Monday, 20 July 2020

From Sue Maddex...

Hi everyone, 

I’ve still not knitted an actual garment on a knitting machine, but I have bought another machine.

I bought a complete heap of a Brother 710. After much scrubbing I managed to knit a few rows, but it was still misbehaving. I took it to bits a bit further, and have now got the push buttons working properly - it was selecting the needles almost randomly. There was a screw out of place in the module of the pattern selecting which was a pig to remove and almost as bad to replace.

The machine was sold as almost a pile of parts ,but I have sourced most things I needed for it, but I still need a couple of bits. I need a top cover/lid for it as the one it came with was for a KH864. If anyone needs a lid for a KH864 they are welcome to it.

I would also like to source a ribber for the 710 as I have the connector carriage thingy, some ribber weights and the screws to attach the ribber. If anyone has any 710 bits they would like to sell I would be interested. Here are a couple of photos of the state it was in and the fluff that came out of it ! 

Friday, 3 July 2020

Show & Tell from Jean

Jean has sent in two photos:

A 2nd jumper I have knitted. Colin's next size up, and has a double neck hem.

Hand knitted Baby Blanket using Aldi  yarn it took 4 balls.

Hope to see you all soon!

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Veronica has knitted a 'special' cardigan for her granddaughter

Veronica has sent us this:

My granddaughter broke her arm a couple of weeks ago and as the weather has turn chill, I adapted a cardigan I was knitting for her to suit her present problem with one short wide sleeve.

I used a Marion Nelson pattern and a punchcard I found in my stash. The yarn is 2/30s acrylic also in my stash. I like the turquoise mix which has ‘bright’ acrylic giving it a sheen.

The body is a bit long, it’ll keep her kidneys warm. It’s difficult to get a proper fitting at present with not seeing her as much and then not been able to get close enough to measure the bits I need. Of course I didn’t do a tension square.

Show & Tell - Alison

Hi everyone - I hope you're all keeping well.

I've been rediscovering my double-bed colour changer, and have finally knitted up the Yeoman yarn (3ply, 50% wool/50% acrylic) I bought at the Nottingham Show not last year but the year before.

I originally bought two cones of the blue and one of the white - and used one of the blue fairly quickly to knit a tuck stitch jumper for myself. I now longer have that... my husband put it in the machine, after which it fitted my slim daughter-in-law, and my son then did the same. It wouldn't even fit a 5-year-old and was like cardboard!

I've used the blue and white (it is white, although the photo doesn't look it) to do this double-jacquard jumper for myself in readiness for the cooler weather in the autumn. It's one of the standard Stitch World patterns, and I thought it worked well with the blue and white. A bit of a Wedgewood feel. 😊

I've got a Brother KH965 but a KR830 ribber (which I originally had with my KH836). Last year, I bought a ribber carriage for a KR850, giving me the option to do the birds-eye jacquard. It fits nicely, although the connection between the ribber and the main bed was a little weak (the connecting arm didn't fit all the way into the slot). I've now got the ribber part for the main carriage too, so that is better. There was still a little bit of adjustment needed, as it kept missing the yarn when I changed colour. Comparing it with the older carriage, the angles weren't quite right so a bit of push into place was needed.

The only thing I've noticed that is a little odd is when you're decreasing. You have to make sure that you (ideally) decrease on an even row number (every 2nd, 4th, 6th) as every other needle knits in each direction on the ribber. If you decrease on an odd numbered row too frequently, the same needles keep knitting and the same needles slipping. I have some areas on inside where you can see the effect of the decreases - instead of birds-eye, I've got stripes for a few rows. 

Now I've done this - and I've got the red yarn - I can knit my grandson's jumper. The tension square is done and the pattern is in the machine. Thank you to Pat and to Pauline, who both contacted me to say they had some red. Pauline had the 2/30 acrylic I was looking for, so I will return Pat's to her soon. Again, than you both.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Show and Tell from Jean Conduit

Jean has sent us photos of the lovely things she has been making for the Show & Tell. (Apologies, I didn't get chance to upload this yesterday.)

Jean says:
Hope to see you all soon.

A hand-knit for Jean's first gread-granddaugher.
4-ply cardigan, pattern from MKM March 2010.



The same pattern, in Baby Bramwell. Jean says this knits up lovely and soft.

Finally, a jumper knitted in wool using the garter carriage and pattern 2 from Stitch World.

