I Knit London Tweets

Saturday, December 30, 2006


As it's Christmas, I thought it would be good to show you a couple of Christmas Cozies.

this is a jaywalker cosy for my brand new shiney camera.

I love the jaywalker pattern, it looks great and it's so easy.

I love point 5, too, it's knit so quickly and this tea cosy took about 2 hours. I made it ages ago but people in the shop love it. It would be nothing without the pompom.

p.s. thank you (and sorry) to those of you who have left comment. I had no idea that they needed to be verified before they would appear on the blog. We weren't ignoring you, we're just a bit tecno-shy.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The best present

Thank you, Valerie, my mum was a bit upset but it really is the best Christmas present, ever.

I thought I was going to die

This is a picture of what I thought would be the cause of my death this Christmas. After a very relaxing Christmas, although my plan of sitting in front of the TV all Christmas was almost foiled by the crap that was on offer, we ventured into central London. We found ourselves in Leicester Square with a idea about seeing a film but we came upon a mini fair ground.

The fair is there very year and gets bigger each time. We decided to go on one ride. The ride had no queue (which later attributed that to the fact that it cost £5).

I've no idea what it is called but it looked great fun. It wasn't for me but Craig loved it. I just swore a lot. It was like a big spinning scales type of thing with 4 people at either end and naturally in order for 4 of those people to exit/enter the other 4 people had to sit a the top waiting. We were lucky as we only had this experience at the end of the ride but by that time I was actually shaking and I hink I even prayed! I've no idea how high it was but it was just higher than all the building in Leicester Square.

It took a while before my legs stopped quivering. I used to love going to the fair. I can't believe I got so scared, I'm getting old! I'll probably moan about the noise of the fire works on new years eve!

The views of London were amazing though, particulary as I spun upside down at the top end of the cycle.

As I said I just swore a great deal.

We also visited a couple of music shops and we saw the second single from 586. I went to college with Deborah, the lead singer and we've been close friends since, If you haven't alreadyget the record, Money is the drug, now, you can even download it from iTunes!

The shop was quiet yesterday, apart from the noise of the sewing machine - the river is almost twice the size it was when we took it to Jubilee Gardens. There are still thousands to sew together and we are using it in a stunt in central London in Febuary so the pressure is on.

This is from a school in Darlington. If it's not obvious, this role contains over a thousand squares, they very kindly sewed the squares into blankets which made it very easy for me to produce what you see above.

I got a camera for Chritmas, can you tell. From Craig, isn't he lovely.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Get 'em while they're young...

Hey Jackie, here's the pic as promised! We held a kids party in the shop last weekend (get 'em when they're young I say) and it was great. It was really inspiring to see them get so involved and take their knitting away home for more. Jackie helped out and took some stuff for her kids too (she nannies, not really 'hers' if you see what I mean) and here they are knitting away. Great stuff, I can see an owl already, the sky's the limit now. Thanks for the pic Jackie, and thanks for being such a big part of the knitting group this year....

And thanks too to everyone who has been to an I Knit London meeting, visited us at Spitalfields Market or popped into the shop. We've been encouraged by everyone's support, we've had a great year, some brilliant nights in the pub, we've learnt lots about running a business (and we're still learning) and we've knit quite a bit of stuff too - but most of all we've genuinely made some great friends and had a fabulous time. Awww. This whole experience would not be the same without all the I Knit Londoners who make it worth doing in the first place. We are gearing up for 2007 with more knitting, more club nights, more cakes, more drinks....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Crochet, Christmas, classic movies and Caroline or Change

It's been another busy week. The Wednesday meeting at the New Players Theatre was much smaller affair than usual but just as enthusiastic. They had the most amazing garlic bread with cheese I've ever tasted. There was a nice relaxed feel about it, even though there was a rush to finish stuff in time for Christmas. It was great to see Tom's huge scarf getting a public airing, it's so big I bothered that it might never get cold enough to actually wear it.

I'm getting there with the Tapestry hat for my lucky Secret Santa recipient. I was struggling at first but have got into the rib and it's going to be finished in time. Hurray! Unfortunately, out of all the people I thought I'd knit presents for this year the only one seems to be somebody from work. The family will have to wait til next year for theirs. There is such pressure to get everyone somehting knitted this year I just don't have the organisational skills to plan that far in advance. Not like Jon, his fabulous cardy for his mum was done and dusted weeks ago.

Gerard's crochet blanket is storming ahead though. Gorgeous Wensleydale pure wool, it's just perfect and his crocheting skills have usurped the knitting for now at least. I'm going to stick with the knitting for now and get more and more adventurous. it seems socks are the next thing cos everyone's doing them and I'm not.

We had some great news for the shop this week too - we got our premises licence. This means that we can officially supply alcohol to all those knitters who need some sustenance or just a relaxing glass of red over their knitting. Now there's even more reason to pop in and stay all day. We had a new face at last night's boys' night, and thanks to David for popping in at 2 in the afternoon and staying all night. We've also now got a licence to show films so we'll be having get-togethers in the New Year for a session with an old classic. It's taken an inordinate length of time to sort his out, what with

On the knitting group front, I've managed to grab a bunch of tickets for the brilliant musical Caroline, or Change at the National. On the 27th we'll be having the meeting there in the foyer and for those who want to see it there are some top price seats (£37.50) reduced to only a tenner. I first saw this show on bradway with Tom and loved it, and I'm so pleased we managed to get it to come over here. It's not your average happy-clappy musical though so don't expect any tap-dancing or jazz-hands.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knitting with nets, secret Santas and the smoking ban pub crawl.

This knitting isn't good for the liver! We had a lovely Wednesday night meeting last night in the shop, mulled cider, choccy biscuits and Bing Crosby on the iPod. Ahh Christmas is here at last but we must be the only shop in the country that hasn't got a tree yet. Actually, Bing outstayed his welcome after a few numbers so we went back to shuffle. Nice biscuits though, and cider. Thanks to Jon for slaving over a hot stove with clementines at the ready and welcome back to Chris who hasn't been for a while but will always be welcome.

Work continues apace with the net curtains (started this months ago but as I do I put it to one side while I got on with other stuff) and it's taking on a nice shape. I left it unattended in the Pit Bar on Sunday night and it was vandalised with the addition of pink yarn and hideous acrylic spangly stuff...but I've kept it in as part of it's organic growth...and it looks quite good too. It'll be hanging up in the kitchen doorway soon, and I might just raid our stash and heap in a load of old yarn to give it a lift.

We also picked our secret Santas at (proper) work and the lucky recipient will be getting a stylish Rowan Tapestry hat...it won't really be a secret when he gets it but hey-ho. I usually end up getting someone I don't like (of course I like everyone I work with, who doesn't?) but this year I'm pleased and the hat will be lovely.

