Knit For Peace

Knit for Peace is a charity that matches knitters with good causes. We know that once people have the knitting habit they want to keep going : not just for the health and wellbeing benefits, but also because they enjoy creating beautiful knitted items. It’s easy for an enthusiastic knitter to run out of people to give their knitting to, so Knit for Peace takes in donations of knitted items and then sends them out to where they are really needed. There are hats for premature babies, dressing gowns for old people plus knitted clothing and toys for women and children in women’s refuges.

Combining these two great initiatives seems to make sense! Knit for Peace relies on voluntary effort and they have recently celebrated that with Volunteers Week. One of their volunteers, Thea Scott, is holding a Knit for Peace Knit in Public Day event in Broadstairs. She has linked this to the Dickens festival by looking out knitting references from his works such as the Little Dorritt row counter and Betty Higden recycling knitted items as a social enterprise. ‘Dickensians’ in costume are planning to join the knitting group, the event is also a celebration of Thea’s 70th birthday – and there will be cake!

The hub and meeting place for the event is the Methodist Church, York Street, Broadstairs, CT10 1PB from 1.30 to 3.30pm on 13th June. Full info is here:

They hope others will be inspired to make their Knit in Public Day event one that benefits Knit for Peace and the website has a number of patterns, many of which are suitable for those just beginning to knit and for expert knitters. Some, such as the Twiddlemuff or fast Teddy Bear will be achievable in a day. If there isn’t an event set up nearby, knitters could just get a group of friends together in a café, a park (if the weather holds) or any public place and start knitting together.

Spring fashion car Boot-ique fair coming to Plymouth

Each car boot will aim to offer consumers a unique experience in styling, demos, new spring collections and collaborations. From exclusive vintage pieces to making your own bath bomb, the event will be truly one-of-a-kind. Joining the Drake Circus retailers will be Plymouth College of Art, who will be showcasing items from their #livemake campaign and demonstrating the art of dress-making from the boot of a Mini! St Luke’s Hospice will also use one of the cars to sell stylish vintage pieces. The charity Car Boot promises to be packed with some hidden gems.
Greg Lumley, Centre Director, Drake Circus said: “We are passionate about bringing the very best shopping and exciting experiences to Plymouth. We are really looking forward to the car Boot-ique event in our centre and the unique interactive fashion experience it will offer.”
Nicola Critchley Head of Business Development and Retail Operations St Luke’s Hospice said: ““You can pick up some really beautiful items in our charity shops and we are delighted at this opportunity on Wednesday 27th May to showcase pieces which will compliment up-to-the-minute high street fashions in such an unique way.”
Adam Crawford Manager Lush said: ““This is a fantastic opportunity to be creative with our product and give customers an unforgettable experience. We will be teaching customers how to make their very own personalised bath bombs out of a car boot which we know will be a super fun activity! We are really looking forward to seeing the creative ideas that the other stores have come up with put into action.”
Drake Circus will also be offering lucky customers the chance to win a £200 Drake Circus gift card each day simply enter via Facebook Twitter or Instagram for your chance to win. For more details please visit

Boot-ique retailers schedule
Wednesday 27th May
Next – occasion wear; Primark – festival; Lush – make your own bath bomb; Ann Summers – swimwear; Plymouth College of Art – live dress-making demos; St Luke’s – vintage gems
Thursday 28th May Oasis – V&A collaboration; Next – occasion wear; Primark – festival; Lush – make your own bath bomb; Plymouth College of Art – live dress-making demos; Ann Summers – swimwear
Friday 29th May Top Shop & Top Man – vintage styling and make-overs; Satori – HD brows and nail art; Oasis – V&A collaboration; Next – occasion wear; Primark -festival; Plymouth College of Art – live dress-making demos
Saturday 30th May Fat Face – day trip and holiday wardrobe; Top Shop & Top Man – vintage styling and make-overs; Primark – festival; Next – occasion wear; Satori – HD brows and nail art; Plymouth College of Art – live dress-making demos

Drake Circus has over 70 of the UK’s top brand names including Marks and Spencer Primark Mothercare Next Superdry and Topshop. The shopping centre is located in the centre of Plymouth and is easily accessible by car with over 1 200 parking spaces and by public transport. Drake Circus is open daily 9.00 am to 6.00 pm; Thursday 9.00 am to 8.00 pm; Sunday 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. Drake Circus is home to Shopmobility which provide powered scooters and manual wheelchairs if required during visits. For further information visit or find on Twitter @drakecircusplym or Facebook:

The Butterfly Garden Project

Dear Anne
Please could you add to your diary dates our exhibition of work on Sunday 22nd March at The Butterfly Garden, Dundry Nurseries, Bamfurlong Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL51 6SL.
Entrance costs £2. Refreshments and a raffle are both available. All proceeds go to The Butterfly Garden project which is an educational, therapeutic and recreational scheme. It is a project for people of all ages dealing with disablement of any kind. Its doors are open to anyone without obligation. The exhibition is of work produced by the students and volunteers who have been machine knitting on Thursdays for nearly two years now.
Thank you for your support and best wishes.
Vanessa Reynolds

