Saturday, March 29, 2014

April is just around the corner

Only a few days to go to our April Meeting.  Tuesday 1st April and as early in the month as it could be!

We've changed the programme slightly as we are in the process of making the final arrangements for a speaker for May.  We had hoped that she would be able to come in April, but prior commitments do not permit it, so we opted for May rather than not at all.  As soon as we have everything in place we will let you know and hopefully that will be at the meeting on Tuesday.

So what will we be doing in April? That's easy - we've brought forward the topic from May, namely "shawls".  Both and and machine knitted and very fashionable.  They can sometimes take a while to knit so we thought that April would be a good time to discuss them and you'd  have time to knit for when it was needed again.

If you've knitted a shawl already please bring it along to show. Don't worry if you haven't we'd be pleased to see you any way.

We will be meeting at 8 pm as usual and look forward to seeing you.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wonders of the Garter Bar

The talk this month was all about how to use the Garter Bar and its many practical applications.

It comes usually in a box with a number of lengths for transfering stitches onto from the knitting machine, as well as parts that block movement of stiches on the needlebed, while applying the stitch transfer movements. They usually only fit standard gauge machines.

There were clear instructions on the correct side up to use the bar to begin transfer and then on turning to replace stitches back on needles. Bumps down to start transfer off the needlebed and bumps up to replace back onto the needlebed so the open needles catch the stitch from within the hollow. 

Before the talk we had show and tell.

This crocodile scarf is a great design idea

Friday, February 28, 2014

March 2014 meeting

Another month has flown by!  It's almost time for the March meeting, which will be on Tuesday 4th March.  8pm till about 10 pm as usual.

Jean is going to be talking about garter stitch and showing how to use the garter bar on a knitting machine.  It's promising to be a very informative evening so I do hope you'll be able to make it.

Members of the Guild of Machine Knitters are reminded to bring their renewal form and payment to the meeting.

And I'm sure there will be time for a bit of show and tell as well, so please bring along anything you've finished, or work in progress that will be passed on before the next meeting.

Don't forget that it is Machine Knitting Live at Bournemouth on 1st March.  See the Machine Knitting Monthly website for more details.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you on Tuesday, 8 pm.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A bit of Grafting

It is so important to be able to neatly construct garment pieces together and produce a professional finish. Otherwise all the hard work making, can be so disappointing once it comes together. It really does make or break a garment or well knitted shawl or blanket.

Liz provided handout notes with easy to follow pictures and instructions for different seaming and joining techniques. It did feel fiddly to get started and to get it right, but once the first stictches were made, the rest got easier and the results well worth the effort.

These are the pictures from the show and tell

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hands on in February

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 4th Februar, 8 pm start.

It's a hands-on evening where we get to try something different, or brush up on some of the techniques we don't try that often.  It's not easy finding one that is applicable to both machine and hand knitters, but we have had requests for kitchiner stitch, also known as grafting, and mattress stitch.

Both of these finishing stitches/techniques make all the difference to a garment if done correctly.  A neat professional finish is important.

For this evening it is helpful if you can do a little bit of preparation.  

Machine knitters - please knit two swatches, approx 20 stitches x 60 rows with a closed cast on and cast off.  Also  two swatches of a similar size with a closed cast on and take off the machine on waste yarn.  They can be knitted in any 4 smooth ply yarn, using a suitable tension for the yarn.

Hand knitters - please cast on and knit two swatches approx 20 stitches by 60 rows (can be less) and then cast off.  Any cast on and cast off will do.  Also two swatches of a similar size, but don't cast off; leave the work on two separate needles.  Can be knitted in any smooth yarn.

All - by smooth I mean no slubs, knops or other textures.  Please bring a couple of lengths of contrasting yarn of a similar ply for making the stitches (contrast yarn makes it easier to see what you are doing).  And please bring a yarn needle with you as well.

We're hoping that you will all join in.

There will also be time for show and tell, so please bring along your finished projects for us to see.

Look forward to seeing you all again after our Christmas break.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Community Spirit

We had a special visitor in December, Hart councillor Stephen Gorys. Stephen had an opportunity to see the huge pile of goodies created and donated for our sponsored charity, the Friends of Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton. After giving us great insight into his role with Hart, we recalled what we had supported locally, earlier in the year with the Knit in Public day and the colourful blankets we had made for local charity.

