Sunday, May 01, 2016

What's happening in May?

It’s our May meeting on Tuesday (3rd May). 

On the programme for this meeting is “Hairpin Lace and Lucet”. 

Hairpin lace can be made on a knitting machine or on a special loom.  Here’s a couple of links to tutorials:   and There will be a knitting machine available to demonstrate how to knit it on the machine.

Here’s a bit of information about the Lucet:  There is lots of other information on the web, and some videos too so try doing a search for more information.

So if you have either of these gadgets at home and don’t know how to use them bring them along and we will show you how.  If you do know how to use them then bring them along and show others!

Don’t forget to bring items you’ve completed recently for show at tell too.

See you on Tuesday, 8pm as usual.

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 2016 - Fiona Morris discusses eco and new fibre yarns

The evening started with an animated discussion about the venue, followed by a review of the up-coming shows and events.

The club is planning another Saturday knit-in during the summer. There was a sign-up sheet on the front desk. If you are interested, please email one of the committee members with your Saturday availability over the summer.

Craft4Crafters has taken over the Shepton Mallett show at the Bath and West Showground, which takes place on the 21st-23rd April, 2016.

Show and Tell

Vee had hand-knit a beautiful green cardigan from a Sirdar pattern, using  multiple threads of machine knitting yarn. The pattern makes interesting use of shaping and texture.

Sandra has hand-knit several white baby blankets and cardigans for the neonatal unit at the local Hospital. Christine has also knit some yellow baby blankets, cardigans, bootees, gloves and a hat.

Jane was working on a pair of pink hand-knit socks, and brought along a pair of size 13 socks for her son, made from a multi-colour Sparkle Ducks yarn.

Janet had hand-knit a pair of puppy baby bootees, and a pair of strawberry baby bootees.

Challenges reminder

Reminder that the deadline for submissions for the annual Guild of Machine Knitters challenge is the 5th May, 2016. Also a reminder about the club challenge, which is to knit a pattern using your own choice of yarn/pattern/finishing. Liz will email a reminder copy of the pattern.

Eco and new fibre yarns talk by Fiona Morris

Fiona gave a fascinating talk about the range and variety of eco-friendly and alternative fibre yarns that yarn manufacturers have tried over the years. Some of them have been around much longer that you might think, and some didn't last very long at all.

For each yarn type Fiona described, she provided a pile of knitted samples and garments that were handed around the room, so we each got to feel what each fibre felt like, and we were able to compare the weights, feel, and characteristics.

The fibres included bamboo, soy-bean, corn fibre, milk-fibre, cotton and kapok, sea sell (sea weed), organic cotton, hemp, linen, ramie (chinese nettle), banana fibre, sugar cane, and even kevlar!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's almost April - Spring must be here soon!

It's almost April - and time for another meeting!  Have you noticed how the days are already getting longer?  Let's hope we don't get too many April showers - things are still very soggy in my garden.

But enough of that - We have a speaker for our April meeting.  Fiona Morris is visiting to talk about New Fibres and Eco-Friendly yarns.  I am sure she has lots to show and tell us.    We will find time for some show and tell as we all like to see what others have knitted in the past few weeks.

Look forward to seeing you there - Tuesday 5th April, 8pm start as usual.

Monday, March 07, 2016

March 2016 - multi-pronged transfer demo

The meeting on the 1st March included a demonstration of multi-prong transfer tools, Guild renewal and a lively Show-and-Tell.

The Machine Knitting Guild provides additional benefits to knitting clubs who have 10 or more Guild members that join/renew at the same time. Guild members received their renewal slips in the most recent Guild magazine, and brought them along to the meeting. The benefits include a discount on the membership fee, and public liability insurance.

Liz ran through some of the up-coming knitting events in the area.

  • Machine Knitting Live is at Bournemouth on Saturday 5th March.
  • The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia is the 3-6 March.
  • The Creative Crafts Show is a 4 day event being held from 23rd April to the 26th April 2015 at the Royal Bath & West Showground in South Somerset (Shepton Mallet).
  • Stitch and Craft is at the Three Counties Showground (Malvern) 10-11 April.
  • Fibre East is at Ampthill (near Bedford) 30-31 July.

There were a lot of people at the Make It show in Farnborough last weekend, but there weren't many knitting stands. There were a lot of card making stands, which were very popular. The bead and yarn stands were less busy.

