Tuesday, 10 November 2015

October 2015

A couple of members were fortunate to attend Metropolitan's Dreamweek, based in Cheshire. They brought back some samples, patterns and books which were passed around for inspection and inspiration. They gave an interesting talk about the whole event. They had enjoyed the week from the accomodation, choices of classes, lectures and tutors and chatting to other knitters. Shirley had learned to cast on and knit some colourful samples on the Passap. Sue learned how to design and knit double bed jacquard on the standard gauge. Everyone at the event learned something new, made new friends and went home very tired but happy and had taken more yarns with them.

Each year a challenge yarn is sent to attendees, some months in advance, to knit something for the competition which is judged on the last night. Shirley one of our club members won this years challenge with the main prize of an LK150 mid gauge machine. Shirley's entry was a very cute monkey knitted in the challenge eyelash type yarn and the idea was taken from a Machine Knitting monthly pattern.

Sue went for a textile tour of Shetland. Visited yarn brokers Jamieson and Smith and brought back a lot of yarn. Seen domestic and industrial knitting machines hard at work. The industrial machines were knitting garments all in one or in pieces that were joined on industrial sized linkers.  
The other topic for this meeting was the annual challenge competition and the theme was knitting something with Christmas in mind. The items all go to the clubs charity, the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre for sale and proceeds towards new equipment. The rules included not buying new yarn but using existing yarn from stash.

Valerie made santa and christmas tree figures.
Shirley made 3 tiny stockings.
Sandra made a slash neck top in a mauve 4 ply with a strand of mother of pearl decorative fibre.
Phyllis created a tuck stitch lacy scarf in silky with a brown cosy hat.
Stephanie made a cute christmas stocking with a teddy.
Marcia made mini Christmas tree decorations from i cord and bells with tiny clangers.



All of these contributions were really beautiful and it was hard to vote for winners but we managed it.
3rd Janet created a warm and festive white sweater with snoman around the body.
2nd Jenny made a red sweater and hat with reindeer fair isle pattern.
1st Vee made a blue sweater with snomen around the bottom and had lined the inside to cover all the fair isle floats.

We also had the clubs usual monthly competition.
3rd Phyllis - Ann Brown designed brown jacket
2nd Sue - cushions knitted in stripes and 1x1 fair isle using reverse and right side in Dream week yarn and green fine crepe.
1st Shirley - cute monkey from Dreamweek. 

September 2015

During September the person who does the blog was on holiday so an update on the evening and competition  will be added when the details are available.

July 2015

Back in July the club held a sales night with yarns and items from various members and other contributors. Some of the proceeds were put towards the club charity  and others went back to the sellers or into club funds. It was a good opportunity to recycle some unwanted yarn from the everr creaking stash and see it go to good use and homes.

The competition had 2 entries one for the beginners and other for advanced.
Stephanie made the beginners entry, a blue short sleeved top knitted with 2 strands of hobby

Valerie made the advanced entry and was a slip stitch blanket knitted on the mid gauge and finished with a crochet edging. 
Pictures will be added later.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

June 2015

Welcome to the news from the June meeting. I did start writing it about 12th June but only just finished today. During the round of club news we agreed to make the July meeting a sales night. The members will bring in their items plus we will have a visitor with books and yarn to sell.

Phyllis raised an issue about her motor not working with her Brother knitting machine and had brought in her mast with the attached wires to see if members could help to solve it. Sandra suggested from previous experience that it could be the wires or part of one on the mast not set in correct position and therefore creating a break in the current and causing it to not work.    

Sue showed some scarfs she had knitted from odds and ends of fine crepe yarn and had knitted them in various combinations of single and two colour tuck stitch and 1x1 card and just two different strands together in tuck. Each had been steamed to create floaty summer fabrics.

A previous member of the club had recently published a book about making jewellery, Gillian had brought it in for us to see. 

Gillian also told the group how she had unearthed an old knitting diary from the early 1980's and had literally whizzed up garments in super quick time and then sold them for a pittance. A couple of sweaters with intarsia designs on the front for her two then young sons had been achieved over 2 days. Two cardigans including yarn had been priced at £5 for the pair.   

All the gossip and news was then brought to a close and the main part of the evening started. Accessories and tools, the topic for this months meeting kicked off and there was so much to see.

Annette brought in her 7 prong tool. She uses it to do raglan shaping transfers. One tip is to not pull out the prongs to their fullest extent but only pull out a short way. She also brought a unicorn tool which is pointed and curved at one end and ideal for picking up dropped stitches. An old credit card with a v cut out was good for closing latches and moving needles.

Phyllis talked about her long handled tool with a magnet at the end for picking up dropped pins. She had found a great use for a dental mirror to see more clearly the needle hole to thread when sewing.

