Christmas Party

Our Christmas party was held on the 7th and a good time was had by all. The catering was superb and all the plates were emptied. It was a chance for us to dress up and have a good chin wag with fellow members.


Ann Brown on Designing

We had a very interesting evening with Ann Brown. She gave us a brief history of how she started in garment design, from studying at Kingston Poly, through working at Radley and Concorde. She showed us many of her designs, both drawings and final garments.


Ann Brown



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).