Saturday, July 07, 2018

July 2018 - Charity knitting or finishing WIPs

It was a very warm evening for the last meeting of the 2017-18 club calendar. Not surprisingly, several members are on holiday at this time of year, so there was a slightly smaller turn-out than usual. There was lively discussion of the Guild of Machine Knitters AGM last month, with particular enthusiasm for Nick of Uppingham Yarns talk on the huge range of yarns currently available, and the speech by the Guild founder Frank Dineen on his recollections of the early years of the Guild.

Fleet club had a stand in the foyer of the venue displaying items created by members, and kindly laid out by Jean.
Fleet Knitting Club stand at the Guild of Machine Knitters AGM, 2018
There was also discussion of a beautifully crafted sideways-knit skirt that was seen being proudly worn at the AGM, which led into comparisons of the different techniques to achieve the pleating, including the heat-set 'boil-in-the-bag' technique.

There was a 3-for-2 offer on in Lidl's for a cotton/acrylic yarn, which may still be available in some branches (depending on stock).

There is no August meeting. The next meeting will be Tuesday 4th September, 2018.

Upcoming shows

The Southern Wool Show will be held at the Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 1st September.

Charity knits

Liz brought along some charity knit patterns, as well as some of the latest crazes on the internet, including knitting finger rings, 'Flashdance' chair socks, catnip bunny toys, water bottle holders, and an aquatic trend that included fish and octopus.

Show and tell

Jean machine-knit a child's orange jacket with lace edging.

Sandra hand-knit a white garter-stitch baby cardigan to donate to the Sands Charity. A matching hat is on the needles.

Carol's pink lacy cardigan is a present for a neighbour's 70th birthday.

Liz hand-knit two pairs of socks. The blue/green pair have the 'after-thought spiral heel'.

Hand-knit wrap-around scarf for a baby in an Aran-look yarn.

A hand-knit four colour cotton yarn bag with i-cord handles.

Carol also brought along some new Addi needles for sock knitting that look very interesting. They have the name addiCraSyTrio.

Friday, June 29, 2018

July meeting reminder

First off - a reminder.  Don't forget that we've moved to a new home.   Court Moor School, Classroom L1 Library Block, Spring Woods, Fleet, Hants GU52 7RY.

It's our July meeting on Tuesday 3rd July.  It's down as a knit and natter for our summer charity.  So bring along anything you are knitting or crocheting that could be given to charity.  I wouldn't expect it to get finished on the evening, but just to make a start and work on it over the summer would be great.  Not sure what to knit, then we'll have a few suggestions - things that don't take too long, and can be knitted from a small quantity of yarn, so "leftovers".  You could also bring along your current project and work on that if you prefer to finish one thing before starting something else.

Of course there will be lots of chatter too!  If it's a warm evening you might like to bring a cold drink with you as we don't have facilities to make a cuppa.

(We don't be meeting in August but we'll be back again in September.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

June 2018 - Crochet for all and new venue

The club has relocated to a new venue, because the previous venue has been sold off for redevelopment. The new venue is a school, and has better parking, lighting, and more toilets.
Lots of members brought along items for the club stand at the GMK 'National Guild Day' this coming weekend.


The Guild of Machine Knitters 'National Guild Day' will be taking place this Saturday, 9th June 2018 at The Barton Hall in Horndean. The day includes the AGM, demonstrations, speakers, club displays, and traders. More details can be found on the Guild website.

The Southern Wool Show will be held on Saturday 1st September 2018 at Newbury Racecourse near Newbury. Free parking, 60 stalls, workshops, and free demonstrations.

The increasingly popular Spring into Wool festival of woolly crafts in Leeds is already being planned for April next year (2019). Free parking, 80 stalls, workshops, and free demonstrations.

The Machine Knitting LIVE! show that was cancelled in Bournemouth in March due to snow, has been re-scheduled for Saturday 8th October, 2018.

Show and Tell

Carol had been very busy over the last two months since the last meeting, having finished a pair of socks, a blue child's summer dress, and two blue child's cardigans (one with a hood, and one without).

Annette collected the pattern, yarn and hooks for this super-cute crocheted amigurumi baby giraffe from popping into various yarn shops in different ports whilst on a cruise.   

Crochet for all

Crochet is a useful and creative skill in its own right, as well as being an excellent complement to knitting, for adding edging, borders, and lace-like enhancements. This week was an opportunity for those who already crochet to get in some practise, and for those yet to take up the hook, to have a go. Here are a few of the links from the list that Liz provided to help and inspire:

Knitting and Crochet Guild - learn to crochet

Craftsy - How to Crochet Granny Squares

Redheart - Free Crochet patterns

Playlist of Crochet YouTube videos

Saturday, June 02, 2018

June meeting - at our new venue

Our June meeting is coming up fast.  According to the programme the topic for the meeting is "crochet for all".  So if you can't crochet this is your opportunity to learn, and if you can crochet a bit it is your opportunity to learn a bit more.  Hopefully those who can crochet will be showing us a few techniques.

If you can, please bring a crochet hook and some suitable yarn.  Most of my hooks are packed away ready to take to the Guild of Machine Knitters National Guild Day on Saturday. Only the sizes at either end of the scale are available!

As we didn't meet in May I hope you will bring lots of things to "show and tell".  And if you have anything machine knitted that we can display at the Guild Day then please bring it along for Jean.

Don't forget we will be meeting at the new venue.  The room is booked from 8 pm till 10 pm.  Drive into the school and park in the car park on the right.  Walk along the path into the school.  The Library block is on the right.  I'll try and be around there to direct you.  And if you need directions to the school contact me.

Court Moor School,
Room L1, Library Block,
Spring Woods, Fleet, Hampshire GU52 7RY

There are no tea and coffee making facilities, so if you want a drink please bring it with you.

See you on Tuesday

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

May Meeting - Cancelled

Regrettably we have to cancel our May meeting for Tuesday 1st May.

We heard today (Thursday 25th April) that the sale of the St Johns Ambulance Hall where we have met for the last 35 years or so is going through on 1st May and that all the contents will be removed prior to that.  We haven't yet found an alternative venue as we were lead to believe that we had some months yet.😢

So the search is now on to find somewhere.  Hopefully by June we will have found a place to meet.  So watch for the new venue.

In the mean time, keep knitting and see you before too long.

Monday, April 09, 2018

April 2018 - work in progress and problem solving

The April showers thankfully held off for the evening, and there was an excellent turn out, including new members. The huge 'For Sale' sign on the front of the building has been updated to 'Under Offer', though we have been informed that we can continue to meet in the hall for the rest of this club year (September - July). Alternative venues continue to be investigated.

Show and Tell

Nina's knitted Easter Chicks were finished before Easter and had already gone to their new home before the meeting, so we only had the pattern to 'ooo' and 'arh' at ( Jean finished a hand-knit pair of stripy socks using a soft cast-off edge from a previous meeting.

Carol had been very busy and completed a blue aran cardigan and a child's blue aran jumper, along with a rainbow child's cardigan, and a rainbow hat with bobble.

Work in Progress and problem solving

There were several hand-knit cardigans in progress, and several members were having sizing and joining issues, with sections having to be ripped back and re-done. This included a hand-knit sleeve for a cardigan in self-patterning Baby Crofter (which is softer than the similar Crofter yarn), but having issues getting the raglan sleeves to match the rear and front pieces. A 'sloppy joe' sweater in a chunky knit (10mm needles) was experiencing similar issues with drop-shoulder sleeves.

There was planning underway for a summer cardigan, and Jean shared the collection of samples and the design sheet used for planning, along with an in-progress ribbon fabric brought along to discuss possible uses.

Liz is working on a mauve hand-knit scarf in a soft cotton yarn using a lace pattern. There was a discussion about the variability of softness and durability of cotton yarns.

Friday, March 30, 2018

April meeting

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 3rd April.  We're having a knit and natter this month, so bring along your work in progress and show us what you're knitting!  It's a good opportunity to get help with anything you're uncertain of too. We'd also love to see items you've finished in the last few weeks too.

As it's Easter feel free to bring along your chocolate as well!  We'll only be supplying tea, coffee and biscuits.

