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5th Oct, Hairpin lace workshop

We had a lovely workshop day with Hazel Green - she showed us a way of creating hairpin lace on a knitting machine, and using it to create amazing scarves, cowls and jackets. She made it look very easy, but there was a lot of muttering going on at some machines! Fluffy yarns aren't the easiest things to knit on a machine, and even less so when you're doing a technique that doesn't build up much weight...


However, as you can see, we all managed to make something! Many thanks to Hazel for showing us such an interesting technique. 

26th Sept, Big Textile show

We had a stand at this year's Big Textile Show in Great Glen. We met lots of interesting people and many people admired the garments on display. See below for some pictures taken quickly before the doors opened! Thanks to all who donated garments for the display and/or helped on the stand. 

17th Sept, Machine maintenance

Bob very kindly "took his top off" and showed us how to strip down a Brother machine and a colour changer. It was fascinating - I've never been brave enough to take it completely apart, and there isn't actually anything to be scared off - as long as you don't lose any of the screws!



5th Sept, AGM

We had some lively discussions about future plans and current meeting arrangements - we are trialling a new afternoon meeting to see if there's any interest. We may also cancel meetings in Jan / Feb and run over the summer months instead. The programme will be updated if so. We also had lots of items for the show and tell - a small selection pictured below. 


2nd Mar, workshop day

We had a fun day with our various crafts. 


Lots of handknitting going on

The machine knitting end. Fairisle reversible hat in progress!

Barbara explaining cable diagrams

Bob doing a bit of maintenance - this machine was completely naked of plastic earlier, alas I didn't get a photo of it!


16th Oct, annual competition

Picture_093We had lots of wonderful entries in our annual competition, which includes both machine and handknitting categories. The judging was done by Celia's daughter and Buddy, the machine knitting tutor from De Montford college. Whilst the competition was being judged, we were given an entertaining talk about braiding and weaving by Jane. 

The wealth of submissions meant that we were waiting quite some time, but that meant there was more time 
for chatting, refreshments and cake!

The overall winner was Joy, with a green tuck stitch cardigan knitted on her Passap. 

Many thanks to all who entered - the standard was very high this year - and many thanks to Bob, Joy and the judges for organising everything. 

My personal favourite was the knitted fruit, complete with apple core and pineapple. Note that the banana is complete with zip!

I managed to photograph most of the entries before they were packed away, please take a look at the gallery page for larger versions. Apologies if I missed photographing your entry. 

2nd Oct, hems

Sheila showed us how to knit a fancy tucked edge in full needle rib, and Jane demonstrated a Clair Crowston edge she learnt at Dream Week 2013. 

3rd Apr, Top-down sleeves


In a slight change to the advertised programme, Bob showed us how he knits sideways sweaters in boucle yarns on his chunky machine, by knitting up to the armhole section, then knitting a strip of waste yarn for the armhole, and then continuing on for the second half. He then showed us his top-down sleeve knitted directly onto the front and back of a jumper.

20th Feb, Cables, magic and otherwise

Pat demonstrated magic cables, Sheila demonstrated ordinary cables, and Joy had a go using the garter bar to work cables (she was foxed for a while by a misprint in the instructions). I think we decided transferring cables the ordinary way was quicker. :)

6th Feb, Colour changers, double and single

Sheila demonstrated the single bed colour changer and Jane demonstrated the double bed colour changer. The single bed colour changer played up a bit I think, but we got there in the end. 

9th Jan, lace and fine lace

Sheila demonstrated both types of lace possible on a Brother machine. It worked remarkably well, but requires a lot of moves to get a finished garment. A good upper body workout!


19th Dec, Christmas party

Well, we had a quick show and tell and then tucked into various savoury and sweet items. Next meeting is January 9th. 


Wonderful Passap jumper!


The cheese scones were my favourite but the chocolate tiffin was lovely too!

6th Nov, Charting and drafting part 1


Sheila talked about various methods for charting eg charting devices, the Diaphantine equation (magic formula). Bob demonstrated a Calcuknit. Joy demonstrated the capabilities of DAK 8 to some visiting students. There were some lovely items in the "show and tell", including a beaded Christmas bauble by Joy (see below). 


17th Oct, Competition


The winning entry was a cardigan/jacket by Joy Scott. The main body is sideways knitted. 

2nd May, Card 3 patterns


Hedi demonstrated a single bed card technique and Bob had a go at a double bed card technique. Hedi also brought in lots of samples (see above).

