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.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

November Meeting

Another last minute post - sorry!

Hearing the fireworks tonight reminded me that we must be having our meeting on Tuesday, 7th November.  Usual time of 8 pm.

The scheduled topic is "Little Knits for Christmas".  So come along armed with your knitting, and some ideas of small things that can be knitted for decorations and for gifts.  You could even have a go at some of them.

Sorry I won't be there, but I have an appointment elsewhere.  However Sally, Annette, Carole and Nina are all planning to be there and will get things going.  And I shall look forward to hearing all about it.

Visitors and new members are always welcome.  You'll find information on where we meet on this page if you look around.

Have fun on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

October 2017 - Knit, natter and unfinished projects

This month the theme was unfinished projects. There was a wide range of projects that were brought along, and a wide variety of reasons why the different projects had stalled.

Liz worked on the second incarnation of a white patterned cowl. The first version was knit in the round with an accidental twist, so it became an accidental Mobius strip.

Crochet projects included a cushion cover and a square for a blanket.

Knitted projects included a reversible child's jumper, a cardigan with cables, a ribbon yarn scarf, and hand-knitting the rib on the edges of a machine-knit kid's jumper.

Show and tell

Gaynor crocheted a selection of Dorset button patterns. Wikipedia has a page about Dorset buttons.

Julia crocheted a beautiful purple-themed blanket made from a variety of complementary design squares.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

October meeting reminder

Another month has passed and Autumn seems to be well and truly here.  This month we will be knitting, nattering and hopefully finishing! 

I'm sure we have all got knitting and crochet projects that have "stalled"; been put to one side because you've reached a bit that you don't understand, you haven't got the number of stitches you should have, it's boring or for any number of reasons.  It's been sitting there glaring at you and just asking to be picked up and worked on again.  Dig it out, bring it with you this month and get going again.  I'm sure someone will be there to help you sort out any problems (so don't forget the pattern!).  And if you don't have any UFO's then pick needles, yarn and pattern and start something new or work on your current project.

Hope to see you on Tuesday 3rd October, 8 pm as usual

Friday, September 15, 2017

September 2017 AGM and catching up

The first meeting of the club year started with the AGM. There was a smaller turn-out than usual. The first tuesday co-incided with schools starting, and it was a wet and dark evening.

We talked through all the meeting titles for the forthcoming year. Unfortunately there is a declining availability of speakers. If you know of anyone who does interesting knitting or crochet-related talks, please speak to one of the committee.

The annual challenge has been changed to two charity evenings. The club will still continue to support The Royal Marsden at the winter charity evening, but we're looking for suggestions for local charities to support for the summer charity evening. Please keep an eye open for any local charities that are appealing for knitted or crocheted items, such as hats and blankets for baby care units.

Show and Tell

Liz has been learning how to use a 12" knitters loom, and had made 3 different scarves.

Sally brought along an old Knitmaster 4500, with Ribmaster, in a large wooden box (possibly a croquet box?). It was found in the For Sale area at a recycling centre in Oxfordshire. One of the bakalite fingers was missing, but it could be useful for spares for someone with a working model.

Sylvia had knit grey striped top on her Knitmaster, and hand-knit a hat and mittens for a child.

Monday, August 28, 2017

September and a new year for us

At Fleet Knitting club we follow the academic year so September is the start of a new year for us. We've worked out a programme so you can see what we are doing each month, but it is subject to change so if we find someone who will come and give us a talk we'll just swap things round!  The programme as it stands now is on the left hand side of the page.

Our first meeting of 2017/18 is on Tuesday 5th September at 8 pm.  We will be having a very short AGM just to keep things in order! And straight after that we will be asking "can we help?"  So if you are having a problem with some knitting, stuck on a stitch pattern or don't understand what to do next bring it along and we'll see if we can explain. Maybe you are an experienced knitter and your help sorting out these problems will be gratefully received.

