I Knit London Tweets

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.