Sunday, December 18, 2016

Reminder - no meeting in January, see you in February

Reminder that the club doesn't meet in January, and the next meeting will be Tuesday 7th February 2017.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

December 2016 - Christmas Charity Evening

It was the annual Christmas Charity evening, and our generous club members brought along purchased and hand-made donations to go to the Royal Marsden's charity sale. The hand-made donations included the cutest little baby jumpers and cardigans, as well as a beautiful peacock-feather adult shawl, and covered 2 whole tables.

We all sat down with work it progress knitting and crochet project, and provided assistance to those who were having head-scratching issues with patterns and yarns. Whilst we knit, Liz ran through some of the yarn and craft events to look forward to in the new year. This included:

Unravel at The Maltings in Farnham. Running from  Friday 17th to Sunday 19th February. Talks will include Susan Crawford presenting her Vintage Shetland Project, and Amy Twigger Holroyd discussing her PhD research into re-knitting (which I have previously seen at the Knitting History Forum last year, and it is a fascinatingly different approach to looking at a knitting garment).

Make It 2017 at FIVE in Farnborough. Running from Friday 24th to Saturday 25th February. There will be lots of stalls and demonstrations.

Machine Knitting Live Show at Bournemouth. Telephone Machine Knitting Monthly on 01628 783080 for details.

There was a discussion about the possibility of hosting a machine knitting meet-up for the county, that could be a single day, or several days, somewhere central in Hampshire. If you have any suggestions for a venue that has a large room with electricity and tables for people to bring their electronic knitting machines, and has catering and accommodation, please contact one of the committee.

There was an abundance of completed items for the show and tell.

Nina had made a cornflower blue roll-neck jumper using a mix of boucle and acrylic, a pink cardigan, and a white jumper with beading detail.

Carol had made donations for the charity table.

Sandra had knit a bag full of baby hats for use in ventilators (they have a small flap for the monitoring sensor wires to go through), a pink hand-knit cardigan, and a machine-knit multi-colour v-neck cardigan.

Christine had hand-knit a designed-on-the-needles all-in-one maroon garter stitch cardigan in a linen/cotton blend.

Julie was crocheting a blanket that she will be donating to the 60 Million Trebles charity challenge.

Trudy had hand-made a multi-colour infinity cowl.

We then enjoyed mince pies, Christmas biscuits and a cup of tea.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

December Charity Evening

This has come round so quickly!  In fact the whole year has flown by.

Once again it is our Christmas Charity Evening, (Tuesday 6th December, 8 pm) when we bring along items we have made and things that we have been given but are unable to use (new condition only please).  We pack everything up and take it to the Friends of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton Branch.  They put everything on their sales tables and raise lots of money for the hospital.  We understand that the items we donated last year helped them to raise over £16,000  - a fantastic amount. 

What else will we be doing on Tuesday evening?  We thought that this year we would give you the opportunity to bring along a "work in progress" so that you can have some dedicated time to knit and maybe finish it before the big day. Whilst having a chat, a cup of tea and a mince pie of course!  Bring along any recently finished items too to show us - we do like to see them.  

A little reminder - we don't meet in January, so if you don't come on Tuesday our next meeting will be in February and we'll post about that nearer the time.

Do come and join us but if you can't make it, then Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

November 2016 - Knooking

This week we tried our hand at "knooking", which is knitting with a crochet hook. You can make the bits yourself by sticking or taping a length of ribbon to the end of a crochet hook. As you use the crochet hook to create each knit stitch, instead of dropping the completed stitch off the crochet hook, the stitches remain on the hook. At the end of the row, the stitches are moved onto the ribbon so the next row can be "knooked".

Here are some in-progress photos:

There is only 1 knitting show left this year, which is in Harrogate. Unravel will be at Farnham Maltings on the 17-19 February 2017, followed by Make It at Farnborough on the 24-25. It will be the anniversary event of the machine knitting show at Bournemouth next year, but it most likely will also be the last one.

Next month is the charity meeting. Please bring along your donations for the Royal Marsden shop. We will also remind you of the details of this years' challenge.

The show-and-tell included two beautiful blankets, a dart-shaped blue raglan jumper, a rainbow baby jacket, and a flower blanket WIP.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The start of another Month - November

November - our meeting is on Tuesday 1st so easy to forget to come being so early in the month; it couldn't get any earlier!