A member brought in an article from Designer Knitting magazine entitled "A light touch" about Knitted Knockers. Knitted Knockers are special handmade breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. There is a group who are trying to provide them to anyone who needs them. Please see their website for more details, including free patterns and yarn details  -

For those who enjoy knitting for charity, there is a 'knitting for charity' group on Ravelry that lists all the different charity knitting projects.

Several twiddlemuffs were made on the Guild stand at Unravel. It is a productive way of using up odds and ends of yarn. Here is a link to a page with a pattern.

Check with your local hospital to find out their current knitting requests.

Frimley Park Hospital need 24" square blankets at the moment. See the Bliss website for prem baby patterns - Please only use white cotton or acrylic.

Show and tell

Vee had knit a pair of brown multi-colour sock flat on 2 needles, and a green cardigan from yarn from sales table made on machine.

Carol - hand-knit white jackets for frimley hospital, and a blanket. Blue and white stripped jacket for great niece. 12-18 months.

Pink socks from sock knitting machine.

Liz then presented a demonstration of using the adjustable 7 prong transfer tool on the knitting machine, and other alternative transfer tools.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

March is almost here

Our March meeting is coming up fast - in fact it is on Tuesday as that is the start of the month - yes Tuesday 1st March!  Where did January and February go??  Even the extra day for the leap year hasn't made it seem any longer!!

As well as the usual chatter, and show and tell, I will bring a machine along and demonstrate some of the things you can do with a 7-prong transfer tool.  Standard gauge machine of course, as they never made the adjustable transfer tool for any other gauge machine.

Bring work in progress too if you like to keep your hands busy.

Guild of Machine Knitters members please bring your subscription renewals with you.

See you on Tuesday, 8 pm as usual.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

February 2016 - Felted wool balls

There was a good turn-out for the February hands-on meeting, despite the wet cold weather. After the Christmas quiet, the knitting and crafting shows start with abundance in February.

Unravel is taking place at The Malting in Farnham from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February.

Knit & Stitch It is taking place at FIVE in Farnborough from Friday 26th to Saturday 27th February.

Machine Knitting Live is a one day event taking place at Bournemouth School for Girls in Bournemouth on Saturday 5th March.

Reminder that subs for members of the Guild of Machine Knitters are due next month. The renewal form will be included in the next Guild magazine, which has just gone to the printers.

The club received a lovely letter from The Royal Marsden, thanking us for the donations.

Our creative club members have been very busy over the last couple of months, and there was a wide variety of items brought along for the show and tell.

Carol made a green and white striped child's cardigan, and a pink/mauve child's cardigan.

Mandy knit a sparkly green scarf from 4 ply yarn on her knitting machine. The pattern is by Knit-1 in Brighton, and uses short-rows (hold) to create the 3D structure.

Julia created two chunky cowls. The first is knit from knitted i-cord.

The second is knit using colourful chunky yarn.

This blanket is knitted from one continuous 10 stitch wide pattern, using short rows to turn each corner.

The hands-on session was making felt balls from scraps and ends of wool yarn. There were varying levels of success! It isn't always easy to tell which yarn scraps are pure wool, and which are treated wool. The treated wool doesn't felt, but instead shreds or doesn't change structure at all. Some tried shaking the wool inside the plastic egg from inside a Kinder Egg (good excuse for a chocolate treat!), and others tried rolling the yarn between their hands.

Monday, January 25, 2016

February 2016 meeting

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?  I hope not!

Our first meeting of 2016 is coming up quickly.  It's Tuesday 2nd February.  It's a "play" evening as we will be using scraps of yarn to make felt balls.  Yes - any odd scraps of yarn that will felt can be used to make felt balls for decorative use, like the bits you trim off when you've sewn the yarn ends in.

There are two ways of making the felt balls, one is to roll them between your hands, and the other is to put them into a plastic "egg" and shake.  You'll need a bit of water and some soap or detergent too.

So I hope you'll come along and join in.  Of course if you pefer you can bring a work in progress and join in with the chatter too.  And don't forget to bring completed projects for show and tell.

Tuesday 2nd February is the date, 8 pm is the time.  See you there.

Sent to the Marsden

Here's a couple of photos of the lovely items we sent to the Friends of The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton Branch at the beginning of December.

As you can see, it isn't easy taking a photo (or two) of the things when laid out on 6 ft tables and we used three of them to have enough space to lay everything out.  (Note to self: must think of a better layout for December 2016!)

A few days after the items were taken to the Hospital we received a lovely thank you letter.

Thanks to everyone who brought something along.  I know the things we send are appreciated.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

December meeting

This month is the annual Christmas meeting, and the collecting together of items to be taken up to The Royal Marsden for their charity shop. This year has been another excellent collection which only just squeezed onto 3 of the long trestle tables. There were knitted scarves, jumpers, socks and baby clothes, along with toys and other gifts. 

Liz reminded us that the next knitting show is the Unravel luxury yarn and craft show at The Maltings in Farnham on Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February 2016. The Guild will have a stand in the basement, and there will be lots of yarn-bombing of the building, both inside and out.

Reminder that there is no meeting next month, so the next meeting will be the felt balls meeting in February. Another reminder to keep hold of scraps and ends of felt-able wool yarn, and a kinder plastic egg (or similar). During the show and tell, Liz sent around the room a plastic egg contain yarn ends for everyone to take turns in shaking, and by the end of the show and tell, we had made a felt ball.

The local library ran a crochet snowflakes course, including hanging loops and beads. After experimentation with various yarns, the best for snowflakes is Anchor No. 8 crochet cotton.

Carol had made a beautiful rainbow colour child's jacket.

Carol had also finished her first every sock, which encouraged other knitters to show off their sock knitting achievements.

Veronica knitted a tiny elf to go on the Christmas tree.

Christine had hand-knit a Wallace Pleated Cardigan in Rowan 4 ply using a vintage pattern from the internet.

The evening finished with tea and mince pies.

Friday, November 27, 2015

December Charity Evening

Is it really almost the end of the year?  It has gone so quickly.

December, once again, brings our charity evening.  This is the occasion when we bring along new items that are donated to the Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton Branch to sell on their regular sales tables.  The new items can be made by us, and also things that we have bought or been given but for some reason can't use, or don't like.  The items are collected together and delivered to the Hospital one day soon after our meeting.

During the course of the evening we will also have a go at knitting some Christmas decorations.  If you don't have a pattern put "Knitted Christmas decorations" into Google or another search engine and you'll find loads to choose from.  Print off the pattern and bring it along with needles and yarn and knit whilst you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a mince pie.

Just to remind you - the meeting is on Tuesday 1st December, 8 pm.

Hope to see some of you there.

Fleet Club Knit-In

This is something we haven't done before, but thought it worth a try.  So we found a date when the hall was free and booked it for the day (a Saturday so that members who worked could also come).  The idea was to come along for as long as you wanted and work on your own project, or finish something you had already started.  There would be a continuous supply of tea and coffee, plus biscuits to help things along.

Of course the date didn't suit everyone, but over the course of the day seven members came along.  A couple brought their machines, and the others were working on finishing things they'd started.  It was a good excuse to knit all day, without interruption or the need to attend to chores.  We almost forgot to take a photo to record the event.  The one below was taken late in the day, after some people had departed.
Liz took the opportunity to knit the covers for the pillars at Farnham Maltings. Three pieces, 130 stitches by almost 900 rows each with some colour changes along the way.  She remembered to put in markers too, as this will make it easier for installation. They will now be decorated for display at Unravel in February.

Nina was all set to knit a jumper for herself, but her machine started playing up.  The carriage really didn't like knitting in one direction.  It screeched and put up resistance.  All our efforts made on difference and the machine behaved beautifully when she changed to a different yarn.  The only thing we can put the problem down to was static.  Hopefully Nina will be able to update us at the next meeting.

Carole, Julia, Phyllis, Rita and Vee were all working on handknit projects, or completing/assembling garments knitted on their machines. 

It was a good day and nice to be able to chat informally.  We don't always get time to do that at a club meeting.

All in all, it was a successful day and one that will be repeated.

Friday, November 06, 2015

November meeting

The November meeting was a hands-on meeting looking at different ways of joining two pieces of knitting. The evening started by welcoming two new visitors to the club followed by news updates and the show-and-tell.

