Tuition needed

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I was wondering if there were any machine knitting clubs in this area or somewhere I could go to get tuition as I’ve no idea how to follow patterns or use the machine. I would be grateful for any help.
Thanks, Michelle Matthews in Ferndale, Mid Glamorgan.

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The first time

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You may not know that I also run a knitting club and we meet once a month in Hounslow, West London. About 18 months ago a number of club members asked if we could hold a Knit & Natter Day. They’d attended similar events and found them both enjoyable and stimulating. The only drawback was the travelling distance and transport so on 17th September we held our first Knit & Natter from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm. It was a great experience, but full of stresses and a few strains leading up to the day. Any club contemplating such an event might find my checklist a help, as I know of no instruction booklet on how to set it up.

Find a venue We were lucky to have a club member on the hall committee of a local church – All Saints in Hampton, Middlesex. The hall had plenty of room, was light and airy with parking and disabled access. It was also reasonably priced for the hire, so it didn’t break the bank.

Find a date It’s important to hire the hall when as many members as possible can attend.

Decide on an entry price and what it will include We decided on £5 plus free coffee or tea. If we’d charged a nominal amount for the drinks, it would have helped to defray the costs. Many people who attended wanted to give us a donation for their teas.
Invite exhibitors to the event. We were lucky to have Brenda Bristow from Heathercraft, Sue Castro and Nina Miklin for the day. Others we invited were either away or had previous commitments.

Find a guest speaker Carol Chambers agreed to be ours but things were touch and go, as she was due to have a knee operation and thought it might be scheduled on the week of our Knit and Natter. Thankfully it was done ahead of time, which was a great relief to us and showed, once again, that she’s a fine designer and speaker.

Publicise the event MKM and the GMK newsletter informed many machine knitters and messages were placed on some Yahoo knitting group sites. The church newsletter also carried details before the event.

Ask club members to demonstrate aspects of knitting if they’ve some special skills We’ve a very talented group of knitters involved in other crafts as well. Jenny Kelly used DesignaKnit to design and knit our logo. Barbara Logan demonstrated her sock machines and allowed visitors to have a go. She also created our embroidered name badges, so visitors would know who we were! Norma Valvona demonstrated adding embroidery to knitwear with her sewing machine. Brenda Moger and Margaret Grant helped anyone with hand knitting problems. Sandra Saunderson and Janice Engall showed how to make Dorset and woven buttons. This proved to be extremely popular and I think almost everyone who attended left with a Dorset button made at the event. All our members (except one with a holiday booked a year in advance) supported the event. It was a real team effort with not enough space here to mention everyone, but in the end we all enjoyed ourselves.

Organise the front-of-house Janet Naylor posted herself at the entrance to take money and issue tickets. Sandra’s husband Harry took charge of parking and directing traffic.

Middlesex Machine Knitters meet on the second Wednesday of the month (except for December) at Hounslow Community Association Hall, 9 Montague Road, Hounslow, London TW3 1JY and everyone is very welcome. Whether we decide to do it again will be discussed at our next club meeting but I do hope so. I’m sure the first time you try something is always the most difficult and we should know that, we’re machine knitters!

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Craft Fayre

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There are lots of different crafts including, hand-crafted wooden gifts, decorated hessian bags, a lady covering old tired comfy shoes, a hat maker and willow basket maker. There’s free admission and a raffle for two charities. The hotel postcode is PE15 9LH and please call Barbara on 01354-651734 for more details.

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Using DK?

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Does anyone know if it is possible to use double knitting yarn on a Toyota 901 please? I’m finding it difficult to get 4-ply in the yarn I would like.