Gerard and I have been busy restocking after Rotterdam and we are wetting ourselves with anticipation at the gorgeous box of Tilli Tomas that's somewhere over the mid-Atlantic as we speak. There's also a box from Shetland winging it's way to Bonnington Square as well. I just love being in there surrounded by the wool and huddled around the heaters all snug like (and a mug of cider in one hand and a bit of knitting in the other - a bit tricky that). Speaking of multi-tasking I heard of someone who took up the needles to help give up the dreaded weed and has ended up doing both...at the same time. Can't quite work out where you hold what though.

Speaking of which, it's officially happening on the 1st July next year - that's no smoking in pubs no more! Hurray! We will be arranging for a very special IKL pub crawl for that day so keep your eyes posted on the website for further info. Perhaps we could link up with all the knitting groups in London and have a whole unofficial knit-in-the-pub Sunday? We'll see. We had a visit from the lovely Melanie who runs the East Dulwich knitting group at the weekend and we were inspired to celebrate the ban. Melanie's group have been lucky enough to find two non-smoking pubs already in the area so if you're one of those knitters who likes their yarn fresh after a hard day in the pub then go and see them on Sundays at the Herne Hill tavern.


Monday, December 04, 2006

A licensed pit of darkness, a trap of temptation, profligacy and ruin

So Charles Kingsley said of the Old Vic Theatre in the 1850s....and at the weekend you could add knitting to the list. We had a great time Sunday night at IKL's second club night for knitters. The Shellacs, Jodie Paxton, Gerard's rum n raisin n banana cake, beer, Lindy-hoppin' and loads of knittin' and purlin'. I've had a long day at workj today recovering from it, not least the bike ride home at 1am with a trailer full of yarn.

It was such a great do, and by midnight the knitting was still going strong. We had some non-knitting friends in who appeared stunned at the sight of a floor full of knitters and a floor full of dancing sharing the same space with three wind-up gramophones and copious amounts of alcohol. I'm still deciding whether to use the quote "It's the most surreal evening I've ever had" on our fliers in future. Thanks to everyone who came down, old and new and non-knitters alike, cake bakers and lindy-hoppers.

An especially big thanks must go to Jodie who tinkled the ivories in fine style and belted out 'Video Killed The Radio Star' like I've never heard it before, and the gorgeous Shellac Sisters who mustered up the wartime spirit and battled through a dodgy amp supplied by yours truly (care of the National Theatre).

The full photo gallery is now online at www.iknit.org.uk/photogallery-ikloldvic.html if you want to relive the soiree. We'll be doing it all again in a month's time so put it in your diary now and you might even get a seat next time.


Friday, December 01, 2006

what to do when the knitting's over?

After a long days knit we turn to www.reclaimyourself.co.uk

But the knitting should never be over, especially at the weekend! This weekend we will mostly be relaxing and knitting to the glory of the Shellac Sisters at The Old Vic Pit Bar, from 6pm on Sunday.

Apart from cake there will be drinking, dancing, singing, the river and lots and lots of hot needle action.

Time Out seem to like us, for obvious reasons! Knitting, apparently, is the new pomegranate. Check out this week's issue pages 132 and 133 - it's what Sundays were made for!

As if we needed to be told! See you on Sunday, and bring your knitted Christmas decorations!


Monday, November 27, 2006

we miss Marika

She said she misses I Knit London but maybe not that much as she now lives in Seoul. Marika we love you and your knitting!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ik Brei Rotterdam...

Back on home ground after an exhausting but exhilirating weekend on Rotterdam. We made the trip after an invite from the organisers of the official Dutch Stitch n Bitch day and became 'Ik Brei Rotterdam' for one day only!

After a short drive through 'beautiful Essex', laden with yarn, needles and a large portion of knitted river, we made it to Harwich for the stimulating 5 hour ferry crossing to the Hook of Holland. I left all my knitting in the car so had to jolly myself with card games, crosswords and shopping in the on board gift shop - does anyone ever buy a StenaLine woolly hat or a model of their hovercraft? These kind of shops are always filled with the most useless tat but you end up with a bag full because there's nowt else to do (drinking and eating are a dangerous option we discovered). Met a lovely knitter from norway though, who wasn't actually going to Rotterdam, just happened to be on the boat.

Anyway, after the brain-numbing boredom of a North Sea crossing we drove the short distance to Rotterdam through some of the most uninteresting (and flat) countryside I've experienced. There were quite a few sheep though, which we like. Once holed up in our little B&B we wandered the streets in search of sustenance - found it in Historisch Delfshaven in the form of tapas and beer. It's at this point I should point out that Dutch beer pouring with half a glass of head is something I won't get used to in a hurry. And what's with the small glasses? Anyway, just as well, we were in bed by 9pm. Shameful.

Up at the crack of dawn though for the show on Saturday. Car loaded up with arrived in the dark at the incredible Van Nelle at 7am. this is an enormous relic of the Dutch tobacco industry; a giant factory now converted into exhibition space, workshops, warehouses and offices. It looms large on the landscape and in the dark it's glass and metal framework are a reminiscent of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Filling such a cavernous and industrial building with all the trimmings and tradition of knitting was an inspired juxtaposition of the elements.

And so it began. The invasion of Dutch knitters started at 10am and continued relentlessly all day long. Once we'd got some basic phrases into our heads and worked out just exactly what a Euro is worth we had a brilliant day. The river had pride of place in the exhibition room and looked stunning - so many squares were brought in for us too, and those who were dedicated enough even sat down to sew a few rows together. Thanks go to everyone who did this and to the hundreds of Dutch knitters who turned up with their squares. There are news pics of some squares posted on the Knit A River pictures blog so you can have a gander.

Gerard was busy with the river for much of the day and basking in the glow of his new celebrity status! If hobnobbing with Debbie Stoller and Miriam Tegels wasn't enough he also made his Dutch TV debut. Debbie signed a copy of The Happy Hooker for us, although we didn't take our own copy so now we have a Dutch version which is useful. She also added her support to the river project which is great news. Miriam is the Dutch speedknitting champ (currently awaiting confirmation from the Guinness World Records about the international title) and she was busy beating off all contenders for her title. It's an incredible sight to see.

One of the funniest things of the day was just how popular our I Knit buttns were - at one point wandering around the building it was hard to avoid those bright yellow circles pinned to the bosoms of hundreds of Dutch knitters. Unfortunately our order for limited edition 'Ik Brei' badges didn't make it in time - but everyone understood them anyway.

For photos of the weekend visit our photo gallery at the website: http://www.iknit.org.uk/photogallery-dutch%20stitch%20n%20bitch%20dag.html

as I have been unable to post pictures to this blog for weeks.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

IKL at The Retro Bar on 15th November

We've been going to The Retro Bar for a few years now, mainly for their Tuesday night pop quiz and the occasional Eurovision party. We like to think of it as our local, even if it's not actually our local. It took us a while to get round to knitting there but I don't quite know why. The upstairs bar was spot on, enough room for all us all and some extra, which is just as well because tonight's meeting was the biggest yet (I think...I stopped counting a few months ago!). As ever, loads of old and new faces and plenty of stuff to be getting on with. It was a great night and we were predictably there until after 11, some of us even still knitting! So, thanks to everyone who came and thanks too to Wendy (who looked glorious) and the staff at The Retro. We'll be there again I'm sure.

