Brand New Range of Crafting Storage Solutions coming to Create and Craft TV

This on-the-go storage comes in six different but co-ordinating designs that customers can purchase as one off pieces, or invest in the whole collection. Create and Craft has the UK TV Exclusive availability of the Macbeth Spinning Tote, Utility Tote, Portable Craft Station, Craft Tool Tote, Paper Folio and Shoulder Tote. These designer totes and bags master the art of portable organisation – simple storage solutions which are both stylish and functional.

Macbeth Collection is a global lifestyle brand that’s a true extension of the personal style and sensibility of its Founder and Designer, Margaret Josephs. The collection, known for eye-popping colour, bold prints and whimsical detailing includes ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, beauty, home and tech accessories. Margaret Josephs launched the Macbeth Collection in 1999 with unique, stylish home decor in signature prints. Margaret’s reinvented classics and bright preppy bohemian prints resonated with ‘taste makers’ from the very beginning. Over its 16 years, the brand has expanded its portfolio to include a vast array of products, all in Margaret Josephs signature prints.

The Macbeth Storage Range will be available on Create and Craft TV 19th August @ 10:00 and 13:00 as part of the Summer Carnival Event on Sky 674, Freeview 23, Virgin 748 and Freesat 813 or live at and use social media to keep up-to-date.

Romford Autumn Spectacular

Raffle We always hold a raffle, with fantastic prizes.
Exhibitors Our impressive list of exhibitors so far includes Anne Baker with her Karabee Designs and Sue Booth with her designer patterns. Sue Burns will offer make and take sessions and Sue Castro will demonstrate machine knitting techniques. Edwina Dunham has a selection of patterns and Rob Fountain brings his innovative sponge bars. Brenda Gould comes along with Knitting Machine Journal and The Guild of Machine Knitters flies the flag for our craft. David Hampson will bring packs of yarn at knock-down prices from The Wool Cabin. A huge choice of pre-owned and new machines and accessories will be on sale from Wendy Piper at Knits ‘n’ Bits. Nick Traylen will bring a great selection of Uppingham Yarns and Diana Bensted returns from The Crochet Chain – loving life, crochet and yarn.
Demonstrations Our two local clubs will be demonstrating machines and accessories.b>Talks We’ll hold free talks throughout the day.
Come and join us Organised by machine knitters for machine knitters, it will be a lovely day out. There’s easy access from the M25 and the only show of its kind in this part of the country.
Advance tickets Entry is £6 on the day or £5 in advance and you can buy tickets in Trading Post.
It was full to bursting last year, so this time the exhibitors will spread out all over the rooms on the ground floor and we’ll use the small hall, down the flight of six steps, for our talks. If required, there’s access to this hall round the outside of the building, avoiding the steps.

Goodbye Joan

Dear Anne
I’ve just received my March magazine and I’d like to write a short note to you about Joan Lafferty. She will be sorely missed, I really used to enjoy her articles and they were entertaining as well as informative. I’ve recently come back to machine knitting and I’m finding it a bit daunting. However, I have joined a local knitting club so things are on the up and being able to go back to Joan’s articles will be a great help. Thanks, Joan, for so much. Best wishes, Angela Reed

Christmas jumper lovers

New research from the consumer campaign has revealed that over ten million people are likely to buy a Christmas jumper and 40% of Christmas jumper wearers plan on wearing them just once or twice this festive season. Love Your Clothes is launching a 12 Jumpers of Christmas competition to inspire people to upcycle a pre-loved jumper as an alternative to buying a new one.

And those consumers that don’t feel that handy with a needle and thread are being encouraged to consider buying a pre-loved Christmas jumper or swap and share last year’s with friends and family instead.

The clothing industry has the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry. Upcycling an old jumper gives it a new festive lease of life. It is a great way of keeping clothes in use for longer offering a significant opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. Extending the length of time we wear clothes by just three months would lead to a 5-10% reduction in their carbon, water and waste footprints.

The new research from Love Your Clothes revealed that over seven million people across the UK would currently consider decorating their own jumper to make it festive. To encourage more budding stylists, the consumer campaign is offering tips and tutorials on their website: and will publicise the top 12 creations in December. A Janome sewing machine will be awarded to the best design with subscriptions to Simply Sewing and Reloved magazines up for grabs for runners up.

To enter, people just need to either decorate a jumper or cardigan they already have, or a pre-loved one (e.g. from a charity shop), so it can be worn instead of purchasing a new Christmas jumper. It can be for adults or children and should feature a creative Christmas theme. It also needs to be washable and designed so the decorations can be easily removed after it has been worn so it can continue to be used after Christmas. The designs will be judged by the Love Your Clothes team based on creativity, what inspired the design, how the design was made and what materials were used (extra points are available for incorporating re-used materials).

