Machine Knitters, Southeastern, PA

This blog is now under the domain of Streets Smarts Fiber Arts. The transition from Spring City Knitters Club to Sophisticated Stitches Club and now Streets Smarts Fiber Arts has been quite a journey. Though this blog will undergo many new and exciting changes machine knitting will still be one of the fiber arts featured Look for information on sewing, machine embroidery, hand knitting, and many other fiber arts related subjects.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

2020 Fiber Arts Happenings

It's been five years since this blog spot has been updated.  So what's been happening in those intervening years?  Well we have been sewing, machine and hand knitting, machine embroidering, digital printing and screen printing.

Below is a photo the a child's sweater.  The purple stripped sweater was made on the bulky knitting machine.

Below is a photo of a digital printed tote bag.

What else is happening will be lecturing this month (February 2020) at the upcoming American Sewing Guild Buck's County meeting, how to draft a sleeve pattern.  This will be the third time I will be giving this lecture.  So it appears that the members who want to sew garments that require sleeves have found the lecture helpful.

Will let you know how the sleeve lecture went soon.

If you want to comment about this post, you can email me at

In the meantime, keep enjoying the fiber arts.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Workshop, Last Minute Holiday Gifts

In need of last minutes gifts for the holidays such as scarves, hats and fingerless gloves?  On Saturday December 5 and Sunday December 6, 2015, Uyvonne Bigham will be the instructor at a 2-day  machine knitting workshop being held  at Streets Smarts Fiber Arts in Philadelphia, PA.  The first day of the workshop will concentrate on items that can be knit using single bed techniques. The second day double bed techniques will be explored.  There is still time to register for either day of the event.  Details of the event can be found at

Hope to see you at the workshop.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

The new year for the Sophisticated Stitches club began in October 2014.  All of our members are looking forward to the upcoming club year.  Below is the schedule for our meetings at the First United Church of Christ.  Unless otherwise stated all meetings are at the Church. Meeting time is 10:00 AM to noon.

First United Church of Christ 
145 Chestnut St. (Maple room)
Spring City, PA  19475
(Park lot is alongside the church)

October 25, 2014 - completed
November 22, 2014 - completed
December 2014 - no meeting
January 24, 2015 - annual winter luncheon at the Limerick Dinner (snow date January 31st)
February 28, 2015
March 28, 2015
April 25, 2015
May 16, 2015
June 27, 2015
July 2015 - no meeting
August 22, 2015
September 12, 2015 - meeting place at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds

Alternate meeting places and dates:

January 24, 2015 meeting place address:
Limerick Diner
411 West Ridge Pike
Limerick, PA
Meeting time:  11:30 AM to until

September 12, 2015 meeting place address:
Hunterdon County Fairgrounds 
September 12 - 13, 2015
9AM - 5PM Sat., 
10AM - 4PM Sun.  
County Fairgrounds
Routes 202 & 179
Ringoes, New Jersey
Meeting time:  To be determined.

Our dues remain $25 which is a great deal since there are other clubs in the area whose meeting fees are higher than ours.

We have lots of demonstrations planned for this meeting year as well as fun events.  Everyone is looking forward to our annual winter luncheon.  Instead of having a buffet at the Church, we elected  to go to the Limerick Dinner.  Of course the club will pay for every one's lunch.

Another change this club year is that our January meeting will not be held at the Pottstown Knit Out.  Though many of the members will be attending this event, scheduled for Saturday January 17, 2015 from 10 AM to 4 PM, snow or shine, the event will not be our official meeting place.  The event supports the American Cancer Society, a very worthy cause as most members know someone effected by this terrible disease. By the way, the event is closed for registration.  As usual, the 200 people signed up within two weeks of being notified in early November.  For $40, you get a continental breakfast, lunch, a class and the camaraderie of fellow knitters.

Brookside Country Club
850 N. Adams Street
(Intersection of Prospect Street and N. Adams Street)
Pottstown, PA 19464

Last club year in September we met in Cape May, NJ at a member's home.  During the visit we went to an alpaca farm.  We had loads of fun on this road trip.  So we elected to have another September outing.  This time we will be going to the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds.

By the way, my email address had changed, so please take note.



Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy 2014 to all!

Dora in a sweater she made and wore proudly.  

When I think of Dora Goren, I think of someone who had a great deal of knowledge about machine knitting, especially with a single bed knitting machine.  If memory serves me she owned Brother and Singer machines.  I also believe she had a Studio machine somewhere in the mix.  But mostly she was a fan of Brother knitting machines.  She loved her Brother standard gauge machine since she was able to use her G-Carriage and PPD. 

