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.