Wednesday, December 09, 2015

December meeting

This month is the annual Christmas meeting, and the collecting together of items to be taken up to The Royal Marsden for their charity shop. This year has been another excellent collection which only just squeezed onto 3 of the long trestle tables. There were knitted scarves, jumpers, socks and baby clothes, along with toys and other gifts. 

Liz reminded us that the next knitting show is the Unravel luxury yarn and craft show at The Maltings in Farnham on Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February 2016. The Guild will have a stand in the basement, and there will be lots of yarn-bombing of the building, both inside and out.

Reminder that there is no meeting next month, so the next meeting will be the felt balls meeting in February. Another reminder to keep hold of scraps and ends of felt-able wool yarn, and a kinder plastic egg (or similar). During the show and tell, Liz sent around the room a plastic egg contain yarn ends for everyone to take turns in shaking, and by the end of the show and tell, we had made a felt ball.

The local library ran a crochet snowflakes course, including hanging loops and beads. After experimentation with various yarns, the best for snowflakes is Anchor No. 8 crochet cotton.

Carol had made a beautiful rainbow colour child's jacket.

Carol had also finished her first every sock, which encouraged other knitters to show off their sock knitting achievements.

Veronica knitted a tiny elf to go on the Christmas tree.

Christine had hand-knit a Wallace Pleated Cardigan in Rowan 4 ply using a vintage pattern from the internet.

The evening finished with tea and mince pies.

Friday, November 27, 2015

December Charity Evening

Is it really almost the end of the year?  It has gone so quickly.

December, once again, brings our charity evening.  This is the occasion when we bring along new items that are donated to the Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton Branch to sell on their regular sales tables.  The new items can be made by us, and also things that we have bought or been given but for some reason can't use, or don't like.  The items are collected together and delivered to the Hospital one day soon after our meeting.

During the course of the evening we will also have a go at knitting some Christmas decorations.  If you don't have a pattern put "Knitted Christmas decorations" into Google or another search engine and you'll find loads to choose from.  Print off the pattern and bring it along with needles and yarn and knit whilst you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a mince pie.

Just to remind you - the meeting is on Tuesday 1st December, 8 pm.

Hope to see some of you there.

Fleet Club Knit-In

This is something we haven't done before, but thought it worth a try.  So we found a date when the hall was free and booked it for the day (a Saturday so that members who worked could also come).  The idea was to come along for as long as you wanted and work on your own project, or finish something you had already started.  There would be a continuous supply of tea and coffee, plus biscuits to help things along.

Of course the date didn't suit everyone, but over the course of the day seven members came along.  A couple brought their machines, and the others were working on finishing things they'd started.  It was a good excuse to knit all day, without interruption or the need to attend to chores.  We almost forgot to take a photo to record the event.  The one below was taken late in the day, after some people had departed.
Liz took the opportunity to knit the covers for the pillars at Farnham Maltings. Three pieces, 130 stitches by almost 900 rows each with some colour changes along the way.  She remembered to put in markers too, as this will make it easier for installation. They will now be decorated for display at Unravel in February.

Nina was all set to knit a jumper for herself, but her machine started playing up.  The carriage really didn't like knitting in one direction.  It screeched and put up resistance.  All our efforts made on difference and the machine behaved beautifully when she changed to a different yarn.  The only thing we can put the problem down to was static.  Hopefully Nina will be able to update us at the next meeting.

Carole, Julia, Phyllis, Rita and Vee were all working on handknit projects, or completing/assembling garments knitted on their machines. 

It was a good day and nice to be able to chat informally.  We don't always get time to do that at a club meeting.

All in all, it was a successful day and one that will be repeated.

Friday, November 06, 2015

November meeting

The November meeting was a hands-on meeting looking at different ways of joining two pieces of knitting. The evening started by welcoming two new visitors to the club followed by news updates and the show-and-tell.

Reminder that the knit-in is on Saturday 14th November. Numbers are needed to ensure that there will be enough tea, milk and biscuits. Please bring along a packed lunch if you are staying for the whole day. If you would like to join in, then please let Liz know.

