I Knit London Tweets

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!

Thank you, thank you, thank you thank you!

....to everyone who came over yesterday to launch the I Knit London shop! We had a great day, meeting old friends and new and we're not ashamed to admit we drank and danced (a bit) into the very early hours surrounded by our gorgeous yarn and lovely friends!

Special mention to Chris, our very first customer, and to everyone who came along and settled down for the afternoon. Eleanor, you're coasters came in handy later on, I wish we'd thought of it sooner! We've still got work to do to bring you even more knitting gorgeousness - more yarns (we are constantly scouring for the stuff you must have), I Knit Noodle Kits to get everything you need in one yummy little box, workshops and classes to organise - but it's nice to be made so welcome by so many knitters, and we met so many new ones too. This morning it's not all over. We are opening today at 12, but before then we'll be treating Rose and Max (Gerard's ma and sis) to a lovely greasy spoon breakfast which should clear our heads and settle our stomachs!

On that note, we'll post a more succinct post when my head is a bit clearer later tonight!


Gerard and Craig
I Knit London