3rd Apr, Sue Booth workshop

We had a great workshop with Sue Booth and she managed to cover an amazing amount of techniques. These included:-    
  • Shaping raglan sleeves using the holding position
  • Lace patchwork
  • Knitting on a standard gauge machine using alternate needles
  • Magic fairisle
  • Scallop and lacy edgings
  • Joining blocks of contrasting colours neatly
  • Mitred corners on a square neckline.
She also gave us lots of small knitting tips along the way and we all came away full of renewed enthusiasm for our craft and we are hoping that it will result in more entries for our annual competition.

21st Mar, necklines

We had a selection of garments with interesting necklines to examine, and then Jane demonstrated a simple method using holding position to knit a folded band v-neck. 

7th Mar, Guild cardigan card 3 and linked shrug


We had a good meeting on Thursday and Joy took these photos of the resulting garment, which I think you will agree has lots of possibilities. It was knitted in fishermans rib using acylic yarn and as you can see we did not have time to sew in ends etc. but the shape could be used to achieve different results using other techniques and yarn. The shrug is a Wendy Piper design. 

21st Feb, Plating


Sheila very kindly demonstrated both single bed and double bed plating. The machine mostly cooperated after some adjustment. She also brought some samples to show us. Plating is a useful technique to stabilise a difficult yarn and also can produce interesting two-tone effects.

17th Jan
Meeting cancelled due to bad weather

3rd Jan, Double-bed jacquard

Bob kindly demonstrated double-bed jacquard and half-milano on the KH950. 


18th Oct, Competition


We ran our annual competition and there were lots of lovely entries in all categories. The winner was Olga, with her skirt - she's a relatively new machine knitter too! Whilst the entries were being judged, Jane demonstrated her circular sock knitting machine. We have managed to source a projector so everyone could watch in comfort (the CSM is a bit too small for 20 people to all stand around at once). 


Pictures of all the competition entries are on our gallery page.

19th Sept, Steaming


We were treated to a demonstration of how to correctly steam a skirt using a steam iron and an ironing board. Sheila very kindly knitted some skirt samples and showed us how it's done. 

31st July

The Clair Crowston Workshop was attended by 8 eager knitters and proved to be a most enjoyable day.  At previous workshops Clair has chosen a garment and everyone has knitted the same but she made the mistake of saying that we could choose any of her patterns to Knit and ended up with 5 different challenges! However she rose to the occasion admirably and all was well. We all went home exhausted but happy but I am sure Clair will have slept particularly well that night. 
It is the first time we have had a workshop run by a professional tutor
but I am sure we will be running more in the future. Watch this space! 
7th June

There were scrumptious cakes and cheese scones, courtesy of Joy, and there was a small raffle for some hand-crafted pens, a lovely beaded bracelet and a hand-made wooden pot. Owing to bad weather we were all in Joy's living room, but it was very snug. We raised £45 for LOROS - many thanks to all who attended! 

17th May, General "how to" evening

In a change to the advertised programme, we split up into two groups and one group had a play with fancy raglans, whilst the other group tried to programme the Brother electronic to knit a single motif. It was determined to do the pattern all over so eventually we had to admit defeat. I think the fancy raglan people had more luck than we did! 

19th Apr, Buttons


Hard at work making buttons

Some members of Long Buckby Machine Knitters came and gave us a short talk on different kinds of buttons. We then split up and made Dorset buttons, Yorkshire buttons, Russion buttons and buttons from Fimo modelling clay. 

4th Apr, workshop day

We had a very enjoyable workshop day. I went "low-tech" and brought my convertible KX395 and made an egg cosy (a test knit for a friend), a reversible hat for a child and the back and front of a chunky jumper. Fortunate and Joy had a go at lace. 

15th Mar, Magic cables

Magic cables were demonstrated - this uses a tuck card, and at certain intervals stitches are rehung diagonally to produce a mock cable. Students from De Montfort uni also came in to show us more of their work.

Woolsack cushions, March

The cushions before being posted to Woolsack. Didn't we do well? The deadline for Olympic cushions has been extended to the end of May, so there is still time to make more. 

23rd Feb

Look, we made it into the local newspaper!

17th Feb

The workshop day went well and we now have 10 cushions for the Olympic project (and more are on the way I think). We had a visit from textile students from De Montfort university, who brought interesting samples of their work.

16th Feb, Skirts and steaming

Sheila brought her Inex steaming kits and showed us how to steam a small sample of skirt. We had some textile students from De Montfort university visiting us, and they were quite taken with it. Do I see pleats on next year's catwalk? We also had quite a collection of cushions for the Olympic cushion project, and a photographer from the Leicester Mercury came to take some pics.

19th Jan, Lizard Ridge pattern

Jane showed us how to create the Lizard Ridge pattern on a knitting machine, using partial knitting. This pattern works well for variegated yarns or using two colours of yarn. The pattern was originally a hand-knitting pattern posted on Knitty in 2006, and involves learning to knit backwards. The original pattern was knitted in Noro Kureyon.

5th Jan, Weaving techniques

Barbara showed us some interesting knitweave techniques, including wrapping the yarn manually, using a pattern, and using extra needles on the edge to create automatic fringing.


1st Dec, Card 3 techniques

Bit chaotic this week - card 3 had gone missing from the demo machine, and nobody was sure who was demonstrating. Luckily, Hedi had brought some lovely samples and the punchcard and the book. Bob nobly stepped up and he produced some very interesting techniques. It's amazing how many different patterns can be produced on both single and double beds just with a simple card. Card 3 is:


It's not always numbered as card 3 on other machines, the number 3 is a Knitmaster designation I believe. 

27th Nov, Trip to Harrogate show

We all arrived early to the community centre. Bob had hired a minibus for the day. We arrived at the show at about 10.20am. This was my first time at Harrogate, and it was a very interesting show. Every time I thought I'd seen every hall, there was another one to explore. I managed to contain my spending (mostly) and came away with some bargain skeins from Texere Yarns and their fantastic yarn catalogue. There were lots of lovely stalls for the knitter, many of which I've not seen at the Birmingham or London shows. I could easily have bought lots of yarn, but I'm trying to avoid buying yarn just because it's pretty (and one skein is never enough unless you need a lot of hats and gloves). Sue Woolley was demonstrating the LK150 on the Silver stand. I said hello to Ruth Lee who had an exhibition in one of the halls. There were also some amazing crafted dolls and a modern take on the Bayeux tapestry, celebrating the battle of Prestonpans. It stretched two sides of a very long room. After a bit, our feet were starting to complain so we found a seat and had coffee and cake. We left at 4pm and hit a bit of traffic on the M1 but were back at the community centre for 7pm.

3rd Nov, Knitting sleeves from the top down

Bob showed us a method of knitting front and back (and joining the shoulders and neck welt in one move) and then picking up the sleeve head and using holding position to knit the sleeve downwards. It was very informative and it's definitely something I need to investigate more! It produced a neat seam and anything that means less sewing up is good in my book!

1st Nov, One-day workshop

We decided to run our first ever one-day workshop at our usual venue, but because the room we normally meet in is used by the local college, we had a smaller room with windows. We had nine machine knitters with their own machines and in some cases their own tables. It was quite cosy and noisy in there - one machine knitter even made her own ear plugs. 

Three members knitted a simple shrug from the Anne Brown pattern that was such a hit at this year's Dream Week. I made a charity tee top and a reversible adult hat for BISS. Celia started a cabled jumper on her KH260 and we discovered she had the incorrect brackets for her knitleader, so it wasn't advancing properly. Luckily we spotted this, or she'd've been knitting forever. Then the armholes went a bit wrong (were not symmetrical). I hope I'll get to see the finished product soon! Bob was also working on another simple shrug pattern, and we all decided his machine was the noisiest (although I think it was more down to his lightening speed). 

It was an useful trial run for a workshop and I think another one might be organised. Everyone seemed to have a nice time and I was sad to start packing up at 3pm.

20th Oct, Penny socks

I can't take any credit for this pattern, but it is my favourite way to knit plain socks. The technique uses the ribber - a toe is created using short-rowing on the main bed, and the cast on row is hung onto the ribber bed. The foot is knitting circularly (using pennies in the toe for weight), and the heel is knitted in the same way as the sock. The toe went a bit wonky because needles kept slipping into hold, but the heel went a lot better. Passap knitters shouldn't feel left out - this pattern is pretty much the same pattern. The only exception is that the toe and heel are made on the front bed and not the main (back) bed.

6th Oct, Single-bed colour changer

Joy and Bob showed us how to set up and use the brother single bed colour changer. Unfortunately, it wasn't in much of a mood to play with us and we produced some rather ratty knitting. You have to be very careful that the yarn is unloaded and reloaded with this device - must be a trick to it.

15th Sep, Slip stitch with colour

Joy brought in some lovely samples of things that can be done with slip stitch, including something called butterfly stitch, and a lovely bargello pattern. We also had a new member so we gave her a little crash course in how to use the knitting machine. 

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