And it's time to try a different yarn craft.  We are going to see what knooking is all about.  I've read that it is faster than knitting but slower than crochet.  Well - what else do yarn addicts do on a winters evening?

So please bring a crochet hook, and a length of fine ribbon (about 1/8"). The ribbon will be stuck onto the crochet hook with sticky tape.

Can't make the meeting and want to know more - then go to You Tube and you'll find a number of videos showing the techniques.

We'll find time for a bit of show and tell too so if you have finished anything recently please bring that along so we can all see it.

Looking forward to seeing you.  8 pm as usual.

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 2016 - Talk by Joyce Mead

Upcoming events

Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace 5th - 9th October, 2016
Festival of Crafts, Farnham Maltings 16th & 16th October, 2016
Craft for Crafters, Shepton Mallet 13th - 15th October, 2016
The West Surrey Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Market, Farnham 22nd October, 2016
Farnborough Craft Guild show, Farnborough 15th October, 2016

Show and Tell

Christine had knit a beige jumper in the round.
Sue had knit a yellow and white cardi from a 1951's twinset pattern in cotton and linen.

There was a dramatic black top with lace squares and colourful accessories, and a scarf that had a cute dog at one end. An arm-knit necklace has been completed from a previous hands-on session, and this blue, green and yellow child's cardigan.

Talk by Joyce Mead

"Joyce Meader is a historical knitting expert who owns a very extensive collection of commercially printed knitting patterns. Her collection ranges from the 1817 to the present day." (from Joyce's website)

This evening Joyce gave us her talk on knitting patterns from 1800 to 1950. It was a fast-paced and humorous talk, with plenty of hands-on garments and patterns being passed around, from jumpers to swimwear, and everything in-between! Joyce knits for historical reenactment, and for television and film production companies,

Joyce Mead's website:

Joyce Mead's book "Knitskrieg : A Call to Yarns! A History of Military Knitting from 1800's to Present" is available to purchase from Amazon.

Next Month

Next month is a hands-on session learning knooking. You will need to bring with you a crochet hook, some fine ribbon, and some yarn.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A speaker at our October meeting

I am looking forward to our October meeting.  It's next Tuesday, 4th October, 8 pm as usual.

We have a speaker coming.  Joyce Meader is her name and she will be talking about Knitting from the 1800's to 1945.  Joyce has an amazing collection of patterns and often adapts them for the modern day figure.  She knits historical knitting expert and has knitted for film and re-enactments.

It promises to be a very interesting meeting, so I do hope lots of you can make it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

AGM 2016 and favourite patterns


The evening began with the AGM. Nina stepped down as Assistant Organiser, and suggested that a hand knitter or crocheter volunteer for the committee, in order for the committee balance to match the balance of machine knitters, hand knitters and crocheters in the club. Liz reviewed the program for the year ahead, which includes two speakers, three hands-on evenings, and the club's 40th anniversary celebration evening.

The 2017 club challenge is to knit or crochet a 2-piece set from your stash. This could be, for example: twinset; gloves and hat; baby jacket and hat; blanket and bootees; top and skirt. The rules are that it must be made from already owned stash yarn and accessories, or, at a push, second-hand yarn or accessories from a charity shop.

Liz reviewed the statistics for the blog since it started. There have been over 33,000 page views from around the world, including the United States, Holland, and Germany. There have been nearly 9000 views from the UK, and we would like to say a special hello to our subscribed followers.

Show and Tell

The club members have been very busy over the summer, and there was an amazing turn-out of show-and-tell bags.
Janet is crocheting a flower blanket, made from 9 panels. This is one of the outer 8 identical panels.

Sylvia has been knitting designs by Clair Crowston, including a pink jumper and a white cardigan.

Julie had knit a purple/multi-colour cardigan that was intended for the 2015-16 club challenge, but was unfortunately misplaced.

Julia had knit some baby blankets, including a pink and white shell stitch crocheted blanket, and a yellow and white knit and crocheted blanket. Sandra knit a very sparkly silver hedgehog (facial features to be finished).

Marcia had knit a tiny baby jacket in white double-knit, and Sandra has knit a pair of white baby leggngs. 