Vee brought in a swatch board with a sandpaper area to hold a swatch for measuring a tensions square. She had got an engineering friend to make a weighted cone spindle that kept wound off small cones of yarn in place and stopped them from falling over.

Valerie showed us her mid gauge garter bar and a shadow transfer lace tool which is used to move stitches from ribber to main bed.

Sandra and Marcia had both brought in a Brother linker tool for casting off. This was later demonstrated on the machine. Another idea they had was a straw to thread fine yarn like crepe through before it going in the yarn mast to stop it twisting back on itself and causing tangles, when knitting multiple threads together.

Sandra brought in a homemade sandpaper board to explain how one can be made quite easily. A course paper is best and large enough for a good size tension piece and it is then glued to a piece of wooden board, plywood would be ok as its not steamed on the tension board, the idea is the sandpaper catches it gently enough to hold it flat for measuring. She also talked about her stand for a pattern that fits into the knitting machine case handles. She also had a wool winder, rib transfer tool, rib transfer carriage and knitting manuals all of which we all need more than you might think. A knitting dolly was up next for making cords. Mandie had an idea about putting a drill bit into the turning part to knit faster.

Stephanie brought in some Woolley Weights that are two magnetic pieces that the knitting is sandwiched between and so stops claw catches, however do not use with or near an electronic knitting or sewing machine as they can mess up the technology.

Shirley showed us a powered defuzzer machine, and demonstrated it on a piece of knitting. Afterwards we moved on to demonstration of the linker cast off on the club machine.

Before using the Brother linker do last row on T10. Bring out all the needles in use as far as they go and put linker on right side and bring right up to start of the knitting. A tip is to make sure the 1st part of the knitting is fed into the right place by holding the knitting slightly forward and looking at the linker as it feeds in.

Competition Results
Advanced Knitters:
3rd - Phyllis had made a scarf using mohair yarn T9 standard gauge with alternate needles and was edged in crochet.

2nd - Marcia had knitted a Clair Crowston design jacket in Grigna and hobby and sewn together on a sewing machine.

1st Sandra had made an In Ex pleated skirt using holding position.




Sunday, 7 June 2015

May 2015

Sue provided a talk on collars and described her experiences knitting some of the designs from Maggie Andrews book 'Add a Collar'.  Some of Maggie's designs are below.

Beginners Group:
1st Stephanie. This is an interesting top, knitted in pink with hand tooled lace in a central panel. The side panels are knitted sideways.


Advanced Group:
1st Vee created a multi-coloured striped garment with  v neck. The yarn colour change was done with a 2 colour fair isle that produced a wave effect and was  completed with a crochet collar.

2nd Sandra crafted a beige coloured Grigna yarn knitted on standard gauge, into an Ann Brown design jacket.

3rd Valerie (new member) created a small child sized jumper in grey lambs wool with angora.

4th Valerie created a design that can be worn as either a tunic or a shrug by joining the buttons in different ways. It was very versatile and am sorry I hadn't taken more useful photos to show it off. So an action for another time to grab some and update.

5th Phyllis knitted a tuck stitch stole in green single stranded hobby on the standard gauge machine.



Come and join us to share our passion for knitting over a cup of tea or coffee and we always have a tasty selection of biscuits  



April 2015

Marcia gave a very interesting talk about short row techniques and Various uses. There are many areas of knitting it can be used such as:
  • in shaping, casting off introduces definite steps and after joining two edges like this together it can make a bit of an ugly finish. A smoother line is produced when reducing stitches by using holding position then taking off on waste yarn and picking up to join together. This is useful for necklines and shoulders.
  • in necklines it can create a very stretchy opening for children jumpers and provide smoother join with an added neckband
  • creating shaping for bust line darts
  • the back can have added rows in the middle to stop a garment looking like it is riding up
  • godet shaping in jackets and tops for peplums
  • around skirts to give pleating or fullness at the bottom that kick and can be done in contrast colours and yarn thickness
  • around collars to shape and add curves
  • used in intarsia to create diagonal shapes or a triangle of each colour in a sweater front or back. Another way is by creating a diamond shape
  • to produce a swirl or waterfall effect scarf or front of a garment
  • these are just some of the examples of short row use and benefits
Example photos are to be added here later, when I have found some good examples.
Photos are this months competition entries and both are in the advanced group
Phyllis made this woven jacket 
and  has lined it and trimmed
the edges and sleeves
It looks quite effective
 the classic Chanel shape

This photo shows a close up of the
 ribbon weaving trim in a different
 colour to contrast

This picture shows the saddle shoulder
 detail for the jumper made by Sandra below