Design competition

Blenheim Palace launches design competition to mark final month of Icons of British Fashion exhibition

Blenheim Palace is searching for the next generation of Icons of British Fashion, with the launch of a nationwide design competition, with their design visions showcased at Britain’s Greatest Palace. The launch of the fashion competition is in celebration of the biggest exhibition in the 300-year history of Blenheim Palace, Icons of British Fashion, which is open to the public until 30th June 2024.

​To enter, fashion students must register their interest to along with their portfolio by Wednesday 12th June 2024. A shortlist will then be invited to experience and take inspiration from Icons of British Fashion at Blenheim Palace.  The fashion students will then have three weeks to visit, sketch and submit their designs which have been inspired by the exhibition and the Palace itself by 30th June 2024. Entries will be judged by an esteemed panel including Kate Ballenger, Keeper of Palace & Collections at Blenheim Palace, fashion designers Alice Temperley and Lulu Guinness.

The winner will be announced in July and will receive an exclusive Icons of British Fashion prize, an afternoon tea for two as well as luxury lodge stay for four worth over £1,000. They will also have the opportunity to display their winning design in the Palace, and for it to be featured in a photoshoot for their portfolio. All entrants must currently be studying a degree or equivalent in fashion design, textiles or related subjects.

Icons of British Fashion at Blenheim Palace features a display of renowned classic pieces, as well as never-before-seen looks by the late Dame Vivienne Westwood, Jean Muir, Terry de Havilland, Bruce Oldfield, Turnbull & Asser, Zandra Rhodes, Lulu Guinness, Barbour, Alice Temperley, Stella McCartney and Stephen Jones Millinery for Christian Dior. For more information about the exhibition visit and to book tickets visit,

Black hole

Dear Anne

At the moment I’m knitting a black cardigan and have decided to make horizontal buttonholes. My eyesight isn’t too good, so I experimented with the awkward row where I have to transfer the stitch from Needle 2 to Needle 1, then return both stitches to Needle 2. The next step is the difficult part for me on black wool, lifting the stitch from the first needle over the second stitch to form a new stitch. I’ve found it easier to put Needle 1 of the buttonhole into holding position, take the stitch from Needle 2 and slip it in the hook of Needle 1. All that needs to be done then is to take Needle 1 back into working position to form a new stitch, then transfer this new stitch to Needle 2. It sounds very complicated but it’s much easier to do. Best wishes Rhona in Edinburgh

Exclusive reader offer

Machine Knitting Techniques


By Bill King

Publisher The Crowood Press Edition BC Paperback ISBN 13/EAN 978-0-71984-193-4 Size 245 x 190 mm Pages 128 RRP Price £14.99 available through online retailers and local bookshops. For further details, contact The Crowood Press, The Stable Block, Crowood Lane, Ramsbury, Wiltshire SN8 2HR.

Tel 01672-520320



*** Exclusive MKM Reader Offer

Save 15%!

Machine Knitting Techniques


By Bill King

Visit and enter the code CABLES15 at the checkout to enjoy a 15% discount off Bill’s new book. The code is available for a limited period from 6th April 2023.

August 2022 New Subscriptions

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS The August 2022 magazine has been mailed to subscribers. If you’d like a monthly subscription to the magazine and order by or on 1st August, your subscription will start with the September magazine. No money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on 4th August.

Orders received on or after 2nd August will start with the October 2022 magazine. Again, no money is taken with your order and it will be mailed out to subscribers on 1st September.

If you’d like to start with an earlier magazine, please buy it as a back issue.

USA machines

Marguerite has two knitting machines to give away. The first is a KnitKing, including many pattern books, which she hasn’t used in over 15 years. The second is a Japanese model which she’s never used. She inherited them from her sister, who used both extensively. The Japanese model is newer than the KnitKing, with several beds still in their cases, but she knows very little about it. It has the label STUDIO SK-303. She’d like to find a happy home for them, preferably with someone who is able to use them and is willing to pick them up from her in Pennsylvania.

Hat’s off

Some hand knit patterns are unworkable on knitting machines. You should look for a short row pattern for a beret done on the machine. In these patterns you short row on both sides of the knitting. One side comes to a point in the center because you are knitting a circle. The other side of the knitting is sized to fit the head circumference. Best wishes, Carolyn

Knitters beware!

