|Gallery of photos from past meetings here
Sheila demonstrated how to press a garment, using iron and pillowcase, and Joy demonstrated her linker.
We had some fun messing around with various rib fabrics, and Jane demonstrated various cast ons and cables to a new member.
17 November 2016
We had a fun evening measuring ourselves for the January meeting where we will be looking at shaping and getting garments to fit.
Bob circulated a copy of the 2017 programme. It has been decided to cover one subject a month in a comprehensive way, thus giving a bit of meat to each meeting. We hope you will approve.
We had a smashing two days at the Big Textile show and had a lot of interest in our garments on display. Many thanks to all who helped with the show, and apologies for the rotten pictures I took of it!
More photos here
We had our annual competition this evening, and there were a wealth of garments to chose from although possibly more handknit and crochet than machine knit. The winners were as follows:
1st Thelma - Crochet shawl in autumn shades
Handicraft adult cardigan/jacket:
1st Jackie - blue crochet shawl
2nd Bob - grey cabled cardigan
3rd Thelma - sparkly cardigan in self-striping yarn
MK adult cardigan/jacket:
1st Joy - grey cardigan with teal and black fairisle bands
2nd Carol - blue/beige jacket
3rd Hedi - cream jacket
Handicraft adult sweaters:
1st Bob - blue fairisle jumper
MK adult sweaters:
1st Bob - brown jumper
2nd Carol - purple sweater
1st Ruth - rainbow cardigan and hat
2nd Thelma - green and yellow cardigan and hat
1st Sue - yellow cardigan
1st Carol - blanket
MK skirts and suits:
1st Pat - blue skirt suit*
Hats from "card 3":
1st Carol - pink and white fairisle
2nd Bob - blue beret with white knitweave band
3rd Joy - brown hat
*Overall winner was Pat with the blue skirt suit. She was not present to receive her prize. Many thanks to all who entered, and thanks also to Sally for judging for us. She said she had a hard time choosing. Certificates will be handed out at the next few meetings. Pictures of the entries are in the gallery.
We had our annual AGM today. Celia announced she would be standing down from the committee completely, and we thank her for her sterling work for the club. Bob now takes up the role of Chairman, and Sue is to be the Vice Chairman. Sheila will now become the club secretary, and Jean continues to offer her services as our treasurer. She will be shadowed by Joy in this capacity. We have one new committee member, Jacqui, to replace Celia. The subscription to the club of £2 is to stay the same for this year (2016-17). The treasurer's report indicated that the club continues to have a good bank balance and as many talks and trips are partly or wholly funded by the club, it continues to be very good value for money. Many thanks to all on the committee for their tireless efforts in running the club.
The club will continue to meet every 3rd Thursday 7-9pm; the evening situation will be reassessed regarding 2017. The daytime club will continue to meet 10.30-12.30 (slightly earlier) on every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. The programme has yet to be agreed for 2017 (the proposed dates are on the programme page). Please put your thinking caps on for subjects you would like to see next year. All suggestions welcome.
We raised over £60 at Joy's "At home" event for the "Warner Brothers Wish to Walk" campaign. Many thanks to all for your generosity.
16 June - Summer party
We had our annual summer buffet party, where everyone brings food to share. As of September, we will be running the evening meetings on the 3rd Thursday of the month only. Our next meeting is the AGM, which is September 15th. Please see the programme page for more details, the remainder of the 2016 programme is now available.
2 June - Joy's "At home"
This year Joy held her "at home" during the afternoon thinking that the weather would be more conducive for sitting out in the garden. Good old British weather - it was more like November than the beginning of summer, and we ended up inside with the heating on! However that didn't deter us, and we enjoyed a good old natter over cups of tea and homemade cakes (not always on the subject of machine knitting!).
This year Joy was raising money for 3 year old twin boys who have spastic aplegia (a type of cerebral palsy) and are unable to walk. There is an operation available that will make this possible but their parents need to raise £100,000 as it is not available on the NHS. Joy's husband is a wood turner and made a yarn bowl as the main raffle prize and there was jewellery, pens and cards for sale. Due to the generosity of our members we managed to raise £160 for this worthy cause as well as having a good social afternoon.
Joy would like to thank everybody for their effort and support.
25 May - Bob's Tunic workshop
Six of us attended and it was very informative and good fun. All of us managed to knit a garment using sideways knitting and the technique we used to insert the sleeves was a real "light bulb moment". To say that the resulting garments needed a bit of tweaking might be an understatement, but we all went home feeling that we could use the idea in lots of ways.
Joy showed us some lovely samples of tuck lace, and then she demonstrated one for us on the punchcard machine.
27 April - Sue Booth workshop
From Joy: "We had a really good day with Sue and she covered a wide range of techniques with 5 different versions of tuck stitch using the same punch card. She also showed us how to knit a very pretty pocket fancy raglan using the holding position flat rib and many finishes and trims. I think we all returned home feeling inspired and I hope that some of the techniques will appear in our annual competition."
Bob kindly showed us a way of creating "cheat" cables by knitting two columns and then sewing them up in a special way. He used a different coloured thread in this example so it can be seen.
