Converting Hand Knitting patterns


Delphine attended the National Guild Day/AGM of the Machine Knitters Guild, which was well attended with at least 120 participants (most ever). As well as the usual yarn stands, there was a very interesting demonstration on knitting with wire.

Next year is the 25th Anniversary of the Guild and the National Guild Day/AGM is to be held in Hampshire.

Show and Tell

Joan has been making necklaces from silk and ? a grey scarf. Nora and Nicky have been making knitted pasties for use in a school play at Nicky’s school.








 For the rest of our meeting Nora showed us how she converts hand knitting patterns so they can be used on a machine.

Machine knitted from a hand knitting pattern

Machine knitted for a hand knitting pattern


Maintenance Evening

David and Philip reminded us how to maintain our machine by cleaning a fine gauge machine recently purchased by Philip. It seems it has never been used, but appears to have sat in a cupboard for many years. The main problem being the grease has solidified meaning the carriage was virtually unusable. David had to use a lot of elbow grease to free up the carriage parts.

David and Philip inspecting the carriage

David and Philip inspecting the carriage

David cleaning the carriage

David cleaning the carriage

Philip cleaning machine bed with a long brush and potable vacuum

Philip cleaning machine bed with a long brush and potable vacuum

Shelia then showed us how to make sure your ribber is positioned correctly when doing double bed knitting.



Spinners and Weavers with Janet & Mary

Quick news – The Sailors’ Society have thanked us for the hats.

Janet and Mary’s talk this evening was about unusual fibres used to make yarns.

They started off by showing us examples of natural fibres including: animal yarns – angora (doesn’t hold on it’s own, so needs to be mixed with wool); Yak (often mixed with silk); camel; bison. Plant fibres (these are stiffer, though they do get softer with use) – nettles; flax; hemp, bamboo.

Fibres with are natural, but have to be treated with chemicals to produce yarn: milk; corn; rose; banana; soya bean.

Then there are the artificial fibres: triloble nylon; re-cycled plastic bottles (washing in a machine can cause very small pieces of plastic to break off); kevlar (often used when making socks as toes and heels are more resistant).


Members’ Meeting

This evening we continued with making our garment. We have reached the neckline stage and Nora demonstrated how to add a neckline onto the front and back of the garment.


We also have been discussing which charities we would like to knit for. We have just sent off 51 hats to the Sailors’ Society in Southampton, that’s over 100 in the last year and we are now thinking of something different to knit.

Racking with Liz Holness

We were visited by our regular local demonstrator Liz, who showed us various examples of double bed racking.

Many people have replaced their ribbers with a garter carriage, but you do need to have a ribber in order to rack.

Racking does give a bias, so unless this is what you want, remember to rack in both directions. The grey collar in the photos below were knitted on the bias to allow it to fold easily.

As you will be using yours left hand to do the racking, this can become tender so make sure you take rest breaks and invest in a pair of gloves. Screwfix sell inexpensive lightweight gloves which still allow you to feel what your doing. Right handers will find it more tiring than left handers.

Tension swatches are very important.

The main thing is to experiment and have fun!

Tension swathes are very omportant

Tension swathes are very important

Grey collar is knitted on the bias

The grey collar is knitted on the bias











Liz demonstrating racking

Liz demonstrating racking