There have been a few changes with the local and national knitting and crafting shows. Trident Exhibitions Ltd has ceased trading. Trident ran The Creative Craft Show at various places including Sandown Park. ICHF Events has been taken over by another company, but they say that it won't affect their stitching, sewing and hobby crafts events.

The next local knitting show will be Unravel at Farnham Maltings on the 19-21 February, 2016.

We were reminded about the knitting challenge for this year, which is to knit a cardigan using the provided pattern. You can use any yarn or pattern you like, and please be creative and add your own borders, edging, pockets and embellishments. A PDF copy of the pattern was emailed out to all the club members. Some printed copies are also available.

This month's show and tell again demonstrated the variety of skills and interests within the club. Sally brought along a pair of hand-knitted baby bootees from a Victorian knitting pattern.

Tannis hand-knit a 1949 cardigan pattern, that has taken over 2 years to complete. Finished with contrasting red buttons. Note the subtle shaping details.

Carol has hand-knit a beautiful 'Ghost Orchid' shawl from the book 'New Vintage Lace: Knits Inspired By The Past' by Andrea Jurgrau (link to pattern details on Ravelry). The shawl is made from a cashmere, silk and merino mix yarn.

Liz machine knit a red shawl from a pattern shared on a Facebook machine knitting group.

and a red child's top that will be featured in the next Guild of Machine Knitters newsletter.

Next month is our Christmas meeting. Please bring along any donations, such as knitted items that you don't have a home for, to go to The Royal Marsden. We will also be knitting Christmas decorations, so bring along a small amount of yarn in Christmas colours, and some knitting needles or a crochet hook.

Reminder for February to get hold of some plastic eggs (such as the ones from inside a Kinder Egg), and scraps of wool, to use to create felted balls.

The hand-on session was joining two pieces of knitting. Liz has written a new talk on the subject, and had created 16 samples of different ways of joining knitting, from a simple mattress stitch, through to more complicated on-machine eyelet joins. The sample were passed around, and a knitting machine was set up for people to have a go.

Here is a photo of the 16 samples:

and here is Phyllis learning the eyelet join on the knitting machine.

The next meeting is on Tuesday  1st December.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hands-On evening - Joining pieces

We've got this meeting (on Tuesday 3rd November) down as a Hands-On evening to help with joining pieces of knitting together.  I've got some samples to show you as well - lots of different ways to join your beautifully knitted pieces together which can be worked by a machine or hand knitter.

So to join in - please bring either some swatches that you can join together or knit some small pieces.  They don't need to be over large; just big enough to handle as you work.  We'd especially like to cover mattress stitch and grafting (kitchener stitch) as we know that some of you find them the most difficult.  For the mattress stitch, you'll need two pieces of knitting both with closed edges.  For the grafting you'll again need two pieces of knitting but don't cast these off.  They can either be taken off on waste yarn or you can bring them on needles (one piece per needle please).  If you'd like to learn how to crochet a join then again two pieces of knitting and a crochet hook will be required.  Don't forget to bring a needle and a little bit of yarn to do the stitching with. 

We'll have a machine there too so we can demonstrate some of the joins on the machine.

Also, I have been asked to find a home for some yarn.  It should be coming to me on Tuesday morning. I plan to bring it with me Tuesday evening for you to all see and homefully take some home with you in exchange for a donation as usual.  I won't know how much or what it is until it arrives.

During the course of the evening I will also be asking who is planning to come to our Knit-In on Saturday 14 November.

So it's promising to be a busy evening.  Look forward to seeing you there - 8 pm as usual.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

October meeting

The October meeting was a busy hands-on session knitting and crocheting poppies for Armistice Day. There was an excellent turn-out, even with the horrid wet weather. Nina reminded us about the knit-in on November 14th. Final numbers will be totted up at the next meeting to ensure there is enough milk on the day.

Liz had made samples of each of the poppy patterns. Nina had made one on her knitting machine. 

Julie started the show and tell with 2 knitted shawls. A light and dark blue cloud-like shawl made from Drops superkid mohair and silk yarn. 

A colourful knitted shawl with a crochet edge made from King Cole Smooth DK.

