Knitwear Designer Marianne Henio

We enjoyed a very interesting talk given by Knitwear Designer Marianne Henio, who shared with us her knitting history and how she has developed her skills over the years to become a designer of knitting patterns and how she comes to create a new design.

Marianne’s love of knitting was very evident.  She had brought a selection of her sample garments, some of which were from her recent Winter Collection, and she talked us through the design features and what had influenced/inspired her in creating those particular garments.

One of Marrianne's garments

One of Marrianne’s garments

Marianne with some of her garments

Marianne with some of her garments

Pat’s Cut n’ Sew Necklines

Pat gave a very interesting demonstration on cut and sew necklines – using a sewing machine along the edge to be cut and then joining the neckline to the garment on a linker.

Pat demonstrating cut n' sew

Pat demonstrating cut n’ sew

We also had a Show and Tell session at the start of the meeting, which included many lovely items:

  • Nora had made a baby dress with smocked yoke.
  • Joan had made a cardigan with contrast buttons and contrast pink trim.
  • Joan also brought along the patchwork quilt she had completed, with its matching bag.
  • Mavis modelled her textured waistcoat.
  • Mandi had made a circular effect jacket from a Zandra Rhodes pattern.

    Mandi's jacket, Mavis's waistcoat and Nora's baby dress

    Mandi’s jacket, Mavis’s waistcoat and Nora’s baby dress

We were also challenged to make knitted hats for sailors by October and to make some knitted squares for a knitted Christmas tree for a community project in Tilehurst.

Diana Hannah

Diana Hannah, who has been working for John Lewis for 17 years, visited us in March to tell us about her life at John Lewis. Her Grandma first taught her how to knit and she hasn’t stopped since.

John Lewis offers lessons or a drop-in clinic for all knitters, new, improving or experienced. Many come along to learn how to knit, buy wool, sort out problems or have the confidence to finish a garment. They run a ‘Knit & Knatter’ on the last Thursday of the month between 3-5, just call in the store to find out more.

Some tips Diana gave us are:

  • Look and read your knitting to spot mistakes
  • When casting off, lay the knitting down and you can calculate the amount of thread needed
  • Read the ball band
  • Knit half the garment, weigh it, then you can tell if you have enough yarn to complete the garment

Some interesting facts about Diana:

  • She was a judge at the Newbury Show for 3 years
  • Knitted a cushion for the 150 years of John Lewis, which was used in a ‘Guess the number of stitches’
  • make her own soap
  • makes all her own socks
Diana and one f her creations

Diana and one of her creations

Liz Holness – Ways to Join Knitting

A few notices

Unravel – Farnham 19-21st Feb. Uppingham will be visiting so if there is anything you need and can’t get there, give Nick a ring and ask Philip to pick it up for you. Although mainly hand knitting there is usually some good quality and unusual yarns available.

Liz will be attending Bournemouth 5th March, so if you have anything for the competition she’s happy to take it down for you.

Ways to Join Knitting

One of our favourite speakers visited to show us a number of different ways to join knitting.

Mattress, grafting and back stitch are the most common way of joining your knitting and instructions for this can be found in books and online everywhere. Back stitch is not as neat as mattress stitch, which gives a smoother finish. Whereas grating when done correcting will give you an invisible seam as you are effectively making a row of knitting. Just be careful not to pull the thread too tight.

Liz also demonstrated a number of fancy joins which make a feature of your garment. Some are made on the machine and some off. These include:
herringbone, faggotting, icord, hairpin lace, latch tool, crochet, cable, eyelets, shoe lace up and many more.









AGM and First Meeting of 2016

Our first meeting of 2016!

It was lovely to see so many of you at our first meeting of 2016.

Nora welcomed everyone, including some new faces. It has been a challenging first year as Chair and she thanked the committee members for their help. We have had a change of name this year going from Woodley Machine Knitting to Berkshire Machine Knitting and although we have lost a few members, we have gained new ones. We are planning another Knit In weekend in Frebruary.

Shelia showed us the club accounts and although we have lost a number of members, we had some of our speakers cancel, so we haven’t lost out financially.

Val has been working hard to sort out a programme for this year as she is stepping down as Secretary. The new programme will be emailed to members and displayed on the website, but if anyone has any ideas about speakers or subject please let Nora or one of the new committee know.

Apart from Val, the new committee remains the same with Nora as chair, Philip vice chair, Shelia treasurer. No one could be persuaded to run for secretary, so their duties are being shared amongst the committee until a new one is found.

Show and Tell

Members have been very busy over the Christmas period.

Val and Joan

Val and Joan

Val, inspired by Philip’s shawl, has made her own, though she admitted it took longer to block out and steam, than to knit it.

Joan has finally finished the kit she bought at Ali Pali. It was knitted on ‘broom sticks’ with four strand of moss stitch, put away halfway through, retrieved but lost the pattern, emailed suppliers who sent through a new one and finally finished.




Jenny and Nora

Jenny and Nora

Jenny has be crocheting a blanket and scarves, not bad as she only learnt to crochet just before Christmas.

Nora has been trying out Hairpin Lace, by knitting a cowl. It is basically three pieces of knitting where the sides are lopped up and joined with a crochet hook.




Pat, Delphine and David

Pat, Delphine and David


Pat found and original Guernsey in a charity shop.

Delphine finally mastered the garter carriage on the last ‘knit-in’ weekend and used it to create a moss stitch edging for her jacket.

David has also produced a shawl.




Nora finished off the evening with a demonstration of hair pin lace.

Nora demonstrating hair pin lace