Sandra had also knit a blue, white, and pink button-up top in King Cole Opium.
Christine knit a two-piece purple top. During the day, both pieces can be worn layered, to give a v-neck affect. For the evening, a layer can be removed to give an off-the-shoulder casual look. It is based on an American vintage 1950's pattern.
 Julia has also knit this shawl in light blue with a lovely sheen and small fluffy bobbles.

Favourite Patterns

Jean created her own pattern, based on a design from her favourite vase (the knitting machine pattern is in the plastic sleeve on the right in the photo). The pattern was used to create this grey and red cushion for a knitting club competition.
 The same pattern was also used for this jacket. This time as a weave pattern.

Monday, September 05, 2016

September and a new year for us

Yes, September is the start of our year.  And what a year we hope it will be.  Fleet Knitting Club will be celebrating it's 40th Birthday in 2017.  But more on that another time.

The meeting tomorrow will be our AGM and we have also asked members and visitors to bring along a swatch, garment or photo of their favourite stitch pattern and the instructions on how to knit or crochet it.  And if you bring along needles and yarn you could have a go at some of them.

Anyone on our e-mail distribution list should have received our summer letter setting out plans for the forthcoming year and also the Agenda for the meeting tomorrow.  If I've missed anyone - sorry and please let me know and I'll send it again.

So we'll sign off now and say we hope to see you there tomorrow evening. 8 pm as usual.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 2016 - Club challenge and Guess-the-Gadget

The Machine Knitting Guild held it's AGM in Lincoln. There will be a full write-up in a special edition of 'Beyond the gatepegs', and a write-up in the next Guild newsletter.

The charity table was creaking under the weight of magazines that had been brought in to share. Flicking through the magazines was like a walk through fashion history for the last 30 years. It was interesting to see the staple items that continue to be popular, regardless of the current fashion trends, particularly the classic simple cardigan. With our weather, it is always useful to have on-hand!

In contrast to the recent damp weather, it was a bright pleasant evening for the last meeting of the club year. The club takes a break for summer, and resumes with a new club year of events in September.

Show and tell

Sandra had made a pink cardigan with Swarovski buttons, designed by Ann Brown.

and also a pink jumper for the Guild knitting challenge.

Jane hand-knit a gorgeous multi-coloured cardigan for a 6-12 months old.

Liz had machine-knit a red/black book bag, a wall hanging, and a lacy white cotton top, that had also been entered into the Guild challenge.

Club Challenge

The club challenge for the year was to follow the provided pattern for a child's cardigan, that had the number of rows, stitches, and decreases, but no yarn, edging, trimming or tension was specified.

There were 8 entries, and the range was fascinating. Although the basic shape was the same, the cardigans varied wildly in size, colour, and finish.

The cardigans were laid out on a table with a number assigned to each cardigan. The members then voted on which cardigan was their favourite. The winner was Sandra.


Jean brought along a metal object that looked a little like a hair comb. 

Liz brought along a green bakelite darning mushroom. It says on the base "Always darn with Glista Yarn" on the base, and was made in England. The domed top can be removed, revealing threads and a tube. The tube contains darning needs, but also pushes into the lid to create the darning mushroom.

Another club member brought along a Topstitcher kit, that can be used to create embellishments on a knitted fabric. Smaller versions are also available that can be used on woven fabrics.

This last item is a hole puncher for creating knitting patterns for punch-card knitting machines. It is very easy to use, but you need to keep your concentration whilst using it!

Next year

The next club year will begin on the first Tuesday of September. If you have any ideas for speakers, activities or challenges, please contact one of the committee members.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

July has arrived

Where's the summer?  It's July and almost time for our meeting and we are still wearing woollies, and dare not leave the house without a raincoat or umbrella.  

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 5th July, 8pm!

This month sees the end of our annual knitting challenge.  Please bring along what you've made, preferably hidden in a bag.  I will then lay all the garments out on the table and everyone can choose their favourite.  It would be lovely to see that lots of people have taken part this year.

We will also be looking at "knitting paraphernalia".  Unusual knitting related items; machines, accessories, stitch gauges, anything knitting related that is a bit out of the ordinary.  It could be something you've made, or something you've inherited or maybe something you've got but don't know what it is or how to use it.

I hope to see lots of you there.