Vee's visitor had made several blankets from knitted squares. 
Sandra had knitted a child's white and sparkly cardigan from King Cole Galaxy DK which incorporates sequins.

The hands-on session was very productive, and we took a photo at the end of the poppies made on the evening. 

Phyillis shared with us that the factory that makes the poppies is not far away in Richmond, and that they welcome visitors for tours of the poppy-making process. For more details:

Sunday, October 04, 2015

October meeting soon

Our October meeting is coming up soon - Tuesday 6th October.

This month we are planning to knit poppies to wear in remembrance of fallen servicemen.  There are lots of patterns available on the internet.  If you'd like to join in with this project please find yourself a pattern, print it out and come along with needles and yarn.  (Don't forget to pop a few coins in a collectors box to support this worthy cause.)

Should you prefer not to knit a poppy you could bring your work in progress and knit and natter for a while!

There will also be time for a show and tell so bring along anything unfinished.

Sad to say - I will be missing this meeting.  I'll be in London, setting up a the stand of the Guild of Machine Knitters ( at The Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace,  (

But the club meeting will carry on without me - Tuesday 6th October 8pm.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September AGM and 'Show and Tell'

First meeting of the club year started with Annette collecting subs for the year, and handing out pocket-size printed programmes to members listing the speakers, hands-on sessions and challenges for the upcoming year.

As it was the first meeting of the year, it started with the AGM. 14 enthusiastic knitters turned out for the evening. Some suggested that the low turn-out might be because the first Tuesday was also the 1st of the month, so might have been a bit of a surprise to some people. Hopefully there won’t be too many people turning up at the hall next week!

There were a few bags of yarn and knitting books on the charity sales table this month, with all donations going to the Royal Marsden Hospital.

The AGM was swiftly started with a run-down of the accounts by Annette, and formal election of the new committee (details of which were printed in Liz’s summer letter emailed last month). Liz then took us through the programme of the events for the upcoming year.

In February we will be making felt balls, of the size appropriate for making jewellery, or embellishing a bag or scarf. An empty yellow plastic egg from inside a Kinder Egg will be needed, so a good excuse for a chocolate treat! Small scraps of wool yarn will also be needed, so start collecting off-cuts and tail-ends now. Only a handful or 2 will be needed.

Next month will be a hands-on session knitting a poppy. Some red yarn, and either black yarn or a black button will be needed, and either knitting needles or a crochet hook.

The 2016 annual challenge will be to knit the provided V-neck cardigan pattern, using a yarn from your stash. No gauge will be provided, as the pattern will work with any gauge, so use any yarn you like. Be creative with the yarn, stitch pattern and any trimmings, but avoid tuck and slip stitch as that will mess up the proportions. This project has the joy of no tension square! The pattern will be emailed to members this month. We look forward to seeing the range and variety of garments created from the same knitting pattern.

There was a discussion about whether to continue making knitted squares. There was a general lack of interest because they can be rather dull to knit. If you do make any squares, then bring them along and give them to Rita, who will continue to join them up into blankets. Christine has recently knit a lot of squares for Rita, and Rita brought along a blanket she had finished making up.

For those who also attend the local Wednesday morning Yateley group, it has moved to 11am - 1pm on Tuesdays, and relocated to Montego Hall.

With the AGM completed, the show and tell began, and everyone had been very busy over the summer.

Sandra machine knit a sideways skirt in pink Hobby and Silk using a Beverly Wall pattern.

Annette hand-knit a 2ft high Santa, who stands on his own, to go on display in a florist shop this winter.

Vee had knit a striped jumper with a trim, using Marion Nelson stitch pattern cards, with a crocheted neck.

Phyllis machine knit an Ann Brown cardigan in blue Silky and Shetland yarn, with internal seams bound in matching knitted bias binding.

Carole has been hand knitting hats based on doily patterns. A blue hat and scarf, and a pink hat and scarf.

Nina had hand knit a fluffy brown owl.

Christine has been playing with her 1940s shawl pattern. She brought along 3 variations: the original shawl, a lace variation in 4ply hand-knit over 100 stitches, and a variation with lapels hand knit using Shetland 3 ply over 120 stitches.