Hi
Yes you can use DK on your machine. Page 11 in the handbook has a useful guide to yarns and tensions. You can match a strand of your yarn with the thickness of those shown in the photo to get an idea of the tension to use.
Kind regards Sue
Sue P
2012-01-06 18:24:37
Thanks Sue
I tried using DK and it worked but the fabric was a little on the stiff side. Just to complicate matters my machine broke down. I’m happy to say all is well now but I’m on catchup. Playing with DK is going to have to wait at least until after Christmas. I’ve managed to acquire a Brother 230 from a friend but it’s not quite a complete machine. It needs the tensioner and rods (whiskers I call them) and a few other bits and pieces to at least get the main bed going again. It has a ribber but one of the back plates is missing for some strange reason and the coupling between the main bed carriage and the ribber is also missing. I remain hopeful that I’ll be able to find these eventually.
LadyF
2012-01-06 18:24:02
Hi

Sorry to hear there are parts missing from the 230. Did you know that there are a lot of machine-knitting related things on Ebay UK? You should be able to find what you are looking for there.

If the DK is too thick to knit using every needle have you tried using alternate needles and a tighter tension? That usually works and gives a good feel to the fabric. You have to give the knitting a good tug to close up the stitches.

Hope you are successful.
Regards
Sue.

Sue P
2012-01-06 21:39:00
Hi Sue
Thanks for your comments. The Toyota is now fully operational and whizzing along happily. I keep a close eye on eBay and have found items for both machines. Just took delivery of an intarsia carriage for the Toyota today – something else to learn. I’ve got most of the parts to get the Brother 230 working now also from eBay except for the tension unit. However I downloaded an instruction manual for it and had a close look at the tension unit on there. There’s no adjustment with it simply a square block with two eyes on it where you thread the yarn through. It would seem the tension for that machine is on the carriage itself so I would probably be able to use the Toyota’s tension unit there at it’s widest setting to just really guide the yarn.
At the moment I’m making (or trying to) a sweater in Fisherman’s rib on the Toyota. I’m having problems with the raglan shaping. First time I’ve tried it using the ribber. The instructions on the pattern weren’t too clear and I got it wrong (thank goodness for wool winders) so I’m trying different ways of tackling this. The instructions in the Toyota manual are easier but doesn’t give such a neat finish as the other one would. It’s just trial and error and eventually I should get it right.
It’s certainly a lot of fun and it keeps me busy.
Best wishes Fiona
LadyF
2012-01-09 12:32:24
Hi Fiona

Sounds as if you are getting on really well!

I have a KH260 which is a chunky Brother machine with punchcard and its tension mast is the same as for most machines. You will probably find the Toyota one works OK.

If you are knitting Fisherman’s rib on a 1×1 setting the easiest decrease is to transfer the outside stitch on to the next needle on the opposite bed. Then join the raglan seams with backstitch. When sewn neatly this gives a good straight seam line.

It sure is a lot of fun and every garment we make is unique!

Kind regards
Sue.

Sue P
2012-01-09 17:50:50
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Flaw in stocking stitch pattern

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Hi
When knitting plain stocking stitch, a flaw in the knitting appears. On the purl side, it looks like a slipped or missed stitch on the row it appears and is knitted up again on the next row. On the knit side, you can see it is a flaw in the knitting as it looks different from the rest of the knitted row. This is happening as I continue to knit stocking stitch, but in different areas of the work in progress and I am wondering how I can correct this. I can’t continue to improve on my machine knitting if I cannot correct this fault. Does any one have any tips or suggestions that I can do, or is it the fact that I have not set-up the carriage properly when knitting plain stocking stitch?
Thanks for any help.

Hi Lilian
This sounds as if it could be a tension problem have you tried loosening the setting on the main carriage tension dial?
Do you have sufficient weight evenly across the work?
Also check the condition of your needles and make sure the latches are opening and shutting freely. Change any that are damaged.
I hope you manage to get it sorted
Sue.
Sue P
2011-12-02 19:11:26
Hi Lilian
This sounds as if it could be a tension problem have you tried loosening the setting on the main carriage tension dial?
Do you have sufficient weight evenly across the work?
Also check the condition of your needles and make sure the latches are opening and shutting freely. Change any that are damaged.
I hope you manage to get it sorted
Sue.
Sue P
2011-12-02 19:11:26
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Brother Garter Carriage

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I need to know the correct number for a garter carriage compatible with my Brother 890. I’ve been offered one, but want to make sure that it will be compatible with my machine.
Thank you.
J Oakley

Hi J
There is a good website for all things Brother: www.scanthecat.com. As your machine has a built-in rail for the garter carriage and is one of the later machines it suggests that you can use any garter carriage on it.
Regards
Sue.
Sue P
2011-12-02 19:28:01
Hi Mary

I can help with a couple of your queries.