Monday, 25 May 2020

News from other clubs...

Some of the other machine knitting clubs around the UK are putting even more online than they usually do.

For an interesting read, take a look at Fleet Knitting Club - ex-GMK members will know of Liz Holness, who was our Chairman for many years.

If I find any others with recent updates, I'll let you know.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Linda has finished a couple of jumpers...

Hi everyone

Well I’ve finally finished my husband's jumper and I have also made a jumper for my grandson.

I have been busy setting up a second machine (my mum's knit master 323) it’s a lovely machine but so different to the Brother, such fun. I’m going to use the punch card patterns for my next project, I’m so excited.

I miss you all and can’t wait till we can meet again.
Till then I am sending a virtual hug.

Stay safe and see you soon.


Monday, 11 May 2020

Pat's latest cushions

Pat sent us a photo of her latest creations, and said:
I have knitted two cushions inspired by Bill King’s article in last month’s Machine Knitting Monthly. Punching out the card nearly drove me mad but I am pleased with the result. I’m going to try more colours next.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Pat has been knitting hats...

Pat has sent us the following:

My mission during lockdown is to use up as many oddments as possible so, small amounts will make striped hats! Herewith the first six. Having raided the blue and green box I am now heading for the reds and pinks.

Jean - Show & Tell

Jean has sent us all a message:

Hello, just to say I have done some knitting but haven't got any garments made up they're all need putting together. This is one that I have started to press it's knitted on garter carriage. Hope to see you all soon.

Love all the knitting that is being shown.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Another little bag

Another little bag! It's taken a long time to complete as I kept being distracted by the garden and other things. The 'tram line' side is hand knitted from the debris of various knitting projects. The 'cobblestone' side is machine knitted. It is a knit weave pattern (Knitmaster 580 pattern 4 ) which has been turned on its side. The gusset is hand knitted in Moss stitch. I think the yarn was 2 strands of 4 ply. The inside got complicated; three internal compartments and a card pocket.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

First garment on my Passap Duo 80

It must be over 2 years ago that I bought my Passap Duo 80 from a lady in London, and brought it home full of enthusiasm.

I cleaned it thoroughly, and knitted a lot of swatches followed by scarves and cot blankets with no real difficulties. However, I didn't manage to knit a garment. Even if I got it all going OK, it all went horribly wrong as soon as I needed to do any shaping. I dropped stitches or - even if I was sure I hadn't - they seemed to bounce off the needles. There was just so much to remember, too. I know it would have been the same when I first started with my Brother, but that's so long ago now that it's all second-nature.

The March 2020 edition of Machine Knitting Monthly contained a very straightforward jumper in crepe, with step-by-step instructions. Normally I wouldn't follow a pattern for something this straightforward, using my Knitleader instead. But I decided to have one more attempt. It worked, and I attach the evidence!

Not having to think about anything other than the action of the machine meant I could concentrate on that. I discovered a few things that will make my next attempt more straightforward.

  • It's true you don't need weights for the majority of the knitting, but a light weight at the edge once you're into decreasing helps keep the stitches in the needles - I think mine were tending to bounce out.
  • It is quite a labour-intensive machine. Knitting over a few stitches (such as for a tension square) is relatively easy work - and I've tried knitting on different blocks of stitches to check that some aren't just a bit 'sticky', so it isn't that. But as soon as I'm using most of the needle-bed, I have to put quite a bit of "Oomph" into pushing the carriage.
  • The yarn mast isn't as forgiving as the Brother one of knots and lumps in the yarn. Obviously, these are not a good thing at any time, but I find small kinks tend to straighten out on my Brother whereas they get stuck on the Passap - leading to tight stitches and breaking yarn. I'm also not sure that the tension discs on the mast are doing their job properly - something to investigate.

Friday, 1 May 2020

From Sue Booth

Sue sent me an email with some photos and a lovely message to us all.

Hi there,

The raglan woven jacket.
I hope everyone is safe and well. I’m pleased to be able to show you a couple of garments which I have recently knitted. The first is a raglan sleeve woven jacket using 3 strands of Uppinghams fine acrylic 2 ply crepe for the base yarn and 1 strand of Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed for the weaving yarn. The Aran yarn was bought from the Wool Cabin at Chesterfield.