Please note: there is no meeting in August.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June 2016 - Talk by Linda Newington "Fair Isle to Scare Isle"

There are two knitting shows next month. The Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts Show is on at the NEC, Birmingham, from the 1st to the 3rd of July. Fibre East is the 30th and 31st of July, in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

Show and Tell

Janet and Sandra have been hand-knitting a collection of baby clothes to donate to the Farnborough Sands Charity in the baby unit at Frimley Hospital. Sandra had also knit a child's brown striped pullover. Tannis was working on a colourful brioche stitch shawl. Liz had completed more felt balls from the February meeting, and had made them into a necklace to donate to The Royal Marsden fundraising shop.


Our speaker this month was Linda Newington, who is the Head of Library and Archive Collections for Art and Design at the Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton. Linda presented a personal and thought-provoking presentation entitled "Fair Isle to Scare Isle" which promoted some interesting discussions and tangents. Linda supplemented the presentation with part of her personal collection of Fair Isle gloves and mittens, which the club members were eager to look through and discuss.

Fair Isle is a very small island between the Orkney Isles and the Shetland Isles, known for both knitting and ship wrecks. Evidence has been found of human habitation going back 5,000 years. There is no hard evidence of the origins of the famous Fair Isle knitting patterns and colour combinations, and it is of continuing interest to both academic historians and new fashion students.

Fair Isle resources

Book - A Shetland Knitter's Notebook by Mary Smith
Book - Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the present by Sarah Laurenson
Book - Handwork Edited by Anne Sinclair
The Fair Isle website
Spangle Fish - Fair Isle yarns website
Mati Ventrillion - Fair Isle knitter website
Shetland Wool Week website (24th September to 2nd October 2016)

Linda also discussed the 'In The Loop' conferences, and the digital resources made available by the University of Southampton. Here are some links to some of the other resources mentioned during the evening.

Knitting Reference Library website
Online digital copies of some of the knitting reference library books and patterns website
In The Loop conferences website

Saturday, June 04, 2016

June meeting coming soon

Our June meeting is on Tuesday – 7th June, 8pm as usual.

We have a speaker this month.  Linda Newington, (Head of Library and Archive Collections for Art and Design at the Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton) is coming to talk to us about “In the Loop”, a conference for knitters held at various locations throughout the UK.  Linda will also be telling us about her current research "From Fair-Isle to Scare-Isle".  It will include a slide show so if the lights are off don’t think we aren’t there!

Linda came to talk a couple of years ago now.  Her previous talk was well received and extremely informative.  So much so that we completely forgot to take photos! 

Don’t forget to bring items of recent knitting to show.  I’m sure we’ll make time for that, and the usual cup of tea or coffee!

Hope lots of you make it.  

(And if you can't - don't forget our knitting challenge ends next month!)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

May 2016 - Lucet and hairpin lace

The lighter evenings helped encourage a good turn-out.

Reminder that next month we have a guest speaker, Ms Linda Newington, the Head Librarian within Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton. Linda will be discussing the 'In The Loop' conferences.

Also a reminder that the pattern for this year's club creative challenge has been emailed out to all our members. Please bring along your cardigan at the July meeting, or if you can't make it, please give to Liz (in a bag, so as to hide who made it) before then.

Show and Tell

A very colourful green dress had been hand-knit following a 1970's pattern for a sweater, but due to sizing issues, resulted in being a dress. Fabulous range of colour, and lots of details.

There is a bit of a blanket theme this month. Janet had been de-stashing by crocheting some lap blankets.

Carol hand-knit a plain white garter stitch blanket, and Rita hand-knit a pink blanket for a baby's car seat.


Several people brought along lucets that they had purchased at shows, but very few had seen the light-of-day since. There were two main designs. One is a plastic lucet with a fork-style of design with a handle, that is produced by Ziggy who runs The Lucet Company. The other design is a wooden curved shape made by Flights of Fancy.

Lucets create a cord, similar to an i-cord/4-pin dolly cord, but on 2 prongs rather than 4. There are YouTube videos demonstrating how to use a lucet. The following photo shows was can be achieved in a couple of hours, experimenting with 2 different colours and tensions.

Hairpin Lace

Specific looms can be purchased for making hairpin lace, but they can also be made from two strips of wood with holes in them, and a pair of knitting needles. The important factors are that the two vertical poles must be parallel, and the top horizontal must be removable. There are various instructions on the internet on how to make looms, and to make lace. Here are a couple of examples:

How to make a hairpin lace loom using 2 knitting needles (Instructables)
How to hairpin lace (Youtube)