Are the two little ‘doo-dahs’ magnets for use with electronic machines?

Ebay UK often has Garter Carriages listed – some are private sales and some are from dealers and have been serviced. They all seem to command very high prices but it may be worth keeping a watch on what is available.

Kind regards
Sue.

Sue P
2013-11-11 12:57:09
Hi Mary

I tried sliding my garter carriage on from the left hand side and it stopped too. I had to lift the whole carriage slightly as the little foot-shaped piece of plastic about halfway back on the side of the carriage was getting stuck on the side of the needlebed. I think it is a problem with the rail.

Regards
Sue.

Sue P
2013-12-05 13:06:37
Hi J
There is a good website for all things Brother: www.scanthecat.com. As your machine has a built-in rail for the garter carriage and is one of the later machines it suggests that you can use any garter carriage on it.
Regards
Sue.
Sue P
2011-12-02 19:28:01
Hi Mary

I can help with a couple of your queries.

Are the two little ‘doo-dahs’ magnets for use with electronic machines?

Ebay UK often has Garter Carriages listed – some are private sales and some are from dealers and have been serviced. They all seem to command very high prices but it may be worth keeping a watch on what is available.

Kind regards
Sue.

Sue P
2013-11-11 12:57:09
Hi Mary

I tried sliding my garter carriage on from the left hand side and it stopped too. I had to lift the whole carriage slightly as the little foot-shaped piece of plastic about halfway back on the side of the carriage was getting stuck on the side of the needlebed. I think it is a problem with the rail.

Regards
Sue.

Sue P
2013-12-05 13:06:37
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Toyota Simulknit

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My problem is that the second colour is not knitting at all. I’ve followed the instructions in the manual but I’m not sure I’m threading the second yarn correctly. Any help much appreciated.

Hi Ratina
If you slide the contrast yarn into the front slot it should thread into the correct position without a problem. You can remove the coupling/connecting arm after you’ve threaded in the yarns to check that they are in the right place or thread the yarns first then put the coupling in place. Make sure the yarns are not crossed.
Then once you have selected the main bed needles reset the carriages and make sure you slide the lever on the coupling to ‘S’.
I hope this helps to get you started.
Regards
Sue.
Sue P
2011-12-02 19:03:13
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Lost Jumper Pattern

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In my earlier machine knitting days, I had a lovely jumper pattern. It was portrayed in a deep wine colour and was a lady’s jumper with a lacy bodice and a yoke. I think it was a Jarol pattern, but I can’t be too sure about this. The mill was in Milnsbridge, Yorkshire and I used to go direct to the mill to buy my yarn, which was a silky texture. I also knitted samples of this jumper for them. I’ve searched eBay and other sites for patterns, but to no avail. Can anyone help me please?

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Drop shoulder pattern

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Hi
I’ve just returned to knitting after many years absence and no longer have any patterns. I’d like to start again with an easy drop shoulder crew neck design for children. I just wondered if anyone could point me towards instructions for a child’s 22 to 24 inch pattern using standard 4-ply yarn?

Hi
If you still need the drop shoulder pattern I could send you an e-mail attachment with a copy of my multi-size pattern. I would need your e-mail address to do this though.
I have only just started knitting again after not doing it for a number of years and used this pattern to knit my one year old granddaughter a jumper for her recent birthday.
Otherwise you can get patterns off eBay or from Bedford Sewing and Knitting who still do mail order. Hope this helps.
Lesley
leanne47
2011-12-01 20:32:47
Hi
If you still need the drop shoulder pattern I could send you an e-mail attachment with a copy of my multi-size pattern. I would need your e-mail address to do this though.
I have only just started knitting again after not doing it for a number of years and used this pattern to knit my one year old granddaughter a jumper for her recent birthday.
Otherwise you can get patterns off eBay or from Bedford Sewing and Knitting who still do mail order. Hope this helps.
Lesley
leanne47
2011-12-01 20:32:47
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