Monday, December 01, 2008

December already

It's December already and I haven't posted anything about what we did at the November meeting. I must admit to being busy with other things especially looking after the lovely Ruby, my granddaughter, who is now 9 1/2 months old and very inquisitive.

So November meeting first. Kathy couldn't make it, and I hadn't taken my camera, so no photographs this month. As usual Christine has been busy knitting and showed us some more of her lovely work. Apparently she does not bring everything she knits every month. Some of it has been handed over to the lucky recipient before she can bring it to our meeting. I had been knitting as well. By hand this time. I brought along a pair of socks I had knitted for Ruby. I took a photograph of them before she took them home. You can't really tell from the photograph how small they are, but if you think you'd like to have a go at knitting socks, try baby ones first. They don't take long to do, and the techniques are just the same as bigger ones.

Frances had been invited back to speak to us again. This time she went through the basics of double jacquard techniques. She showed us how to set the machine up with the double bed colour changer attached and went through all the important stages that are vital if we are to knit this fabric successfully. She also told us about shaping when knitting double jacquard fabric. All very useful information. We even decided that it would be possible to knit a double jacquard fabric by hand, but that should best be left for the experienced knitter.
So now the December meeting. It is on Tuesday 2nd December, 8pm as usual. As it is our Christmas Meeting, we will all be bringing something along to give to the Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital. They have a sales table in the Outpatients Department of the Hospital where they sell items that have been donated and raise funds for patient amenities. We have supported them for a while now and they are always very appreciative of our efforts. We will try to take some photographs and post them here before they are all packed up for delivery to the Hospital.
So if you would like to come and join us for coffee/tea and a mince pie please do so. We might even get a visit from Santa - we did last year!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November meeting

It's been a busy month for me. I've spent four days at Alexandra Palace, plus setting up day. I've been to the Long Buckby Knit and Natter day and we've also had a family christening with visitors for a week as well.

With the sudden change to autum weather it reminded me that October is over and the November meeting is upon us. This month we have Frances Perkins showing us some double jacqard. It's a long while since we covered jacquard, so she's going back to basics. Jacquard is such a big subject it will take more than one evening to cover, so I am sure Frances will be back again to continue the subject.

With all the things going on this month I haven't done any machine knitting, but I have done some hand knitting, so I will bring that to show you. I hope you've got some knitting done and will bring it and show us. We will be meeting at the usual time of 8 pm.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October Meeting

Tonight Liz talked to us about putting zips in knitwear. Advice on various weights of zip, when to use open ended zips, how to use them in raglan sleeves, especially useful for younger children's garments. The differences between metal and nylon zips and when to use each was discussed.And more importantly, how to sew them in by hand if that was your chosen method.
There are many types of zip on the market so it is important to choose the right one.

Here Liz is demonstrating latch tool cast on.

This zip was hand sewn into the garment after a crab stitch crochet edging was done along both edges, it gives a neat finish with some decorative detail.

This zip is put into a placket, which is knitted on the machine, the zip still has to be sewn in, can't escape that one! It does give a very neat placement from both side of the garment so is the choice for jackets using and open ended zip. The placket can be knitted in rib to match the welts and neckband.

Show and Tell

Finished at last, Liz's tuck stitch top, ready for next summer!

Beautifully knitted cardigan with a garter carriage edging from Sue!

Nina's top, with a crochet type edging!

Two more beautifully hand knitted shawls from Chris, both done in fine yarns!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

October meeting

Has another month really gone by? It seems like it was only last week that I was writing about the September meeting.

Well I've put my thinking cap on and done some work on this years programme. It's not all finalised yet but we are getting there. So I'm sure you will all want to know what we will be doing at the meeting this Tuesday (7th October). Putting Zips into knitwear will be the subject. This a topic suitable for both machine and hand knitters, so hopefully we will all learn something. I've got a few samples to show as well.

Don't forget to bring along the things you've made this month. I've finished a short sleeve jumper that I started in April, and I'm planning to bring it to show. Of course, I could forget it, especially if I do my packing before Tuesday. I'm going to be at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace for four days (9th - 12th October) on the stand of the Guild of Machine Knitters. I've got a room booked in a hotel close by, so won't have to travel there and back every day. I'm really looking forward to it, as there is so much to see.

But before that we have our meeting, so I hope to see you there. (Tuesday 7th October 8pm)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September meeting and AGM.