Here's a selection of pics of current works-in-progress from tonight's group, just to prove that we do get some knitting done in between the drinking and the blathering.

Chris - bloody impressed by this! Yeah, so there's a few holes (a bit of character) but I remember teaching you your first few rows at the Duke of Argyll a few meetings back....look at him go! Aww, I'm so proud.

Also, in a packed programme tonight...




Honeymoon bolero jackets (in black?)...


Finger knitting...


and profound conversations about the fabric of the universe, Halloween costumes loaded with maggots, conjugated verbs, 'to showjump or not to showjump?', Lordi and chocolate money.

Thank you knitters, you are all gorgeous. We're off to Rotterdam on Friday morning for some official Dutch Stitching 'n' Bitching so boys' night on Friday will be in the capable hands of Stefan, Jon, Tom, Eamonn and assorted men who knit. We'll be back on Sunday with lovely Dutch photos and stories from Holland. Meanwhile there are some new pics up on our MySpace group page (click the 'chat to us....blah blah blah' on the top of our right hand column to see them).



PS I HATE Blogger. Three pics and it won't do anymore. What's that about? Frustrating to say the least.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Christmas competition and knitting burqas

It's Chriiiiiistmas! (as big sideburned 70s Noddy Holder used to say). Nearly. I Knit London was just an embryonic glimmer in the mind of Gerard this time last year, so our first Christmas is to be celebrated. I'm sure we're planning a party round at Bonnington Square (and now we have a very retro plug in radiator it's oh so cosy) sometime soon, but we need to decorate. We haven't got any decorations. We might knit some. Actually, why not ask the world's knitters to knit some too and give them a prize for the best ones? And so, IKL's Christmas Knitting Competition is created - if you've got some lovely Lurex yarn or even tinsel lying around then why not knit us a decoration for our tree? Send them in or drop them off at IKL and we''l hang them on our tree - all those received by 20th December will be entered into the competition and we'll have a judging panel to choose the best. What do you get from it...? Well, your creation will hang in the swanky IKL shop over Christmas and if you win you get a pair of Lantern Moon needles - size, wood of your choice. LM needles are handmade from ebony, rosewood, blonde wood and coconut palmwood and they are the ultimate in gorgeousness. Go for your life - new knitter or old hand, the most special will win, not neccessarily the most accomplished.

Just wanted to post a pic of Tom's never-ending scarf. Good on yer lad! Keep going....Tom is an IKL regular who's determined to make a six hank Colinette Point 5 scarf, which is rapidly turning into a complete burqa in Welsh wool. It's fabulous Tom. Each meeting is always a revelation...but what about the hat to match next time?



Friday, November 10, 2006

Just like having your mates round for the night...

It's incredible to think that this time last year we had no idea we'd be sitting in our own knitting shop, surrounded by lots of lovely knitters and lounging on a giant yellow bean bag. But, stranger things have happened. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to believe we're doing it, people like it, and we've made so many great friends since we set out on this knitting journey in January. Gerard can't believe he was a lonesome knitter for years before he decided to go out and meet some more! When I finish my day job and think that I'll be going to do another four hours (or in tonight's case 6) in the shop I'd expect to be ready to just curl up into a ball, but it's just not like work. We've had folk in every night his week. Last night's unofficial Wednesday night out-of-the-pub meeting was grand, with so many new faces and great atmosphere. Tonight it was the same feeling, with number of knitters just popping in and staying on the couch all night. Our original intention was that IKL would never be just a shop, but also a sanctuary, a living room away from home where you could chill out, have a drink and get on with your knitting without distraction (except to stop now and then for a piece of cake). I'm happy that knitters are finding it welcoming and warm(ish) and long may they continue to lounge amongst the Tilli Tomas. What better place could there be??

I've been adding a few more links over there on the right this week, which I've mentioned below. One project that I haven't linked to (because I can't find one) is the BBC led knitting for war veterans. They are supplying yarn and patterns so there's no excuse not to be involved. We'll try to post more info as and when , but for now we know they are aiming for 100 hats by December for those war vets from WW2 to the present day. If there's anyone who would also like to come down to Vauxhall for some filming as part of a BBC documentary about the project then please get in touch with us at info@iknit.org.uk

One more addition to the blog is our message board. We've had this for a while over on MySpace but didn't advertise it much, but the link is now over there too >>> come over and chat to us or other knitters whenever you like.

For those following the pink baby jacket fiasco, for my beautiful niece Cassie, then it's bad news I'm afraid. I was using a pattern from a book in the shop, just flicking to the right page and doing it bit by bit. Of course, I never thought someone might want to buy the book. Now I'm patternless and whilst we wait to reorder the whole thing becomes a distant memory. Poor thing. Am I just the worst godfather ever....6 months and still no knitted bootees or owt.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

News, PIt Bar and charity knitting

News just in.....we've confirmed our next club night for knitters - on Sunday 3rd December we'll be meeting in the glorious Old Vic Theatre Pit Bar, The Cut, Waterloo. Following on from last month's inaugural knitting night at The George Tavern, we are hoping for bigger and better things - live music courtesy of singer-songwriter Jodie Paxton playing her own tunes and classic standards on the grand piano, a blistering DJ set from the always magical Shellac Sisters (don't miss 'em this time round, their wind-up gramophones are a joy to behold) and some dodgy cheese from the IKL DJs (or maybe just our iPods...). Do come along, knitter or not. As well as all the above there's drinking and dancing, cakes and knitting from 6pm til midnight. It's our second IKL night and we aim to hold a similar night on the first Sunday of each month. We'll keep posting updates here and, of course, the official website (link on the right).

It's a bit slow here at work today, David Schwimmer and Simon Pegg are filming outside on the river bank but can't spot any stars so came back inside and fiddled with the blog somewhat. I've added some more links down the right for some our favourite knitting sites and blogs, plus some non-knitters that we like. There's also a new list of charity knitting projects - the success of the Knit A River campaign has proved that knitting can make a difference, raise awareness and create change, however small. If you've been inspired to knit blue squares perhaps you'd also be inclined to use your needles for good with one of the other projects listed. There are so many charity knitters out there we'll add more as we go along.

Most of the posts below should have photos attached, so if you've been reading and it doesn't quite make sense without a pic then bear with us. I'm having no luck at all posting pictures from the Retro Bar Halloween party and the last I Knit London meeting in Pitcher & Piano.....frustrated but determined to get them up!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Vintage pattern library.

Spent most of the few days finally sorting out our vintage patterns. We have over a thousand gorgeous, unique, hideous and unforgettable bits of knitting from the 1940s through to the 1980s and they are all now neatly sorted into ladies, mens, boys and girls, babies and accessories. And, believe me there's some real gems...all are available to copy and take away if you're feeling adventurous, and there's also some really great, wearable stuff especially from the 50s and 60s that I'd love to see someone have a go at. I've also registered our collection of pattern books on www.bookcrossing.com - this is something I've been doing for about 3 years, leaving books in the wild and following them on their journey. If you're not precious about your books set them free. It's like a free global library and I love the whole randomness of the thing.

