Sunday, July 07, 2019

July 2019 - Summer knitting

News and updates

Drayton Machine Knitting Club have invited our club members to a talk by Bill King on the afternoon of Monday 7th October. There will be tea, coffee, cake and a raffle. Tickets cost £5 each. Please contact the club to book a place.

The Southern Wool Show is at Newbury race course on the Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st September 2019. Details on their website

Chipmunk Crafts in Bolton contacted us about their knitted jewellery kits. You can receive a 20% discount on their kits if you quote KNITONE at the checkout. Their website is

Nina brought along a copy of the latest local Hart Voluntary Action magazine.

The school room has been booked again for 2019-20.

There is no meeting is August. The next meeting will be the AGM and knit-and-natter on Tuesday 10th September. Please note this is the SECOND Tuesday in September, as the School term doesn't start back until Wednesday 4th September, so won't be open for the usual first Tuesday.

Due to the way the months fall next year, and the School closures, there will be 2 meetings in March 2020 (the month has 5 Tuesdays), and no meeting in April 2020. Reminder nearer the time.

The Machine Knitting Guild is merging with the Knitting and Crochet Guild. Our club has been a Machine Knitting Guild club branch for many years. We will be applying to be a Knitting and Crochet Guild club branch.

Summer knitting

Discussion about different light yarns to use for summer knitting, such as cotton and linen blends.

Discussion about crocheting blankets. Top tip: to add a name tag to a crocheted blanket, write the name on name tape and knot the tape into a corner of the blanket.

Show and tell

Jean made a leno weave scarf with a few added sparkles. Perfect for those cool summer evenings.
Sandra hand-knit a pink cardigan for a baby to donate to the special care baby unit.
Sylvia machine knit a turquoise jumper with lace feature in Robin 4 ply. The pattern is from Machine Knitting Monthly.
Liz crocheted several blanks in different colourways. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

July meeting

With the turn in the weather and a heat wave going on it's not really weather for knitting and crochet - or is it?  If you're like me and prefer shade to sun then I find a cooler shady spot, pour myself a cold drink and pick up small projects, preferably in something like cotton yarn, and relax.

Luckily the evenings are cooler too which is no bad thing and hopefully will encourage you to come along to our July meeting.  It's a knit and natter evening with a theme of knitting for summer to help conversation along and to keep us on topic.  There'll be plenty of time for show and tell too so do bring along your recently completed projects and also those unfinished ones to work on.

We look forward to seeing you at our now usual venue (details above somewhere!) at 8pm. 

There will be no meeting in August, but we have booked the school room again for September 2019 - July 2020.  We'll update the programme (see left) as soon as we've worked it out.  Have a great summer if you can't make the July meeting (and if you can too!)

June Meeting

Unfortunately neither Sally or I could make the June meeting.  But it did go ahead as usual and Nina sent me a short report about what happened.  No photos to go with it but then that's not the first time as either we've forgotten a camera (in the days before mobile phones took good pictures) or we were just so busy that we never had time.

We started the meeting with a show and tell session. There were some interesting items including an owl knitted in King Cole tinsel chunky. We then had a lively discussion trying to solve each other's problems with our current knitting projects! The evening flew passed and home time came too quickly.
Thanks for Nina and the others who kept things going in our absence.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

June meeting

This reminder is a bit earlier than usual, but it may give you time to arrange to come.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 4th June.  8 pm as usual.  The location is at the top of the page.  The topic for the evening is problem solving, so if you're a bit stuck or confused come along with your knitting, or crochet and the pattern and we'll try and help.

There will also be time to show and tell about your latest finished work, or almost finished if it will be going to the recipient before the next meeting.  We do like to see what you've been doing and it will give inspiration to others too.

I'm sure there will be a lot of nattering going on too, so why not join us for a knit and natter evening.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

May 2019 - Talk from Joyce Meader

News and updates

There was mention of a new Moomins knitting yarn and book, available from Wool Warehouse, but it is already out-of-stock.

Show and tell

Jean produced a beautiful woven multi-colour scarf.

Sandra hand-knit a toy duck that was more complex than expected.

And hand-knit baby jumper and trousers for the bereavement unit at Frimley Park (pattern from the Guild newsletter).
There were several jumpers and cardigans.

 And some scarfs made from super soft yarn.

Talk by Joyce Meader

Joyce brought along a selection of items from her extensive personal collection of knitting patterns, needles, accessories and garments. Joyce discussed the intricacies of knitting garments and accessories for use in the film industry. Most recently, Joyce has knit balaclavas, finger-less mittens, and garments for the World War I film '1917' that is currently being films on Salisbury Plain.

This led on to the first selection of folders of knitting patterns that had the theme of celebrities modelling the garments. This ranged from classic film stars (Roger Moore, Jean Simmons),  sports professionals (lots of cricketers) and TV stars (Susan Hampshire, Sarah Greene). There were knitting books produced for ITV, TV Times, and Emmerdale. The popstars section included Aha and a 'Smash Knits' special with the Thompson Twins.

There was a huge collection of needle knits, needle gauges (including a silver bell gauge from the 1847) and a giant 2-part Tunisian crochet needle.

For more information please see Joyce's website:

Monday, May 06, 2019

May meeting tomorrow

It's almost caught me unawares - time has flown by and our meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday 7th May). 

We will be welcoming Joyce Meader who last visited us in October 2016.  Joyce will be bringing more items from her collection of vintage garments and patterns.  We're hoping she will also bring some of the knitted items she has made for a film that's being made on Salisbury Plain.  You can find out more about Joyce on her website

If you've completed any knitted or crochet items recently please do bring them along for show and tell.  We all like to see what you've been making as it can give us all a bit of inspiration.

