Sunday, December 05, 2010

December Charity Evening

The December meeting will be on Tuesday 7th December. It doesn't seem that long since I was writing almost the same thing. This year has flown by, perhaps because we have been so busy.

Anyway, December is our Charity Evening when we bring along things we have made, or new items that we don't wish to keep and are willing to donate to our Charity, The Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey. They are always grateful for anything we send to them. I will be taking them to the Hospital on Saturday, 11th December, just in time for them to sell and for people to buy for last minute Christmas presents.

I've been making some scarves to send, which I hope will sell well especially as the weather has suddenly turned so cold and wintery.

We are also hoping there will be time to do a bit of crochet, so bring a crochet hook and a bit of double knit yarn and you can have a go. We have had a request to show blocking so will try to cover that as well if there is time.

I'm hoping that the weather will be ok for our meeting, but so if you are at all doubtful check back here. (I will post a further message if the meeting is cancelled.) I'm hoping that the weather will hold enough for us all to get together for coffee and mince pies - no mulled wine as we will be driving!

I look forward to seeing you all for our pre-Christmas get together. 8pm as usual.

November meeting and show and tell

Another busy evening so before we started our knitting we had show and tell and a bit of an update about what we'd all been up to.

I told everyone how I had got on at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. The atmosphere at this show was really exciting. The weather was good which helped and over the course of 4 days there were around 50,000 visitors to the show.

We then moved on to Show and Tell. There were 3 more beautiful blankets to go to SANDS.

Marcia has knitted herself a lovely chunky jacket to wear this winter. It will keep her lovely and warm.

Chris has knitted another beautiful scarf.....

And a bag.

When we had all finished looking at the lovely knitted items Chris introduced us to knitting using a chart instead of the usual K2,p1 sl1 psso that we usually use. The charts are especially useful when knitting shawls as you can "see" the pattern on the chart.

Chris had printed some copies of one of her charts and we were all able to have a go. She was there to help us when we got stuck.

Needless to say we also did a bit of chatting whilst we were knitting!

It was another evening that went all too quickly.

Thanks Chris showing us how to knit form a chart. I really do intend to have a go and not just knit a little sample!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Learn to Lace Knit this month

It’s our November meeting on Tuesday (2nd November). I do hope you can come. We have got a hands-on evening planned. Chris will be showing us some more of her beautiful lace knitting and explaining how it is knitted from charts. (We will also be translating them into machine knitting terms as well.) Then it’s our turn to have a go.

Please bring some yarn with you and a pair of needles. For best results bring 4 ply or less and 3.5 mm (No 9) or 4 mm (No 8) needles. If you would prefer to work in thicker yarns and larger needles bring DK and 5.5 mm or 6 mm needles. I know instinct tells you that the needles are too big for the yarn, but when knitted lace it is knitted loosely. Choice is yours whether you bring straight or circular needles. Don’t worry if you forget, we will have some spares with us.

There will also be time for a bit of show and tell and I will have some bits and pieces for sale to raise money for the Marsden. So it will be another packed evening.

Visitors are welcome and as usual we will start the meeting at 8 pm.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October Show and Tell

This is Liz in her waistcoat. Knitted in 2 strands of Uppinghams 2ply cotton. What doesn't show too well is the band of tuck stitch which runs round just about where her hand is and the lower section has extensions at the side which hang down.

Another beautiful lace shawl knitted by Chris. This one is designed to be worn around the neck to keep you warm in the winter and also to look decorative and fashionable. Looks even better in real life than in the photograph.

This is another sampler scarf knitted by Chris. (The photo was the right way up when I loaded it, but somehow got turned!). This is a good way to try out lace patterns and still make something useful.

Anne has knitted two wrap jackets by hand. The yarns felt really nice and I am sure they will be a great addition to any wardrobe.

