Meet and greet

Members of Crossgates MKC in Seacroft, Leeds have a new venue, day and time. They now get together once a month on a Tuesday afternoon from 1.00 to 3.00 pm. Their meeting place is Wellington Hill Residents Association in Ringwood Drive, Seacroft, Leeds LS1 4HR. Susan Baddams is your contact and she’ll be pleased to give you full details if you email Susie_anne@live.co.uk

More please!

Terri Dutton called with the welcome news that a new monthly meeting has started. Members already meet weekly on Tuesday afternoon from 2.00 to 4.30 pm and now there’s a get-together at the same time on the first Saturday each month. Visit The Yarn Barn, 362a Hoylake Road, Moreton, Wirral CH46 6DF. Email theyarnbarn362@gmail.com for full details.

Facetime

Jean Richardson has sent a happy letter to let us know that meetings have started again and she writes:-

Hello Anne

I thought I’d drop you a line to let you know that our Bromsgrove Machine Knitting Club has started face to face meetings again each month. We’ve also settled into our new venue in Finstall Village Hall. At our first get-together for over eighteen months, we were lucky to have two new ladies join our club and we offered a warm welcome to them and enjoyed tea and cake! We’d lots of knitting and crochet items for our Show & Tell and this was a lovely way to re-introduce people to the club. Since then we’ve looked at various methods for knitting socks for the colder weather and at a future meeting there will be a demonstration of ‘twisted stitches’. It’s hand-tooled and produces more of a texture than ‘big brother’ cables. We’re all looking forward to a more normal year in 2022. I believe that if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that time spent knitting and crafting in general gives us a feeling of well-being… maybe because we’ve had more time to appreciate our crafting. Happy knitting everyone and best wishes, Jean

Bromsgrove is such a friendly club and members meet on the 3rd Thursday each month from 2.00 to 4.00 pm. The venue is Finstall Village Hall, 27 Alcester Road, Finstall, Bromsgrove B60 1EL. You can email jmr543@btopenworld.com for more details.

Time for tea

Let’s now go to Reading in Berkshire for news of Berkshire MKC. Members now get together on the first Thursday of the month from 7.30 pm. They’ve a lovely meeting place at The Tea Room in Woodford Park Pavilion, Woodford Park, Haddon Drive, Woodley, Reading, RG5 4LY. The new contact is Philip Massey. Do email Philip at bkmc.info@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/berkshiremachineknittingclub for lots more information.

Together again

Members of Ewenique are thrilled to return to meeting each month on the 4th Tuesday from 1.30 to 3.30 pm. Their venue remains New Earswick Folk Hall, Hawthorn Terrace, New Earswick, York YO32 4AQ. There’s parking and a café at the hall and Anne Bradley will be happy to let you have full details if you email anne.bradley@btinternet.com

Starting over

We mentioned briefly last month that Carbery Machine Knitting Club had closed, but the group has started up again as Dorset & Hampshire Coastal Machine Knitting Club. Members meet monthly on the first Wednesday from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon at St Catherine’s Hall, 17 Marlow Drive, Christchurch BH23 2RR. For more details Janet Shuttleworth is your contact, so please email jan.knitting@outlook.com

Green for go

Dear Anne

My friend is having trouble knitting her garments and they all appear to be a different size. She does not use the Green Ruler and my question is would you be so kind as to explain this to me and I will pass it on to her. I haven’t been machine knitting for some time as I looked after my dad until he passed, then we moved house and just recently I had a bad fall so everything is on the back burner for now. Many thanks, Janice

Thanks for asking Janice and the Green Ruler is an excellent way of measuring the stitch and row tension of machine knitted swatches. It’s as accurate as most machine knitters require and can be used on all machines. A while ago, Sally Butcher wrote to say:-

Dear Anne

My chosen method of tension swatch measuring is to use the coloured rulers, as I’ve always been a Silver Reed (Knitmaster) fan and these were supplied with the machines. The three colours are used on the different gauge machines; green is for standard, yellow is for mid-gauge machines and blue is for chunky. They have different scales and are designed to measure different quantities of stitches and rows. It’s important to get this right in order to get an accurate swatch measurement.

• Green (standard) measures over 40 stitches and 60 rows.

• Yellow (mid-gauge) measures over 30 stitches and 40 rows.

