I Knit London Tweets

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pop and perry...

Started the week, on Sunday, at the Pet Shop Boys concert at Hammersmith Apollo. Blimey, it was good! I am slightly obsessed with them though, being somewhat of a fan since 1986 after my brother introduced me to their 'Disco' album. Anyone who knows me, and knows my brother will appreciate how ironic it is that he's the one who got me into PSB! Gerard (who mysteriously doesn't have the same taste in good music as myself) stayed at home, and probably did some knitting. I was dancing me socks off though. I've had a bit of a pop-filled week, actually, and I went to the Retro Bar Tuesday night for the pop quiz. This used to be a staple night out for us before IKL took control of our lives! Again, Gerard stayed in (knitting, he's obsessed with his Victorian Lace Today) so I went off and nearly won it too (with the help of a couple of friends). I was rather proud that in the Stock Aitken Waterman round we got 100%...even The Reynolds Girls.

I've started another project! I know I said I'd finish my tanktop before I even thought about starting something else, but, for various reasons that's not accessible at the moment so I'm working on a baby cardy for one of our kits. We're trying to get a range together for beginners, or as gifts where you can get yourself a box of yarn with a pattern - nothing new there I suppose, but our little 'noodle kits' are quite cute. I think knitting for babies might be the way forward for me, the knitter's need for instant gratification is satiated much quicker when everything's teeny.

Last night's knitting in the pub was another late one. After the delights of The Crown & Two Chairmen (does a few bottles of Brothers Pear Cider count towards your five-a-day?) the last few stragglers ended up in The Stockpot on Old Compton Street. Really, we must put an end to this high living. The knitters tonight were a small but dedicated bunch and worth missing Big Brother for! We're not going to get all hoity-toity about it though cos we like a bit of lowest common denominator telly just as much as everyone else; we'll be making our Friday men who knits night into a men who knit-stroke-eviction knitting sessiosn very shortly. Quite a bit of yarn untangling went on last night too:

We also missed DSB in Vivienne Westwood (at the British Soap Awards), which, quite honestly, if I'd known about I'd never have left the house. Blimey!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Summer knits and keeping fit

While Gerard plans on changing his life (we'll see about the red hair!) I made a little change this week and went to the gym for the first time in my life. Now I know that for those who know me that may come as a surprise, as I am so honed and svelte that you must all think I'm some kind of fitness guru, but actually it's all natural ;) Anyway, with the onset of the mid-30s and now that we have a fridge in the shop stocked with Corona and Magner's, I decided that at 7am on Tuesday I'd give the old cross-trainer a go (that's the thing where you move your arms AND your legs in a kinda 'going up the stairs whilst pulling yourself up on the bannisters type motion). All I can say is that there is a very weird netherworld of tracksuit-clad freaks out there who, rather than lie in bed for an extra hour, are sweating away in front of Beyoncé and Shakira and the like. I first experienced this in New York in March when we spotted the same species 'working out' (as I think they like to call it) at 2am through the windows of a gym - I didn't realise that we had succumbed to it over here. To get to the point, I felt quite invigorated, but bored, and my legs hurt. Of course, now I've taken out a mortgage just to pay the fees I will have to keep going, so expect a rippling torso next time you set eyes on me.

It's exactly this time of the year when being in Bonnington Square is really worth it - the shop's huge glass windows look out onto the Pleasure Garden (slightly obscured by yarn) and when the sun's out it's really beautiful - genuinely relaxing and, although only a few hundred yards from Vauxhall station you could be forgiven for thinking your in your own little village. We've had a couple of gorgeous nights this week with the knitting group - Wednesday night I cycled back late from the National Theatre and joined in the knitting - we had, amongst others, visitors from Canada and the US, plus Nikki from Purple Kitchen who we haven't seen in ages and who was very helpful when I, as I always do, messed up my ribbing because I was talking and drinking too much!

Then last night we had the film night - The Band Wagon - Fred and Cyd and That's Entertainment! I'm really quite grateful for the film nights - with two full time jobs and running the shop til late each night I can just pretend I have a life and watch the film...it was a quiet one last night but still enjoyed by all present. Next week we're showing Rita, Sue and Bob Too! - that's another reason I like Thursday - we can choose whatever film we like and anything with Black Lace, gang bangs and huge loopy ear-rings will always get a look in! Very excited that we've almost got to grips with the technology to project the telly too - just in time for our Eggheads appearance, but, sadly too late for Eurovision and the American Idol final (Melinda was robbed I tell you!)

