Thursday, 14 November 2013

November 2013

Joan provided a demonstration and talk about machine maintenance. She recommended the following publication, long out of print but might be found at machine knitting shows in amongst patterns and books with people like Wendy Piper or at Metropolitan.

Next Joan removed the carriage,  turned over and with a clean paintbrush, brushed the underneath and cleaned out accumulated dust, fibres and dirt. She also spoke about removing all trapped fibres around the wheels and brushes some of which can be removed for easier cleaning. The paintbrush should be washed and dried after each use. With a clean cloth she made a ridge and slotted it into the rail gap on the carriage and swiped along a few times to clean. When the carriage was cleaned she wiped again with a clean cloth lightly oiled with a good brand of gun oil like Ballistol.

Moving on to the bed, Joan pulled out all the needles and brushed away from the machine across the whole bed. It is possible to vacuum clean but only recommended for punchcard and basic machines not electronics as they had magnets and bits inside more fragile than the basic models and needed careful handling so as not to inadvertantly break some precious mechanisms that are hard to find engineers to fix. That was the 'day to day, after each garment' cleaning done and was followed by a light oiling all along the bed rails and needles with gun oil.

For the deeper clean approach, and after pushing the needles back to NWP Joan removed the sponge bar and talked about types available for replacement and warned people to avoid cheap sponge stick-ons seen on the internet as they could come loose and cause havoc inside the machine bed. Joan recommended getting one from a reputable dealer like Metropolitan or  suppliers on the Guild website. Another tip was not to purchase multiples as they all deteriorate with time before they usually can be used and prove a waste of money. For Brother machines a Silver Reed sponge bar still being made, could be used but are a bit longer then Brother makes, so will stick out a bit.

Now came the long handled thin spiral brush that Joan very gently pushed into one end and turned it continuallywhile pushing in until it reached the other end full of fluff and fibres. She removed these and would have pulled it out from that end but it had a small round end used for hanging up as she was using club demo equipment. On her own one she had pinched it together with pliers so it could just continue out the same direction. In this instance she carefully pulled it back through the machine and retrieved it, which of course can be done on others but with some extra care.

Long Thin Spiral Brush
Next Joan talked about removal of needles with latches closed and soaked in jars with liquid made from 1 pint surgical spirit to 1 tablespoon  gun oil. Do not use white spirit or methylated spirits, they are totally unsuitable as they involve abrasive residues and water once the spirits parts evaporate, that rust parts. Once needles have had time to soak overnight and are rubbed dry with a clean cloth they can be put back into the machine and the sponge bar is also put back in. Joan pointed out not to forget to hold down the needles that are in NWP so that the sponge bar can fit back.
Once the deeper clean is done give a light gun oiling with a clean cloth. Always make sure your machine is covered with  lint free cover such as sold by Anne Smith at MKM knitting shows Bournemouth etc or seen on ebay ready made. You can very easily make one from suitable material sourced from places like Abakhan online. This is some below that a club member recently purchased for less than £3 per metre. Its light and easy to sew into a simple cover or can be cut to size, hemmed and just thrown over.

It was also the last month for the competition where all the monthly points are totalled and winners for each of the beginners and advanced groups are announced. There was a last minute flurry of entries for this final month. So first are these results.

Jenny was the winner for this months beginners entry a V neck sweater  based on a Marion Nelson pattern.

The advanced had a number of entries:
Laptop cover
3 Babies outfits
Grigna lightweight summer cardigan from Clair Crowston pattern
Red and Black fair isle jacket that was also lined
Joint winners Phyllis and Sue for the Jacket and Cardigan

The results for the whole year
2nd Jennifer
1st Stephanie

Well done! the year has seen beginners improve with confidence and in the production of items.

2nd Valerie
1st Phyllis

Well done to Phyllis and Valerie and all our members. It has been a close competition with  the last month being the deciding points.

There will not be a club meeting in the usual place in December, the group will be meeting up for the Christmas Meal.
The January meeting is the AGM, where we look back at achievements and finances and plan for the 2014 meetings and speakers. Currently February will be covering the Knit Leader and Knit Radar. Plus there are plans for an Ann Brown weekend 2/3 February so contact Sandra with interest about this and the club.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

October 2013

October was the Charity Competition, where everybody either knitted something 'to keep warm', this years theme, or donated some cash. Members secretly voted for both a charity item and the usual monthly competion.