More inspiration to knit from Iris Bishop

This was the first time some of our hand knitters had heard Iris talk and they were amazed at what she talked about and showed us. The machine knitters had heard Iris talk before and had made every effort to be there as she always gives us food for thought and inspires us to go home and knit. Well, maybe not straight away as it is a bit late to start straight after club, but we can start planning and then knit next day!

Iris told us how fair isle patterning is coming back, but with a new and different twist. It isn't all over the garment, just in selected areas, which for a machine knitter means it is quick and easy to do. So whether you choose to put your fair isle patterning just above the welt, or as a yoke you will find yourself in fashion. She also said that 3D is fashionable as well. Take a look at the picture below. The right hand side is just normal flat fairisle whilst the centre and left has been trimmed with i-cords which give a raised 3D effect.

In the next sample Iris has made use of the patterning on the punchcard machines. By changing yarn colour and ply (thickness) she has achieved what looks to be a very complicated pattern, but one that is easy to knit. The coloured section is knitted using thicker yarns and every other needle, whilst the black/white is knitted over every needle using 4 ply yarns. The hardest part is making sure that your punchcard and needles line up as you are knitting on alternate needles for part of the pattern.
Iris has also been experimenting with cut floats again. This time she has been knitting the thicker yarn in, rather than weaving it. Because you are only knitting a few selected needles in the thicker yarn, the machine seems to accept it and the adjacent stitches make room. In the next picture there was 4 needles out of the 24 stitch repeat knitting in the thicker yarn.

In this next picture Iris has taken the technique one step further and only used 2 stitches out of the 24 stitch repeat to knit the fairisle. This creates extrememly long floats, (something you don't normally want), but on this occasion you do. Cut the floats and you have long "shaggy" pile. The look will vary depending on which yarns you use. And because they have been knitted in, rather than woven, they don't pull out.

That's just a taste of what she told us. We could have listened to her all night! And I'm sure it won't be too long before we ask her to come again.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Iris Bishop visiting in October

Our October meeting on Tuesday 5th October will be very special. Iris Bishop will be our guest speaker for the evening.

Iris is always very entertaining and inspirational. She will be taking us along some of the avenues she has been exploring recently and showing us her recent work. No matter how often I see Iris I always learn something.

So come early, and make the most of what will be a very good evening. The meeting will be starting at 8 pm prompt.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September meeting

Late again! Sorry. It's been another busy month. However, better late than never.

We had a lovely meeting with Bookham club members visiting us. They had to sit through our AGM first, but as previous blogs say, that only takes up 10 minutes of the meeting.

The rest of the meeting went by in a flash as well. Liz told the assembled knitters a bit about the history of the club and how we operate. She then handed over to Chris who told us about the various shawls she has knitted, and the differences between them. Some people were amazed that she had handknitted them, and more so when she said how long they took (about 3 weeks mostly). The majority of them were traditional patterns and knitted in fine yarns.

Ann came along with some machine spares and accessories she was selling in aid of Charity. There were also patterns she had written. Ann very kindly gave the money she raised to our Charity of the year - The Friends of the Royal Marsden, Sutton Branch. Thanks to Ann for swelling our donation to the charity and thanks to everyone who bought something.
After a short break for chatting, tea, coffee and delicious cakes made by Sandra, and Shirley and sausage rolls made by Gladys we gathered round the knitting machine and had a couple of techniques demonstrated, one by Liz and the other by Nina. One was a basketweave pattern, the other a decorative hem.
We then all sat down again and various members of our club showed garments and other things they had knitted, some more recently than others. (By this time I'd forgotten all about taking photographs again so I can't put up photos.) The was quite a range of garments, some fine knits, some chunky.
Jean had also brought along part of a pie chart she is knitting for display at the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. It's almost finished and is due to be installed either later this year or early next year. As soon as it is up I'll mention it in a blog so you can go and see it.
And by the time we'd done that the time was up and we drew the evening to a close. Thanks to those that stood up and did a bit and brought along the delicious eats. Evenings like this are always interesting.
We had a lovely thank you e-mail from Brenda next day.
Dear Liz,
On behalf of the seven members of our club who were so royally entertained last night by your club, I would like to thank you all for a most enjoyable and instructive evening.
We were enthralled by Chris's shawls and her expertise in designing and knitting them.
Both your demos were new to us, and we will be showing our group in due course as we feel we will be able to make good use of them.
To be able to see the pie chart under construction and all the garments made by you and your members only serves to amaze us at the endless possibilities of machine knitting .
Thank you also for the delicious refreshments.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

