HP is SO saucy with Vikki Haffenden

Tutor: Vikki Haffenden
Craft: Machine Knitting
Experience: Intermediate / Advanced
Summary: A practical, inspiring workshop exploring the potential of holding position for short rows, 2D and 3D surface pattern and shaping. The technique is possible on all single bed machines that have holding position (HP), including the simple, plastic-bed models such as the Silver Reed KL150 and Brother KX390/395.


Assortment of machine knit swatches laid on a knitting machine
Photo credit: Vikki Haffenden

The title might be misleading – so be assured that this workshop is not about condiments, instead we will be exploring some of the fascinating possibilities of holding position (HP) to knit short rows on a single bed knitting machine.

Short rows have so many potential applications for garments and other items you might want to knit and the joy is that this technique is doable on nearly all machines that have holding position, including plastic-bed models such as the Silver Reed KL150 and Brother KX390/395.

Although the underlying technique does not require automatic patterning, when this is available it can be added to the mix with inspiring results, as you will see.

Short rows can create 2D surface pattern and 3D texture alone or in various combinations. They are also really useful for integral and edge shaping, giving neater edges, improving fit and making the dreaded sewing-up easier.

Vikki will demonstrate some of the techniques, but the really exciting bit will be when you sit at the machine to create your own samples using this fabulous technique. To get the most from this workshop try to bring your own machine knitting tools and most importantly, the claw weights as this technique needs loads!

Please note that this workshop is not directly applicable to Passap/Pfaff, Singer/Superba type double bed machines as they do not use the same method to work short rows.

About the tutor

Photo of Vikki Haffenden
Photo credit; Vikki Haffenden

As a life-long hand and machine knitter Vikki has been fortunate to be able to make her living in this quite specialised field. Alongside her creative practise she developed an enduring interest in teaching and learning, which matured into a career lecturing in textile design and the opportunity to research a doctorate facilitated by industrial, digital knitting systems. Reviewing the dated selection of machine knitting books available to the rather neglected field of domestic machine knitting inspired her to write a series of exciting, contemporary books, which she likes to think have contributed to a fresh wave of interest.

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Internet Web: vikkihaffenden.com

Skills required

This workshop is not for beginners. Attendees should be comfortable casting on single bed and understand the basics of machine knitting on single bed; tension, yarn control etc. It is not necessary to be able to use a punchcard.   


Make sure any yarn you bring is on a cone, or already wound onto useable centre-pull balls.

What to bring

If possible please bring the following items:

  • Scissors
  • Two small cones (or centre pull balls) of 3-4ply machine knit yarn in two different colours. These can be any fibre, synthetic, natural or mixes, as long as the yarn is of suitable weight for standard gauge knitting, smooth and not hairy or fancily textured.
  • Your own machine knitting tools, especially claw weights.
  • Useful but not vital – Two punchcards from the standard set, both small repeating patterns, not single motif.
  • Notebook and pen/pencil.

Please be aware that long, loose sleeves (particularly knitted garments) may get caught in the carriage. Short sleeves, close fitting sleeves or sleeves that can be ‘pushed up’ out of the way are required. Long hair should be tied back.

If you prefer to bring your own machine, please get in touch to find out if this is possible.

Additional material

Vikki will give attendees a handout.