Sarah Clayton, Head of Clothing at WRAP, the organisation behind the Love Your Clothes campaign, said:

“We are really excited to be launching our 12 Jumpers of Christmas competition and hope it will inspire lots of people to get upcycling. With most Christmas jumpers being worn only a handful of times over the festive season transforming an existing jumper into a one-off Christmas master piece is a great way of adding some ‘green’ style to your wardrobe this Christmas and saving some cash at the same time.

““We know that the average lifetime of clothes is just over two years. Entering the 12 Jumpers competition is a great way for people to extend the lifetime of their old jumpers and make a jumper last for life not just for Christmas!”

Love Your Clothes recognises that buying a Christmas Jumper is often in response to charity fundraising appeals but would urge people to jazz up a jumper and make a charitable donation with the money they’ve saved to their chosen cause instead.

Competition entrants should submit a good quality colour photograph (at least 72 dpi resolution) of their jumper plus a description of what inspired the design how the design was made and what materials were used by e-mail to: with the subject ’12 Jumpers of Christmas Competition’ in the e-mail title by 10 am on Monday 7th December.

We’ll be sharing top tips on Christmas jumpers and loving your clothes throughout November and December. Join in the fun by visiting following us on Twitter @loveyourclothes and #12jumpers.

how the design was made and what materials were used by e-mail to: with the subject ’12 Jumpers of Christmas Competition’ in the e-mail title by 10 am on Monday 7th December.

We’ll be sharing top tips on Christmas jumpers and loving your clothes throughout November and December. Join in the fun by visiting following us on Twitter @loveyourclothes and #12jumpers.”

Helping Hand

This seems to work very well for a 4-ply cardigan, but not for 3-ply yarns or when I’m using two strands of 2/30s so I’ve two main problems:-
1) If I knit a band using this method, it puckers when the garment has rested.
2) If I measure the length I need using the main tension and knitting this on MT-1 and MT-2, the bands are then too long. I’ve a standard gauge machine without a ribber and wonder if other knitters have this same problem? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Margaret Robinson

Let’s look at both options, Margaret. Firstly, if the band really puckers there are too many stitches in it. Reducing the tension for bands and welts to make them pull in is common sense. On the other hand, when you’re using fine yarns on a standard gauge machine, you’re already knitting at a fairly tight tension, so taking it down even further can make knitting very difficult. You need to calculate stitches for bands on the lean side, whatever thickness of yarn you’re using. If the band consistently puckers into ‘waves’ rather than fans out slightly, there’s probably an inch or two of excess knitting.

A typical 3-ply tension is 32 stitches and 48 rows to 10 cm (4 in). Let’s suppose that the front edge measures 51 cm (20 in) when blocked, then 51 x 3.2 = 163 (or 20 x 8 = 160 in inches). Alternatively, use the golden rule that we pick up two stitches for every three rows, so 51 cm x 4.8 (rows per cm) = 244.8 rows. 244.8 ÷ 3 x 2 = 163.20. 20 in x 12 (rows per in) = 240. 240 ÷ 3 x 2 = 160.

Whichever way you work it out, the result is about the same, so try reducing the number of stitches you pick up by around 8 or 10. In our example, you’d probably try picking up something like 150 stitches. (Don’t forget to leave an equal number of stitches between buttonholes.) You’ll have then taken out just under 4 cm or 1½ in and this should be ample, especially if you also tighten the tension by one whole number.

If the problem still persists, try a ratio of one stitch to one row twice and one stitch to two rows once. You can also knit the band sideways but separately and then sew it in position instead of picking up the stitches. You may simply be stretching the knitted edge too much and not pressing or blocking it back to the correct size. Years ago, when welt bars were supplied with machines, we always pushed the welt bar through the band and gave it a good tug before joining the ends. It closed the stitches nicely and straightened the edge. A clean, narrow ruler or smooth, flat length of wood can be used as a substitute.

Another ploy knitters used years ago was to block out the fronts of a cardigan, press if appropriate then leave to dry without removing the knitting from the blocking mat. They would then sew the band in place with the knitting still more or less pinned in position. It helped them keep to the correct measurement, especially if the band was knitted lengthways. It may be something else you’d like to try and I hope this helps your bands to lie flat in future!