September - The start of another year for our Club

Ok it's not quite September yet, but it will be on Tuesday. And I know I won't have time on Tuesday to post this message, so I'm doing it now.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 7th September. It will be our (very short) AGM, combined with a visit from the members of the Bookham Knitting Club. We will be entertaining them with a bit of history about our club, and three very short talks/demonstrations. We will also have tea, coffee and cakes and a chance to chat with them.

And whilst all that is going on Ann, who used to have a shop in Basingstoke selling yarns, and other knitting related paraphernalia, for hand and machine knitters, is coming along. She has little stock still left and now needs the space it is taking up. So come along and bag a bargain.

We welcome visitors to any of our meetings, so please do come along and see what we get up to that we don't photograph and put on our blogspot.

As soon as the programme for the next year is a bit more finalised I will post it here.

Look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 7th September, 8pm prompt as we have a very full evening.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

July show and tell

Everyone was busy knitting for the challenge, but a couple of people found time to knit other things as well.

Janet has only just returned to machine knitting so these are pictures of some of the first garments she has knitted in many years. The lovely bollero above a crochet edging. Janet only just finished knitting this so hasn't had time to do the final finishing yet. She has also knitted the three little garments below as well. Knitting things for babies and children is a good way to start when you are either learning or returning to machine knitting. You get to practice lots of techniques and have some thing to show for all your efforts. Don't worry about not knowing what to do with the things you knit - there are plenty of charities out there who would be happy to receive them.
Chris has been busy again, knitting another of her beautiful shawls. All knitted by hand and in the finest yarns. She even knits in the car on a long journey - but not when she is driving of course!

And after all the pictures, what did we do at the meeting? Well lots of talk of course. Some of us had been at the Guild of Machine Knitters AGM. So we told the others what had gone on. And there were the purchases we made to be shown off. The things we had brought for the challenge and for show and tell also generated much discussion as others wanted to know how they had been made. We also talked a bit about what we were going to do when Bookham Club come to see us in September. We came up with a few ideas. Needless to say we didn't run out of things to talk about.
There is no meeting in August but we will be having a committee meeting to discuss the plans for the next year. And I will also be trying to book a few speakers and filling the programme.
Our next meeting in September 7th.
This little blanket is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The single motif in the middle has been backet (with knitting) so that tiny fingers and toes don't get caught in it.

Rather than knit a blanket, one member knitted these three tiny hats. They are so small they would probably fit over a tennis ball.

Well done everyone who took up the challenge. Now I'll have to think of something to challenge you to do for next July!

July meeting and the end of another challenge

For the last meeting before the summer break we set a challenge. This year it was to knit a
special blanket for a special baby. And those that wished could give them to SANDS which we have mentioned in earlier blogs.

This is a beautiful lace blanket. Knitted by hand in a fine, but unbranded, yarn.

This one is adapted from a stitch pattern from Womens Realm. It was part of a layette published at the time of the birth of Princess Anne's first baby. The edging is crab stitch, which the knitter learnt how to do at one of our Club meetings.

These four were all knitted by the same person. They are knitted to her own design and based on a patern from one of the baby books. They all have a garter stitch edging.

Another handknitted blanket, this time knitted from the SANDS own pattern. It is knitted in garter stitch and has a pretty lace edging.

Monday, July 05, 2010

July meeting coming soon

The meeting is coming up very soon - tomorrow in fact, so apologies for this late post. The meeting time will be 8 pm as usual. I'll try and remember the camera this time.