Shirley made the winning Charity entry, a waistcoat in Sirdar Matisse on her chunky machine that hadn't seen the light of day for 20 years. It was a beautiful garment and looked much more complex than the actual pattern as the lace produced the points at the edges purely from the stitch transfers.

The Charity Competition Prize 

Here are some other beautiful and creative entries

The monthly competition
Winner in advanced group is Valerie with a self designed bolero style garment made in King Cole Galaxy. The ladder pattern was inspired by garments seen in retail  and the idea adapted to this design knitted with groups of needles in and out of work and cabling.
Cuff Design Details

 Marcia knitted a Carl Boyd top with beautiful pleating details around the neck.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

September 2013

August was our summer break, we did not hold a club meeting. All had enjoyed the exceptional summer weather and shared holiday stories and talked about exhibitions visited and those still to come.

The speaker was Ann Brown, showing hems and edges on her garments, talking through techniques involved and considerations for the weight and hang of them. The main points besides the look and feel of the edging was of course the finishing. A well finished jacket with crisp lines along hem and bands, takes a jacket from the basically crafted, to the professional designer league. Just a few hints and tips from an experienced knitter is enough to make it feel achievable and inspire to try something a bit different than usual ribs.

Ann demonstrated the construction of a scalloped hem by knitting one side of a hem on all sts, then using needles at intervals in holding position knitted tucked rows. Fine ribbon was wrapped then knitted before the second side of tuck rows followed by more straight rows.

 The garter bar was also demonstrated for super fast turning for attaching edges and hems.


The competion

Beginners Class: 
Stephanie was the only entry with a tuck lace scarf that was a long time in the making. Much was learned along the way in understanding placing of needles out of work in order for the punchard and tucking to work in the correct places.

Advanced Class:
1st Phyllis crafted a very interesting textured look with a rib and thread lace top

Joint 2nd
Sue knitted short row shaping in varying strands of Hobby and Silky, a Little Posh Frocks pleated skirt
Valerie created a very differnt looking textured knitted lamp shade

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

July 2013

This month Sandra talked about skirts and brought in patterns, books and skirts she had made. Marcia also brought in skirts she had made so the group had plenty of different methods techniques and styles to see and handle.

Skirts were sideways knitted, ribbed, straight and with godets for shaping.  The textures and yarns used added to the variations and really gave everyone a lot of ideas to try for themselves. Here a some photos of the skirts that were brought in.

2nd place : Valerie knitted a scarf in tuck lace using glittery yarn with a crochet edging.

1st place: Phyllis knitted a jacket in thread lace. The photo was terrible and will be taken again so just a small sample of the texture is shown. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

June 2013

Barbara from the Yateley day club demonstrated Intarsia and brought in many pictures of her use of intarsia in garments for mny of her friends and family. She aslo brought in some of her garments. These are just a few photos some more will be added later.

This is a support for patterns that fits into the handles of the knitting machine case behind the yarn tension arm. It is hand crafted from a hardboard and can also be made from foam card. You can easily follow your pattern while knitting.

Monday, 9 September 2013

May 2013

Well things have slipped as bit since the last blog due to job changes and not being at the club meeting. So to get back on track...

Sandra gave a talk on making pockets.  There were 3 types of pockets covered.

It is possible to knit your garment and add pockets later. Just knit a sample square in the same colour or even a different colour, even try using lace. Start with waste yarn and end on waste yarn. To sew it on use a back stitch and sew through the whole of the open stitch. It can be attached to a length of ladders from leaving a stitch out of work or a lace pattern or from a seam sewn in at the open end.

Another option is to put the needles into hold and just work on the pocket. Knit double the depth of the pocket and then return the needles to working postion and complete your item. Sew up the edges of the pocket, and all done.

The last pocket is also a knitted in pocket, knitted at a 45' angle and fixed into the button band and bottom rib for stability.

This Talk has inspired Sandra to work on adding Pockets;-)

An Ann Brown weekend of knitting is planned for the 9th and 10th of November 2013. Call the club contacts if you would like to attend.

Included in the photo's are 2 tension swatches and these actually were knitted by Sandra - just to prove that she can do a swatch (she normally knits from experience, and she has been very successful thus far;-) 

Competition Items



1st: Stephanie - Pink Scarf in pure cotton



1st - Marcia - Grey waterfall Jacket(Ann Brown design) in Grigna yarn



2nd: Sandra - Cream top (Ann Brown) in 3 strands of Metro crepe

3rd: Valerie - coloured knitted ball with a bell inside

A bit of crafting by one of the members

Ann Brown Workshop