Dear Anne

One of my students sent me this poem. She’s no idea who wrote it or who gave
it to her, but we thought everyone would enjoy it! Best wishes to all, Lidia

The Tension Square

I had a sudden brainwave, on how to earn a packet.

I sat down with pen and paper and designed a lovely jacket.

I started with a tension square, the first seemed short and fat.

My second one was long and thin so I’d had enough of that.

I decided not to bother with a tension square at all.

I carried on regardless, throwing caution to the wall.

Now, my creation’s finished, but I don’t know what to do.

I’m looking for a customer five stone and eight feet two.

So let this be a warning, have patience and take care.

When you are in creative mood, remember the tension square!

May 2020 update

Dear Readers

First of all, I hope my letter this month finds you as safe and as well as we are here. I’m fine, as are all the MKM contributors and everything is ticking over, albeit in a slightly different way than before. We all continue to be in lockdown, along with Susan in the States and Fay in Australia. Many of you have called to say how thrilled you’ve been that a number of companies who support our magazine are continuing to dispatch orders, so we’re all managing to keep things going. I’m indebted to the staff at King Cole, who have moved mountains to send us some of the vital things we need, to bring you this month’s magazine. So let me send a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone helping to keep the home fires burning.

One new thing which might be of interest is that Aldi now has a hobby and craft range, which can be ordered online. There’s lots to interest crafters such as threads for embroidery and tapestry, fat quarters for sewers, magnifying table lights and yarn for hand knitting. As you’d expect, prices are keen and is the place to visit to check it out. As we all try to work our way through this lockdown, don’t forget that Hobbycraft always has a huge range of beginner step-by-step guides, crafting materials and lots of free downloads at

Sally Butcher has written to tell us about her lockdown knitting and remind us about her Beginners Circle Facebook Group. If you’d find it of interest, email her at and she’ll let you have the details. We’ve also asked on our Clubline page if you’d let us know if you come across a new way to keep your members connected. We’ve had the sad news from Joy Hopkins that Carbery Machine Knitting Club in Christchurch is set to close, so it’s even more important to try to keep as much of our machine-knitting community going as possible. If you stay connected with virtual options such as Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom, please share. I’ve kept our website updated as much as possible, passing on requests such as knitting hearts for Covid-19 patients. Iris came to the rescue with a machine-knitted pattern and it’s in Dear Anne this month. Please email me with any ways you’ve found to keep in touch, such as the Long Buckby Machine Knitters special monthly newsletter. It’s posted on their website at and available for everyone to access.

Next month we’ve a treat in store for you when we’ll be At Home with Lorna Roach in Australia. She’s sent us her step-by-step guide to dyeing yarn all the colours of the rainbow with jelly beans. Yes, we really are going to head for the kitchen and have some fun! Until next time, we’re still saying to each other… keep well and stay safe.


July 2020

Subscription copies sent out Thursday 4th June

On sale Thursday 11th June

Ask your newsagent to

Reserve a copy – see page 61

Could you knit a blanket to help cats during lockdown?

If you’re looking for a new project while the country is on lockdown, an RSPCA cattery in London is hoping you can help!

RSPCA Friern Barnet Adoption Centre – located within a new Pets at Home store at the Friern Bridge Retail Park in North London – is calling on creative and crafty people to help provide some knitted blankets for its cats. Nicole Grover, from the centre, said: “We give all of our cats a knitted blanket when they arrive here. It’s something warm and cosy for them to curl up on in their pods and when they find their forever homes it means they have something to take with them with a familiar scent. This helps the transition from our centre to their new home much easier and less stressful”.

“While there are lots of people spending more time at home during the current Coronavirus lockdown we thought it would be a great opportunity for anyone who knits or crochets to make a blanket for our lovely cats.”

The centre is asking for blankets around 30 to 40 cm in size, made out of machine washable yarn. “Some of our wonderful volunteers have also been making dangle toys and toy mice to keep our cats entertained and to make their pods more fun,” Nicole added. “We’re incredibly grateful to all of our wonderful supporters who spend time creating toys and blankets for our cats so we’d like to say a big thank you”.

  • Please send your donations to Pets At Home, Friern Bridge Retail Park, Pegasus Way, Friern Barnet, London N11 3PW.
  • For more information, visit the RSPCA Friern Barnet Facebook page