Her work was impeccable, flawless.  No crappie knitting,  no unfinished edges, no poorly fitting garments.  Dora knew how to machine knit and “finish” a garment.  She knew the importance of making a swatch.  Her garments fit because she knew her body and what looked good on her.  She had a good sense of color and purple seemed to be her favorite color.  She knew how to work with acrylic yarns because she was allergic to wool.

When it came to books, magazines and patterns, she read and owned more of them than anyone without a store had a right to own.  But that was Dora.  Always wanting to learn.  When we drove together to the club meetings she would fill me in on the who’s who of machine knitting while strolling down memory lane.  She told me how she bought her first knitting machine from overseas.  I believe she found it during a trip to Europe in the 1950s.

She told me stories of her struggle to learn machine knitting.  Her stories made me realize I wasn’t the only person who had an interest in machine knitting, but had difficulty finding someone to help me learn my craft.

As a walking encyclopedia I was impressed by her knowledge.  Well into her eighties when we first met, I couldn’t help but think what a great memory she had.  But then I realized when you love something as much as Dora loved machine knitting, it was easy to remember.

Dora continued to ride with me to the club meetings until a few years ago when she didn’t feel up to making the monthly trip.  But she still kept machine knitting at home.  

In her early 90s Dora lost her driver’s license. Personally I thought she should have just let it go.  But not Dora. As a person who loved to learn, I had to admire her diligence in studying to regain her license and succeeding at getting it back by passing the written and performance tests associated with the state of Pennsylvania’s issuance of a driver's license.

On Sunday, December 28, 2013 we lost Dora at the age of 96.  I will always remember how generous she was with her knowledge and her enthusiasm for machine knitting.  Just like the other members of the Sophisticated Stitches club, I too will miss her.  Below are some photos of Dora in days and times gone by.  Enjoy them!

Dora working out knitting calculations at a seminar in November 2007.

Dora describing a pink child's dress she made.

Dora trying on a necklace made by another club member with Gertrude Vance watching.

The club celebrating Dora's birthday with Mary Hummer looking on.

Dora showing off one of the books she loved making garments from.

Below is the upcoming schedule for the Sophisticated Stitches club for 2014. Most meetings will be held at the Church, however not all will.  For confirmation of meeting location, contact me at

The First United Church of Christ
145 Chestnut St., Maple Room (behind the main meeting room)
Spring City, PA 19475
(Parking in the back.)

February 22, 2014 

March 22, 2914

April 26, 2014 

May 31, 2014
August 23, 2014
September 27, 2014



Saturday, June 08, 2013

Volunteer knitting and update on club project

On Sunday, June 2, 2013 I did some volunteer knitting for the ADMK Knit Lab. The building at 2015 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, where I did the knitting is the Shivtei Yeshuron- Ezras Israel synagogue. The building’s facade will be “wrapped” with a machine knitted crazy quilt during the last week of the Hidden City Festival, June 26 through June 30, 2013. The Festival is between May 23 through June 30,2013. If you are interested in helping to create this knitted quilt you can contact Andrew Dahlgren at, visit the ADMK website, visit the Festival’s website at or visit their blog at

Creating a “sweater” for the 100-year-old former storefront turned into a synagogue is a very ambitious project. I took photos of some of the “panels” knitted for the quilt. Check them out below. On the day I visited the Lab, Melissa Choi also volunteered. A fellow graduate of Philadelphia University, she is a very talented fashion designer. I checked out her website, and saw the garments her company designs. I just loved the East India influences in her garments. One of the things I appreciated about Melissa was that until she voluneered she never worked on a knitting machine. Now she seemed “hooked” because this was her second visit to the Lab. How cool is that! Hope some of the machine knitters in the Philadelphia area will be inspirted to help out with this project. Here’s wishing the project great success.

Andrew Dahlgren and Melissa Choi knitting. 

 Melissa Choi showing her "cat" knit panel for the knitted quilt.

The knitted panel by Donna Streets on the knitting machine.  It's a tuck stitch pattern. 

A close-up view of the "cat" knit by Melissa Choi. 

Andrew Dahlgren at the bulky knitting machine.

In our continuing effort to strengthen our member’s ability to design their own patterns and then knit them, I did a second version of the hand knit stripped child’s sweater on a standard gauge knitting machine. I knitted the project using the Singer 700 and took advantage of the knit contour feature. I just wanted to let our members know that a pattern is a pattern and it can be adapted for any yarn, any gauge and any knitting machine.

 The child's stripped sweater knitted on the standard gauge machine using the knit contour feature.

The back view of the stripped child's sweater.

To anyone interested in checking out the Sophisticated Stitches club our next meeting will be Saturday, June 22, 2013 at the First United Church of Christ, 145 Chestnut St, Spring City, PA 19475. All are welcomed.