Tonight was our AGM which was fairly well attended for such a function! Business was kept short. Our finances are in good health, the subs remain unchanged and we will continue to support the Friends of the Royal Marsden, Sutton, as our charity. Fiona who has been our treasurer for a number of years has had to resign due to pressure of work and family commitments, so she was thanked for her sterling efforts in keeping the accounts in good order. Nina was also thanked for sorting out the teas and coffees, and everyone who helps with setting up and clearing away.
Liz hasn't managed to find enough speakers to fill the programme for the year, but she's working on it and we will be informed in due course.
This years challenge was announced - something for your hands. It need not be something to wear, like gloves, but something to carry, an item of jewellery such as ring or bracelet. You must not buy anything to make this, but may scrounge from other people. You have until next July to produce something, that seems a long way off, but start thinking now and you won't have that last minute rush!

Tonight our speaker was Janina Dodds from Button Up, and of course, the subject was buttons and their history. How they have been used over the centuries both for decoration and fastenings.

These little black buttons are of the type stitched to Queen Victoria's dresses.

A useful tip for fastening buttons to knitting if you don't want to sew. Thread the button on to a length of fine ribbon, tie a knot, then thread the ribbon through the garment and tie a bow. Your button is now securely fixed and also easily removable for washing or a change of buttons.

Janina also showed how buttons can be used decoratively, as here on a jacket collar, adding interesting detail and colour.

More beautiful hand knits from Chris.
Detail of a red lace shawl.

Detail from a pink lace pashmina.

Corner detail from a white baby shawl.

Margaret couldn't attend the July meeting so here are her hats! The stripey one is hand knit and the lilac one is crocheted.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

September meeting

Where has the summer gone? Did I miss it? It's our September meeting (and AGM) next Tuesday, 2nd September. I hope you received the e-mail or letter I sent out to members. I'm sorry it was so late, but I literally ran out of time. I still haven't completed the bookings for the year. I'm waiting for phone calls back to say if the speakers can make the suggested dates. As soon as it is finalised I'll let you know.

I'm pleased to say that I have arranged for a very interesting speaker for our AGM. Her name is Janina Dodds and she is from Button-Up. She's going to be telling us about some things we can do using buttons. Janina is an avid collector of buttons both old and not so old, so it should be a fascinating evening. Her talk will begin as soon as the AGM is over. Now you know we don't take long to deal with the business, so don't let it put you off coming.

Looking forward to seeing you in September. Visitors are always welcome, including at our AGM, so do please come. If you'd like directions etc, just drop me a message in the comments box or send me a message.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July Meeting

July, and for our club, the end of another knitting year. We might not have increased our members, but those we do have still keep knitting! Our challenge for this year was to make something to go on your head, incorporating some form of machine knitting, and as usual, we rose to the challenge with a great assortment of headgear. Obviously hats were the favourite!
Lots of discussion about hat patterns, yarns etc. Then a discussion about colours that suit people, how this can change over the years as we age, and hair changes colour.
We hope everyone has an enjoyable summer and is fit to start knitting again in September, when we meet again for out AGM.

Marcia knitted this lovely soft teddy hat, suitable for a child!

Liz's felted Shetland wool hat, lined with cotton, assembled by cut and sew, then plenty of steam to smooth into shape.

Liz made these two using foam peaks, one has felted knitting, then an assortment of embellishments, some made on the embroidery machine.

Three hats made by Sandra, from a bargain cone! Featuring ribbing, stocking stitch, i cords and tassels made on the machine.

Phyllis's hat is a pattern by Pippin designs, the brim is knitted using holding position.

Nina covered an alice band with shell tuck braid, and decorated it with beads.

Sylvia crocheted her hat but added knitted flowers, learnt how to make these at previous club meeting.

Sheila's two hats, with fair isle patterning. One has a ribbed band, the other a single bed band, top shaping done by moving stitches across on the machine.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

July meeting

July already - well it will be next week and therefore it's time for our meeting.

July is the month when you bring the item(s) I've challenged you to make. This year it is something to wear on your head. I hope you've all had a go at making something. I set the challenge last September at our AGM, so you can't say you haven't had time. With all the rotten weather lately you haven't been able to get out into the garden so you won't have that as an excuse for not having done anything.

Don't forget to bring along anything else you've been knitting. We do like to see it.

