Sunday, June 19

Event report: Guild of Machine Knitter's AGM 2016

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Well, it was the annual AGM again and this year it was near Lincoln, so I'd agreed to pick up P at her place en route. When I called, L had also arranged to meet there and as I had worked out the total fuel costs were £15 for the return trip (it pays to think of these things) we decided I'd do the driving - fine by me - I spend 90 minutes on the M6 every day anyway.

We got there without incident, but had to wait in the entrance for a few minutes whilst one of the displays was sorted out - health and safety first! As soon as we were in, I located the first aid box and found (what I thought) were the keys for it. Neither fitted and I somehow managed to drop one into the waste bin in my haste. A quick walk around and it turns out the Guild always brings their own kit. A locked first aid cabinet! Whatever next? What's more important - the price of a bandage or someone's life? Sheesh! Anyway, that being settled I was free to wander about and look at all the displays and the challenge entries. I immediately dicovered that my fancy-pants DSLR camera was (a) dead as a doornail battery-wise - I have 3 batteries, you'd think I'd remember to charge one of them and (b) empty of SD card anyway. D'oh! Luckily, I still carry my little compact Nikon everywhere with me. There were two displays by Bradford College and Derby University. The picture above is from the latter, alas I did not think to get a name, so if you recognise your work please email me and I'll edit this post and credit you*. Bradford gave a short talk on their course, which is a flexible study textiles course (an HNC I think) and I was very interested because it sounds like something I might like to do. They cover all textiles not just knitting so had some lovely weaving on display also. Rob of Smartco was there and has designed replacement handles - £25 but very sturdy - and I meant to go back and buy one but it slipped my colander mind until much later. There were some lovely challenge entries - my favourite was a jumper made from lots of leftover sock yarns plus black. I didn't see the overall winner until later - a beautifully dressed bear with the theme of the poem "When I am old I shall wear purple". I thought the bear was a bought one, a Steiff or somesuch, but no, she made the bear also! The knitter is local to me, too. So well done!

After the formalities of the AGM, where I was "sworn in" to join the committee, the awards were presented. Alas, a lot of the winners were not present which is a pity.

After lunch, our main speaker, Lorna Hamilton-Brown MBE gave us a fascinating talk on her work. She makes amazing sketches, and also knits pictures which look like photographs. She was very funny and engaging and I don't think anyone wasn't transfixed by her work. She's also done an interesting short film about machine knitting which I will link to from this blog when it becomes available - it ought to be required viewing for any muggle who thinks machine knitting is in anyway cheating or easier than other crafts. We had our little fashion show - I was wearing my striped coatighan, because what with the carpal tunnel, all the recent dressmaking, and the humidity, I've not really been anywhere near my knitting machines in weeks. As luck would have it, it was chilly enough that I'm glad I brought it. You've got to love the British "Summer"!

All too soon we were packing away - as my first immediate responsibility as a committee member, I was asked to cut the Guild sign down outside. I dropped it straight into a waiting ant's nest. Oh dear - sorry ants! All in all a lovely day, I only wish it had been twice as long. Someone (Lorna?) reminded us that in 2018 it's the Guild's 20th anniversary, and discussions are already afoot about it (although it's early days yet). Watch this space!

More photos here

Current mood: sick - yes, I came down with the tickly cough/throat bug that has been going around at work this evening. So just don't ask me to sing. :)

Edit to add:

* It's the work of Katie Louise Mills

1 comment:

Lorna Hamilton-Brown said...

Thank you for your lovely comment. I will let you know when the film is on general release. This is the website for the film http://theartistandthemachine.info/ Recently I gave a Pecha Kucha presentation which is a mini version of the talk I have at the AGM, this is the link http://www.pechakucha.org/users/lorna-hamilton-brown-mbe