a handful of amazing people yesterday asked to donate to help cover our costs in producing the pattern, materials for Scrubs, sending them all out etc. So we’ve set up a page if anyone else would like to make a small contribution for their copy of our pattern. No obligation of course, but under the circumstances, more appreciated than I can explain. Here’s that link: https://ko-fi.com/themakery Thank you lovely people xx”
Iris Rowe has designed and knitted these small hearts to help bring comfort to families who have not been able to see a loved one before they die. The original message asking for help appeared on Saturday 4th April on the BBC news website.
MACHINES This pattern is suitable for all standard gauge machines.
MATERIALS Any suitable 4-ply yarn in Pink (see Laura’s note at end). Polyester toy stuffing.
MEASUREMENTS Height is about 5 cm, 2 in.
TENSION Tension dial setting approximately 6.
TO KNIT Push 16 needles to working position. Using Pink make a woven or automatic closed edge cast on. Knit 3 rows. Increase 1 st at each end of next and every following alternate row until there are 30 stitches. With carriage at left, push 15 needles at right of centre 0 to holding position and set carriage to hold. Place marker at both ends of next row. Decrease 1 inside stitch on next 4 rows. 11 stitches remain. Break yarn then using a bodkin, thread end through stitches and release from machine. Return 15 needles at right to working position. Re-join yarn. Place marker at both ends of next row. Decrease 1 st at left on next 4 rows. Break yarn then using a bodkin, thread end through stitches and release from machine.
MAKING UP Pull up stitches at top of heart and secure. With right sides together, join seam up to markers. Complete other side in the same way. Join back seam and turn right side out. Stuff lightly, pull up stitches and secure.
Brighter FuturesThis original message asking for help appeared on Saturday 4th April on the BBC news website. It reads:- “Nurse Laura Kirby-Deacon wants people to send small handcrafted hearts to give to patients who contracted Covid-19 and their families. Laura, who works as a sister at the Great Western Hospital’s intensive care unit in Swindon, said the hearts could bring comfort to families who have not been able to see a loved one before they die. She said it was important to use clean yarn and seal the hearts in a taped bag, such as a freezer bag or bin liner. She also asked for the bags to be dated because 72 hours must have elapsed before they are safe to use. Laura urged anyone wanting to post hearts to send them to Brighter Futures at the GWH, Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6BB.” The BBC link is www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-wiltshire-52165537/laura-kirby-deacon-says-the-hearts-will-help-those-who-lose-loved-ones
If you’re looking for a new project while the country is on lockdown, an RSPCA cattery in London is hoping you can help!
RSPCA Friern Barnet Adoption Centre – located within a new Pets at Home store at the Friern Bridge Retail Park in North London – is calling on creative and crafty people to help provide some knitted blankets for its cats. Nicole Grover, from the centre, said: “We give all of our cats a knitted blanket when they arrive here. It’s something warm and cosy for them to curl up on in their pods and when they find their forever homes it means they have something to take with them with a familiar scent. This helps the transition from our centre to their new home much easier and less stressful”.
“While there are lots of people spending more time at home during the current Coronavirus lockdown we thought it would be a great opportunity for anyone who knits or crochets to make a blanket for our lovely cats.”
The centre is asking for blankets around 30 to 40 cm in size, made out of machine washable yarn. “Some of our wonderful volunteers have also been making dangle toys and toy mice to keep our cats entertained and to make their pods more fun,” Nicole added. “We’re incredibly grateful to all of our wonderful supporters who spend time creating toys and blankets for our cats so we’d like to say a big thank you”.
Please send your donations to Pets At Home, Friern Bridge Retail Park, Pegasus Way, Friern Barnet, London N11 3PW.
For more information, visit the RSPCA Friern Barnet Facebook page.