Leicestershire Machine Knitters

Andrewes St, Leicester


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5th Sept, AGM

We had some lively discussions about future plans and current meeting arrangements - we are trialling a new afternoon meeting to see if there's any interest. We may also cancel meetings in Jan / Feb and run over the summer months instead. The programme will be updated if so. We also had lots of items for the show and tell - a small selection pictured below.

Show and tell

Joy's beaded necklaces

Punk hat

Jane's punk hat

Show and tell


17th Sept, Machine maintenance

Maintenance class Maintenance class

Bob very kindly "took his top off" and showed us how to strip down a Brother machine and a colour changer. It was fascinating - I've never been brave enough to take it completely apart, and there isn't actually anything to be scared of - as long as you don't lose any of the screws!

26th Sept, Big Textile show

Big textile show 2015 Big textile show 2015

We had a stand at this year's Big Textile Show in Great Glen. We met lots of interesting people and many people admired the garments on display. See below for some pictures taken quickly before the doors opened! Thanks to all who donated garments for the display and/or helped on the stand.

5th Oct, Hairpin lace workshop

We had a lovely workshop day with Hazel Green - she showed us a way of creating hairpin lace on a knitting machine, and using it to create amazing scarves, cowls and jackets. She made it look very easy, but there was a lot of muttering going on at some machines! Fluffy yarns aren't the easiest things to knit on a machine, and even less so when you're doing a technique that doesn't build up much weight...

Hairpin lace workshop Hairpin lace workshop Hairpin lace workshop

However, as you can see, we all managed to make something! Many thanks to Hazel for showing us such an interesting technique.

15th October

It was the night of the annual competition - guess who only remembered that at the weekend, when it was far too late to start anything major? Didn't stop me casting something on, late Tuesday eve though - which is still half-finished! Anyway, enough of my dizziness - we had lots of lovely entries, a selection of which are shown below. I'll add all the names of the winners when I get it, it was all a bit too much for my brain last night! All of the entries will be added to the gallery page. Well done to all who entered - there were some lovely techniques and beautiful items, and Sally had a very hard time choosing. The top prize was for the lovely glittery cardigan pictured below.

Competition results

Machine knitting:


1st - Sue S
2nd - Joyce P
3rd - Pat S


1st - Mary H
2nd - Joy S
3rd - Joy S


1st - Sheila J


1st - Carole A
2nd - Carole A
3rd - Carole A


1st - Sue S
2nd - Pauline H

Hand knitting:


1st - Thelma S
2nd - Bob M
3rd - Jacqui B


1st - Pauline H
2nd - Olga B
3rd - Thelma S


1st - Mary H
2nd - Olga B
3rd - Thelma S


1st - Jane H
2nd - Bob M
3rd - Bob M

BEST IN SHOW - Pauline H

Knitted vegetables Competition entries Competition entries Competition entries Best in show - Pauline H

We are going to trial a monthly afternoon session on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, to run from 10am - 1pm. Please see the programme for more details. We hope to welcome beginners and improvers to master the basic techniques on their knitting machines, as well as regular members. Do come along and join us if you can!

We may also move the Jan and Feb meetings to the summer months, this was discussed at the AGM and is to be advised. Check the programme for updates.

We raised £47 for LOROS at our recent "at home" event at Joy's house. Many thanks to all who contributed.

19th November

Casting off with the linker

Sheila demonstrated using the linker device to cast off some knitting on the Brother. Of course, it worked perfectly the first time, and then refused to cooperate for anyone else. Bob demonstrated using the ribber bed to add extra yarn to produce a looser cast off, and Joy demonstrated the Passap cast off (wrap the needle twice before casting off).

3rd December

Single bed colour changer

We only had a small turnout tonight due to bad weather and illness, and there was a mixup with the keys so we couldn't get into the electronic machine, but we carried on regardless. Jane showed us some interesting samples done using the Brother single bed colour changer, and had brought a sheet showing how to work out two-colour maze and mosaic patterns for yourself. We knitted a small swatch with a skull pattern on it! Swatches below - sorry the labels didn't come out due to the flash, they are all from Stitchworld III which is available for download online.