The Wool Cabin

We’ll also bring a selection of machine and hand knitting yarns for you to buy at special club discount prices. Fancy a day out? Why not visit us at Chesterfield Market Hall? You’ll find us at Unit 12 in the indoor section. Don’t forget we’re your first choice for Wendy, Twilleys, Robin, King Cole, Stylecraft, JC Brett and Opal. Please mention the magazine and we’ll give you our best prices on the day.
The Yarn Cabin, Unit 12 (Indoor), Chesterfield Market Hall, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 1AR
Tel 07553-847483
Email and please put The Wool Cabin in the subject box

All change at Woodley MKC

Our other major change is our name. We did a poll of members one evening and only three came from Woodley. All the others came from different towns and villages in Berkshire, so we decided to change our name to Berkshire Machine Knitting Club. The major benefit of the change of name is to try to make it more inclusive to other areas of Berkshire. We thought this was the way to go, since we are now the only machine knitting club in the county.

The change of name will also help us get free advertising in surrounding towns’ publications, to help increase the awareness of machine knitting and hopefully get ourselves known to new and existing machine knitters. Best wishes from Valerie Thorn

Midwest Machine Knitters Collaborative (MMKC)

We’re holding an event open to all machine knitters : MMKC Founders’ Fest Seminar with MaryAnne Oger, Sandee Cherry and Carole Wurst demonstrating The date is Saturday and Sunday, 25th and 26th July 2015 at the Textile Center of Minnesota, 3000 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414 USA. For Registration and additional information those interested can go to our website: or contact us at

MMKC was founded by Dee Kupka, Jane Niemi and Maria Ann Youngs : kicking off our organization in December 2011. Our focus is to provide fun, interest, appreciation, education, inspiration, and camaraderie in the art of machine knitting. Many thanks! Dee Kupta

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it – change the way you think about it.
Mary Engelbreit

Passap Patterns

I have a list you published some time ago of the techniques and their Duo equivalents and the Electronic pattern book is available here:

Tech 256 corresponds with the Duo setting: BX<-/BX. Pushers on back bed in rest position to start. Deco on 4. Knit 2 rows with yarn, 2 rows without to drop stitches on front bed. The back bed needles knit for 2 rows, slip for 2 rows. To start with all stitches have to be transferred to back bed as stated in the pattern. From comparing the Electronic patterns with the patterns in the Deco book, I have found that:-
Pattern 1008 = Card 39
1010 = 119
1011 = 68
1012 = 140
1014 = 130
1017 = 259
1018 = 160
There is not a Deco equivalent for Pattern 1028 as it is a 16 stitch repeat. Other possible patterns for the Duomatic are those marked F in the punchcard book as the technique used is a variation of this setting. I also found that the garment shown in the magazine is Pattern 1012, not 1010. I hope this information might be useful for other Duomatic users. Your line-up for the coming months sounds really interesting and is something for us all to look forward to. Kind regards, Sue Pritchard

Competition News

The Knitting and Crochet Guild Archive is an amazing resource with knitted and crocheted samples going back to the 1830s, as well as a huge collection of pattern leaflets and every kind of knitting needle and crochet hook you can imagine. Yarn Stories believe this is an historic collection (arguably larger than the Victoria and Albert Museum) and one that should be treasured. So they’ve come up with a very special design competition for knitters and crocheters from all around the world to enter.

They’ve gathered together a selection of inspirational images of items in the archive on Pinterest. They’d like you to design a 15 cm blanket square in DK yarn, inspired by the archive, which can be created in either knit or crochet.

The competition is now open and closes on 5th June. A judging panel including Debbie Abrahams, Jane Crowfoot and Angharad Thomas from the KCG archive, as well as members of the Yarn Stories team, will choose 10 finalists by the middle of June. Then Yarn Stories will throw open the judging to knitters and crocheters all over the world to vote for their favourite square during July and August. The overall winner, announced on 4th September, will receive £100 of Yarn Stories yarn and each finalist will receive two balls of the Yarn Stories yarn of their choice.

All the finalists’ squares will be put together into a blanket pattern that will be available on the Yarn Stories website, with 50% of the revenue going towards the continued protection and support of the archive. The finished blanket will be at The Knitting & Stitching show in October for you to see. You don’t have to be a guild member to take part, but it’s an organisation Yarn Stories highly recommends you join.

Amanda Crawford, Head Designer at Yarn Stories says: “I have been lucky enough to visit the Knitting & Crochet Guild Archive and it is such an amazing collection. We wanted to do something to support this vital piece of history for knitters and crocheters everywhere. Our competition is a fantastic project and we are very proud to be able to help the archive.”

Entries for the Yarn Stories competition should be sent by email to or posted to:-

Yarn Stories/KCG competition
Spa Mill
New Street
West Yorkshire HD7 5BB