I'll be putting a selection of patterns up on the website shortly and we're also going to have some free patterns available to print off from the collection. Feel free to send any requests or pop into the shop for a browse or inspiration. Thanks to Esther in particular who supllied a number of old patterns, and especially to the charity shops in Carlisle that I raided on my last trip home.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Where the boys are...

Another Friday night, another Men Who Knit night at I Knit London. The boys' knitting night goes from strength to strength with more men converted and more red wine drunk. Eamon completed his first project and set off into the night armed with more balls for his second one, Tom's scarf grows and grows and grows and looks like it may never stop! We have such a good laugh and the 'fishbowl' effect provided by the large windows in the shop has never been more aptly used than when the place is full of boys with their pins out. When Gerard and I first started out on this knitting adventure we really didn't think being men who knit was such a big deal, but after causing quite a stir at Spitalfields it soon became obvious that there are those out there who just don't get it, and that there's a whole swathe of society quietly clicking away in the privacy of their own homes too ashamed to admit to it....OK, that's a bit dramatic, but there's some truth in the adage that some parts of the community are quite cliquey and just not that open to a bit of male knit and purl. So, thanks to all the guys who've been down to knit with us the past few Fridays, and a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to join us in future. Every Friday is dedicated to men who knit. Bring some booze, some cakes, your iPod and join us.

Just before that all comes over a bit masculinist (?) we, of course, also welcome the ladies at any time...in fact there was a lady amongst us last night. Just a disclaimer, lest you thought we were femophobes. Am I making these words up? Anyhow, we have enough meetings in the shop, the pub, the Old Vic Pit Bar etc that whoever you are, whatever your persuasion, whether you knit or purl you're welcome anytime.

Talking of which, that leads me neatly on to this brilliant headline form yesterday's London Paper. It's a really disturbing story, and reported with the usual stereotypical tabloid undercurrents, not least the fact that Martina isn't just a "tennis star", she's a "lesbian tennis star". Ah well, it's the 21st century after all, things haven't changed that much. I'm more intrigued by trying to get hold of some gay rams' wool, I'm sure it just knits up into something fabulous.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

about last night

If you were one of the knitters who turned out to knit last night only to be foiled please accept my apologies. For almost a year the knitting group has ran seamlessly alongside all other aspects of life. For some periods it has even been all aspects of life.

Last night, however, (at first I laughed off suggestions that we were cursed!) the knitting club did not run smoothly, at least in the beginning.

Firstly, Salvador and Amanda being the pretentious eejits I should have known them to be cancelled our booking as they didn't want knitters in their bar. That's Salvador and Amanda near the Photographers Gallery, please boycott and tell as many people you can to do the same. Then, after hastily arranging to go to The Soho Theatre Bar we found out that it was closed for a refurb! So we just though we would go back to one of our favourite bars, The Crown and 2 Chairmen as it is just a few doors away from bar number 2.

I arrived a little later than usual as I had printer problems - trying to print out directions to bar number 3 that I could post on the door of bar number 2.

I got to bar number 3 to find some unhappy knitters not knitting. The upstairs bar we wanted in bar number 3 was being used for a private function and we didn't like the downstairs bar - dark, smoky, noisy, packed etc etc. I was, understandably, a little confused by all the toing and froing. I don't usually mind toing and froing as chaos is often refreshing and I believe in the saying 'you know you're alive when you are fighting'.

We made the decision to move to bar number 4, The Pitcher and Piano, which was just opposite, still on Dean Street. I told the bar staff and the door staff of 2 and 3 and I even posted some information about where we were around the entrance to bar number 3.

We had a great night in the end, after much carrying of heavy chairs from the upstairs bar which they wouldn't open.

I am really sorry to those of you who couldn't find us. We were there and although it seemed like there was a strong force against us we managed after a few vodkas to overcome it. There were about 20 of us knitting eventually.

I even learned to crochet (above) and have just about finished my hat (below), although judging by some of the reactions to my gorgeous kid mohair yarn I don't think I will be in possession of the hat for very long.

The divine Sue Powell taught me to crochet. Sue will be teaching crochet in the shop soon so if you are interested let us know as places will be much sought after, I have no doubt.

So, to recap, a million apologies for this week's meeting being a little messy. I'll bring cake to the next pub meeting to make up for it.

Knit on - don't let anything get in your way!

Join the UK Forum for Non-Violence and ask for peace

The UK Forum for Non-Violence is asking people to join them in Trafalgar Square, London, November 11th 2006, 4.30pm

The aim is to create a huge human peace sign like the one below in Budapest.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dancing with dead pop stars...

Ah, Halloween, don't you just love it? I spent most of the evening teaching a witch how to cast on (not a personal insult, just a descriptive term you understand) and telling the local kids that I didn't have any sweets and I certainly didn't have any money! I realised I'm officially an old git too when I found myself getting irritated by the seventh time it happened - I wouldn't mind but when I used to trick or treat we dressed up but we weren't that scary - is it just me or are some of the costumes these days just too realistic? I hate those bloody Scream masks cos they scare the pants off me, and those axes stuck in kids' heads are just not that funny! Or are they?

After closing the shop at 9 I cycled over to the Retro Bar for the Halloween party. You can almost guarantee a better class of fancy dress when there's a few gayboys involved, what with the scope for drag and make-up. We were just lame and didn't make the effort but the place was full of dead pop stars (a few pics below) and packed. Bloody funny (no pun intended) but 19 out of 20 in the pop quiz still wasn't enough to win. Some eerily good turns too, it was like rock hell (John Denver was obviously lost) and not an Elvis in sight.

[Photos will be inserted here when I get it to work]

Once home it was just time to watch the original Halloween movie. It's one of my favourite films, really creepy, and it's got one of the shortest but best knitting scenes in cinema history. Jamie Lee knits away while her mates are all being slaughtered across the street, but gets her revenge later when she plunges one of her needles into the side of Michael Myers' head. Nice. Always have your knitting ready in case of attack by a demented serial killer I say.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween curse?

I'm starting to think we've upset some witches who have cast some kind of spell on us....first we get told we can't knit in the bar we were going to , then the bar we choose closes down for refurbishment!! So this is just a short interim blog to say we're going back to our most popular knitting venue tomorrow, the Crown and Two Chairmen on Dean Street, Soho. We'll be in the upsatirs bar where there is no smoking, the beer is lovely, the food is great, and the sofas and are comfy. Wednesday 1st November from 6pm.

If anyone knows how to lift a curse do let us know.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Knitting is not banned in Liverpool!

I have been asked to attend a knitting workshop in Liverpool on 21 Novembver at The Unity Theatre.

I love Liverpool.

If you are in Liverpool please join me and some of the river. We'll be knitting from 6.30pm prior to the show Odysseus Unwound which has a strong knitting theme. Free beginners tuition will also be available.