New craft show launches

The programme, which will have its premiere showing on TLC (Sky 125 and Virgin 167) from the 3rd to 7th November, 9.00 to 10.00 am (two episodes daily, with new episodes aired at the same time throughout the week) is presented by Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner Webster. Best known for her starring roles in Emmerdale, Brookside and Hollyoaks, Julie is a talented and enthusiastic crafter. Wendy is best known for hosting Channel 4’s Pet Rescue and Absolutely Animals and she shares Julie’s passion for making wonderfully crafty creations.

The programme takes two pairs of craft enthusiasts who are set the ultimate crafty challenge over a two day period. On the first day each team is given a few hours and a tiny budget to buy, borrow and beg all the items they need to produce a range of handmade crafts that are good enough to sell. The contestants must use all their ingenuity to gather in all the raw materials required for the job and then engage in a frenzy of activity making their products that afternoon (and through into the night!) On the second day the teams arrive at their pop up stalls in a busy town centre to sell their crafts side by side to the public. The winner is the team whose handmade crafts make the most cash.

For more information about the show visit and follow @CraftyBeggarsTV on Twitter. Alternatively, visit the Crafty Beggars YouTube Channel-


On the Carbery Club stand, we were delighted to meet and talk to many machine knitters thinking of returning to the craft, as well as to new recruits. The sheer numbers of people attending the two speakers’ talks showed the enthusiasm there is for new designs and techniques. It was so refreshing to see how Denise Musk’s garments were so well received and admired. Fiona Morris’ talk also was much appreciated by those of us wanting to improve our knitting skills. So please accept a huge thank you, Anne, for once again giving us a show to remember. Best wishes, Joy Hopkins, Carbery MKC
Thanks so much for your kind words, Joy and I’m pleased to let you know that Denise is soon to join us as a contributor. Ed

Nottingham Machine Knitting Show

Alan Hunt has retired from running the show and asked Anne Smith to organise it, so that this prestigious northern event will continue. As Harvey Haddon has closed for several years for total refurbishment, Alan has found the West Park Leisure Centre in Wilsthorpe Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire NG10 4AA as a new venue. This year the show is on Sunday 14th April. Those who’ve attended the Nottingham Show before know that there’s plenty of room, ample car parking, catering facilities and easy access. It’s just 1½ miles from Junction 25 on the M1, the best remaining show for machine knitters in the North of England and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Middlesex Machine Knitters Splash Out

On the main platform will be special guest speaker Iris Bishop, well known for her inspiring, informative talks and imaginative garments. We are also very excited to have an exhibition of creative garments, accessories and experimental art pieces from Morley College’s machine knitting students, some of which will be on sale. How would you like to own an exclusive one off item?
We are delighted that Heathercraft, Sue Castro and Nina Miklin will be attending again this year and welcome new exhibitors Anne Smith, editor of Machine Knitting Monthly, Uppingham Yarns with a wide range of yarns, and Erica Thomson knitting with wire.
Liz Holness will be sorting out any knitting problems that visitors have; Janice Engall, from our club, will be showing how to create Dorset buttons, and Barbara Logan, also from our club, will demonstrate her Victorian sock knitting machine. You are welcome to have a go.
All those who apply for advance tickets will be sent a FREE hand knitting pattern for a child’s bag and a FREE surprise machine knitting pattern. Please knit these up and bring along to the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice table. Alternatively, bring along anything that you have knitted, as long as it is brand new. Everything will be sold to raise money for the Hospice. The more the merrier. If there is anything left unsold, then it will go to the Hospice’s charity shops.
Try your luck with the raffle (prizes supplied by the exhibitors) and test your knitting knowledge in the Knitting Quiz. Don’t forget that we will also be giving away FREE ‘How to’ leaflets.
If July 7th turns out to be a scorcher why not enjoy your picnic lunch in the Church Hall’s garden. And to quench your thirst – coffee, tea and soft drinks will be available throughout the day.
All Saints Church Hall is only eight minutes from the M3 and located on The Avenue in Hampton, TW12 3RG, West London with no parking restrictions. Buses 111 and R70 stop nearby. Entrance is £5 and for students £4. For advance tickets please send a cheque made out to Elaine Cater to 31 Watergates Lane, Broadmayne, Dorchester, DT2 8HA. The ticket will be held for you at the door. Also please provide your email address so that the FREE patterns can be emailed to you.
If you want any more information email
We look forward to seeing you and hope you will have an enjoyable day!

Machine Knitting LIVE!