Reminder that the knit-in is on Saturday 14th November. Numbers are needed to ensure that there will be enough tea, milk and biscuits. Please bring along a packed lunch if you are staying for the whole day. If you would like to join in, then please let Liz know.

There have been a few changes with the local and national knitting and crafting shows. Trident Exhibitions Ltd has ceased trading. Trident ran The Creative Craft Show at various places including Sandown Park. ICHF Events has been taken over by another company, but they say that it won't affect their stitching, sewing and hobby crafts events.

The next local knitting show will be Unravel at Farnham Maltings on the 19-21 February, 2016.

We were reminded about the knitting challenge for this year, which is to knit a cardigan using the provided pattern. You can use any yarn or pattern you like, and please be creative and add your own borders, edging, pockets and embellishments. A PDF copy of the pattern was emailed out to all the club members. Some printed copies are also available.

This month's show and tell again demonstrated the variety of skills and interests within the club. Sally brought along a pair of hand-knitted baby bootees from a Victorian knitting pattern.

Tannis hand-knit a 1949 cardigan pattern, that has taken over 2 years to complete. Finished with contrasting red buttons. Note the subtle shaping details.

Carol has hand-knit a beautiful 'Ghost Orchid' shawl from the book 'New Vintage Lace: Knits Inspired By The Past' by Andrea Jurgrau (link to pattern details on Ravelry). The shawl is made from a cashmere, silk and merino mix yarn.

Liz machine knit a red shawl from a pattern shared on a Facebook machine knitting group.

and a red child's top that will be featured in the next Guild of Machine Knitters newsletter.

Next month is our Christmas meeting. Please bring along any donations, such as knitted items that you don't have a home for, to go to The Royal Marsden. We will also be knitting Christmas decorations, so bring along a small amount of yarn in Christmas colours, and some knitting needles or a crochet hook.

Reminder for February to get hold of some plastic eggs (such as the ones from inside a Kinder Egg), and scraps of wool, to use to create felted balls.

The hand-on session was joining two pieces of knitting. Liz has written a new talk on the subject, and had created 16 samples of different ways of joining knitting, from a simple mattress stitch, through to more complicated on-machine eyelet joins. The sample were passed around, and a knitting machine was set up for people to have a go.

Here is a photo of the 16 samples:

and here is Phyllis learning the eyelet join on the knitting machine.

The next meeting is on Tuesday  1st December.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hands-On evening - Joining pieces

We've got this meeting (on Tuesday 3rd November) down as a Hands-On evening to help with joining pieces of knitting together.  I've got some samples to show you as well - lots of different ways to join your beautifully knitted pieces together which can be worked by a machine or hand knitter.

So to join in - please bring either some swatches that you can join together or knit some small pieces.  They don't need to be over large; just big enough to handle as you work.  We'd especially like to cover mattress stitch and grafting (kitchener stitch) as we know that some of you find them the most difficult.  For the mattress stitch, you'll need two pieces of knitting both with closed edges.  For the grafting you'll again need two pieces of knitting but don't cast these off.  They can either be taken off on waste yarn or you can bring them on needles (one piece per needle please).  If you'd like to learn how to crochet a join then again two pieces of knitting and a crochet hook will be required.  Don't forget to bring a needle and a little bit of yarn to do the stitching with. 

We'll have a machine there too so we can demonstrate some of the joins on the machine.

Also, I have been asked to find a home for some yarn.  It should be coming to me on Tuesday morning. I plan to bring it with me Tuesday evening for you to all see and homefully take some home with you in exchange for a donation as usual.  I won't know how much or what it is until it arrives.

During the course of the evening I will also be asking who is planning to come to our Knit-In on Saturday 14 November.

So it's promising to be a busy evening.  Look forward to seeing you there - 8 pm as usual.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

October meeting

The October meeting was a busy hands-on session knitting and crocheting poppies for Armistice Day. There was an excellent turn-out, even with the horrid wet weather. Nina reminded us about the knit-in on November 14th. Final numbers will be totted up at the next meeting to ensure there is enough milk on the day.

Liz had made samples of each of the poppy patterns. Nina had made one on her knitting machine. 

Julie started the show and tell with 2 knitted shawls. A light and dark blue cloud-like shawl made from Drops superkid mohair and silk yarn. 

A colourful knitted shawl with a crochet edge made from King Cole Smooth DK.

