I Knit London Tweets

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lil' Louis' Liverpool mittens, and hedgehogs dressed as postmen...

It's been a very long week. Thanks to everyone who has sent messages to both of us this week, me with my trapped nerve (not getting any better I must say) and Gerard on his new uncledom. G went home to Liverpool at the weekend for his first avuncular cuddle and took with him a bounty of knitted goodies. I couldn't travel so stayed in London, watched films ate pizza and chocolate. Here's some pics of little Louis' first gifts...

The hat has been around for while just waiting for a baby to be honest, but it's so adorable and has three cute little pom-poms on the top that just top it off perfectly. It's in Rooster DK. The mittens are part of a double act along with a pair of similar striped bootees in Liverpool Footbal Club colours - these are in Artesano's Inca Cloud 100% alpaca and are just so soft,

Louis will be snuggling up in them right now! And the second set of bootees... well, how cute? I think G is already on his third set of bootees, and has just bought Zoe Mellor's 50 Bootees to Knit book...so another 49 will be heading up to new nephew in the coming months. I do believe Louis will be the most spoilt (knitting-wise) baby EVER!
Edit - the pattern is Saartje's Bootees, I got the link from Brooklyn Tweed's blog.

Meanwhile, back on home ground we have been enjoying the last (first) of the summer's sunshine. A brilliant knitting group on Wednesday night at the shop, more knitting out in the square a) because it was a balmy summer's eve and b) because there was no room inside. Once again, lots of new faces, lots of cider, lots of banter. And, if we may big ourselves up a bit, we even have a quote for the billboards outside - "This is the only knitting group worth travelling across London for!" - aw, thanks. Honestly, and I know how cheesy this sounds, but, the knitting group only works because of the people who come, and maybe we just get the coolest, friendliest knitters at IKL...who knows? Anyway, I know we love our Wednesday nights and will continue to do so!

Tonight was the film night (we showed the original Hairspray) and, again, it was great. We finally met with Justine too, who has been organising, via the omnipresent Ravelry, a book club for knitters, which we agreed tonight we would host at IKL. Funnily enough we thought of hosting a book group last year just after we opened, but couldn't decide if knitters had time to read (!), and then once all our evenings filled up the idea waned. We were also slightly reticent to take someone's idea away, so it's not an I Knit book club, although it'll be here once a month, and the name will be decided soon. I'm actually really looking forward to getting into it. I haven't read a book in almost two years - shameful. But what with running the shop, full-time job, knitting dos and now Facebook and Ravelry I just don't know when I've got time! So, basically having someone organise for me what I'll read and when is brilliant. The first book is Patricia Highsmith's The Cry of the Owl and the first meeting is on 25th September. Can't wait!

One other thing this week which opened my eyes was the response to the newsletter. Knitters are a funny lot and I try my best to put as much in there as I can without becoming too boring and rattling on (like now). But we've started to feature, each week, one of the most exciting things we've had delivered that week to the shop - honestly, sometimes we even fight over which of us gets to open the parcels! Last week I finally managed to get stock of Jean Greenhowe's knitted dolls/toys books. Well, call me old-fashioned but I think they are genius...and the reputation of IKL was at stake choosing them over, say Rowan Magazine 42 (yawn). But, thankyou to all those who have shared their JG love. We ain't high-end down here in Vauxhall...and how can you resist a hedgehog dressed up as a postman?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Please be introduced to my nephew, Louis, and his grandfather.

Are they not beautiful?

The poor child doesn't yet have a single handknitted thing. It's just as well that I'll be visiting this weekend!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

dead leaves and the dirty ground

...is one of my favorite White Stripes songs. I could say that about most of them, actually.

right, so...I work for WaterAid and we are cmpaigning to End Water Poverty, as you may know. You may also know that I spend a lot of time thinking of new and exciting ways to engage the UK public in sanitation issues in deveoping countries. It's a difficult part of the job. 2.6 billion people don't have access to sanitation in this crazy world and the reality is people are dying. We don't always want to scare people by hitting them with such a harsh reality so we dress up as poos and toilets and generally try to get the message across by engaging people in a silly way.

While doing a little research on The World Toilet Organisation website I came across a few quizes. This has been my favorit up to now.

You scored as dead leaves, That's right. When it comes to toilet paper, you're a pile of dead leaves. You're curious, ethereal, and spiritual. You love to challenge traditional philosophies. And because you're so environmentally conscious, you never take from Mother Earth what you can't give back.

created with QuizFarm.com

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The IKL sock club...