The school is on the A3060, Castle Lane West. Once you reach Castlepoint Shopping Centre on the right, continue straight. East Way is first left and Castle Gate Close is second left. Everything is on one level so disabled access is easy. Organised by machine knitters for machine knitters, Machine Knitting LIVE! really is a friendly event that welcomes everyone. This year we’ve some new exhibitors, so please support the show.

Pay on the door and entrance is £6 for everyone. Children are admitted free as long as they’re supervised throughout.

This year our leading names include Iris Bishop, Sue Castro, Elaine Cater, Clair Crowston, Beryl Jarvis, Nina Miklin and Fiona Morris. Hilary also hopes to bring her collection of Busy Bee patterns.

Apologies that at the last minute Anne Baker with Karabee designs and Carl Boyd can’t attend for health reasons. As we go to press, we look forward to welcoming the following exhibitors:

Arnold Bennett with amazing buttons
Busy Bee Hilary hopes to bring the full range of patterns to the show
Iris Bishop will have her fabulous designs and she’s our Guest Speaker
Sue Castro has innovative ideas and help for club leaders
Elaine Cater designer patterns and books
Anne Croucher will run our Knit Clinic and offer help and advice on all machines – she has 50 of her own!
Clair Crowston and her designer patterns
DesignaKnit with expert advice including the new DesignaKnit 8 from Carol at Metropolitan
Guild of Machine Knitters Frank Dineen launched the Guild at our first exhibition in Bournemouth in 1998 and it’s gone from strength to strength
B Hague & Co bring their selection of linkers, twisters, winders and accessories for all machines
David Hampson is new this year with packs of major branded yarn including Wendy, Twilleys, Stylecraft, King Cole and JC Brett. He’s hopefully recovered from his back injury
David & Phyllis Hilton bring their intarsia expertise and designs
Beryl Jarvis brings her designs, Info Sheets and DVD
Knits ‘n’ Bits Wendy Piper brings a large selection of used machines, accessories, books and patterns
MKM will bring current and back issues, Anjo patterns, La Rivière dust covers, American patterns plus binders
Metropolitan has a huge selection of machines, books, accessories and yarns including Metro Crêpe
Nina Miklin brings her luxury yarns and designer patterns
Fiona Morris has innovative patterns, yarn and notions
Silver Reed new machines and accessories are available at Metropolitan
Uppingham Yarns always has a wide range of yarns

This year, our show is staged with lots of help and support from several clubs.

In case of difficulty, members of the Talbot Division branch of St John Ambulance will be on hand all day.

We’re delighted to confirm that our Guest Speaker this year is Iris Bishop.

Members of St John Ambulance organise the Left Luggage point and your donations to their fund-raising efforts are always much appreciated.

There will be new and second-hand machines, together with a wide range of accessories for all machines. If you’d like to find out more about buying and using a knitting machine or linker, come to Bournemouth for expert advice from the long-established and highly reputable Metropolitan plus B Hague & Co. A newcomer this time is Wendy Piper with Knits ‘n’ Bits – a large selection of used machines, accessories, books and patterns

The school’s caterers provide drinks and refreshments at very reasonable prices. We use the school dining room, so there’s lots of seating available.

Parking again is right outside the door in the school’s playground and we reserve spaces for disabled travellers just by the entrance. Coaches and mini-buses usually drop knitters to leave the driver free to look around Bournemouth. The main bus route is on the road right outside the school.

Local stockists with a good supply of coned yarn are in short supply so if you’d like to re-stock your knitting room, you’ll find lots to tempt you. Nina Miklin brings her fabulous luxury yarns and Metropolitan will have a large range including Metro Fine French Crêpe. Uppingham Yarns always has a wide selection of popular yarn and hopefully David Hampson has recovered from his back injury. He’ll bring Wendy, Twilleys, Stylecraft, King Cole and JC Brett yarns. Arnold Bennett is now the ‘haby man’ with his button collection. It’s looking good, so please make every effort to join us this year. This is the only MK LIVE! show in 2012 and the craft really needs your support if it’s to survive.

I’m sad to see that there won’t be any shows ‘up North’ this year!
2012-02-16 11:13:46
I am really happy to join Machine Knitting Monthly. I know that I would be able to learn how to knit from them.
Jake Reeves
2012-03-05 15:51:24

Crafters’ Market

We also do a lot of summer fairs and fêtes so my knitting machines are working constantly, especially the garter carriage and I just hope they don’t wear out! Since I’ve been doing the Crafters Market selling my knitwear, lots of people have said, “I have a knitting machine but haven’t used it because I couldn’t get on with it”. My reply was simply, buy Machine Knitting Monthly and they could soon be knitting garments like the ones I am selling. I always take a copy with me and there was quite a bit of interest in the magazine so let’s hope the sales will go up!
Best wishes from Linda Collins on the Isle of Wight”

Arts Alive – Melissa Warren knitting courses

I am trying to create interest in using the knitting machine as a creative tool. I also run sessions at my workshop, please contact me for details.