17th December

We had our annual xmas pot-luck buffet where we had voting forms to fill in. This is to determine how many meetings to run in future - the daytime meeting has proved very popular, so much so that the evening meeting might well be adversely affected. Also, it makes things more complex logistically (ie collecting monies for trips, communicating between the "two" meetings etc). Carol's hubby very kindly did us a little xmas quiz - I'm still inwardly groaning at "Duvet No Hits Christmas Time"... :) Merry Christmas to all our members, and look forward to seeing you all again on the 7th January.

7th January 2016

Happy New Year to all our members, past and present. Our last meeting raised £24 via the Christmas card donations for Loros. Sue gave us an excellent demo of her garter carriage, which cast on and did a little bit of 3x3 rib. Lists have been started for the Birmingham and Nottingham shows; please contact Joy to put your name down if you wish to be on the minibus (dates on the programme page). The committee has yet to meet to discuss the future meeting schedule, so the programme is as published until further notice.

Garter carriage

21st January

Jane gave us an interesting demonstration of various kinds of double-bed jacquard, including a reversible version where the ribber needles are hand-selected. The demo was somewhat cut short by one of the capacitors in the machine blowing up and producing some rather acrid smoke! Bob has taken the machine home for some TLC.

29th January

From September 2016 (the new programme), it has been decided that we will drop one of the evening meetings, and will only meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month. The daytime meetings will run 2nd and 4th Wednesday 10.30-1pm until June 2016 and will be continued if they remain popular. The Wednesday meetings will be less structured. The situation will be reviewed at the next AGM in September.

3rd March

We had our annual mini-competition - this year's challenge was to knit a scarf. We had a lovely selection of entries, including some beautifully draping tuck lace scarves, and some that were a combination of techniques e.g. machine knit and crochet combined. Sheila won first prize with her hairpin lace scarf; everyone got mini chocolate eggs as commiseration prizes. Many thanks to Michelle for doing the judging.

Scarf competition Scarf competition

We also had a small selection of garments for our regular "show and tell" spot. The boy's jumper (in green) is so cute and has some lovely cabling around the neck. The handbag is not part of the show and tell :)

Scarf competition

21 April

Cheat cables

Bob kindly showed us a way of creating "cheat" cables by knitting two columns and then sewing them up in a special way. He used a different coloured thread in this example so it can be seen.

27 April - Sue Booth workshop

From Joy: "We had a really good day with Sue and she covered a wide range of techniques with 5 different versions of tuck stitch using the same punch card. She also showed us how to knit a very pretty pocket fancy raglan using the holding position flat rib and many finishes and trims. I think we all returned home feeling inspired and I hope that some of the techniques will appear in our annual competition."

Sue Booth workshop Sue Booth workshop

19 May

Joy showed us some lovely samples of tuck lace, and then she demonstrated one for us on the punchcard machine.

25 May - Bob's Tunic workshop

Sideways tunic

Six of us attended and it was very informative and good fun. All of us managed to knit a garment using sideways knitting and the technique we used to insert the sleeves was a real "light bulb moment". To say that the resulting garments needed a bit of tweaking might be an understatement, but we all went home feeling that we could use the idea in lots of ways.

2 June - Joy's "At home"

This year Joy held her "at home" during the afternoon thinking that the weather would be more conducive for sitting out in the garden. Good old British weather - it was more like November than the beginning of summer, and we ended up inside with the heating on! However that didn't deter us, and we enjoyed a good old natter over cups of tea and homemade cakes (not always on the subject of machine knitting!).

This year Joy was raising money for 3 year old twin boys who have spastic aplegia (a type of cerebral palsy) and are unable to walk. There is an operation available that will make this possible but their parents need to raise £100,000 as it is not available on the NHS. Joy's husband is a wood turner and made a yarn bowl as the main raffle prize and there was jewellery, pens and cards for sale. Due to the generosity of our members we managed to raise £160 for this worthy cause as well as having a good social afternoon.

Joy would like to thank everybody for their effort and support.

16 June - Summer party

We had our annual summer buffet party, where everyone brings food to share. As of September, we will be running the evening meetings on the 3rd Thursday of the month only. Our next meeting is the AGM, which is September 15th. Please see the programme page for more details, the remainder of the 2016 programme is now available.

Where we meet:

West End Centre
Andrewes Street (off Hinckley Road)