I will bring a machine along to the meeting with me, so that we can also see some more edgings that we can put onto garments. I've found some using i-cords that you might like.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Summer garment edgings

We didn't have a speaker this month. Instead Liz brought along her trusty and well travelled
punchcard machine and showed us a couple of edgings which would be suitable for use on summer garments. Neither were her own idea. The first one she had found on the internet and was from a free download pattern for a scarf by Eileen Montgomery. It's a pretty crochet look edging and the original sample she did was in one strand of filegree crepe. It was really simple to knit and looked far more complicated that it actually was.

The second edging was from a pattern by Maggie Andrews. It was part of her Ice Magic pattern. Liz had punched the card the night before. The edging formed the welt of the garment as was best suited to a pressable yarn, something like Bramwell Hobby. Liz explained that normally you would knit the welt, then let it rest and steam it before you started knitting the body of the garment, but we didn't have enough time for that. Liz showed us a sample she had knitted then demonstrated how it was done.

Janet from the Guild Dogs for the Blind also came along to our meeting. She had been given a number of sacks of coned yarn to sell to raise money for the Guild Dogs. We put the yarn onto tables and then decided what we would like and gave a donation to Janet. I think almost everyone came away with a cone or two of yarn, so hopefully we will get a few things for the show and tell next month.

Chris had knitted another of her beautiful shawls (sorry no photograph this time - note to self : must remember to photograph show and tell!). She also had her extreme knitting to show. She uses 15mm needles that are 80 cm long and about 15 strands of yarn to make really thick rugs and garments. She said it was heavy on the shoulders to knit with this size needles and amount of yarn so she couldn't do it for long at a time, but it grew very quickly.

Liz reminded us that next month is the end of the challenge to knit something to wear on our heads. Liz asked how many had started their item and three or four people said they had. Best get my thinking cap on!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June meeting

How quickly time is passing. Next Tuesday (3rd) is our June meeting. It really can't be June already can it?

This month I will be demonstrating a couple of edgings that I have found recently. Both very interesting and different. I will also demonstrate, on request, other techniques that you may be having problems with.

There will also be an opportunity to buy yarn at very reasonable prices. This yarn has been given to the Guide Dogs for the Blind to raise money for their funds. So I hope you will come along and find something that you like and give generously. One of the first people to teach knitting on a sock machine was blind, so there is a connection between us.

Visitors are welcome.

The Guild of Machine Knitters AGM

What a great day! A definite hightlight of any year.

This year the AGM was at Sherborne in Dorset, well within travelling distance for a day out from Fleet. Registration was from 9.45, but some people were early. The AGM itself started at 10.15 and took about 25 minutes. Usual stuff, reports from the Chairman and Treasurer, and election of committee members, then it was on to the more interesting things. The announcement of the results of the Guild competition. Giving this section my full attention of course, I was pleased to receive the Highly Commended Certificate for our club entry. There is a pictur below. This was our first time of entering and I'd like to think we will have another go next year.

Immediately after the AGM there was a coffee break and time to browse the stands set up by suppliers. Undy Yarns were there with their some of their beautiful yarns as well as spares and accessories, Ann Brown, Fiona Morris, Feola Dawes and Elaine Cater had come along with their patterns. Seven clubs had also come along with knitted items to display and what a variety. All the clubs had worked extremely hard to show what they have been doing. There was no way you could look at it all in a 15 minute coffee break, but there was plenty of time later in the day to look as there was also a lunch break and a break in the afternoon for tea.

The first speaker of the day was Janet Nabney. The things she showed us were really amazing, and inspiring. I came out of the talk with my head spinning with ideas. She talked about origami knitting - taking a straight piece of knitting, and shaping it by using holding position into a garment. Some people have such fantastic ideas and her talk left me itching to have a go. It was a good job Janet's talk was followed by the lunch break. I needed time to think about what I had just heard and file it away in my grey matter for later.

Fiona Morris was the speaker after lunch. Her talk was so different from the one we heard in the morning. Manual techniques for making open fabrics - holes to you and me. Again it gave me plenty of food for thought and there were samples that we could feel and look at as well. Both Janet and Fiona were using presentation equipment provided by the venue for the first time. This was necessary as there were over 80 people present and there was no way we could all look at one machine at the same time. It also meant that everyone could see examples of their work at the same time, and you didn't get passed a sample to look at that the speaker had talked about 10 minutes earlier.