Tête â Tête are probably the best purveyors of contemporary opera in the country, certainly the most hip. Independent on Sunday


Friday, October 27, 2006

Knitting is banned!!

We decided on our bar for next Wednesday's IKL meeting, somewhere central and big enough to take all those knitters and their drinks. For some reason we thought we'd reserve a table this time (we usually just turn up and knit)....and they've refused us!! how hilarious is that. Apparently knitting just isn't suitable for this oh so trendy bar just off Leicester Square. I'm toying with the idea of just turning up anyway if anyone's up for it and seeing if they turf us all out onto the street with our needles still clicking! On second thoughts I'm a bit loathe to give them any of my money now....

Oh well, we finally found a bar that isn't cool enough for knitting. Who'd have thought it? Knitophobes have no place in 21st Century and I am proud to out the Salvador and Amanda bar on Great Newport Street as officially not cool enough to knit.


Unravel and the rest of the week..

Last Saturday we took ourselves off to Bracknell for the Unravel festival. What a brilliant day! It was an early start with our hire car packed with yarn and blue squares but the whole day was such a great experience for us. We had a little room off the side of the main foyer with only ourselves and Fybrespates for company. We were a little down-hearted at first, thinking no-one would find us, but twas not to be. The room was packed for most of the day with enthusiastic knitters, the river was hanging off the staircase outside causing quite a stir and we gave away all of our badges! (By the way, that's the last of 'em. If you've got one in Verdana font it's a limited edition - save it for Ebay cos we've changed to Courier New!) The event was very well organised and packed with knitty things from top to bottom. We've added a News Archive page to our website now, and there are links to photo galleries for all our previous events. Have a look at the Unravel pics, they give a good flavour of the day. We hope we've made some new links in the knitting world and hope to work with some of the people we met in the future.

Sunday was a trip to Ikea (nightmare!!! - I always say 'never again' but go and put myself through the trauma again and again) and unpacking day at the shop with a visit from Julie and Alex from The Knit Tin in Olney, Bucks. A nice, relaxing Sunday (after the Ikea experience and the unpacking) followed by pub quiz at The Wheatsheaf and too much Kronenbourg Blonde. It must be noted that Gerard won £7.50 on the quiz!! Hurrah.

Last week we also took the decision to spread the opening times of the shop. We're still the only place you can settle in after work for late night knitting, but we now open earlier in the day at 1pm. As we're both still juggling IKL with full time jobs we've hired our first member of staff. As well as feeling a bit like Alan Sugar (although we haven't had to say 'You're FIRED' yet) it's nice to be able to offer daytime knitting and shopping as well! So if you pop in during the daytime you might meet Stefan, coincidentally, another bloke who knits. It isn't all that strange after all.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

IKL knits in The Clarence

Another Wednesday night comes and goes, and another gang of knitters in a pub in central London. We landed at The Clarence on Whitehall tonight and secured ourselves the non-smoking front corner area. Great to see more new faces amongst the regular I Knit Londoners and thanks to everyone for coming along. We made it to closing time and have just got in from the bike ride home at midnight. The Clarence was a surprise (we don't who Clarence was, neither did the barmaid), if a bit dim for knitting, but spacious and cosy. Tom finished his first hank of Colinette Point 5 on his first real knit for 56 years!! Go Tom! I worked on my Prism scarf using leftovers from my wristbands, Esther's first socks 'in the round', Louise's shimmery-glittery bag and loads more knits going on. We also spent £5 on the quiz machine (I'll never learn).

Jon's new hat in Rowan Tapestry.

...and Tom borrows the 'look'

Newcomers, Assaf and Veri (sorry about spelling!) and old-timer Esther (sorry too)

...and Nadine and Naomi, welcome to IKL!

Thanks to everyone who came along, we'll see you soon....



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Knit/Knit a river at Ally Pally

check me out!

Thanks to Yvonne for providing a whole table at the relax and knit space. The table was dedicated to knit a river. We got so many squares and so much more interest. I am eternally grateful to Yvonne who is magical.

I had a great time at Ally Pally, meeting lots of suppliers and being introduced to new yarns and fantastic people. Julie Why, The Wensleydales, Cherry Tree Hill - Cheryl Potter and Wooly Workshop, Tom and Sue Artesano, mwah! And so many more. I love National Knitting Week! And I can't wait to make the new orders for the shop!

Miriam Tegels, Dutch National Speed Knitter who I am very much looking forward to meeting again in Rotterdam in November at the Stitch and Bitch Netherland Exhibition. See below for flier which is in Dutch but I had to publish it as I am billed along with Debbie Stoller, I am billed last but billed never the less!

I do hope Ms Stoller will let us take a picture of her with the river.

Knit a river at Jubilee Gardens, 14 October 2006

We had a great day at Jubilee Gardens last Saturday. It was brilliant to get some of the river out to show people.

Thanks to all those who could make it on the day; I'm sorry I didn't spend that much time with you.

The River looked great in all it's glory, though there are more squares that haven't been sewn together than have. The river is going to be miles long, literally! Keep the squares coming.

Many hands make light work
Saturday afternoons are offcially sew blue squares together in our shop day. If you would like to come along, even if it's just for an hour, please do, tea, coffee and cake will be served.

Thank you to all of you for your contribution to the river. Your efforts are very much valued by I Knit London and WaterAid and we continue to be overwhelmed by your good wishes and support.

Thanks also to Katie for being a gorgeous model.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

14th October.....on the radio and by the South Bank

These early Saturday morning starts are getting too much for me! We were up at 6 this morning, with that strange going-on-holiday feeling that always come with being up at some ungodly hour. But, we were only crossing London for an interview with JoAnne Goode on BBC Radio London. It was a laugh really....we were mainly there to talk about today's Knit A River event by the London Eye, but we chatted about knitting in general, our little shop and Jo's secret past as knitwear model for Woman's Weekly!

Back to the shop now, Gerard's sewing more squares together and Charlotte (WaterAid press office) is relaxing on the leather sofa with a cup of pepermint tea. We should do this more often on Saturday mornings instead of lying in bed and wasting it! If you're reading this today (14th October) don't forget to join us down at Jubilee Gardens to see the river, knit squares, and sew them together. It looks like it's a cold day but a dry one so far so all is well.

See you by the Eye form 11am...


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Recap from IKL at The George

Thanks to all those who joined us at The George Tavern on Sunday for knitting and cakes. Special thanks to The Shellac Sisters and Mika for providing the entertainment, and for Rob who joined me for DJing. We are planning our next IKL night for 12th november at the more refined surroundings of The Old Vic Pit Bar and we'll let you know about that in time. For now here's some pics from the evening....

Oh will this ever work!

Monday, October 09, 2006

knit a river in The Metro

we made national press!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed.
This is a very small part of the river. A larger section will be have an outing this Saturday - 14th october. We will display the river for a photograth opportunity on Jubilee Gardens, Southbank from 11am to 1pm.
You are invited. Please join us to mark the beginning of National Knitting Week.
Gerard & Craig xx

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pink baby jacket trauma!