All welcome.  We'd love to have more hand and machine knitters and crocheters join us.  In fact, however you use yarn you're welcome to join us.

So Tuesday 7th May, 8pm at Courtmoor School.  Full address is here on the page somewhere!

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

April 2019 - Spinning

Slightly fewer numbers than usual, as some are away on holidays, and it was a cold and wet evening. The guest speaker for the evening was Valerie Thorne from the West Surrey Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.

News and events

For those who are a member of the Guild of Machine Knitting, please check your email as the voting details have been sent out. Please vote.

The exhibition "Soft engineering - Textiles taking shape" is currently on at the Whitchurch silk mill (between Andover and Basingstoke) until the 23rd June. In addition there are also talks and events on the 27th and 28th April.

Show and tell

Nina had machine-knit a white cardigan on a mid-gauge machine.

Spinning wool

Our guest speaker for the evening was the highly-skilled spinner Valerie Thorne from the West Surrey Guild of Spinners, weavers and dyers. Val brought along a spinning wheel, several drop-spindles, and a selection of hand-dyed yarns.

There was a wide selection of drop-spindles to look at including this beautiful hand-crafted wooden drop-spindle made by Ian Tait (prices from £30).
Using the traditional facilities at Butser Ancient Farm, Val had produced a whole blanket made from yarn spun using a drop-spindle and dyed with natural dyes.

Here are some of the varieties of wool dye colours from some natural and less natural sources.

The spinning wheel is an Ashford upright spinning wheel that is a compact design in the Shetland style for smaller houses. The Ashford Handicrafts website lists a whole range of spinning wheels and accessories. Few people still produce hand-made spinning wheels. The spinning wheel produces a soft thrumming noise, unlike the noisy kersh-kersh of a knitting machine. In this photo Val is wearing a Japanese-style cardigan that she hand-knit from her own spun yarn.

The Blue-faced Leicester and the Merino yarns stood out as the softest. There was a useful tip shared that the best stain remover is white vinegar if you accidentally spill your tea or coffee on your knitting. There were some gorgeous shawls of many colours produced using tops from John Arbon Textiles. There were also some unusual fibres including this mobius scarf made from Qiviut with camel and silk from Vancouver island.

Forget-me-knot the jingling lamb (Heidi bears pattern)

Here is my first piece of yarn produced from spinning using a drop-spindle.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

April meeting

Another month has rushed by and it's time for our April meeting.

Val is coming to give us a demonstration of spinning.  Almost all of the yarns we use have been spun so it's almost "back to basics".  Val will be bringing her spinning wheel and also some drop spindles so some of us will be able to have a go.

There will be time for show and tell too.  We all like to see what others have made as it inspires us and gives us ideas for things we'd like to knit.

The start time is 8 pm.  We'll be finished by 10 pm.  If you don't know where we meet then look at the top of this blog to find the address.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

March 2019 - Colours


The weather was pretty miserable and the rain was very noisy on the skylight. There was a good turn-out including two new hand-knitters. Regarding the committee, Christine and Carol have kindly volunteered to share the post of treasurer.

'Knit in Public' day this year is on Saturday 8th June 2019, see the website for general details. We're thinking of meeting up in a public area in Fleet. Suggestions gratefully received. We discussed cafes, the shopping centre, the park and the library.

The 'Machine Knitting Monthly' show at Bournemouth will be on Saturday 5th October 2019. The club is considering hosting a stand last year. Tickets can be purchased from and are currently £5 each.

We've heard that the Guild of Machine Knitters newsletter is running late, but had arrived by the time I wrote this post.

The Royal Marsden has confirmed that the sales table will be moving to Sutton. As this is going to be more difficult to get to, we're still considering local charities.

One suggestion is the Mission to Seafarers who have a freepost adddress for knitted hats. Liz made 21 hats to post to them. Here are some photos of a few of them:

The club received a question by email about flat shelf storage for 'spare' knitting machines, which  sparked an animated discussion on the different storage systems people use, and what constitutes a  'spare' knitting machine.


Sewing for pleasure is at Birmingham on the 14-16 March. Check the parking cost if you are intending to go. On the day parking will be £16. £12 if purchase before.

Craft4crafters is at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, on Thursday 11th - Saturday 13th April 2019.

Nottingham Machine Knitting show is on Sunday 14th April.

Show and Tell

Carol hand-knit a child's cricket jumper.
 Nina machine knit a raglan jumper using a marl 100% acrylic yarn.
 Sandra hand-knit a cardigan in James Brett's chunky marbled yarn.
 Sandra hand-knit baby cardigans for Frimley Park Hospital.
 Carol crocheted a huge and beautiful blanket.

Andre hand-knits Aran jumpers and hats using his own patterns. Andre's top tips for handling the washing phase is to wash flat in the base of the shower, using bare feet to massage the yarn and gently push out the water. Then towel-squeeze dry and allow to naturally dry flat. 
This jumper is particularly special as it was designed and knit by Andre for him to wear at his wedding. See the close-up image of the bobble-stitch detailing. 

 Sylvia knit a variegated striped cardigan in stocking stitch on a mid-gauge machine, and completed the ribbing by hand. The yarn is Hayfields bonus DK.
 Marianne started the evening with a WIP scarf, which was finished before the end of the evening. Lofty yarn containing red and black threads.


Basics of colour - colour wheel

Bright Side's The Ultimate Color Combinations Cheat Sheet

Here is an example of a colour wheel:

With multi-colour yarn or working a pattern with multiple colour threads, sometimes colour pooling occurs. Here are some examples of when colours pool, and not pooling:

Liz made lots of samples showing different colour combinations and patterns, so show the different effects of combining a multi-colour yarn with a single colour yarn, or choosing which colour is the background and which is the foreground.