Friday, April 01, 2011

late entries

Oops I've been very bad. I haven't posted anything for a long time now. My excuse is that I haven't been well and that I've been busy doing things for the Guild of Machine Knitters. It's exhibition season for me and I should have been at something like 6 exhibitions since mid January. I made 5 of them which wasn't bad.

We've had a couple of meetings since I last posted. So here is a brief update on January and February and a longer update on March.

January - No meeting as it's so close to Christmas and the New Year.

February - I forgot the camera! Jenny Barker came and talked to us about decorating your knitwear in ways to make it personal and interesting. It was a really good evening and I am sure we all came away with ideas.

March - We entertained ourselves again. I brought along a couple of unusual machines. One was a Knitmaster MK-70 which when packed away looks as if it could be a sewing machine. It all folds up. It operates pretty much like any other machine, but the tensioning system on the yarn mast is different and there are a few other quirky differences.

Some of the club members had fun trying to thread up the MK-70. It is a punchcard machine with an 18 stitch repeat, so getting extra cards isn't easy. The machine has a complete set of tools and the instruction book and I won't be using it that often, but it is a talking point.

They also had a go on a shortened machine. A Knitmaster Zippy 90 recently came into my possession and I had heard about how you could shorten or lengthen it to suit. I thought it might be a good machine to take to exhibitions, especially if it is shortened. It would be ideal to knit scarves using some of the lovely handknitting yarns that you can buy now. So the Zippy 90 is now a Zippy 54 as the number refers to the number of needles in the bed. I'm now looking out for another Zippy 90 to put the spare section in. It will mean that I can knit wider fabrics with

the extra needles making it ideal for knitting blankets.

Chris also ran through some handknitting things as well and showed us how to cast on a mobius scarf. That had everyone fascinated and intrigued and I think a few people will be having a go. Here's the finished one that she brought along to show us. You can see how it is twisted. That happens automatically and the outer edges are cast off edges.

Naturally there was a bit of show and tell. Nina knitted this lovely blue jumper using her garter
carriage and Sandra knitted this pink jumper for herself. It has some lovely raglan detail.

Sandra knitted the scarf above in pom-pom yarn and Chris has knitted another of her beautiful shawls (photo above right).

This is Jeans first go at lace knitting for many years. It's worked from the instructions that Chris gave us before Christmas. She's hooked now.

Liz has been knitting scarves. The cream and the blue ones were knitted at Unravel on the Zippy 90 (shortened version of course!) and the aqua green one was knitted at the Creative Stitches show at Brighton. The are beads on the tassles, but these had to be hand-sewn on after as they were too small to knit in. The scarves will now be displayed at various shows around the country. Members of the public were able to knit a few rows of these scarves as they tried a knitting machine.

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