Liz hand knit a baby hat, a matching family set of ear warmers, and a finger “ring” cable needle holder.

The headbands were based on this pattern:

The cable ring holder is from this pattern:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

September and the start of another new year.

I hope everyone has had a good summer.  

Our new year starts on Tuesday 1st September with our AGM.  That doesn't take long, so we will also be having a bit of a discussion about converting patterns from hand to machine, machine to hand and also to using a different yarn.  We'd also like members to bring along a favourite website name and share it with us.   Feel free to bring your knitting too so that you can work on it while we natter.

There will also be the usual show and tell so bring those along too.

We'll be e-mailing the summer letter round to everyone shortly so if you don't receive it please get in touch.

Visitors and new members are welcome to any of our meetings.  The meetings start at 8pm and we usually finish around 10 pm.  The car park isn't over large, so if the spaces have all been taken then double park.  We'll all be leaving around the same time so it won't inconvenience anyone.

Hope to see you on 1st September.

July and our Challenge Evening

We had just 5 entries in this years challenge.  It was to knit something using a ladder yarn.  From the comments received, club members just didn't have any idea what to knit.  We need to be more specific in the challenge next time.  Some of the entries didn't photograph well, partly due to the nature of them but also because we were indoors, however for the record these were the entries.

The one chosen as favourite is the one in the middle row, right hand side, a crochet head scarf/shawl.

There were a few items bought in for show and tell.  Jean crocheted this lovely angel.  Small enough to hang on your tree or for decorating anywhere.  She designed it herself.

Janet has made another crochet blanket.  She's still using up her stash but she assures us the quantity is going down - slowly!

Liz knitted this short sleeve jumper using her knitting machine and garter carriage.  She said that the top part of the jumper was knitted in stocking stitch as it isn't so easy to shape using the garter carriage.  It's quicker too.  Still needs to be pressed.

 Apologies to whoever knitted this - I didn't make a note and now I can't remember.  The zig-zag pattern on the body is caused by yarn, nothing the knitter did.

Stephanie  knitted this blue summer top on her knitting machine.  She said it wasn't finished yet.  She ran out of time to finish the pressing.

 And last, but not least, someone has been preparing for winter by knitting this scarf.  Another one where the picture doesn't do it justice!

I wonder what will be bought along for show and tell when we meet again in September?
Hopefully all the photos will stay where I put them, but sometimes the computer thinks it knows best!

Monday, July 06, 2015

July meeting tomorrow

It's been a busy month for me, so little time for actual knitting, although I've lots of ideas for things I would like to do!

It's our club meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday 7th July).  It caught me by surprise so the reminder is late.  I had intended to post at the end of last week, but events overtook and it didn't happen.

This month is the evening we have our annual knitting challenge.  This year you were asked to knit something using ladder yarn.  You could use as much or as little as you liked and it could be machine knitted, hand knitted, crocheted or a combination of any of the crafts.  I hope we get lots of entries.

I'm sure we will also find plenty to chat about, and don't forget to bring your recently finished knits for show and tell.

Visitors and new members are welcome even if you haven't got anything for the challenge!

8 pm as usual.

June meeting update

We got a knitting machine out - a Brother KX350 Mid Gauge machine and did some hand tooling.  (No photos of it in action as the demonstrator is also the photograpaher!)  There were a number of different cables and twists shown, plus a few other techniques.

Stephanie has seen this youtube video

  and wanted to see a live demonstration.  No problem!  Try it - we liked it and it was simple.

We also had the usual show and tell.  Christine was wearing a very intersting shrug.  Luckily there was a whiteboard and pen available so a few sketches and notes helped with the explanation of how it was knitted.

 Stephanie bought along this supper top that she had recently finished.
Janet has been stash busting again and bought along these two crochet blankets.  She says she still has yarn to use!

 Nina has knitted a summer top using thread lace.
 And Liz has completed another pair of socks (by hand) plus a summer top.  She knitted it to wear at the Guild of Machine Knitters National Guild Day and AGM.  They had challenged members to knit something to wear on the day.