You may wonder why I am telling you this and it’s because Barbara Tulip lives in Vancouver and we’re hoping to meet up. Should our plans come to fruition, I will take some photos and send them to you on my return and hopefully you’ll be able to print them in a forthcoming edition. Barbara and I have had a few e-mails since you put us in touch and neither of us could believe it when we found out about the ‘Vancouver’ connection. Watch this space for my return!
With all good wishes from Fran Davidson
I have been looking for a suitable hat pattern for my three granddaughters for the past couple of months without much success. You can imagine my delight when I opened my November issue of MKM and found the article by Helen Macleod about her grandson’s hat. I immediately sorted out some suitable yarn and tried out the pattern. It is perfect. I will certainly be putting her new book on my Christmas list. I look forward to receiving MKM each month and keep all my copies, reading them many time over. Once again, many thanks for the hours of reading pleasure you provide.
Keep up the good work and kindest regards
Shirley Marsden in Doncaster
I’ve just finished knitting a sideways sweater and I must say that it’s very comfortable to wear. I’ve tried to find a machine-knitting pattern for a sideways knitted cardigan but as yet I’ve had no luck. Could you look into your archives to try and locate one and if possible would you be able to print the pattern in one of your future issues?
I was so disappointed not to be able to attend MK LIVE! this year as I’m sure that I must have missed some new exciting goodies that I’d have been happy to purchase. Perhaps I’ll have better luck next year but usually I can’t do an October show as I’m away on holiday. I noticed that in one of your back numbers you had a pattern for a ladies shrug. I wonder if you would be able to print the pattern in one of your future issues?
I’m gradually getting back in the swing of using my knitting machines (Brother 890 and Brother 260 both with ribbers) but I can’t seem to be able to master using the ‘holding technique’ instead of the traditional cast off method. To the accomplished knitter, this is surely a very easy method and I think my problem may be due to ‘senior moments’, which we older people sometimes have – well I do! Would you please print the way of using the method in one of your helpful articles?
I also wonder if you could have a page dedicated to hints and tips from other readers which would, I assume, cover many problems which others returning to machine knitting would find very helpful. I really do look forward to my issue of your magazine each month, as it is a good mix of patterns. Keep up the good work and long life to your magazine!
Many thanks from June Wisdom
Jumper2.jpgJust thought you might be interested in the attached. I actually knitted the jumper on the Bond using Keyplate 2 but the jumper could be knitted on any machine by manually selecting the needles. Then again a card could be punched or it could be put into an electronic by whatever method is appropriate. Because the floats are only three stitches long, it’s fine for chunky machines and for kids who we all know catch their finger and drag on any floats whatsoever!
I’m not giving a pattern as this Fair-Isle can be added to any jumper, but I have to admit to using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Percentage System (EPS) for working out the number of stitches to cast on for such things as the cuff and the Magic Formula for working out increases, so mixing hand and machine knitting techniques. Obviously a tension swatch is essential and honest body measurements. However, since I’m the only one to read the tape measure and then turn it into rows and stitches, no one else need know what the measurements were in the first place. I think I’m finally getting the hang of my computer now my son has moved out and I get a chance to use it.
Keep up the good work
Katharine Humphries in Poole, Dorset
I make a continuous bag that’s joined at the bottom and I knit until the cone runs out. I finish off with waste wool. I then pin sheets to the inside and also put in some washing or something to rattle around, tack up the top and stick it in the washing machine. I use Uppingham 2-ply and sometimes it takes two washes : it just depends on the colour and whether it has been agitated enough. It makes very nice jackets and embroiders beautifully.
More happy felting from Rita Lambeth
Whatever the problem, Helen would solve it and she was always prepared to go that extra mile in her work by organizing trips to Exhibitions, Wool Sales and so on at weekends. In her busy life she still thought of others by running marathons for charity. Indeed, she ran one for Cancer Research just weeks before she died.
Many of us in the class at Oldham Life Long Learning Centre have known Helen for over 25 years and will miss her on two levels, both as a friend and as a teacher and we know that the world of machine knitting has also lost a skilled ambassador. We extend our deepest sympathy to her husband and family and our thoughts are with them as they face the difficult months ahead.