I feel deflated and stupid! It was Men's Knit night here at IKL last night and there I was, happily knitting away at the pink baby jacket (see previous post). I was so pleased with myself for getting so far and for shaping the neck...when it suddenly dawned on me that it was actualy a very big jacket for a freaky tall baby! I'd only gone and doubled everything (don't ask) so instead of 55 stitches for the back there were 110, followed by sleeves for the fattest baby in history. Much hilarity ensued as I took the devastating decision to unravel all the way back to stitch 55 and start again. Ha ha. Hilarious. Gerard insisted he'd told me weeks ago that it looked 'a bit big' but I wanted to do this myself without help from Gerard-san, the knit-fu master. Oh well, lessons learned and all that!

Despite that trauma it was otherwise a good one which kept Stefan and I here in the shop til 1 o'clock. That's what I call late night knitting! Soz to Phil and Tim, I didn't make Lippy, but we hope to present them with their knitted lipsticks sometime this millennium (one of those things we just haven't got around to!), and Jon (twisty stitch knitting guru) and Roy (jam maker extraordinaire- please bring some in with you, we can keep it with our lesbian pesto)..thanks for coming down. Three men converted in one evening is some achievement I'd say!

So, enough for now. Gearing up fot tomorrow's club night. Still have cakes to bake and records to sort but we'll manage. Let's see all the knitters in London descend on The George and knit up a storm.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Shaping and stardom...

Look, it's not square! If anyone's been following the progress of Cassie's baby jacket the you'll be as excited as I am that I've now done my first neck shaping and am getting on with the front panels. Esther, thanks for all your help tonight with it and for the chips and shandy. Felt like i was fourteen all over again! There's a gorgeous picture of Cassie on her pink Colinette blanket that I Knit when she was born over on the MySpace page (with other assorted pics as part of our new slide show - have a gander www.myspace.com/iknitlondon). A good knitting day all round, and I finished one wristband too.

On a completely separate note, you might want to take a look at the new trailer for The History Boys film on the NT website at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk No reason really...but look for a familiar postman about 1 minute in!! My first feature film role...all 1 second of it!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Argyll knitting.

Did we mention our gorgeous IKL night at The George Tavern with the gorgeous Shellac Sisters and Mika Sellens...?? Did we...? For those not quite in the know the Shellac Sisters are a fabulous band of lady DJs who play only 78rpm records on wind-up gramophones. Sheer bliss! Mika Sellens is a fabulous singery-songwritery type with a "delicate", "soulful", "rich" and , dare we say it "gorgeous" voice. Heaven! How else can you spend a Sunday evening?.....see previous post for more ridiculous enthusing.

Tonight's meeting was a strange but excellent affair. The Duke of Argyll was perhaps not the most delightful pub we've ever met in (but at £1.70 a pint in the centre of London, who cares!?) but it was a packed and busy night nevertheless. Strange because I think the number of new I Knit Londoners just about outnumbered the rest of us. And excellent...for the same reason. So, thanks for coming along everyone. Gerard sends his apologies, but his homework got the better of him. Here's where I give a welcome to everyone we met tonight, and offend someone by forgetting them and embarrass myself by getting names wrong, but what the heck - (in no particular order)....Christine, Helen, Chris, Jon (yes, men!), Lucy, Ellen, Cat, Jackie, Felicity, Madeleine, Gretchen, Leila...welcome to I Knit London. If I've spelt anything wrong or forgotten someone then please let me know and I'll put it right. We hope you can join us again soon. If only I'd had the mind to knit an Argyll pattern it would've been apt.

Sorry there's no pics tonight as I forgot my camera. I decided, also, not to take the infamous pink baby jacket tonight as I fear an addled mind would set me back somewhat. Decided to get some Colinette Prism and make some 80s style, Corey Haim wristbands. Mmmm, not as easy as I thought. After unravelling and starting again though I did actually get somewhere! Thanks to Jackie for being my yarn holder and Hayley for doing the unravelling. We also picked up a few straddlers tonight...was that guy really a knitter or a bulls***ter...? We'll see if he keeps his word and makes the next meeting...and who was the fella from Hounslow who's going to bring his dear old mum round next time. I don't mind, we'd love to have his dear old mum, but let her organise her own social life! Jon, if you can send that pic from your phone please do, I'd love to put a pic of Helen's bag up on the blog. It's always nice to celebrate the birth of a new, completed, work-no-longer-in-progress into the world.

Tara for now. see you Sunday then.

I Knit London @ The George Tavern

join us on Sunday afternoon, from 4pm, at The George Tavern.

The Shellac Sisters will be entertaining us from 4.30pm. Gorgeous.

Live music will be from singer songwriter Mika Sellens. Gorgeous.
So, what else would you do on a Sunday other than knit, eat cake, have a small(ish) glass of wine and do some more knitting while listening to glorious music?

free lessons on offer (any volunteers for to lend a hand with the teaching? you would be more than welcomed)

knitting, drinking, cake, THE SHELLAC SISTERS!!, dancing, IKL djs, MIKA SELLENS!!, tuition and more.


The George Tavern
373 Commercial Road
E1 0LA

from 4pm, Sunday 8 Oct

nearest tube Whitechapel.

Your beauty is beyond compare, with flaming locks of auburn hair, with ivory skin and eyes of emerald green.

OK, so we lost the quiz miserably! We didn't know anyhting about the girl from Rock School who's got a song in the hit parade, we didn't know the titles of seven (!) Missy Elliott tracks (despite having 3 of her albums), we couldn't recall whether it was Poison or Skid Row who sang Every Rose Has It's Thorn....but we did know those 19 words from Jolene, and that's one point worth having! On such a high after or 12 points out of 20 we went for a dance in a club. Haven't done that for years, what with my bad back and Gerard's early nights we just don't do this anymore. Still, it was grand. The hips still move OK and, despite knowing only half the songs David and myself danced up a storm. G wished he had his knitting with him. only when Super Trouper came was it time to leave.

Had an email from ex-I Knit Londoner Marika today. She's living in Korea and having a ball by the looks of it. We had an email yesterday asking for help with her bag...Rika, if youre reading this you must send a photo when you're done...and apologies for posting this pic. I couldn't resist...are they knitting needles, or chopsticks!?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Last minute pub quiz invite for tonight (Tuesday 3rd October)

Ah, before all this knitting malarkey we used to do stuff of an evening. One of these things was the pop quiz at the best bar in London. As we haven't been for a few months we've decided to go tonight - it's at the Retro Bar, George Court, just off the Strand (affectionately known by the locals and Wendy, the landlady, as piss alley. Nice!). We'll be there tonight from 9pm (after our beginners' class) so if you're around and you know how many weeks Mr Blobby was at #1, or where exactly the brackets are in Steve Harley's Come Up an See Me Make Me Smile, then we need you on our team! It's got nothing to do with knitting, and it's not an I Knit London meeting or 'owt, but it's just a good night out in the only gay pub in London that plays decent music (having said that, it does have a jukebox so that's never always guaranteed).