Vee's visitor had made several blankets from knitted squares. 
Sandra had knitted a child's white and sparkly cardigan from King Cole Galaxy DK which incorporates sequins.

The hands-on session was very productive, and we took a photo at the end of the poppies made on the evening. 

Phyillis shared with us that the factory that makes the poppies is not far away in Richmond, and that they welcome visitors for tours of the poppy-making process. For more details:

Sunday, October 04, 2015

October meeting soon

Our October meeting is coming up soon - Tuesday 6th October.

This month we are planning to knit poppies to wear in remembrance of fallen servicemen.  There are lots of patterns available on the internet.  If you'd like to join in with this project please find yourself a pattern, print it out and come along with needles and yarn.  (Don't forget to pop a few coins in a collectors box to support this worthy cause.)

Should you prefer not to knit a poppy you could bring your work in progress and knit and natter for a while!

There will also be time for a show and tell so bring along anything unfinished.

Sad to say - I will be missing this meeting.  I'll be in London, setting up a the stand of the Guild of Machine Knitters ( at The Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace,  (

But the club meeting will carry on without me - Tuesday 6th October 8pm.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September AGM and 'Show and Tell'

First meeting of the club year started with Annette collecting subs for the year, and handing out pocket-size printed programmes to members listing the speakers, hands-on sessions and challenges for the upcoming year.

As it was the first meeting of the year, it started with the AGM. 14 enthusiastic knitters turned out for the evening. Some suggested that the low turn-out might be because the first Tuesday was also the 1st of the month, so might have been a bit of a surprise to some people. Hopefully there won’t be too many people turning up at the hall next week!

There were a few bags of yarn and knitting books on the charity sales table this month, with all donations going to the Royal Marsden Hospital.

The AGM was swiftly started with a run-down of the accounts by Annette, and formal election of the new committee (details of which were printed in Liz’s summer letter emailed last month). Liz then took us through the programme of the events for the upcoming year.

In February we will be making felt balls, of the size appropriate for making jewellery, or embellishing a bag or scarf. An empty yellow plastic egg from inside a Kinder Egg will be needed, so a good excuse for a chocolate treat! Small scraps of wool yarn will also be needed, so start collecting off-cuts and tail-ends now. Only a handful or 2 will be needed.

Next month will be a hands-on session knitting a poppy. Some red yarn, and either black yarn or a black button will be needed, and either knitting needles or a crochet hook.

The 2016 annual challenge will be to knit the provided V-neck cardigan pattern, using a yarn from your stash. No gauge will be provided, as the pattern will work with any gauge, so use any yarn you like. Be creative with the yarn, stitch pattern and any trimmings, but avoid tuck and slip stitch as that will mess up the proportions. This project has the joy of no tension square! The pattern will be emailed to members this month. We look forward to seeing the range and variety of garments created from the same knitting pattern.

There was a discussion about whether to continue making knitted squares. There was a general lack of interest because they can be rather dull to knit. If you do make any squares, then bring them along and give them to Rita, who will continue to join them up into blankets. Christine has recently knit a lot of squares for Rita, and Rita brought along a blanket she had finished making up.

For those who also attend the local Wednesday morning Yateley group, it has moved to 11am - 1pm on Tuesdays, and relocated to Montego Hall.

With the AGM completed, the show and tell began, and everyone had been very busy over the summer.

Sandra machine knit a sideways skirt in pink Hobby and Silk using a Beverly Wall pattern.

Annette hand-knit a 2ft high Santa, who stands on his own, to go on display in a florist shop this winter.

Vee had knit a striped jumper with a trim, using Marion Nelson stitch pattern cards, with a crocheted neck.

Phyllis machine knit an Ann Brown cardigan in blue Silky and Shetland yarn, with internal seams bound in matching knitted bias binding.

Carole has been hand knitting hats based on doily patterns. A blue hat and scarf, and a pink hat and scarf.

Nina had hand knit a fluffy brown owl.

Christine has been playing with her 1940s shawl pattern. She brought along 3 variations: the original shawl, a lace variation in 4ply hand-knit over 100 stitches, and a variation with lapels hand knit using Shetland 3 ply over 120 stitches.

Liz hand knit a baby hat, a matching family set of ear warmers, and a finger “ring” cable needle holder.

The headbands were based on this pattern:

The cable ring holder is from this pattern: