Leicestershire Machine Knitters

Andrewes St, Leicester


2011-2012 | Next

15th Sep, Slip stitch with colour

Joy brought in some lovely samples of things that can be done with slip stitch, including something called butterfly stitch, and a lovely bargello pattern. We also had a new member so we gave her a little crash course in how to use the knitting machine. 

6th Oct, Single-bed colour changer

Joy and Bob showed us how to set up and use the brother single bed colour changer. Unfortunately, it wasn't in much of a mood to play with us and we produced some rather ratty knitting. You have to be very careful that the yarn is unloaded and reloaded with this device - must be a trick to it.

20th Oct, Penny socks

I can't take any credit for this pattern, but it is my favourite way to knit plain socks. The technique uses the ribber - a toe is created using short-rowing on the main bed, and the cast on row is hung onto the ribber bed. The foot is knitting circularly (using pennies in the toe for weight), and the heel is knitted in the same way as the sock. The toe went a bit wonky because needles kept slipping into hold, but the heel went a lot better. Passap knitters shouldn't feel left out - this pattern is pretty much the same pattern. The only exception is that the toe and heel are made on the front bed and not the main (back) bed.

1st Nov, One-day workshop

We decided to run our first ever one-day workshop at our usual venue, but because the room we normally meet in is used by the local college, we had a smaller room with windows. We had nine machine knitters with their own machines and in some cases their own tables. It was quite cosy and noisy in there - one machine knitter even made her own ear plugs. 

Three members knitted a simple shrug from the Anne Brown pattern that was such a hit at this year's Dream Week. I made a charity tee top and a reversible adult hat for BISS. Celia started a cabled jumper on her KH260 and we discovered she had the incorrect brackets for her knitleader, so it wasn't advancing properly. Luckily we spotted this, or she'd've been knitting forever. Then the armholes went a bit wrong (were not symmetrical). I hope I'll get to see the finished product soon! Bob was also working on another simple shrug pattern, and we all decided his machine was the noisiest (although I think it was more down to his lightening speed). 

It was an useful trial run for a workshop and I think another one might be organised. Everyone seemed to have a nice time and I was sad to start packing up at 3pm.

3rd Nov, Knitting sleeves from the top down

Bob showed us a method of knitting front and back (and joining the shoulders and neck welt in one move) and then picking up the sleeve head and using holding position to knit the sleeve downwards. It was very informative and it's definitely something I need to investigate more! It produced a neat seam and anything that means less sewing up is good in my book!

27th Nov, Trip to Harrogate show

We all arrived early to the community centre. Bob had hired a minibus for the day. We arrived at the show at about 10.20am. This was my first time at Harrogate, and it was a very interesting show. Every time I thought I'd seen every hall, there was another one to explore. I managed to contain my spending (mostly) and came away with some bargain skeins from Texere Yarns and their fantastic yarn catalogue. There were lots of lovely stalls for the knitter, many of which I've not seen at the Birmingham or London shows. I could easily have bought lots of yarn, but I'm trying to avoid buying yarn just because it's pretty (and one skein is never enough unless you need a lot of hats and gloves). Sue Woolley was demonstrating the LK150 on the Silver stand. I said hello to Ruth Lee who had an exhibition in one of the halls. There were also some amazing crafted dolls and a modern take on the Bayeux tapestry, celebrating the battle of Prestonpans. It stretched two sides of a very long room. After a bit, our feet were starting to complain so we found a seat and had coffee and cake. We left at 4pm and hit a bit of traffic on the M1 but were back at the community centre for 7pm.

1st Dec, Card 3 techniques

Bit chaotic this week - card 3 had gone missing from the demo machine, and nobody was sure who was demonstrating. Luckily, Hedi had brought some lovely samples and the punchcard and the book. Bob nobly stepped up and he produced some very interesting techniques. It's amazing how many different patterns can be produced on both single and double beds just with a simple card. Card 3 is:


It's not always numbered as card 3 on other machines, the number 3 is a Knitmaster designation I believe. 

5th Jan 2012, Weaving techniques

Barbara showed us some interesting knitweave techniques, including wrapping the yarn manually, using a pattern, and using extra needles on the edge to create automatic fringing.

19th Jan, Lizard Ridge pattern

Jane showed us how to create the Lizard Ridge pattern on a knitting machine, using partial knitting. This pattern works well for variegated yarns or using two colours of yarn. The pattern was originally a hand-knitting pattern posted on Knitty in 2006, and involves learning to knit backwards. The original pattern was knitted in Noro Kureyon.

16th Feb, Skirts and steaming

Sheila brought her Inex steaming kits and showed us how to steam a small sample of skirt. We had some textile students from De Montfort university visiting us, and they were quite taken with it. Do I see pleats on next year's catwalk? We also had quite a collection of cushions for the Olympic cushion project, and a photographer from the Leicester Mercury came to take some pics.

17th Feb

The workshop day went well and we now have 10 cushions for the Olympic project (and more are on the way I think). We had a visit from textile students from De Montfort university, who brought interesting samples of their work.

23rd Feb

Woolsack cushions, March


The cushions before being posted to Woolsack. Didn't we do well? The deadline for Olympic cushions has been extended to the end of May, so there is still time to make more. 

15th Mar, Magic cables

Magic cables were demonstrated - this uses a tuck card, and at certain intervals stitches are rehung diagonally to produce a mock cable. Students from De Montfort uni also came in to show us more of their work.

4th Apr, workshop day

We had a very enjoyable workshop day. I went "low-tech" and brought my convertible KX395 and made an egg cosy (a test knit for a friend), a reversible hat for a child and the back and front of a chunky jumper. Fortunate and Joy had a go at lace. 

19th Apr, Buttons

Button workshop

Hard at work making buttons

Some members of Long Buckby Machine Knitters came and gave us a short talk on different kinds of buttons. We then split up and made Dorset buttons, Yorkshire buttons, Russion buttons and buttons from Fimo modelling clay. 

17th May, General "how to" evening

In a change to the advertised programme, we split up into two groups and one group had a play with fancy raglans, whilst the other group tried to programme the Brother electronic to knit a single motif. It was determined to do the pattern all over so eventually we had to admit defeat. I think the fancy raglan people had more luck than we did! 

7th June

There were scrumptious cakes and cheese scones, courtesy of Joy, and there was a small raffle for some hand-crafted pens, a lovely beaded bracelet and a hand-made wooden pot. Owing to bad weather we were all in Joy's living room, but it was very snug. We raised £45 for LOROS - many thanks to all who attended! 

31st July

The Clair Crowston Workshop was attended by 8 eager knitters and proved to be a most enjoyable day.  At previous workshops Clair has chosen a garment and everyone has knitted the same but she made the mistake of saying that we could choose any of her patterns to Knit and ended up with 5 different challenges! However she rose to the occasion admirably and all was well. We all went home exhausted but happy but I am sure Clair will have slept particularly well that night. It is the first time we have had a workshop run by a professional tutor but I am sure we will be running more in the future. Watch this space!

Where we meet:

West End Centre
Andrewes Street (off Hinckley Road)