I know this isn't really what the blog's for, but seemed easier than mass group emails to people who can't go....maybe I'll delete it tomorrow.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Knitting in the rain...

...and it ain't a glorious feeling. Our second fete of the weekend, unfortunately turned out to be a very very wet squib. Although the atmosphere livened up towards the end of the day and the sun managed to come out, we were, by then, just waiting to pack up and go home. Torrential rain for most of the day kept some stallholders and most of the punters away. It's was such a shame as the the festival was right in the centre of London, a short walk from Covent Garden, Oxfoed Street and Holborn. I hope it doesn't dissuade them from repeating it next year becaue it's a part of London that's forgotten about and is often overlooked. You can never rely on the British weather! Still, I met some lovely knitters and admired the water buffalo (I know, how random is that?!) and, although my feet were sodden, it could have been worse.

Things were'nt really helped by my hangover from last night. After a full day in the shop I just needed to get out. It feels like eons since I last had a late night, so while G went off home to bed I crossed town to The George Tavern in East London to see our friends' band 586 playing. I bloody love 'em and it's been ages since I was last one of their gigs. What a good night. Met up with friends and met a friends mum, Deborah, who was finding the raucous George crowd just a bit unsettling! It was her second gig of the week though, in between Robbie the other night and Will Young tonight, so the likes of The George Tavern would upset anyone's consitution in between those two. Anyway, we loved it and danced ourselves dizzy. I even played a cowbell. So, after all that malarkey and a ride home on the night bus (crikey, haven't done that for years now I'm a committed pedal cyclist) it was with utter joy and delight that I got up this morning to spend a day in the rain.

After cycling back to Vauxhall with our trailers full, we headed off to meets friends in Southwark. A tiny new bar called The Rake, which seemingly stocks every beer in the world. Their selection is enormous (so is the price - a round of 4 drinks for £18!!!), but if you're after coconut, peach or pink grapefruit beer then this is the place. I tried some German peach and then some regular blonde beer, whilst John braved the 14% strongest beer in the world (can't remember the name, neither can he now). Afterwards a trip to Tas by The Globe theatre - recommended by everyone present.

As far as knitting goes...Gerard finished his simple, ribbed hat for the winter in pure Wensleydale wool and it's grand. I'm going to have a go with the blue shade if I EVER finish my niece's baby jacket...getting there, but now I'm shaping the front I've hit the hard bit. Also, in my pursuit of all new ways to recycle loads of old shit lying around, I had a go at knitting with bubblewrap today. Bloody impossible.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Come in London...I Knit calling....

It's just gone 11 on Saturday morning and it's all go. This morning at 8 0'clock (AM on a Saturday!) we were in the shop broadcasting to the nation (well, London) on JoAnne Good's BBC Radio breakfast show. Although we were cut short in our prime by a flaccid aerial which affected the signal we still managed to get in a bit about all the great knitters in London, and hopefully they'll do another piece about the I Knit London group shortly....

From there we packed up our bike trailers and cycled over to St John's Chruch at Waterloo to set up our stall for the House of Homosexual Culture's Autumn Fayre. If you're in London today (Saturday 30th) why not pop in there. I've had to return to the IKL shop for the day but you can meet Gerard, Patrizia (our little helper for the day), and many other knitters demonstrating the art to all and sundry. You might also meet Sir Ian McKellen, who is opening the fayre at 12 o'clock! Go down, say 'hello' and get yourself some yummy yarns, cakes, jam, chutney, sugar, spice and all things nice. You don't even need to be a homosexual to get in!!

Gerard will post a full report on the day later, with some pics.....


Thursday, September 28, 2006

SNB visits I Knit London

A big hello and thanks to all the girls who came in tonight from a Stitch n Bitch group (sorry, I didnt get where you meet up?). It was great to see the sanctuary full of knitters (and an origami-er whatever, we welcome all crafty folk here). As a memory test I want to say hello to everyone who came tonight so here goes....Alex, Emerald, Toni, Jan, Bea, Hannah, Zoe, Julia, Nell and not forgetting Gea our 'DJ' for the night. Crikey, I hope I didn't forget anyone, it could be embarrassing to say the least, and if I spelt any names wrong let me know and I'll correct it. Only wish I'd taken a photo of you all for this blog. I hope you had a great time over at the Bonnington Cafe and that we see you in the pub soon....

I had a weekend off from London (but not from knitting) whilst I popped up to Carlisle (my home place) for my niece's christening. The garter stitch jacket I'm attempting is coming along nicely but perhaps hoping to have it finished by Sunday was a bit optimistic! I blame the fact I've had other stuff on my mind over the last few weeks (shop openings and the like). Carlisle proved to be a haven for vintage knitting patterns and I managed to buy about 400 in various charity shops about the place on Saturday afternoon. They'll be added to the I Knit pattern library for all retro-minded knitters to pore over. Plus my mum (who taught me to knit over 20 years ago before I became a boy and got into more adventurous and interesting pastimes like trainspotting) showed me a thing or two about fixing my mistakes and brought out her old knitting for Action Man patterns. Ahhh...I remember it well, when she'd come to our playroom with her latest creation and we'd dress up our Action Men in knitted uniforms and camouflage jackets. It fair sent a young boy's heart a-racing. How it came as such a shock to her 20 years later I'll never know.

Got off the point there. Cassie (the gorgeous niece and now godchild) is just mega cute in an angelic way and I just don't hold with the idea that ALL babies are cute - but she is 110%! Mam's already knit her an entire wardrobe but I'm committed to at least finish this jacket before I move onto something for myself. Getting adventurous (again) and may attempt a jumper for the winter...

The train journey up North was made bearable by meeting someone who I managed to have a conversation with in sign language for almost 3 hours! Now, it might not seem much, but since I passed my BSL level 2 exam over a year ago I haven't really used it at all. I was amazed how quickly it all came back and managed a complete conversation with a total stranger without having to write anything down. I must admit, I think he was being kind and nodding quite a bit when he had not a clue what I was on about! Hey Joel, if you're reading this...how's about a film about our knitting group...and do you know any deaf knitters??

We'll see some knitters at this Saturday's Autumn Fayre (see News page on the website) which is now being opened by Gandalf himself. If he ain't wearing an I Knit London badge by the time he leaves I would think we'd failed in our duty to spread the knitting germ...


Friday, September 22, 2006

Jane Bolsover's knitted garden...

Ha-ha! This is just what i need today to cheer me up (not that I'm miserable, just a bit tired). Many of you will have seen this garden before, or maybe even took part, but the photo gallery is worth a look!

I had a lovely night in Bonnington Square with Esther and some cider, and some knitting (but not much on my part). I chose the squirrel pic because it's perfect for our blog, seeing as the squirrels of Bonnington Square are regularly popping their heads in the door for a look. I wonder, has anyone tried spinning hair from a bushy squirrel tail? Ended the night with some chips and curry - the proper 'chip shop' curry mind, in a polystyrene pot, that's been nowhere near the Asian subcontinent.