The second garment is knitted in 1 strand of Uppinghams Lambswool on Tension 8. I followed a 4 ply pattern and achieved the same tension. I washed and pressed the tension square before measuring. I knitted the garment and finished it completely. (At this stage it looks only fit for the dustbin!). I hand washed it and gave it a 600 spin then I placed it nicely in shape on a towel to dry. This only weighs 8 ozs but is lovely and warm. I believe this yarn is the same as the Lambswool sold at the club but always make sure your tension is correct and you are happy with your tension square before knitting your garment.

The lambswool cardigan.

I am sending the instructions for the front band on the Lambswool cardigan.

The neckband was knitted the same but I started on the main tension and reduced the tension by one whole number every 4 rows, i.e. 1st band: T8 knit 4 rows, T7 knit 4 rows, T10 knit 1 row, T7 knit 4 rows, T8 knit 4 rows, pick up first row and knit 1 row. WS facing pick up the garment, knit 1 row and cast off behind the sinkers. 2nd band: T6 knit 4 rows, T5 knit 4 rows, T10 knit 1 row, T5 knit 4 rows, T6 knit 4 rows, pick up first row and knit 1 row. WS facing pick up fold row of first band, knit 1 row and cast off behind the sinkers.

The full instructions for the buttonholes - including pictures - are here and on the Resources page.

I’ve also been doing a bit of crocheting whilst watching telly at night time. I found these slippers on YouTube. I asked for easy crocheted slippers and it came up with several. I thoroughly enjoyed making them and they can go in the Mapperley charity basket.

Hope it won’t be too long before we can meet up again, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, take care, Sue.

Alison's hand-knit cardigan

I went to the KCG Convention last year (2019) for the very first time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the things they do is have a 'yarn amnesty' - similar to our yarn sales at the club, with the money raised going to charity. People take yarn that they have left over from projects, or that they bought on a whim and never got around to using.
I found a sealed pack of 10 balls of Wendy Frizzante - 'sealed' was good, it meant they were 10 full balls - complete with a pattern for a waterfall-style cardigan.
I'd never knitted an 'eyelash' yarn before, so decided one new thing at a time, and I'd follow the pattern. Problem was, the pattern came in three sizes, I needed the largest, and it took 11 balls. I couldn't get any more anywhere, so I had to adapt.
I'm not very tall, so I took a few stitches out of the length (the body is knitted sideways in one piece from right-front to left-front), but I could tell that hadn't saved me enough. So I knitted both sleeves at the same time, from the top down, reversing the shaping - the only way I could be sure they would end up the same length.
Because I knew they'd end up as 3/4 sleeves (at best), I didn't decrease as much down the arms so they stayed a little looser. On balance, I think I prefer it to longer sleeves with this slightly fluffy yarn. It looks OK with a short-sleeve T-shirt and bare lower arms, and I think it will also look OK with a long-sleeved top.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Veronica - Show & Tell

Veronica tells us of her renewed relationship with her garter carriage. She says:

There is always a silver lining and I’ve been using the confined time to make friends with my knitting machine again. Me and the machine were inseparable in the early 90’s but children, jobs and, that wonderful thing, the man made fleece came along and it was confined to under the bed. It’s been sitting there silently just waiting and now, hurrah, it’s time has come.

I have been making dishcloths on my Brother punchcard using the garter carriage. The garter carriage wiring was damaged in an attack of gerbils, Brenda’s Martin has done a great job of repairing it, and it is chugging away merrily again.

It has taken several attempts to make a dishcloth, each one takes about 4hrs for the GC to knit. I think I have finally got a good balance of tension for 2x2ply cotton yarn.
Of course they come off the machine looking and feeling like one thing and when washed the cotton changes density and feel to something else.
Here they are a sample. The pink on the top is the best yet but needs washing.

Happy lockdown to everyone, keep safe and well.

Rainbow for the NHS

Helen has sent a rainbow in support of the NHS. She said:

Another one for the picture gallery please. I know it is predominantly kids that are doing the rainbows to show support for the NHS. Didn’t see why we couldn’t partake. It is crochet in 2 strands of 4 ply machine knitting yarn using a 5.5 mm hook. Crochet as a circle and then just folded in half. Should have had cardboard between the layers but as I had originally planned to put it outside as I thought it would be too big for our windows I omitted the cardboard.