After a short break for tea and cake there was a fashion show. Attendees at the AGM had been "spotted" by a committee member and asked to stand up and show the garment they were wearing. There are so many clever people around and it is always interesting to see what others have made. The day finished at 4.15. It had been a thought provoking, and inspiring day and I am sure everyone who attended went home with their head full of ideas - I certainly did.

There will be photographs from the day as well as entries in the competition will be posted on the Guild of Machine Knitters website:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Remember the box last month, now we can reveal the contents! Our club entry for the competition, The Three Bears Breakfast Table.

Here is the complete table setting. All these pieces were knitted by Liz, Carole, Sheila H, Kathy and Nina. Most items are machine knitted, but the flowers decorating the photo frame are felt, the picture is machine embroidered as is the milk carton label.

This is Baby Bear's bowl, porridge and spoon, napkin complete with ring, on a place mat. Mummy and Daddy's place setting are the same, but getting larger in size.

Here is the photo frame and vase with daffodils.

Here is the milk carton and sugar bowl. The sugar crystals are beads.

The club stand at the MK Guild AGM, showing some of the work done by members, and a hard copy of our blog.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May Meeting

Our speaker this month was Glynne Jones who talked to us about combining knit weave with lace. Some of these patterns were achieved by hand tooling and others with the use of a punchcard. All were very effective, and not too time consuming. Some patterns were more distinctive from the wrong side and some from the right. We all had an enjoyable and informative evening.

Lace and knit weaving viewed from the "wrong" side.

"Right" side of knitting showing how the pattern using black yarn is more effective viewed from this side.

Chris has been busy hand knitting more shawls, the white one is a baby shawl.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May meeting

All the rain over the past month may have kept you in doors, but have you put your time to good use and been knitting? I do hope so. Maybe you've been trying out some of the things Iris showed us when she was here a few weeks ago? Bring along the things you've done, successful or otherwise. We'd like to see them.

It's almost time for our May meeting. Tuesday May 6th is the exact date and it will be easy to forget to come as it's the day after the bank holiday. I hope you can make it. Glynn Jones is coming to talk to us this month about weaving combined with lace. She will be demonstrating some of the techniques as well. It promises to be a really informative evening.

Don't forget you should also be working on the challenge I set you last September. It was to make something to wear on your head. Can be anything you like - hat, head band, scarf, - so long as it goes on your head. Obviously the more unusual the better as far as I'm concerned but please try to make something. You've still got a few weeks before we show what we've made, so you still have time to make something special. The challenge items will be shown at the July meeting. And I'll have to get my thinking cap on and decide what the challenge will be for next year!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday April Meeting

This month we celebrated the 30th birthday of the club! There was a lot of chatter and reminiscing, looking at old club photos and the print out of this blog. Talk of people we no longer see, past speakers and all the good times!
We even had a beautiful cake for all to share, decorated with patterns, cones of yarn and knitted swatches! A ball of yarn with hand knitting needles too as we now have several hand knitting members.
Also available were various "toys" to play with, such as bobble makers, knitting looms, cord knitters, lucet.

Liz cutting the cake, watched by some club members.

Watch this box, it will be opened next month! It contains our club entry for the GMK competition!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

April meeting - our 30th Birthday

Yes the Fleet Knitting Club has now been in existance for 30 years. So we are celebrating our birthday on Tuesday 1st April. No, it's not an April Fools Joke, some of you really have been coming to the club for 30 years.

We will be celebrating with a Birthday cake and a look back over the past 30 years as well as trying some modern "toys" that relate to our knitting.

Past members are invited to join us for the evening. The venue and time haven't changed. Visitors are always welcome.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March Meeting

This month our guest speaker was Iris Bishop, a very talented lady who can make wonderful fabric on a knitting machine.
Iris brought many samples with her and was very interesting to listen to. She talked us through her thoughts and experiments and freely shared all she had learnt. All was made easy to understand with the use of diagrams to show needle set ups. Some of the samples combined material with knitting and produced lovely light fabrics. Others incorporated some of the delicious hand knitting yarns now available, by weaving into an open knit fabric. There were also garments to admire!
Very good news for all knitters, Iris is venturing into the world of the internet and working on setting up a website.

A beautiful slip stitch top inspired by the necklace.