I'm sure there will also be time for a show and tell, so if you've completed, or almost completed some knitting or crochet please bring it along as we'd all love to see it.

New members and visitors are always welcome to any meeting.  Look around this page and you'll see a box which tells you when and where we meet.  Bring your knitting or crochet with you too.  We're not a class nor do we run courses.  We're a group of people with a common interest - knitting and crochet.  We will try and help wherever possible and we often learn things ourselves when others bring their problems along.

Look forward to seeing you.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

July meeting

The July meeting will take place on Tuesday 4th July.  It will be a knit and natter evening (we haven't had one of them for a while!) so bring along your work in progress and have a chat with others whilst you knit.

July is also the month when we bring along the items we made for the club knitting challenge.  You may remember that it is to knit a two piece set, so hat and gloves, scarf and hat, or even a jumper and skirt - whatever you choose.  More details should be in the side bar.

Please bring any items you've completed this month too, so we can have a show and tell as well.

There won't be a meeting in August as it's summer holiday time!  So if you can't make this meeting the next time we meet will be September and the start of a new year for us.

So same place, same time - Tuesday 4th July, 8 pm!

Our June meeting

Apologies twice over.  Firstly for being so late in posting about our June meeting, and secondly I didn't take photos!  (Note to self - must do better!)

The topic of the meeting was knitting with beads.  The attendance for the evening wasn't great, but we had a good discussion about the different ways to knit beads in and what "extras"  could be purchased to make the task easier.

There a number of Youtube videos showing different methods, as well as written tutorials.  All were quickly found by searching on line with Google or other search engine.

During the notices it was mentioned that the Guild of Machine Knitters National Guild Day would be talking place at a location not too far away.  Some members of the Club attended and had a great day despite the heat (we were having a mini-heatwave here in the UK!).  Lots to look at, speakers to listen hear and a day spent chatting with other machine knitters.  Lots of tea, coffee and cake too!  What more could we want.  The Guild of Machine Knitters website  They also have a Facebook page now too  Guild Facebook page and have posted a photograph taken on the day.  I can spot two of our members in the photo!

Monday, June 05, 2017

June meeting tomorrow

It's been a busy time for me, so apologies for this late posting.

Our club meets tomorrow, Tuesday 6th June at 8pm.  The topic for the evening is knitting with beads.  We'll have a machine there for those that would like to see how to add beads to their knitting.  We will also show how to add beads to your hand knitting.  

If you'd like to have a go, then bring needles and yarn.  If you have a tiny crochet hook (0.5mm or 0.6mm) then bring that too plus seed beads size 6 or 8 if you have them or any other beads that have a hole large enough for the yarn to go through.  Don't worry if you haven't; there will be some available.

Look forward to seeing you.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

May 2017 - patchwork knitting and crochet

This month the meeting was a practical workshop on multi-colour patchwork knitting/crochet.

Jean shared that there is a Farnborough Craft Guild craft fair at the Southwood Community Centre on Saturday 13th May.

Show and Tell

Janet had crocheted a multicolour blanket using popcorn stitch.
 Julia has knit some more hats for the Innocent Big Knit project.

Julia had crocheted her 5th blanket for the 60 Million Trebles charity project, and is working on a cushion cover.
 A variety of blankets and cardigans to go to charity. The christmas pudding is a scaled-up copy of the christmas chocolate cover, which will now fit a chocolate orange.

The bottom edge of some of the cardigans were rolling outwards. The bottom edge was several rows of garter stitch. There was a discussion about how loose garter stitch can be. Generally speaking, when edging with rib, the needle size is decreased by 2 sizes. With garter stitch, the needle size can be decreased by 3 or 4 sizes to adjust for how loose the stitch is.
 A needle-felt Blue Tit.

Patchwork knitting and crochet

Jean discussed the various methods of picking up and/or joining sections of knitting. There were lots of samples passed round for discussion.

At the end of the session there were some interesting samples that people had worked on during the evening.