After show and tell we all tucked into homemade mince pies.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

No January meeting

Just a quick note to remind you that there will not be a meeting in January.  The next meeting is scheduled for 4th February.

We will update with what went on at the December meeting soon.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

December 2013 - Christmas is coming......

It’s almost time for the December meeting which will be on Tuesday 3rd December.  It’s our Christmas meeting where we have mince pies (instead of biscuits) with our tea and coffee.  It’s also the meeting where we bring things along that will be delivered to the Friends of Royal Marsden Hospital at Sutton.  You’ve already been very generous and I have a big pile of things to deliver and I will add anything else you bring along to the collection of beautiful knits and assorted other goodies.  Anything new and unused will be used to raise funds for the Hospital.  Last year the sales table alone raised over £20,000.

We are also expecting Hart councillor Stephen Gorys to pay us a visit during the evening.

Please come along.  8 pm as usual

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crafting in Abundance

Valerie from Woodley Machine Knitting Club, gave an interesting talk on many items she has crafted since becoming involved with knitting. Here are a selection of items from the varied and inspiring assortment she had brought along. All of the knitted items had been machine knitted but with other crafts sometimes added to complete the design.

Here are the show and tell items this month

Sunday, November 03, 2013

November 5th - no fireworks for us!

If you don't like fireworks, but love knitting come along to our meeting - on Tuesday 5th November.

Val from the Woodley club is coming to show us some of the more unusual items she knits but a few that are not quite so different.  I've already seen some of them, so I know you'll be interested.  It might even give you some ideas for things to knit for our next challenge - buttons, beads and sequins.

We'll also have time for the usual things like notices and tea or coffee.  The meeting will start at 8 pm as usual.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Design Evening

At the last October meeting everyone had a go at measuring tension swatches and working out the stitches and rows for their chosen pattern shapes. Liz explained how to use the green ruler and covered the other rulers for different gauge machines and knitting. The rule has stitch gauge on one side and row gauge on the other.

Kit for Calculating Stitches and Rows from a Tension Swatch
Tension Swatch Board

The board surface is rough like an emery board or sandpaper and keeps the swatch flat and still whilst being measured. They used to be on sale in the days when machine knitting was very popular. One can be hand made by attaching sandpaper to a firm card or thin board.

The show and tell pictures

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

October 2013 meeting

The next meeting of the Fleet Knitting Club (1st October) will be about designing and knitting your own pattern. I sent an e-mail to everyone on our "list" explaining what we proposed to do, and asking them to knit a tension swatch that can be measured during the evening.

There were also a few other things to bring:

tape measure
note pad & pen or pencil
a garment to copy the shape from, or a garment schematic

The idea is that we can teach ourselves enough to be able to work out our own knitting patterns or alter a purchased one to our size.

If you haven't been to one of our meetings before, please do come, with or without the things above.  

There will be the usual show and tell, plus time to chat and drink tea or coffee.

The date: Tuesday 1st October 2013
The time: 8 pm - 10 pm

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Term

The new term brought a very mixed bag of knitting projects. The club embraces all knitting styles and the associated crafts which is great. There is usually at least one expert on hand to learn new techniques, plenty willing to share new ideas and provide some crafting help.

Following the AGM business and the schedule for the club meetings, members brought out their summer projects. Yarn was on sale and craft magazines were being recycled amongst the group. One member brought in her machine and solved a tuck lace problem.

A simply beautiful arrangement of colours from a new member

Hand crafted laceweight shawl, so complex to many but a breeze for some of the talented club members

The challenge with this yarn is getting it to knit the colour changes fairly evenly across the different pieces so it still looks pleasing with a bit of random creativity

This garment has an interesting textured edging turning a plain knit into something special

Beautiful textures using up yarn ends into a throw or wrap for the autumn

Different kinds of knitted squares, is this continuing the blanket theme

This was adapted from a Zandra Rhodes pattern

Liz had brought aloing some of the hats and accessorie sets for the Guild stand at the autumn exhibitions. Amazing what can be done with machine knitting and millinery crafts