We have two new workshops coming up in May and June, please see the programme page for more details.
There are some MK items for sale from Jean Talbot's estate. Please contact the committee if you are interested.
We had our annual mini-competition - this year's challenge was to knit a scarf. We had a lovely selection of entries, including some beautifully draping tuck lace scarves, and some that were a combination of techniques e.g. machine knit and crochet combined. Sheila won first prize with her hairpin lace scarf; everyone got mini chocolate eggs as commiseration prizes. Many thanks to Michelle for doing the judging.
We also had a small selection of garments for our regular "show and tell" spot. The boy's jumper (in green) is so cute and has some lovely cabling around the neck. The handbag is not part of the show and tell :)
From September 2016 (the new programme), it has been decided that we will drop one of the evening meetings, and will only meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month. The daytime meetings will run 2nd and 4th Wednesday 10.30-1pm until June 2016 and will be continued if they remain popular. The Wednesday meetings will be less structured. The situation will be reviewed at the next AGM in September.
Jane gave us an interesting demonstration of various kinds of double-bed jacquard, including a reversible version where the ribber needles are hand-selected. The demo was somewhat cut short by one of the capacitors in the machine blowing up and producing some rather acrid smoke! Bob has taken the machine home for some TLC.
7th January 2016
Happy New Year to all our members, past and present. Our last meeting raised £24 via the Christmas card donations for Loros. Sue gave us an excellent demo of her garter carriage, which cast on and did a little bit of 3x3 rib. Lists have been started for the Birmingham and Nottingham shows; please contact Joy to put your name down if you wish to be on the minibus (dates on the programme page). The committee has yet to meet to discuss the future meeting schedule, so the programme is as published until further notice.
17th December 2015
We had our annual xmas pot-luck buffet where we had voting forms to fill in. This is to determine how many meetings to run in future - the daytime meeting has proved very popular, so much so that the evening meeting might well be adversely affected. Also, it makes things more complex logistically (ie collecting monies for trips, communicating between the "two" meetings etc). Carol's hubby very kindly did us a little xmas quiz - I'm still inwardly groaning at "Duvet No Hits Christmas Time"... :) Merry Christmas to all our members, and look forward to seeing you all again on the 7th January.
We only had a small turnout tonight due to bad weather and illness, and there was a mixup with the keys so we couldn't get into the electronic machine, but we carried on regardless. Jane showed us some interesting samples done using the Brother single bed colour changer, and had brought a sheet showing how to work out two-colour maze and mosaic patterns for yourself. We knitted a small swatch with a skull pattern on it! Swatches below - sorry the labels didn't come out due to the flash, they are all from Stitchworld III which is available for download online.
Sheila demonstrated using the linker device to cast off some knitting on the Brother. Of course, it worked perfectly the first time, and then refused to cooperate for anyone else. Bob demonstrated using the ribber bed to add extra yarn to produce a looser cast off, and Joy demonstrated the Passap cast off (wrap the needle twice before casting off).
It was the night of the annual competition - guess who only remembered that at the weekend, when it was far too late to start anything major? Didn't stop me casting something on, late Tuesday eve though - which is still half-finished! Anyway, enough of my dizziness - we had lots of lovely entries, a selection of which are shown below. I'll add all the names of the winners when I get it, it was all a bit too much for my brain last night! All of the entries will be added to the gallery. Well done to all who entered - there were some lovely techniques and beautiful items, and Sally had a very hard time choosing. The top prize was for the lovely glittery cardigan pictured below.
ADULT MEN & LADIES SWEATERS
1st - Sue S
2nd - Joyce P
3rd - Pat S
ADULT MEN & LADIES CARDIGANS & JACKETS
1st - Mary H
2nd - Joy S
3rd - Joy S
ADULT SKIRTS & SUITS
1st - Sheila J
1st - Carole A
2nd - Carole A
3rd- Carole A
1st - Sue S
2nd - Pauline H
ADULT MEN & LADIES SWEATERS
1st - Thelma S
2nd - Bob M
3rd - Jacqui B
ADULT MEN & LADIES CARDIGANS AND JACKETS
1st - Pauline H
2nd - Olga B
3rd - Thelma S
1st - Mary H
2nd - Olga B
3rd - Thelma S
1st - Jane H
2nd - Bob M
3rd - Bob M
BEST IN SHOW - Pauline H
We are going to trial a monthly afternoon session on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, to run from 10am - 1pm. Please see the programme for more details. We hope to welcome beginners and improvers to master the basic techniques on their knitting machines, as well as regular members. Do come along and join us if you can!
We may also move the Jan and Feb meetings to the summer months, this was discussed at the AGM and is to be advised. Check the programme for updates.
Age Concern are again asking for knitted hats for Innocent Smoothies. These little hats are a great use for tiny amounts of leftover yarn. Free machine knitting pattern here We raised £47 for LOROS at our recent "at home" event at Joy's house. Many thanks to all who contributed.
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
We 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.
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.
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!
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.
Look, we made it into the local newspaper!
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.