Sunday, 23 July 2017

Busy Bee Basics - Exclusive Designs For Machine Knitting

Time to say Goodbye!

It's been a long time. We started trading on 16th April 1988. We've seen punchcard machines, electronic machines, garter carriages, chunky machines, we've worked our way through Amstrad PCW computers with daisy wheels and dot matrix printers, through every version of Windows since about 386 and gone through at least 4, maybe 5 laser printers and probably the same number of colour printers. We've been to countless exhibitions and visited many knitting clubs taking with us our stock of 83 pattern books, 7 helpful books, a good range of charts and a selection of over 350 sample garments - every one of them knitted by Barbara (my mother). We have met thousands of machine knitters and counted many of them as friends over the years.

Now it's time to say goodbye. My heart is not in machine knitting - it never was my life, I loved writing and illustrating and printing the books, being at the exhibitions, I even liked doing the accounts and keeping track of the stock. That was my domain. Times have changed, I have been following the younger knitters, mainly on FB, who have fresh new ideas and who seem as enthusiastic as I was when mother and I were designing in the 80s and 90s, buying yarns, sketching ideas, trying out stitch patterns and creating sets of designs for each new book. My personal pride and joy was that we made each and every pattern easy to read and easy to follow. It was heady stuff and we loved it. I love to see what is being produced these days, the exchange of ideas and the encouragement from the online communities that we could only have dreamt of when we started designing.

I've kept the books available since 2011 with the encouragement of Anne Smith of Machine Knitting Monthly, a magazine that has supported machine knitters since, I believe, a little earlier than we attended our first exhibition and it's lovely to see fresh and modern designs amongst the pages. Now I am off to pastures new, I want to get out and about and I have a few articles waiting to be written on other subjects. I also have a decent camera that needs adventures and then I can spend more time doing computer graphics - yes, I'm still firmly attached to computers, some things never change.

A huge thank you to all our lovely customers over the years and to the support that Busy Bee Basics has always received. Best wishes to you all.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Nottingham Machine Knitting Exhibtion

If it's April, it's the Machine Knitting Live exhibition at Nottingham. I scrapped this picture because just as we were all loading up our cars and vans, the heavens opened and the rain drenched everyone! It was a lovely show, yesterday, and we really enjoyed talking to our customers, old and new. Talking to them and to the other exhibitors was good and I thought now is a good time for me to get back into it all, be more proactive and perhaps do something a little different. :)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

DK8 Up & Running

Finally found time to get this sparkly, newly-updated software up and running. It is reassuringly just as it always has been - on the surface - the usual sections and tools are in the usual places, but the programming is much smoother and faster and some old favourites, such as being able to control shaping stitch-by-stitch are back.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Designaknit 8!

Fantastic news for the machine knitting industry - Designaknit8 is on its way! I've only seen the promotional leaflet, so far, but I like what I've seen and I'm looking forward to finding out more as soon as possible :)

Here is the link to the Softbyte website.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Temporary website postings

The Busy Bee Basics website is fine, doing well, working hard, but I have just changed servers and, this weekend, I have been unable to make any improvements to the site. Hopefully I will be able to add more pictures quite soon.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A New Blog for Busy Bee Basics

It's a few years since I last started a blog for Busy Bee Basics; those were the early days and I discontinued the blog after a while. Blogs have increased in popularity immensely since then - so much so that I wonder whether they will very soon become more useful than conventional websites in many cases. So, I have created a shiny new blog and very soon, as time allows, I shall begin to build it up.