Donna Streets

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's been months since the last post, but so much has happened that I haven't had time to post.  The Sophisticated Stitches club's next meeting will be this Saturday, March 18, 2013 at the First United Church of Christ in Spring City (address is below).

The First United Church of Christ
145 Chestnut St., Maple Room (behind the main meeting room)
Spring City, PA 19475
(Parking in the back.)

Below is the club schedule for the remainder of the club year.  Our meetings are on a Saturday, from 10 AM to noon and usually at the end of the month.  However, since the last Saturday in May is part of the Memorial Day holiday, we will be meeting on the third Saturday of the month.

May 18, 2013
June 22, 2013
July 2013 (no meeting)
August 24, 2013
September 21, 2013

This month's demonstration will be a "pattern review". I took a child's sweater hand knit pattern and converted it to a machine knit pattern.  The upcoming pattern review will include instructions for how to knit the sweater on a mid-gauge or bulky knitting machine as well as a standard gauge knitting machine. Photos of the sweater, front and back are below.

After the pattern review, Tammy Noble will help the members knit the sweater in their gauge, yarn and on their machines.

At the February meeting we held our annual club party.  This year we had a pizza party.  While everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, Betty Freedman stole the show with her fabulous chocolate mint/vanilla cake.  So moist and delicious.  Betty you out did yourself with this dessert.

Some of the work from our members are featured in the photos below.  The pink bolero child's sweater was knitted by Tammy Noble of Knit and Sew for her granddaughter. Hope interested knitters will check out her website,  Tammy also wears a bolero she knitted.  Tammy you did a great job!

At the March 2013 meeting Deb Rogers did the demonstration.  She demosntrated how to make a baby blanket using a thread lace pattern.  Below is a photo of the blanket with its multi-colors and double ruffle.

Club members listen to Deb Rogers explain how to make the baby blanket.

At the April 2013 meeting Uyvonne Bigham demonstrated how to make various lace trims.  Below are samples of the lace trim she designed.

Uyvonne Bigham demonstrates her various lace trims as club members watch.

Should anyone wish to visit the Sophisticated Stitches club, send me an email.  All are welcomed.



Sunday, November 04, 2012

To all,

The Sophisticated Stitches club celebrated its 10 year anniversary this past October.  It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since Tammy Noble decided to start the club.  Well in the last 10 years things have changed.  We no longer meet at Tammy's store, Knit and Sew, 44 N. Main St, Spring City, PA  19475.  We meet at the local church, The First United Church of Christ, 145 Chestnut St, Spring City, PA  19475.  Another change is our members help to demonstrate.  In the past Tammy did all of the demonstrations.  Finally like most organizations, we have had turnover of membership.  We started with 12 members and currently have 17 members.  That's a great improvement for us.  Our dues were once $15 a year, but like most organizations, we had to raise them.  They are how $25 a year, which I feel is great value for the money.

Over the years, we have had workshops where we hired someone to teach us.  We even held a seminar and invited the public.  But the truth of the matter is, we have so much talent in our club that we don't need to go outside anymore.  Our talented members include Jackie Willard.  She's an ace at Design-A-Knit.  She's so good she taught a class and created a CD to go along with it.  Besides DAK, she is an experienced hand knitter.  So if we need someone to "translate" hand lace to machine and create a DAK file, she's the person for the job.

Another talented member is Deb Rogers. She's demonstrated how to work the G-Carriage, how to knit a pumpkin, various trims, etc.  She's let us use her home as a meeting place which everyone appreciated when we transitioned from Tammy's store to the another location before finally settling on the church.

Then there is Uvyonne Bigham, a knitting business owner, who has years of machine knitting experience on all the Japanese machines and is currently teaching machine knitting at a local high school. Not to mention she has written for many of the machine knitting magazines of yester year. 

Finally there's Tammy.  She can really make a Passap sing.  The garments that she has knitted on the Passap machine have been the envy of many for years.  As a machine knitting business owner, she will teach anyone who wants to learn, how to knit on the Passap.

As for me, I too have grown over the years to become a better hand and machine knitter.  At the last club meeting I demonstrated my method of converting a hand knitted pattern to a machine knitted pattern.  The pattern I chose to knit on my LK150 was a baby sweater with a square neckline.  Everyone at the meeting appreciated my efforts.

Our club is open to anyone who wants to learn machine knitting.  Our dues are $25 per year and our club year is from October to September.

Below is our schedule for the new knitting year.  Our meeting time is Saturday, 10 AM to noon. 

November 10, 2012
December 15, 2012
January 19th, 2013 at the Pottstown Knit Out.
February 23, 2013
March 23, 2013
April 27, 2013
May 18, 2013
June 22, 2013
July 2013 - No meeting
August 24, 2013
September 21, 2013

Any questions just email me.