Thursday, December 20, 2018

December 2018 - Christmas party and the mystery knitting toy pieces game

As this is the last meeting before Christmas, there was the usual charity donations table collecting items to go to the sale table at the Royal Marsden.

There was also the opportunity for a few seasonal nibbles and drinks.
Given the time of year, there was little in the way of updates on shows or events as things tend to quieten down around Christmas. Fuelled by minced pies, there was a lively discussion on linkers, both the round kind (ie. Hague) and the straight kind (ie. Blinky). This took a seasonal twist when it was suggested that one way to leave a Hague linker out at this time of year would be to attach a sink plunger to the front, wrap it in tinsel, and declare it a Christmas Dalek! 

For those who know little of machine knitting, the KnitBritish podcast recently did an episode on "demystifying" machine knitting. It's over an hour long, and is a relaxing slow-paced listen, so easy background listening to a hand knitting or crocheting project.

Reminder that there's no club meeting in January. The next meeting is Tuesday 5th February. If there is snow and it's too inclement to safely access the venue, then an update will be posted here, and emailed to members.

Show and tell

Sally made a machine knit scarf and a hand knit hat for the donations table.

Rene has been working with fairisle test pieces on a Brother 800 using 12 stitch repeats and producing some interesting textured results.

Nina finished a cowl neck jumper that was started at the Ann Brown machine knitting weekend. A mix of yarns was used, The neckline uses half fishermans rib to give the desired drape.

Carol hand knit 3 hats for the donations table.

Liz is stash-busting part-balls of sock yarn, and knitting a scarf. The pattern is textured and intentionally variegated which helps when using up a mix of variegated yarns.

Guess the toy puzzle

Liz had been approached by a local gentleman who had a bag of unfinished knitted toys that his wife had made before she sadly passed away. All the component parts for each toy had been carefully put together in bags, but there wasn't any instructions. We each took a lucky-dip in the bag of bags and it turned into a fun game to guess what the toy was supposed to be. We each took home a bag to finish making up the toys, which can either be given to a local charity shop in time for Christmas, or brought along to club next year and included in a club charity donation.

Hand exercises for knitters

Knitting or crocheting for long periods of time can be common in the run up to Christmas and the desire to finish off presents or charity projects in time. It's important to not over-do things, to take regular breaks, and remember to stretch. There are plenty of instructions now available on the internet of helpful stretching exercises for hands, arms, shoulders and necks. We had a relaxing 10 minutes working through a sheet of exercises, though it was also a little giggly as the lack of pictures left us rather bamboozled of how exactly the 'alligator' should be done!

Here are a couple of instructions that include images and videos:

Lion Brand yarn video

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Last meeting of 2018

A new month, and our meeting is very soon.  This coming Tuesday in fact (Tuesday 4th December).  It will be the chance to have a bit of a knit and natter and to work on those presents for Christmas, especially those that you are trying to keep secret!

We'll also be making a collection of new and unused items for donation to our chosen charity, The Friends of the Royal Marsden, Sutton Branch.  You have been very generous in the past and I have delivered bags and boxes crammed full of beautiful knitwear, crochet, handmade items and all sorts of other things which have been much appreciated.  Thank you.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, 8pm as usual at Court Moor School.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 2018 - Ann Brown of Posh Frocks

News and updates

A small group of club members organised a visit to to see Joyce Meader's personal collection of historical knitting patterns and items. Joyce gave a talk at club in October 2016 and will be returning in May 2019.

Unravel will he held at Farnham Malting on Friday 22 – Sunday 24 February 2019

Make it 2019 and Knit & Stitch it 2019 takes place on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, Farnborough

Show and tell

Carol made a cotton-blend top

and a white and pink cardigan for her great-niece

Deb has made 2 white and 2 mauve children's dresses, made from a combination of hand and machine knitting

Sally completed a hat kit that included a Christmas topper
Liz has been practising weaving on a table-top weaving loom

Talk by Ann Brown

Ann Brown, knitwear designer for Posh Frocks gave a tips and tricks filled talk on a large collection of recent machine and hand knitting designs and projects. Ann was very generous in sharing both her tips for success, and sharing mistakes and lessons learnt.

Ann was wearing one of her own designs that has an i-cord edge (Posh Frocks book 108) and explained that on a knitting machine the i-cord can be created by knitting every row, and the knitting will still curl, which works perfectly for the edging on this cardigan.

There was a comparison example of the difference that tension can have on a garment. Ann shared two jumpers both made from Artisano yarn, with one having been knit at a higher tension that the other. Even a small difference in tension can have a significant affect on the finished knitting. The lower tension was more fluid and softer.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

November meeting soon

This month we have Ann Brown of Posh Frocks coming to see us and bring some of her knitted garments (hand and machine) to inspire us.   Posh Frocks  It's been a while since Ann visited us so there should be plenty of interesting garments to see and hear about.

The date is Tuesday 6th November.  As usual we will be meeting at 8pm.  Don't forget we now meet at Courtmoor School.

I'm sure Ann would be interested to see your recently completed items, so bring them along for show and tell.

Knitting Collection

Some of us visited Joyce Meader on Saturday 27th September to see her collection of vintage knitting patterns, books and garments as well as other knitting memorabilia.  We had a great time browsing through her wardrobes, boxes and bookcases.  We must admit to a lot of "I remember".  We were talking about our visit all the way home.

Thanks Joyce for the lovely cake and most welcome cuppa!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

October 2018 - Unusual yarns

Events and updates

Fleet has a new artisan craft market every month. The 'Hart of Craft Artisan Market' takes place inside the Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet with 20 stalls. The person who previously ran the Internet Cafe in Farnham has a stall selling yarn. There is a Facebook page:

Following on from the charity knitting discussion last month, Liz now has copies of both hand and machine knitting instructions for making ventilator caps for babies. Please contact Liz is you would like to see the patterns. Black Sheep Wools also has a PDF for a hand knit pattern.

Sally has arranged a visit to view Joyce Meader's collection of knitted garments and items, and extensive pattern collection on Saturday 27th October. Spaces are limited. Please contact Sally if you are interested.

Unusual Yarns

Banana yarn (heavy, solid)
 Rowan river tape (light, crunchy)
 Baby alpaca and silk (light, soft, expensive)
 Royal alpaca, cashmere, silk (light, very soft, warm, very expensive)

 70% angora, 20% nylon, 10% wool (warm, can shed when warm but less so when cold)

 100% manila hemp (paper yarn)

 Latex effect, 65% polyurethane, 35% polyester

 100% Ramie (nettle fibre)

 Grilon K-85 (thermoformable yarn) 840 dtex

 Daytona 100% polypropylene

 Kevlar (para-aramid)

 62% wool, 38% copper

62% Glass beads, 21% polyester, 7% resin, 6% aluminium, 4% nylon (fabulous sheen under torch light)

Solvron (dissolves in water at 30-50C)

 80% cashmere, 20% silk
 50% silk, 50% acrylic
 Shantung: 40% lambswool, 40% cotton, 20% silk

Show and Tell

There are a lots of WIPs at the moment, but fewer finished objects this month. Both Sally and Liz had finished items that had been started whilst demonstrating knitting machines at the Southern Wool Show in Newbury last month.

Liz machine-knit a peach top using in-hold shaping.
Hand-knit turban

Sally machine-knit a kimono-inspired cardigan, that also used in-hold shaping.