Send in more pics of knitted gorgeousness and strangeness if you see any!

And I echo G's post below - thanks for talking about us!


all the rage!

we are delighted to say that Time Out think our knitting club rocks!

Go to www.timeout.com/london

Click ‘Around Town’, top left and see what everyone is talking about.


PS - don't forget that Friday night we host London's only knitting club exclusively for men! Now, I'm not here this evening (going home to Carlisle for my niece's christening on Sunday) and Tom is in Greece...so, MEN, get down to I Knit London and keep Gerard company. I know there's wine and beer in the fridge so pop in on your way to any of the dirty boys' clubs down Vauxhall way.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

not a quiz but a question

Last night Craig and I were asked why, as men, do we like knitting. A philosophical debate ensued, of course. There are many reasons I like knitting, which we discussed. But for now, forget that I'm a man for a minute...I like knitting because it's a peaceful activity; it's creative, it keeps me away from the telly, and all the other obvious things.

There are also many other reasons which are hard, sometimes impossible, to explain but I know there are a billion knitters who think the same - I love yarn and needles and the motion and the way they feel and what you can get from just a little concentration and learning.

One of my favorite reasons for liking knitting so much is that it connects people. Knitting groups are a perfect example - I've made some great friends from going to our knitting in the pub club and I look very much forward to singalongasoundofmusic!

I'm an alien in London; lots of my friends, my oldest friends are in Liverpool and other scattered places, as are all of my family. When I learned to knit lots of friends were about to become new parents and while this was very exciting I harboured some sadness as I was in a different part of the country and I wished I was with them and that I would see their children growing every day. So, I Knit, I thought, I could knit them baby clothes and things. It didn't really make me feel closer to my friends, they know I love them and vice versa, it made me feel close to the new people, 2 of which later became my god-daughters.

Now when I go to visit and the kids don't know me and they get scared because they've never seen a beard before, my friends say to them, "this is Uncle Gerard, he made the jumper you are wearing".

what's your favorite reason for knitting?

The Phoenix, it's a family affair!

Thanks to all who joined us tonight for knitting at The Phoenix (lovely strawberry beer on tap I must say) - including Erica who brought the whole family along (left)- knitting is international and ignores the language barrier!! I'm only sorry we didn't persuade your dad to get involved! It was a splintered group tonight as there just wasn't enough room for us all (are we running out of pubs large enough?), but it was great to see old faces and new ones too...Sue, Sarah and Elly (pictured below) welcome to I Knit London! Apologies to those I didn't get a snap of, you can pose for pics next time if you want the fame! Lots on the go tonight...Megan's 'hat' from Walmart, Sue's jumper for her boyfriend (I say why can't he knit it for himself?) in the beautiful new Rowan Tapestry yarn (but don't get me started on Rowan!), Judy (I hope your voice comes back) with a silky DB shawl and even a couple of blue squares. I do love the variety of taste, style and ability of the I Knit Londoners, and long may it continue, even Patrizia with her embroidery (we're called I Knit London Patrizia!)

We held on til the very end with Elly (not pictured) and Hayley (I hope you girls got home OK whichever mode of transport you ended up in) and, yes, we did end up in Chinatown eating an unneccessary, but delicious deep fried squid.

Just a final mention and thanks to Tom...grand to see you again, thoroughly nice chap and man who knits! We should organise a pub quiz outing sometime soon. I don't like to brag so I didn't mention it...but a few years ago I won The Weakest Link y'know!? Honest.

Thanks everyone, I hope you all had a good night and we'll see you next time in another pub somewhere in London...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My first knit proper

I've been trying to convince myself that I can do more than garter stitch but keep giving up on projects halfway through. Knitting now for nine months I should be more adventurous, especially after the amazing creations people bring along to our meetings - so I'm now getting on with a baby jacket for my 4 month old niece. OK, so it's in garter stitch, but I'm actually making a shape with arms and everything! How exciting...it'll have a little ribbon on and everything. Now my creativity knows no bounds!

I'm sorry I couldn't make the meeting last nigth but I hear Gerard looked after everyone (and Esther who provided nibbles and organic cider). My theatre engagement was already booked up so I missed it all. I spent the night nursing a heavy cold and headache at the Almeida watching Tom & Viv. An emotional night and not the best way to get over your lethargy, but Frances O'Connor was amazing.

Til next time.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Crown and Two Chairmen heaving with knitters...

Blimey! What a great turn out last night for the meeting at The Crown and Two Chairmen in the heart of Soho. It was so great to see everyone, old and new, for our first Wednesday meet up. Gerard sends his apologies to everyone for not being able to make it, but I can attest to the fact that he really wouldn't have missed a night of knitting and drinking if he didn't have to! But, thanks to everyone who helped teach the basics to the novice knitters and set them on their way with a ball of yarn, needles and a spring in their step. It was so nice to see so many new faces alongside the regulars and I hope you'll all find time to pop back for another meeting in future. We also broke a record last night for the most men at one meeting!! Hurray for Graham, Tom, Rudolf and myself - now girls, get those husbands and boyfriends along next time cos we still feel outnumbered!

It was also encouraging to see so many projects on the go, not just blue squares! I think Rudolf's mobius loop scarf/hoodie takes the honour of most impressive creation of the night (should've taken a photo!) but as I was doing a very basic i-cord I'm probably easily pleased. It was a long, enjoyable evening, and a great location. When we've exhausted all the possibilities we'll certainly be returning and lounging there.

As the meetings are every two weeks we are continuing with that pattern every Wednesday, and the next meeting will be at The Phoenix on Cavendish Square (Oxford Circus) on Wednesday 20th September. Meanwhile, we'll be having an interim meeting every Wednesday at the I Knit London shop on Bonnington Square. For anyone who hasn't experienced Bonnington Square come down next Wednesday and find possibly the most relaxing bit of London (don't be put off when you're trying to find your way out of Vauxhall station and you think it's a bit grim!) We're pleased to report that we've applied for a drinks licence (and music and movies) but as that's in the pipeline do feel absolutely free to bring along your own beverages and lounge on the Chesterfield or the bright yellow beanbag. If the knitting and drinking aren't enough to entice you, you can pop over the road for a takeaway at London's best veggie restaurant! We've just come back from there - do you know anywhere else you can buy a biodynamic tart made from ingredients planted and cultivated in accordance with the moon cycle and astrological systems??


PS Anyone else having trouble posting pictures here?? I'll try to get some pics up if anyone can help me out!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The day after....

Ahhh...Sundays are so much more refined than late Saturday nights! Gerard only managed half a day before he needed to recuperate from last night's/this morning's shenanigans and I stayed on for some tidying, sorting and, of course, knitting. A quiet day, watching the world go by, the local characters and the squirrels in the square.

I was going to post again about how excited we both are about yesterday's opening, how committed we are to making I Knit London the warmest welcome for knitters of any age and skill, and how encouraged we are to continue to provide a place to knit and relax in a peaceful corner of London....but, although it's all true...here's some pics!