• Blue (chunky) measures over 20 stitches and 30 rows.

I drew up a little table which I’ve printed off several times and laminated. I keep one with each machine and I’m happy for you to print it. With best wishes, Sally Butcher

Sally is one of our Knitting Buddies and she runs a club in Bodmin, Cornwall. She also has video demonstrations on her Facebook page, showing techniques on the SK280, LK150 and SK155 Silver Reed machines. The link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSDxy6pQHAs4gd5XBztYWmw and it’s called Sally Butcher’s Kalamunda Krafts Machine Knitting.

No-sew

Dear Anne

I’m enclosing details, which may help knitters like me, who hate sewing and particularly backstitching through the neckband on the right side. I could never get it neat enough. This method doesn’t need to be stitched at all, which suits me fine. Maybe if you’ve a little space you could print it to help others, who aren’t so good at sewing! Yours sincerely, Lorraine in Colwyn Bay

1. Work over width of sts around neck, such as 130 arranged as 65-0-65.

2. Knit about 7 to 9 rows with WY. Carriage at left. K 1 row with nylon cord. Carriage at right.

3. K 4 rows in MY and 1 row on alt Ns in HP. Set carriage to slip both ways. Don’t set carriage to hold. Use MT such as Tension Dial setting 6.

4. Transfer sts to ribber, or use garter carriage with Pattern 532 for 1×1 rib. Put in comb and hang weights carefully if transferring.

5. Using MT-4, K 30 rows in 1×1 rib or use Pattern 532 on garter carriage. Transfer to main bed.

6. Pick up loops of 5th row of main yarn onto alt Ns. K 5 rows at MT.

7. Pick up first row (the one after the cord) and K 1 row at MT. Pick up neckline sts with wrong side facing you and K 1 row. Cast off using MT.

Cut ‘n’ sew

Dear Anne

I’ve just read in an old magazine the method of using the cut and sew neckline for Passap machines. When I was studying for my City & Guilds Certificate, I was shown a method for Japanese machines that doesn’t involve putting the garment on the bed of the machine. I think it was Carol Hocknell who showed us, but I can’t be sure so I apologise in advance if I’ve made a mistake. I’ve attached the method and you’ve probably seen it before but if not, perhaps you could use it in the magazine? Thank you for a great read every month and you must be tired of hearing it, but please keep the good work going if you can. King regards, Joan in Northampton

Join one shoulder, cut and sew the neck, find out how many stitches are needed for the rib and knit as follows.

1. Start rib on MT-2 or MT-3.

2. Knit first row and hang ribber comb.

3. Don’t knit any circular rows, as this makes it much easier to pick up these stitches.

4. Knit as many rows for the rib as you normally do, decreasing the tension and increasing again as you wish.

5. Transfer stitches to main bed, take off machine on waste yarn leaving a long thread of rib yarn for casting off.

6. With right side facing hang neckline on needles, pulling it behind latches.

7. Pick up last of row of rib before waste yarn, but not taking stitches behind latches.

8. You now have to pull these stitches through the cut and sew neck, so make sure all latches are closed and use a long tool. I use my ribber comb and pull the stitches through the neckline all in one go.

9. Pick up the cast on row of rib, ‘sandwiching’ the cut and sew between. There are now two stitches on every needle, so cast off behind the sinker posts using the long thread.

10. Join remaining shoulder and mattress stitch the neck seam.

Feel the width

Dear Anne

I’ve noticed you say on ribbed edges that it’s often easier to cast on with waste yarn, then pick up the stitches and hand knit the ribs downwards. Well, what do we ‘plus sizes’ do in tuck stitch patterns? It’s a great stitch for giving us the maximum width but tuck stitch patterns often have less stitches, so the ribs can be very tight and unwearable. Any suggestions please? Debbie in Northampton

Thanks for your query Debbie and here’s what to do.

Step 1 Knit the rib over the usual number of stitches required for your size. This will almost certainly be more than for the main tuck stitch garment.

Step 2 Transfer the stitches to the main bed, using main tension knit one row then remove the rib on waste yarn.

Step 3 Replace the stitches on the correct number of needles required for the pattern, decreasing evenly across, then continue to knit in pattern, as usual. This is also useful for anyone who doesn’t like a tight band of rib pulling in, say, the lower edge or cuff of a cardigan or jacket.