It's hot isn't it? Spoke to my dad (who swanned off to live in Spain a few years ago) and it's been raining all week. Felt a bit smug.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

turn and face the strain

Nothing ever satys the same. One of the more interesting things about life is that change is inevitable. Consequently, it is interesting to note that recently I have noticed myself changing, this is a new phenomenon and I kind of like it.

For example, when people ask me if I drive I usually say, 'We prefer to be driven'. This comes from my teenage years when I used to consider my sisters stupid for spending lots of money on driving lessons when I was going out and partying all the time. Often when I needed to get somewhere by car a friend would be around to do it, and those friends seemed to be much less interested in a little glass of cider than I was so it always worked out.

Now, however I am 33 and I must make my apologies to my beautiful sisters and bow to their wisdom and forethought. Having said that I think neither of them drive often and one at least is too scared to drive on a motorway.

Another example - a friend in Liverpool tells me all the time that I have changed so much so since I left, I think she means not just in what I do but how I do it. She was amazed that I went to the Glastonbury Festival. She was more amazed when I said I loved every second of it.

I write all of this as I am working on a new 'to do' list, a kind of to do in life list. I've never done one before and it's quite exciting. I realised years ago that I am very fond of making plans - if I can't make plans I would get very bored and confused - hardly any of these plans ever become reality but it's not the winning it's the taking part, no?

1, Learn to drive - I've already applied for my provisional drivers liscence
2, Run a marathon - I've eaten quite a few (in the old language) but I'd like to run one. I've rejoined the gym and both yesterday and today i ran for 15 whole minutes each time. I stopped as I had allocated only 10 minutes for that part of my life(I thought I was being optomistic!) and I had to be somewhere! If it wasn't for that I might've gone on longer - anyway, 15 minutes for me is really something to celebrate.
3, Get married - ooer!
4, Sing at karaoke - this may be the most challenging. Karaoke is hateful. I'm nervous in front of people but I've been doing lots of presentations with my job so I'm getting good.
5, Knit a lace christening shawl for a neice/nephew.
6, See more of my family.
7, Become vegan. I spent a couple of months eating (mostly) raw but then the shop opened and I didn't have the time as virtually everything you eat has to be prepared yourself.
8, Get an alotment. Friends in Liverpool have had alotments for years and I am always very keen to help when I am at home. There is a film set on alotments coming out very soon, I'm very excited.
9, Finish Brandon Mably cushion. This seems unlikely at the moment as my hands and arms are very sore from this project, my first knitting related injury.
10, Dye my silver hair pillar box red.

There are lots more. Loads of knitting related ambitions and many more personal and professional, I'll kepp those to myself for now but I will continue to add to the list. And hopefully tick them off as I go.


Friday, May 18, 2007

new starts long weeks

This past few weeks have been the longest, most rewarding weeks ever.
We are really proud of what we achieved with the Knit a river campaign, when I say 'we' I mean everyone who contributed. This thing didn't happen because of me or I Knit London, it happened because of you! It happened because so many people got on board and contributed.

The march last Saturday was brilliant. I didn't carry any river myself as I had to be a kind of steward, I say kind of as I don't think I really did much. People kept telling that I should be proud and I was. I was proud to be part of a collective of people, albeit a massive collective, who are inspiring enough to care about other people. I'm proud of that.

I've noticed a trend over the past few months. Lots of the major development agencies are now focusing on ensuring people have access to water in poorer countries than ours. Marvellous.

This week has been brilliant, too. I've been in a kind of dizzy haze for most of the week, catchng up on some sleeping and I'm getting back to the knitting! see below.

This is my first ever lace. I'm so proud. It's from Victorian Lace today which I got from my secret pal a few weeks ago. It is called 'Scarf with the striped border from Wheldon's, Volume 5, 1890'. It is described in the book as Easy Lace, page 80, and it is very easy. I can't wait to get to the intermediate lace! I even took it to the pub with me on wednesday and I don't think I have made a mistake, I still have 42 stitches!!!
I've used Habu Tsumugi (silk) colour 5 on 4mm denise needles. I seem to be quite good at it, obviously, but it is described as 'easy' remember.
My sister is almost 8 months pregnant so I think I may have to make a Christening shawl. A Christening is unavoidable.
I'm having a day off which means working in the shop but this has to be the best job. I've met a wonderful woman from Australia who is visiting her son, she makes clothes for all the babies in her neighbourhood, how brilliant is she! I met a visitor to the square who is from Israel. He's staying for the summer and told me his mum is part of a knitting club at home and she knew all about I Knit London - mad. And other arsorted sock obsessed lovelies, including a woman from Manchester who I think should demand that someone open a shop up there! I made a baby almost cry just by looking at her (I always blame the beard) but she was ok in the end and her mum went off with enough for two cardingans for her.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The World Can't Wait - raise the alarm

for those of with the bug for demonstrating, the river will be out again on 2 June in Geraldine Mary Harnsworth Park in Waterloo as part of another event.


Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 11, 2007

knit a river

We have done so much sewing. I think I have had enough sewing for a lttle while. I keep describing the feeling as being similar to when you eat too much; uncomfortable and needing to move around!

We have loads of river. WaterAid has turned into a cross between a WI and Under World (the factory in Coronation Street).

We are very excited about the march tomorrow and I hope that many of you can make it.

We will carry the river from Glasshouse Walk (at the Edge of Spring Gardens), Vauxhall, SE11 5ER. Please join us there from 11am - look for the big blue open top bus!

Time Out included the event in their weekly email with a link, sorry about the picture!
'til tomorrow!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Remember Brandon Mably? I do! He's inspired me.
I've just started on the very cushion cover Brandon is showing off in the above picture. I've nver done any colour knitting that is even nearly this complicated. I hated it to begin with; I couldn't comprehend bobbins!

can you see where I have worked out how to use bobbins? I was annoyed and embarrassed that I couldn't get it and Craig was amazed as I'm usually so good, obviously and I was getting very frustrated but I got it! Lat night was the turning point, 20 rows in!
This pic makes it obvious! I was getting into a terrible mess and I was almost mourning for the yarn I was wasting with all the strands!
Look at my bobbins! There are loads of them!!!!!!!! I even have a finger!!!!!!!!!! I've changed my mind about the colours and wish I had done others but I don't care at the moment.
It's done with Jamieson's Shetland Heather (double strand) on 5mm needles.
I'm utting it down now because another knit, or rather sew, a river panic attack has just began to encircle me. Time to sew!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Amy Lamé is too fabulous to express in words

Every week at Duckie Amy hosts an activity island in the middle of the dancefloor. Last week it was decorating cup cakes.

Recognise anyone?

Put Craig's fabulousness with Amy's and hey presto!

A fine pair.

I've been trying to put these up all week but blogger is more temperamental than both my sisters put together!

Amy will be doing her stuff in Manchester next weekend at Queer Up North...
Go see her and get yer pom-poms out!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wednesdays by the river and Gormley spotting...

I love Wednesday nights! We can close the shop and go to the pub, which, when you're working from 9.30 and closing at 9pm most days is a blessing! OK, so we're still knitting but we're doing it with beer and with other fabulous knitting folk and it's a real midweek wind-down. Gerard is just happy there's no website for me to update or computer to sit in front of because that's where I usually am, tweaking something or other in cyberspace. But Wednesdays is my chance to actually do some knitting, although the other night had a few false starts, I got there in the end, thanks to Jon who doesn't get bored with counting stitches or unpicking. I, on the other hand, have a short attention span. Jon and Esther also brought along their finished pattern for our sock club and if you've signed up you're in for a treat too. Still time though to plug it though and you can still join for June/July/August here!

Anyways, we found ourselves in the shadow of Tate Modern at Wednesday IKL knitting meet-up at The Founder's Arms, with familiar and fresh faces. Hello to everyone who came, the pub was packed but we liked it, although the scrum at the bar was shocking. An especially big thanks to Tom who was only in town for this week from Chicago - he treated us, thanks Tom! Our old favourite Tom was also back from Sri Lanka (with tea, peppercorns and vanilla essence) to make us all really jealous, and we had a visit from an original IKL knitter (Vanessa, we thought we'd upset you!) who we haven't seen for ages. That's what's so good about the knit nights, you can be sitting in the pub and have no idea who's gonna show up - sometimes it looks like we might be there on our own all night but we know the knitters of London can't hide away for too long.

Have you all seen the Gormleys standing on the rooftops of London? We first saw his statues on the beach at Crosby last year when we were up in Liverpool - it was eerie, these metal figures standing in regimented lines gazing out to sea at the passing ships. Although they were all lined up they seemed much more lost and lonely than their urban brothers. If you don't know what I'm on about pop down to the Hayward Gallery for Anthony Gormley's first major exhibition, and then hang around the South Bank and see if you can spot the Gormleys on the rooftops of buildings all along the river, north and south. This one is directly opposite the box office on the fifth floor of the National Theatre (my day job) - when you catch glimpse from the corner of your eye it makes you a bit uneasy, even when he's there staring at you all day. Aleasha has already christened him 'Johnny the jumper'.

Watched Calendar Girls tonight at the IKL film night. Never seen it before, very funny. God bless 'em! Funny how it did the WI a world of good, and yet, according to the film they weren't really all that into the idea in the first place! Next week we're showing Sunset Boulevard cos we all love a big drama queen.