This month is the end of our Challenge, so I hope that you will have found time to make a blanket for a special baby that may be donated to SANDS if you wish (not compulsory of course as you may have a baby of your own to give it to).

I am sure we will also be doing a lot of chatting as there is plenty to talk about - the Guild AGM being just one topic. I will also bring a machine along.

I'm also hoping that some of you will come up with some suggestions for who you would like as a speaker or things to do as I will be planning the programme during the rest of the summer. Don't forget we don't have a meeting in August, but the committee will be getting together to do what committees do. In our case it's have a nice meal and a drink at the local pub and chat about next year if we're so inclined.

So back to business - hope to see you on Tuesday 6th July, 8 pm as usual and visitors are welcome. This club is for both machine and hand knitters so don't be shy. Just turn up and if you want to bring some knitting with you, please do.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guild of Machine Knitters AGM

We had been asked if we would like to have a table at the Guild Day and AGM to display our work. We were one of 6 clubs invited to have a table.

We were also helping with the running of the day, mainly with the tea and coffees but also with the clearning up after.

It was a fantastic day. Over 100 people turned up. The AGM part of the day is over very quickly but it's nice to hear what they have been doing and it's not boring really. There were talks by Ruth Lee and Iris Bishop. The talks were very different, but equally interesting. There was also a fashion show at the end of the day, with members showing garments they had made. It's really nice to see what everyone had made. There was time in the breaks to look at the club displays, as well as the patterns brought along by designers, Fiona Morris, Beryl Jarvis, and Ann Brown. Iris Bishop also brought her patterns along and Ruth Lee put on a display of her work. Heathercraft were there with their yarns and spares.

We were all very tired at the end of the day, but despite the hard work it was very enjoyable. Next year the AGM will be in the Staffordshire area, so I doubt many of us will be able to get to it. But if it ever comes down this way again I'm sure I'll be there.

Our 2010 Competition Entry

The Guild of Machine Knitters run an annual competition for machine knitters. Once again we decided to have a go in the category for clubs or groups of 5 or more knitters. This category is for the Sherborne Vase.

The theme of the competition this year was "The Jewellery Box". Nina covered the box and made the tray to go inside. She also knitted some of the pieces of Jewellery. Items were also knitted by Liz, Sylvia, Sheila, Sandra and Marcia.
Unfortunately we didn't win, or get a Highly Commended, but it's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts. We were pleased with our entry.

Our June Meeting

Oops, who forgot the camera this month! Sorry no photos.

We spent time discussing what we would be putting on our stand at the Guild of Machine Knitters AGM that was to take place on 19 June in Basingstoke. I left the meeting with lots of garments and the decision to see what looked best when we put the things out. I also took along the current blogspot book (we print out the pages of the blogspot every so often for those that haven't got internet access). More about the AGM in the next post.

After a show and tell, when Nina showed us a white jacket she had knitted for a wedding and lots more chatter, we had coffee/tea and biccies and then I set the machine up to show our beginners some of the techniques that had been described over the last few months. Hopefully it will mean they can get the knitting to stay on their machines. It was more of a refresher course really as they have all used machines before, just been away from them for a while and forgotten what they knew.

I look forward to seeing how they get on next month.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

June 2010 meeting

Plans have changed a bit for this month. The visit from Bookham club has been delayed till later in the year.

So instead I will bring a knitting machine along and we can go through some of the basics with those of you that have forgotten or have never known how. If you are having difficulties with something we can see if we can sort it out as well. If you have a handknitting query we can try and sort that out as well.

The Guild of Machine Knitters AGM is on 19th June at Basingstoke. We are going to have a table there to show some of the things we have knitted (hand and machine), so if you have made something that you are pleased with, please bring it along (doesn't have to be something you have only just made) and we can see if we can make a suitable display.

The meeting date of course is Tuesday 1st June, and the time is 8 pm as usual. Hope to see you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Meeting

Brenda Bristol from Heathercraft was our Guest Speaker this month. She came along with a selection of yarns and machine accessories as well as some patterns.