The meeting will be at 8 pm at the St Johns Ambulance Hall, Clarence Road, Fleet as usual.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 2018 - Casting off

Luckily the snow had cleared by Tuesday evening, and there was a good turn-out. Lots of work-in-progress was on hand, and members had been making good progress given the poor weather.

We were all surprised by large 'For Sale' sign on the front of the hall. Liz had received communication that the current arrangement was not going to change before July, but that we may need to consider a different location from September. There was a lively discussion on the variety of local halls, comparing prices, facilities, parking and locations. There was also discussion on the possibility of having to change which evening we meet, depending on hall availability.

Show and Tell

Jean experimented with a new stitch pattern on a scarf using James C Brett's Aria DK, which is a sequined mauve yarn. Jean had to experiment with different cast-offs to find one that matched the loose cast on edge.
Janet had been very busy, with a fluffy red/green scarf, and several hats. The hat pom-poms started a discussion on the variety of methods that can be used to create pom-poms, and main two favoured methods were two circles of card from a cereal packet, and the plastic pom-pom 'machines' available from craft stores.

Carol knit a beautiful white soft baby blanket that was incredibly light. It was knit in the round from the centre outwards. 

Sandra created a cute Owl toy with big white eyes from fluffy red and green King Cole yarn.

Casting Off

Liz researched a selection of different cast-off techniques, and knit samples for each. 

34 1st


 Twist stitch after pass over and before knit incr stitch



 Knit stitch, pass knit stitch over previous.
2x2 rib.


Saturday, March 03, 2018

March meeting - the snow is going fast!

Well, it looks like the snow will all be gone and the weather will be be ok.  Our meeting will be going ahead and I hope you will come.  Tuesday 6th March, 8pm.

The topic for the evening is binding / casting off.  I've been using the same couple of cast offs for years and they have always been neat but tight so much so that when I've cast off the rib at the top of a sock it is always too tight.  So I investigated a looser cast off method and found a few different methods.

I'm hoping to have a few samples knitted.  If you'd like to have a go then bring yarn and needles.  Alternatively bring your work in progress and continue with that.

I'm going to try and bring a machine along too so that we can have a go at doing some loose cast offs on that too.

Visitors are always welcome.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 2018 - Sock heels

There was an enthusiastic turn-out of warmhearted,  cheerful and chatty members, in contrast to the dark cold snowy weather outside.

The club received a lovely thank-you letter from the Royal Marsden for our charity donation in December.

If you are of the sewing persuasion, and looking for a charity to be involved in, then a member brought along information about the Wrap Pyjama Fairies charity, who are looking for fabric, and people who can sew, to make up their designs for children in hospitals. Full details available on the Wrap Pyjama Fairies website.

Unfortunately, there is the sad news to share that Phyllis, the club's last original founding member, passed away last month. Phyllis was an active member of the club for over 40 years, and an enthusiastic machine knitter. If you search through this blog you will find examples of some of the wonderful knits that Phyllis has made over the years, including

In lieu of flowers, the club will be making a donation to the British Heart Foundation in Phyllis' name.

Local events

The Farnborough Craft Guild will be having a craft show in Farnborough on the 24th February. See the Farnborough Craft Guild website for details.

Aldi has yarn in their Special Buys aisle at the moment.

Slightly further afield, the Bournemouth Machine Knitting Show is on Saturday 3rd March this year. More details on the Machine Knitting Monthly website.

Show and Tell

Nina machine knit a light blue jumper from an angora/acrylic mix, with a dark blue pattern using ribbon yarn.

Carol had been busy knitting a glittery (lurex) yellow child's jacket, and a blue hooded cable cardigan.

Liz was working on a one-row pattern repeat scarf, and shared a useful tip to include tassels whilst also ensuring the whole ball of yarn is used up. When getting close to the end of the last ball of yarn, pull the other end of the yarn from the centre of the ball, and make the tassels. Then, continue to knit to the end of the ball. The tassels can then be attached last.

Gaynor made a twiddle-muff that included a pocket for tissues, and a photo frame that is attached by a ribbon.

Sock heels

After a short interval for refreshments, there was a lively discussion about different preferences for sock heels, as well as cast-on/off methods for socks, and different preferences for cuff height, shape and tightness.