Well, we reached the last month of our inaugural sock club this week. We must apologise for not getting it out first thing in August but we hope everyone in the club has got their third package by now and is suitably excited by it. This month's climax was courtesy of Jon at Easy Knits who we've been banging on about for ages, who is a good mate, but also a damn fine knitter and dyer. His sock yarn is somehting special and we hope that the sock clubbers agree that we saved the best til last - not least because you are the only people in the whole wide world who have that yarn! Do feel free to leave us feedback here on the sock club and the three designs that were prepared exclusively for us - huge thanks to Jon, Esther and Sue who provided those. And, if you missed out this time we have decided to continue with the sock club, and you can sign up at anytime to receive your three months worth of fabulous footwear. If you don't think you can handle a whole sock just yet....then join our sock knitting for beginners starting next Saturday (18th), with, yes Jon again (he really can do everything).
Links can be found on the website.

I know this post looks like a big plug, but, honestly, if I just posted about what I've been up to for the last three days you wouldn't believe me anyway - trapped nerves, ambulances at 3am, crawling on my hands and knees along the pavements of South Lambeth, two days locked away from the world spun out on a cocktail of Diazepam, Codeine and Diclofenac when I should have been at friend's wedding in Liverpool. Really, it's not worth writing about. I'm 34 years old and I bought my first walking stick today. Don't ask. The pain has gone, but the mind is all over the place.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Innocent Village Fête

So, this weekend was the Innocent Village Fête in Regent's Park. We couldn't make it on Saturday (some of us have jobs to do and shops to run!) but yesterday we went up to town and had a great day out. I don't know about where you were but it was such a hot day I did have a bit of a struggle to really enjoy the festival itself, so we spent much of lounging on the grass and drinking cider (nothing new there then). We also had a go on the chairoplane (above) and, of course, made it to the knitting tent. The latter was a personal disappointment, not least because it was more of a shop than a place to just sit down, chill out and knit, although there was plenty of free teaching going on, something we wholeheartedly agree with - we may hold full-on classes in the shop but we certainly don't mind passing on the secrets of casting on and off for free in the IKL Wednesday knitting group. It was great to see the little knitted hats on the Innocent bottles though, and this year's campaign should be bigger and better than last year's now that Rowan have got in on the act. The whole fête this year was bigger than ever before and with that comes the corporate angle - but we like Innocent, and they did seem to try their best not to 'sell out' too much. It was a bit weird, though, to see, amongst all the organic food stalls, the stands from eco-friendly, ethical companies and the Innocent drinks themselves, proudly packed full of nothing but natural stuff, the huge Red Stripe tent...probably the worst lager in the world! Nice and unnatural. Still, we did catch a glimpse of some maypole dancing (we missed the ferret racing though) and enjoyed watching the alfresco ballroom in full swing to the tune of Cut A Shine.
There was also this brilliant paper Forest - nicely branded by The Guardian :)

It was, in the best English tradition, a grand day out.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Summer's here and the time is right for knitting in the street...

Quick, it's sunny, get outside! At the Wednesday night knitting group we spilled out onto the pavement and enjoyed a few bottles of organic cider on a balmy summer's eve. For a few hours it wasn't London, it was St Tropez. OK, maybe not, but it was lovely, and the square, as I always go on about, was certainly one of the nicest places to be in zone 1 of an evening! Wednesday nights are still my favourite night of the week and I even gave myself a little time to knit instead of working. It was great to see the place full of knitters, new faces and old, getting on like old pals. Ah, the unifying power of knitting (and cider)! It felt good. One sleeve to go and the cardy's finished...only I've just gone and lost the bleeding pattern!

This hot spell has gone to Gerard's head a bit and with the autumn edition of KnitSimple magazine arriving yesterday he's done two hats in two days...ready for the cold weather! I'm not quite decided on this little number, in (Colinette Point 5 Zebra), especailly the long tassel at the back, but I do prefer the one below in Rowan Big Fusion. And it's true what the mag says: 2 hour hats! Either that or Gerard is just dead quick.

It's now about 8pm on a Friday and the boy's night is in...err...full swing. Well, we've settled into a small but committed group of knitters, but there's a couple missing tonight. Boys...where are you? The omnipresent Tom is here (left), and although he admittedly comes for the gossip and the booze, he's a lesson to all those who say you're too old to learn new tricks (although he did learn to knit about 60 years ago, he just took his time getting round to finding his groove!). Funnily enough G and I have downed needles, I to write this blog, and G to flick through the book of chocolate recipes (b'day pressie from Jon) - he's going to make us all a big cake! Hurray.
One more thing to mention - I saw Hairspray last Sunday and, well, it's just about the best time I've had on me own in a dark room for a very long time! Brilliant.