However, it does fit so it is inside away from the weather. That is the largest pane of glass we have so you can understand my concern that it might have been too large for our windows.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Norwegian mittens

Strictly speaking, did these before the lockdown, not sure if I brought them to the Club. Knitted in the round on five double pointed needles. This pair of traditional Norwegian mittens are man size. Knitted to free pattern from knit-selbu-mittens.html.
Watched the video a thousand times before I finished. Hopefully we will meet again before we need them.

Sue M. 'Show & Tell'

Sue M. sent the following:

It’s a good idea to have a virtual knit and natter.

I have actually completed a garment for the first time in years. Unfortunately, it was hand knitted due to its garter stitch borders. I also had to translate the pattern from Danish – I don’t speak Danish but there’s a lot of Danish words in English and there some great websites on the internet. It kept me out of mischief for a good few days.

It was knitted with 3 strands of some nice fluffy pinky-blue French yarn that I got from a car-boot ages ago because I liked the colour.

Helen - Show & Tell

Helen sent this in a her contribution to 'Show & Tell'. She said:
Made in 2 strands of 2/30s so it’s very light.   The first thing I have made for myself in a while.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Jean - Show & Tell

Jean has sent in a few photos for her own 'Show & Tell'.

Some of you may have seen from Jean's email that she has been knitting baby things as her first great-granddaughter is due in 3 weeks.

Congratulations, Jean.

The white and pink baby cardigan has a neat cable down the front, and you can see just how little was left on the cone at the end. A close thing!

The hoodie and the cardigan in the photo on the left are machine knitted, and the booties are a hand-knit.

Alison - Show & Tell

I keep meaning to hold on to the jumpers I make to bring them to the Club - the trouble is, I've often given them to the recipients between finishing them and the next meeting. To set the ball rolling with my own "Show & Tell", I offer a jumper made for one of my grandchildren.

It is hand-knitted from the neck down, in the round; no seams, but still a lot of ends to sew in because of the stripes. This was a special request from my 3-year-old grandson. I'd made his sister a tunic in self-striping yarn from my stash, and he wanted a "stripes jumper" too. I managed to stop him after he'd chosen purple, blue and white (fortunately all acrylic and all double-knitting!). Grandad is modelling it. I took the photo to prove to my grandson that I'd finished it, as every time he spoke to me the question was "Granny, done my jumper yet?" The only images I have of him wearing it are videos.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Regular meetings cancelled until further notice

We have decided to cancel all further meetings of the club until further notice. This is in line with recent guidelines.

We are also aware that many of our members fall into the 'vulnerable' groups regarding the Corona virus - we are thinking of you.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Nottingham Show cancelled

We've just been notified that the Nottingham Show (the club was going to have a stand) has been cancelled.

We are disappointed but understand the reason why. For more information, see Machine Knitting Monthly's post about the cancellation.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Coming up shortly...

We have a full programme over the next three months:

  • March - Sue Booth is demonstrating 'all things tuck', both on the single bed and the ribber. Sue's talks are always inspirational, and I always learn something useful.
  • April - our AGM, where we review our finances (including deciding how we're going to distribute the funds we've raised for charity) vote for the committee members, and decide on some of the things we'd like to do over the coming months. It's a great 'knit and natter' evening, too.
  • May - Amy Twigger-Holroyd is coming to give us a talk. Amy is a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, and has published two books: Folk fashion - understanding homemade clothes and Fashion knitwear design. She is a very experienced designer, maker and teaching of knitting, and has done a lot of work around reworking textiles.
All are welcome, but obviously only club members can vote on anything at the AGM.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

February meeting - Erica Thomson

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that there was no meeting in January as such. Instead, a group of us headed off to the Eagles Nest in Arnold for our Christmas meal.

February saw us back to a more normal meeting, and we had a great external speaker. Erica Thomson came to talk to us about knitting with wire. I don't know about you, but it's not the first material that comes to mind when I think about knitting - and we were all needing reassurance that you wouldn't damage our machines.

It was a very interesting talk, and Erica bought wire and other bits and pieces with her that many of us bought to try out the techniques. The big thing I took away is that you're knitting a flat piece of 'ribbon' over about 4 needles. Any more than that, and you probably *would* risk damaging your machine. You then do a bit of pulling, tugging and 'easing' with a pointed tool (a knitting needle, for example) to get the bit of knitting look exactly as you want it. From then on, the options are braiding, twisting or simply keeping the 'ribbon' flat.

For anyone who is interested in finding out more, visit Erica's website. She has some examples and some patterns.