Liz brought along a collection a sock knitting books. The most interesting book formats was from the series of 'Socks a la carte' books by Jonelle Raffino. If you use the 'look inside' feature on Amazon, you can see that the book is spiral-bound, and the centre section is made of 3 horizontal sections, so the reader can select different cuff, heel and foot designs. 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

First meeting of 2018

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?  Hope not and I send everyone best wishes and hope you get lots of knitting finished in 2018

To start the year, and with weather being rather on the chilly side we will be looking at knitting socks.  We'll be paying special attention to heels too as there are number of different ways of knitting them and achieving different looks and fit. 

I do hope you'll come and join us.  Details of when and where we meet are in one of the other boxes somewhere on this page.  If you'd like to have a go bring either a set of four or five double pointed needles or a circular needle and some yarn.  Don't worry if you haven't got either, we'll have a few spares.    You're welcome to bring another project and work on that if you prefer.

I look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Donations at our December Meeting.

Sorry everyone, I forgot to take photos of the items that were donated to the Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital. There was a lovely lot as usual and I have since received a letter of thanks from the Friends.  They work so hard raising funds and our contributions help stock their sales tables. The money raised is used to make things a little bit more pleasant and easy for in patients and out patients as well as providing items that would not be available otherwise.

No photos either during the course of the evening, when we also had a bit of a knit and natter along with mince pies.

No meeting in January so our next meeting will be on the first Tuesday of February.

Wishing everyone a very Happy and peaceful 2018.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

December is here - it will soon be Christmas!

It's the December meeting on Tuesday 5th December.  I'm sorry but we won't be getting a visit from Father Christmas as he is resting the reindeer to make sure they are fit for work later in the week!

It's our Christmas charity evening when we hope that you will bring along donations of new and unused items surplus to requirements for the Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton.  It can be almost anything (not sweets/chocs or things edible please) that you've made or been given.  I'll be visiting the hospital on Saturday 9th so if you can't make the meeting and have items for me to take then please get them to me before Friday.

Of course I hope you will bring your knitting to show and to work on whilst we have "seasonal refreshments".  It would be lovely to see lots of you there.  Numbers have been a bit down recently, but I hope it's just a blip and they will start to go up again.

Hope to see you on Tuesday, 8pm.  Visitors welcome.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 2017 - Christmas Knits

Tuesday was a dark, wet and cold evening. 

A branch of Hobbycraft has opened in Farnborough, and there is a opening offer discount code in the Courier.

Club members had been very busy knitting in the last month, possibly due to the darker evenings. 

Show and tell

Collection of Christmas knitted toys and decorations. The snowman and cat are made from the same basic pattern, with a circle of cardboard at the base to aid stability. The mini wreath and trees are made from i-cords. 

Reversible doll made on a knitting machine. The blond hair curls were made by alternating 2 knit stitches with 1 dropped stitch, and the resulting effect is lovely.

A Santa hat and a snowman had using different yarns and colours with the same basic pattern. The snowman's eyes, nose and mouth are attached by hand.

A collection of reindeer items. Matching hat, glove puppet and badge. The antlers have pipe-cleaners inside to provide shaping.

A slightly more random collection of Christmas knits. The stocking is made using the after-heel method for the heel and toe. The green hat is made from a 1 inch section of cardboard tube from a toilet roll inner, then lengths of green yarn are hooped over the tube. Popular on Pinterest and Instagram, but very fiddly. It would have been quicker to knit a mini hat, for a regular knitter. 
The red and white mini stockings and baubles are from a Knit 1 pattern

Two-tone hand-knit cardigan with a simple cable pattern. 

Grey machine-knit jumper, with lovely neck detailing, and subtle white and pink arm stripes. A clever way to use up small sections of left-over yarn colours.

This beautiful matching lace scarf and beret was to be an entry into the two-piece competition last year, but due to circumstances, the meeting couldn't be attended. 

Exquisite hand-knit shawl with leaf pattern in soft green single ply yarn from Spain. The shawl is pending a second blocking to bring-out the pattern details and edging features.

A well-loved regularly-used pattern for a child's purple and white striped hoodie.

Two smaller size cardigans, with colourful button.