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Machine Knitting Techniques
By Bill King
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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.
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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.
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
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 www.aldi.co.uk/c/specialbuys/hobbies-and-crafts 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 www.hobbycraft.co.uk
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 email@example.com 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 www.longbuckbymk.com 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.
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.
A Wool Market is being held for the second time at Bradford Industrial Museum to celebrate the patron saint of wool-combers, Bishop Blaise and the history of wool in Bradford. The event, which takes place at the Bradford Council-run museum on the feast day of St Blaise, Sunday 2nd February, will have stalls selling woollen yarns, textiles and hand looms, as well as fun family activities including spinning and weaving demonstrations.
Delicious food will also be on offer from Café Maison Express and the Yorkshire Pie Bakery and there will be a pop up pub in the museum which will have beer from Leeds based Sunbeam Brewery, who will be service their specially brewed Blaise Ale. Entertainment will be provided by a local band and choir.
Stalls at the event, which takes place from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, will include local companies selling all manner of knitting gifts. This will include hand-dyed British wool, fibres and equipment for felt making and spinning, luxury and lace-weight yarns, haberdashery, knitting patterns and accessories and products made from alpaca wool. All of this will be alongside the museum’s fantastic displays that tell the story of Bradford’s industrial past. The free event is being organised by Bradford Industrial Museum.
Bishop Blaise is the patron saint of wool-combers. He was a physician and bishop in Sebastea, Armenia and was believed to have lived around the end of the 3rd or early 4th century. People went to him for cures of both spiritual and bodily ailments and he was thought to have also healed animals. He was reported to have been tortured by being flayed using pins from a wool-comb and beheaded because he refused to renounce his faith. Bradford was once known as Worstedopolis due to the number of mills and wool processing businesses, including wool-combers that operated in the district.
Up until 1825 the wool-combers of the district would hold a parade through the city to celebrate their patron saint. It was a four day festival where one of the wool-combers would dress as Bishop Blaise and parade through the town. A new Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company has been set up to support the wool festival with the ultimate aim to have a major citywide internationally linked celebration of the Bishop of Blaise’s Day in 2025 which will be the 200th anniversary of the last time there was a major celebration of the saint in Bradford. There are two ‘Bishop Blaise’ coats that were worn in the parades in the collection. One is from Bradford and one from Keighley. Some other memorabilia from past parades also be on display. For more information visit www.bradfordmuseums.org
Saturday 28thSeptember is the opening date of a one-off retrospective exhibition of exquisite embroidery art by Royal Academy artist Teresa Forrest, who is now a resident in Stratton Village in Cirencester.
Teresa’s works have been hung twice in the Royal Academy in 2012. There will be over 30 pieces on show during the week-long exhibition.
A skyline scene called Oxford at Dawn will be for sale via silent auction during the exhibition and any donations given with the profit from the auction will go to the scholarship fund at Blackheath High School in London, setup by Teresa and her husband Jack in memory of their late daughter.