was introduced to machine knitting in 1978 when I began a job selling sewing
machines. The shop in Birmingham, UK sold knitting machines as well and I knew
nothing about them at all.
I quickly learnt to demonstrate them and became hooked!
In 1983 a friend and I started a knitting club which ran until 1997 as my friend
moved to live on a narrowboat and I moved 50 miles away to Nottingham.
In 1987 started my own business designing, making and selling exclusive garments
for individual customers. Every month I would take whatever garments I was
working on to show the knitting club members. Everyone wanted to know how I got
such a professional finish on my garments so I decided that the best way to
teach them was to invite small groups to my home and have workshops on pressing
and finishing. These were very successful and I soon realised that machine
knitters needed something in print giving them detailed information on that
subject. That's when I decided to write my book "Pressing Matters"
which I published myself in early 1991. Around the same time, I met my husband
Nigel. Since then, I have been invited to do talks and demonstrations at
knitting clubs, which I continue to do. I have now sold all 5100 copies!
I sold my 830 and 910 machines to buy a Brother 950i. I used to demonstrate
Toyota knitting machines at knitting exhibitions and was given a Toyota 950
machine and ribber, which I still have. I also have an old pink Passap Duomatic,
which I use for ribbed garments, a Brother 120 chunky, and a Brother 860
punchcard machine which I take to knitting clubs.
I rescued a Brother 710 which I usually take out to demonstrations as it is much
lighter and smaller than the punchcard machine and I also have a Knitmaster 321.
I also have an Electric Woolwinder (British made) and a Hague linker
(manufactured in Nottingham) for making up.
In 1993, I moved from Birmingham and Nigel and I bought a Victorian house in
Nottingham, Nigel's home city. We're slowly renovating it when we have time.
We built some open shelves in one of our spare rooms for all my yarn.
I've arranged it all by colour, like a big rainbow round the room. There are 4
shelves so I have dark shades on one shelf, bright shades on the next, then
pastel shades and then dull/muted shades. It's really easy to find any colour I
My Yarn Stash
I have been a dressmaker longer than a machine knitter and probably do an
equal amount of each, often combining the two crafts. I also give talks and
demonstrations on ideas for using sewing machines and overlockers for machine knitters. I
have also written "Sewing Sampler" which is a machine knitter's guide
to new and exciting decorative ideas using your sewing machine.
To bring you up to date, I began knitting
with wire on my knitting machine about 15 years ago and in recent years it has
become my main medium to use on my machine. I have 4 jewellery patterns which
are made using wire and I love to experiment with new ideas.
I am a member of The Guild of
Machine Knitters in the UK.
My other interests include - Origami, silversmithing and jewellery making,
knotting, digital photography (and using Photoshop Elements), gardening, cooking, breadmaking (by machine), DIY, machine
embroidery, creative overlocking, real ale, and cats.
I am also a member of
The British Origami
Society, The Braid Society, The
Computer Textile Design Group,
Guild, The West Bridgford
Branch of The Embroiderers' Guild (where I look after the website),
The Hardy Plant Society,
The Nottingham Hardy Plant Society and a life member of