Brenda talked about plating and also weaving and lace combination patterns. She had plenty of samples to show us, and gave excellent explanations of how they were knitted. It gave us all something to think about.

Show and Tell

More beautiful hand knits from Chris!

A shaped shawl.

A square shawl.

A lacey scarf!

Exchange visit to Bookham Knitting Club

Members of the Fleet Knitting Club were invited to attend an evening organised by the Bookham Knitting Club. Bookham is about an hours drive from Fleet.

We were warmly greeted and spend an interesting evening hearing about how a knitwear designer works and how their club is run. We were also treated to two demonstrations on a knitting machine. Thanks Margaret, Frances, April and Brenda. They also showed us some garments that club members had made.

We enjoyed the home made cakes and tea and coffee. It also gave us opportunity to chat with their club members.

Naturally we took photographs during the visit, and have promised to show them to the Bookham club when they make a return visit to us.

Friday, April 30, 2010

May meeting

At our May meeting Heathercraft will be coming with yarn and spares and also giving us a talk which I hope you will all find interesting. The subject of the talk is plating and weaving on our knitting machines. I am sure the hand knitters amongst us will hear something of interest as well.

If there is anything specific you plan to purchase from Heathercraft, please give them a ring on 01293 851 339 and they will be sure to bring it with them.

There will be time for a show and tell, so do bring anything you have made.

I look forward to seeing you at at 8pm on Tuesday 4th May.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Meeting

Another month and another meeting! We didn't have a speaker this month, Liz and Nina were planning to talk about different yarns and what could be knitted with them, but somehow they never got around to it. Members had questions they wanted to ask each other about some techniques, and how they did certain things, like how does Chris block out her beautiful shawls. Seems for this task a large empty space on the carpet is needed, pin out the shawl to the right size, cover with damp towels and leave overnight to dry............simple!
There was also discussion about the club's entry for the Guild competition, questions about what to knit with some yarn brought back from Australia, and inspection of a wrap jacket brought back from New Zealand which was knitted in possum yarn!
I think this just goes to show when knitters get together there is never a lull in conversation!
We were also pleased to welcome a new member and hope she enjoyed her evening!

Show and Tell

Here is another selection of knits, both hand and machine, from our members.

A lovely hand knitted top and hat by Ann.

A lovely chunky knit cardigan from Marcia.

A machine knit jumper(blue) and a hand knit cardigan from Sandra.

Two lovely hand knits from Liz.

And just to showcase another talent, here's a crochet short sleeve jacket from Carole.

Our lovely members are still busy knitting items for our charity, SANDS.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April meeting so summer must be on its way

The April meeting will be on Tuesday 6th April, just after Easter. We haven't got a speaker this month, however I will bring a selection of yarns suitable for hand and machine knitting and we will be talking about them and yarns in general. We will be discussing how these yarns should be processed, e.g. washed, pressed, no heat etc. and what tension to knit them at.

If you have some yarn and you don't know what to knit it up into, bring it along and we will give you some suggestions. Or you may find someone else has brought some yarn that you would like to knit up and they like what you have brought along so you could agree to do a swap.

I look forward to seeing you, and if you haven't been before, you are welcome to come and meet us on the 1st Tuesday of the month 8 pm - 10 pm.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March Meeting

Tonight we had a visit from Beryl Jarvis, who talked to us about making up our knitting. This was appropriate for both hand and machine knitters.
Beryl covered all aspects of making up, from hand stitching to using the linker, and gave us many handy hints too! A very good one was about shaping the back neckline as you make up rather than while you are knitting! Anything to make life easier, and the resulting garment neater!
We all enjoyed Beryl's talk, and many questions were asked, and answered, and Beryl also demonstrated a lot of her techniques. She had also brought along some of her garments for us to see, and all her publications for those who hadn't already bought them.
Altogether a very informative and enjoyable evening!