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: