I Knit London Tweets

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Help us lobby the German embassy with the knitted river

WaterAid would like your assistance with lobbying the German embassy with the river.

The river is spectacular and we need as many people as possible to help carry/hold it outside the German embassy in London. WaterAid policy officers will be in a meeting on 14 February. The event using the river is not yet scheduled - it will be on or around the 14th, though.

If you would like to attend the lobby; hold the knitted river to demand sanitation and water for all! please send an email (address below), we'll make a list we let you know as soon as the WaterAid press team have decided the best time for the event.

info @ iknit.org.uk

Keep it to yourself but I've heard a rumour that the Greek nuns are coming out of hiding for this event!!!!!


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Knitting nuns...on the run

I wanted to share this story with you all. It made me laugh, although I don't think the Greek Orthodox Church find it as funny. I wonder who would bale us out if we went overboard?



Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The knitted river is very long indeed

We have done some rough, dare I say guestimates, on the amount of squares we have received for the river.

WaterAid have grown concerned about our capacity to sew up the river, I share those concerns. We had no idea how successful this campaign would be. The amount of people who have made and sent squares, I've said this before, is inspiring and breathtaking.

I am not sure if anyone reads this but, once again, thank you.
Thank you to all the people who come to the different I Knit London group events and make squares and helped us sew it together.
Thank you to knitblogland, your blogs have spread the news of the campaign all over the world.
Thank you to the thousands of people who anonymously sent in squares.
Thank you to the thousands who sent warm wishes and encouraging, inspirational messages with their contributions.
Thank you to Mindy from San Marco, Texas, we talk about you all the time as yours was the first ever square we received through the post.
Thank you to all the teachers who have brought the river to their students and helped them learn a new skill while developing their social conscience.
Thank you to Olga Cowden, I know you must have spent a fortune posting the fliers.

There are too many people to thank and I have so much sewing to get on with.

WaterAid campaigns are using the river to lobby the German Embassy in London mid Febuary. Germany host the G8 summit this June so they have much power and influence as Chancellor Angela Merkel sets the agenda, as yet sanitation and water are not on the agenda. (more on what we can do will follow soon) There is no date set for this event yet as the campaigns manager is awaiting a reply to the request for a meeting. As soon as there is a date I will post it here. If you would like to join WaterAid at the event we would love to see you there. You can leave a comment or email.

I doubt we will be using the full river, not just because it is not all sewn up but also because it's too big for this event. We will use it all later in the year, more than once! We have also had to bring the deadline for squares forward to the end of this month/early February, I hope this does not disappoint too many of you but we really had to as there is not enough time to sew it all up.

We found another use for some of it, post WaterAid campaign events. Battersea Dogs home are asking for blankets for the animals they care for. We can sort them out! I've been to the dogs home twice, I live a short walk away and while the animals are very well cared for and made very comfortable it's still heart breaking to see them in their pens waiting to be taken home and loved. I hope you would agree.

There will, of course be more Knit a river news as well as photos,, I'll keep you posted. But, I almost forgot, the stats!!!!

Wwe counted the number of squares in a bag then counted the number of bin bags...we guestimated that we have 34,000 squares so far.

The river as it is = 14 rows wide - 34,000 / 14 = 2428 squares long x 6inches = 14571 inches long

1457 x 2.5 = 36427.5 cm long

36427.5 / 100 = 364.3 metres long

364.3 x 3.28 = 1194.9 ft long

the London eye is 135 metres high

Canary wharf is 800 foot high

The tv tower in Berlin is the 4th tallest building in the world, it stands at 368 metres

The Empire state building is 1453 feet high – if we do not receive another square and all the squares are sewn into a river it would be just over 250 shorter than the Empire State Building

Sunday, January 21, 2007

pom poms and nipple tassels -Saturday night at the Royal vauxhall Tavern

Thanks to Amy Lamé last night at Duckie at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was craftastic. Amy kept me company in the shop yesterday afternoon and she finished a beautiful scarf in colinette point 5. Thanks for the cakes. There's one left, for Craig.

Another calorimetry finished pre Duckie...when we got there we found Amy at her activity island in the middle of the dance floor where she was organising the pom pom table. We dived in and I made an anorexic pom pom while Craig made a gorgeous black and white stripe pom pom which I had to be involved in to make myself feel better about my effort; I did a little bit of finger knitting to hang the pom pom and make it stand out even more!

Then I crocheted a little which is quite hard when you are not that good and it's dark and you've drank wine.

Then...! Another show started, the gender bending burlesque! I caught the nipple tassel!!! It was funnier last night than it was when I found it in my pocket this morning. That might be because it looks a little lonely.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

more knitting news

This week has been busy at the shop again. The knitting beginners was packed again, lots of people to teach - very exciting! Although the crazy wind practically ruined London on Thursday so we had to cancel the beginners crochet. What more has to happen before we sit up and pay attention to the climate change crisis?

WaterAid's battle to end the global crisis in sanitation and water continues. There is a campaigners conference in Manchester next weekend, if you would like to attend you would be very welcome.

The last meeting at the shop was well attended, I had a bit of a cold so was slightly unprepared for how busy we were but it was great fun and brilliant to see some new faces. I even had a go at teaching someone very basic crochet.

Next weeks pub meeting , Wednesday 24 January, is at the Crown and 2 Chairmen, Dean Street, Soho where we have booked the upstairs room, just for us, so it will be gloriously smoke free. See you there, knitting.


Meanwhile, I looked after the place yesterday and welcomed a new delivery from Wales of some organic pure wool. It's amazing just to see a ball of wool in the colour of the sheep! After a few hours, thanks to Gerard, I already have a crocheted hat in chunky Jacob Marl, and I'm glad it's still cold enough to wear it.
And on the subject of hats...we had a few men around last night for our regular Friday night boys' knit night, including Giovanni, who finished off his mega-chunky ribbed hat. He's only been knitting for a couple of months and was disappointed with his previous hat efforts...but this time he went for it and got what he wanted. Big, bold, chunky and blue!



Saturday, January 13, 2007


I made one and it's gorgeous. I can't say who it is for; it will ruin the suprise. In The background is some Jamieson's Shetland yarn that arrived today, it's fantastic yarn and people have been feeling it up all day.
I can't wait for Glastonbury, it gets cold at night! The yarn is Rowan Tapestry knitted on Denise 4mm. I still cast on 120 stitches and it fits me perfectly (I've got a massive head I'm told when people try on my hats!). I'm in a Rowan mood so I think I will do another in Country. This was the first time I've used Denise needles and I love them. The outside of this set is pink and the cable is pink, some of the money goes to a Breast Cancer Charity in the US.

While I was writing I saw some squirrels playing in the tree just outside the shop window. I thought squirrels hibernate in the winter. Anyway, they went mental when a Jack Russell came along and tried to climb the tree.

Friday, January 12, 2007

what a week!

The end of a long and amazing week. The WaterAid job is amazing and we're very busy at the moment with lots of meeting this week and I have been asking people for the last two days 'how are you supposed to get things done when you are in meetings?' The things will get done, it just means they are done with a air of suppressed panic. Gareth will have to wait for his hat though!

The week began rather disappointingly, the sign we love that was on South Lambeth Road which told people we existed was stolen on Sunday night. The sign was rather heavy so we got into the habit of leaving it on the street. It was locked to a lampost, though, so the theives must have broken it to steal it. We were very annoyed and upset and although I don't hold a grudge it has been very easy each day this week to wish that the theives fall down the stairs.

To the theives who stole the sign we worked hard to pay for - I hope that you fall down the stairs. In addition I hope that you are carrying the big metal A-board and that it hurts you more on the way down.

On a brighter note Craig and I were interviewed by the lovely Fiona (below modelling her gorgeous handknitted scarf) for Resonance FM. The show goes out tomorrow between 3.30pm and 4.30pm so if you have the chance please do. We might be busy ourselves - more on that later...

Anyway, it's friday night, the men are here and I'm not knitting!


ps Craig has stopped blogging probably because I have taken over post camera present - if you miss him just holler!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Last night was beginners knitting class at the shop. Sue and I started seven people on their knitting journey. I love the first class in the sessions as I'm thrilled by the delight in the eye of someone who, after 5 minutes struggling, suddely gets that cast on is easy.

It is great to have so many people wanting to knit, we had to turn people away - there is always lots of teaching at the knitting in the pub club but that's a very different, informal and can often be a distracting situation.

I've been picturing it (and re-hearing the squeals of delight) all day!

Long live the knitters, for happily they shall reign.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

the afternoon the queen came for tea

We had a visit from the Susan, editor of Knit on the net yesterday. The new online magazine is brilliant we are very exited about it. Susan and her family are brilliant and we didn't actually have tea, obviously, just a couple of glasses of wine and a late meal.

Contribution from knit on the net jr, we love it, thank you jr.

Since we started I Knit London we have met a new best friend almost every month, Susan being our newest. You must visit Knit on the net, if you haven't already, I think we have blogged about it before, it has great free patterns as well as articles (Knit a river is featured in the latest issue!). The second issue is out late February.

We are very excited about all the plans we are making for 2007, some of which include KNIT ON THE NET!!!

Knitting news, knitted some new baby presents for my friend Sally, or rather her new baby whose arrival is imminent.

Stocking stitch mini mittens.

Moss stitch booties, I love moss stitch.

Erika Knight patterns, knitted in aran weight silk. Can't wait to meet the new baby.

My Sunday evening project is a hat for Gareth Gates using garthenor organic Portland chunky yarn.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

drink anyone?

Of water obviously! It is January, after all, and I for one am having a little rest after the new year celebrations. Oh but what about the knitting at the pub club....oh well, I'll tackle that when I have to. Maybe just one glass of wine...or two just to be social.

Actually to make it even harder we now have a drinks licence for the shop so, party on I guess. We now sell wine by the glass and beer, at very reasonable prices, obviously!

sewn a bit more of the river together, if anyone remembers the size of it when it was taken to Jubilee Gardens then now it's more than twice that length!

Below are some squares that were sent in as you see them from Shirley and her family in Cwmbran. Be sure to click on the picture as each square is a work of art. Shirley sent the blanket in weeks ago. I have taken so long to take a picture and post it as (I didn't have my very own camera until Christmas day!) it has been lovingly cared for by the staff at WaterAid where it has been on display in the office.

Thank you Shirley, it's gorgeous and we love it. It's amazing. People in the shop said we should frame it but it was made for the river and it's going in the river.
Have I mentioned the river will be used mid Febuary in a stunt in central London?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Almost knitted river

Here is a picture from one of WaterAid HQ store rooms.

This is a picture of just some of the unsewn squares for the river. They are still pouring in. I thought that Christmas might force a cesation but I think people have been extra caring over the festive season and made their contribution.

Thank you thank you thank you. We are humbled by the response we have received with this campaign and I find it difficult to adequately express my gratitude for your contributions of blue squares and the help we've received sewing them together.

If it's not obvious from the picture there are 12 bins bags full of blue squares. Some of the bin bags are industrial and so are bigger than the normal black bin liner. A further 10 have been sent to storage. Other bags are at home, at the shop, temporarily houses in a vacant corner at WaterAid or with people who have volunteered to help sew them.

Which brings me to a request - if there is anyone who would like to spend a hour or more sewing/knitting/crocheting blue squares together, please get in touch, we would be delighted and honoured by your help.


Monday, January 01, 2007

looking forward


Craig and I wish you all health and happiness in the coming year and beyond.

We had a great NYE which started at the Victoria and Albert Museum for a look around their textiles rooms. Although not much was on display the garments were amazing and the examples of crochet and lace work dating back for hundreds of years (some more than 1500 years) were inspiring. I can't wait for the galleries to be open fully later this year.

This was just before midnight. We'd had a small pub crawl from Knightsbridge to The Retro Bar.

There were a couple of bottles of this!
Craig isn't asleep. Nor is he drunk! Well maybe a little drunk.
There was a range of hats but I think you will agree I wore the best. Ellie co-ordinated her hat with her blowy thing.
Although we were about a minutes walk from the river we could not leave the pub as about 6 million people came to London for the firework display. We watched it on the pub screen. I may have been a bit tipsy by this point but I think we could hear the fireworks from outside as well as from the screen we watched them on.
It was odd to watch them on the screen knowing we were so close to them.
When we left the pub just after 1am there we thousands of people on the strand. It was amazing to see so many people, sometimes I wonder how London doesn't sink under the weight!
So, happy new year and happy new knitting! My major knitting ambition for the coming year is a big lace shawl.
Now I can crochet (a little bit) I might even push myself and crochet a shawl for my mum.