God Bless, Helen from all at the Friday Knitting Class, Gallery Oldham
A PROBLEM SHARED
Members of the club went to Machine Knitting LIVE! at Bury and told Anne about the problems the club now faces to keep going. Since Helen’s untimely death, the Friday morning class at Gallery Oldham is in a dilemma. They were almost ready to start the new term and found themselves without a teacher and no hope of getting one until January 2009 at the very earliest. They’ve had great support from the management of Life-long Learning, who have allowed the club to use the facilities and equipment for a very nominal sum until Christmas.
They call themselves a Community Group and as one of the more experienced members has kindly agreed to act as leader, they’ve been able to keep together as a group. However, in spite of advertising they’ve so far been unable to find a replacement teacher and face having to close down completely in December 2008. They wonder if there’s anyone within travelling distance of Oldham, who is suitably qualified and free on Friday mornings. All that’s required is to teach a keen and friendly bunch of enthusiastic machine knitters. If you’re hiding your light under a bushel and are interested in picking up the gauntlet, please call Kath Stone direct on 0161-770 8029.
The cushion covers were for a 12-inch square cushion pad and were knitted for 240 rows over 84 stitches. I used stitch size 7 on the Duo 80. The scarves were knitted over 30 stitches on each bed in a 1×1 rib on stitch size 5. I knitted for about 500 rows until the yarn popped out of the tension arm, giving me just enough to cast off! I had to re-wind the balls twice, waxed them the second time and then even had to help the machine by pulling the yarn out of the centre of the ball for about the first 20 rows.
If E6000 owners are prepared to work on the back bed, casting on for stocking stitch is a case of pushing up pushers in a one up, one down arrangement for all working needles and then knitting four rows. Have BX on that bed with both arrow keys. After the four rows, cancel the arrow keys, have the lock on N and knit for 240 rows.
I’ve found that I can achieve the same tensions on the Passap as my Brother KH881 on the same stitch sizes or tension dial settings. I have 28 stitches and 40 rows to 10 cm on tension dial or stitch size between 6 and 7. Using three-ply yarns, the setting needs to be between 3 or 5, but the Passap really doesn’t like knitting stocking stitch at low numbers on the 5 mm gauge. Just for the record, ribbing is comparable. I have even got the Passap to knit standard 4-ply Shetland with the tension dial set at 7 to give me 28 stitches and 39 rows to 10 cm.
This letter is written to encourage your timorous Passap users (including those with an E6000 about which I know little) who are concerned that there aren’t many patterns in MKM for Passap and Pfaff E6000 and Duo 80 machines. Try using a standard stocking stitch pattern for a plain jumper the pattern is for 28 stitches and 40 rows to 10 cm. For a confidence booster, E6000 users don’t need the console and you could even try my scarf and cushion ideas, too!
Katherine Humphries, Poole, Dorset
I hand knit for a charity called Queen Mary’s Clothing Guild and am looking for patterns to knit on the machine. I need things like easy gloves, mitts, hot water bottle covers, easy baby clothes and any other ideas please. I do have a charting device, which I’ve not used for a while and would like to use it again.
What I’d really like is to find a machine knitting pen pal. I also wonder if there’s a local club to get more motivation, but does anyone know where we can get more time please? There are never enough hours in the day to do everything I want. Still, that’s better than being bored with nothing to do.
I do hope you can help Anne.
Mrs M A Watson, Plymouth, Devon
I hope you have recovered from your surgery and are now feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed! I have a little contribution for the magazine, one that has seen me safely through many hundred knitted jerseys. It was shown to me by my Passap teacher Lena De Lima here in Johannesburg when I first bought my machine. I have never used any other method to work out the correct size of my jerseys. It is simplicity itself!
Knit a tension swatch, 40 stitches wide and 60 rows long. Leave it for a couple of hours or longer and then measure it. Find a calculator and the formula is:
What you want – the garment width or length
Multiplied by what you have – 40 sts or 60 rows
Divided by what you know – size of your swatch
This, believe it or not, will give you how many stitches or rows are required! I will give you an example to make things a bit clearer.
My tension swatch measures 40 sts / 15 cm and 60 rows / 8 cm
My jersey is 54 cm chest, 24 cm long without the rib.
54 cm x 40 sts = 2160 • 15 cm 144 stitches
Divide 144 into 2 for Back and Front 72 stitches.
For length, 24 cm x 60 rows = 1440 • 8 cm 180 rows.
It really is easy! Good luck with the magazine.
Wakkerstroom, South Africa