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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wonderful Woolly Wales

It's been a long week and usually on our day off (Sunday) you'll find us avoiding all things knitty and spending quite some time in the pub...and writing the e-newsletter too (there's never a complete escape from IKL!). This weekend though we made a flying visit to Wonderwool Wales, the festival of fibre crafts held in Builth Wells, Powys. We left London last night (Saturday) and arrived back a couple of hours ago...

Neither of us had been to the show before so even with just the few hours ther we found loads to see and touch. It was especially nice to meet up with some friends who we haven't seen for a while; Eirwen at Knitwitches, Susan and Gavin from knitonthenet, Prudence Mapstone, the KCG, and the Garthenor boys amongst others! Plus, we made the most of the opportunity to meet some more independent yarnies, chat about I Knit Day and get some more inspiration for our own show - and we've got some exciting stuff lined up...
WW is held a vast barn-like construction and featured everything from wool to weaving. Today (Sunday) was much quieter than we expected but that gave us a better chance to look around and have a leisurely wander through the stalls. One of the most encouraging things about the show was the number of local businesses, farmers, spinners, dyers and yarn producers, proving that the industry is far from dying out. Amongst all of this there were some fragrant alpacas, sheep and angora rabbits. So what did we buy....?

Cider and cheese!

Gerard and friends.

Huge thanks to Sally, Justine and Steve who let us crash in their cottage for the night, the game of Kerplunk and the sheepy ale. Here they are first thing Sunday morning...knitting surgically attached to their hands! You can hear about their Wonderwool experince in the next episode of their Miss Flip Knits podcast.

You can see more pics from Wonderwool in our Flickr photostream

Animal alphabet...

It was another busy knitting group on Thursday night, with the usual stuff going on, including the consumption of cider and the sharing of a few tips and ideas....we also started our IKL Polaroid photo gallery which you can see adorning the walls of the shop very soon. You can be included too, all you need to do is come to one of our knit nights! Welcome back to Jon, too, who we haven't seen in a while, so busy is he with making more of gorgeous Easy Knits yarn. At the end of the night we all tried to work out the conundrum emblazoned on Justine's chest:

Leave your answers here! We're stuck on X, and N...?

{EDIT}...and for bonus points...which one is the odd one out, and why?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I met The King

last weekend we went to Liverpool for to see my dad becoming 65 years old and to go to my nephews baptism. I was god father for the third time which is great but the poor child even had god on his cake.

The Priest was amazing. He talked about Jesus loving you even if 'you ended up in jail or did something more stupid'! 

I guess he knows his audience. I must point out at this point that my newphew was not the only baby being baptised. The baby next to us was born to a mother with glamour model aspirations. Craig didn't know where to look and was genuinely concerned about her catching cold!

Louie and his family were the stars of the show. He refused to be wrapped in a shawl but his mother carried it all day. His middle name is Phillip, after his dad. The Amazing Priest was quite old and was delighted to be baptising a young buck named after a king of France, Louis Phillipe. For the entirety of the ceremony The Amazing Priest called Louis The King. Fantastic.

He is The King. He is Glorious. And the love and energy he has inspired is equally as amazing. He is The King and he is glorious and beautiful and so are his family.

[I'd like to show you some pictures but blogger will not let me at the moment]

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We've sold all of the Elizabeth Zimmermann books, actually the only last 2 and half days but I managed to keep a copy of The Opinionated Knitter for a little while. (there are lot more on the way, though, due for arrival by the weekend)

In the time I had the book I was able to make the 2 things, pictured below.
This hat was so so easy, it took about 3 hours, and only that long because I started the 3 spiral hat and did 20 rows before I changed my mind, ripped back, and started the 5 spiral instead. I used Cornish Organic chunky which was a delight to knit. It's so soft and easy to used and comes out really well and completely itchfree.
I love love love this pattern. This is my first surprise baby jacket and I know it will not be the last. It was also very easy. I made it for Louie but it came out so small. I think people back in EZ's day must have eaten a lot less! (Something I am going to try, one day).

I used Manos Silk on 4mm but I think I will use 5 or 5.5mm if I do this with the same yarn again. I used addi lace which might have made my gauge a lot tighter. I don't usually bother with the gauge and I don't mind that this is small as if it doesn't fit Louie, as I know it wont, it will fit my other sister's yet to be born baby.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Knit on the net...

...is out, I practically heard the sigh all the way down here.

It's another great issue! I love Miss Scarlet - I'm a sucker for a puff sleeve.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

happy birthday Tom

Craig and I had a great time on Sunday in Wimbledon to celebrate Toms birthday. Wimbledon is like a little Village, the busiest village I had ever been to. They also have lots of babies and small children, none of whom are vegetarians!

Tom showed us a video nasty on his mobile phone. He had made the video on holiday in Ireland. There is a better version on his blog BLOG PARTY, I urge you all to click right now and watch the video.

Friday, April 11, 2008

love for sale


Thursday night was business as usual at IKL. There were millions of us knitting and crocheting. We're producing lots of hyperbolic crochet reef, thanks again to Alex for the donation of such fab yarn and to Yvonne for never ending enthusiasm and energy to help anyone who asks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

London pride

Last Sunday we both walked across the windy, snowy Waterloo Bridge from where we saw the set up for the Olympic torch relay. Our disinterest in the occasion seemed to be shared by most other Londoners, with a flaccid crowd of spectators overrun by a well-organise bunch of protestors. We saw the approaching Coca-Cola advert (there was a bus hidden beneath) and the farcical deployment of our police service riding motorcycles and lining the route.

Some of those free 'news' papers have suggested the whole day was an embarassment to London - far from it. I'm proud that in this country it's possible to stand up and demonstrate and have your voice heard without fear of persecution. This was far from an embarassment but a moment to be proud of. The whole worldwide journey is a crass attempt to advertise China as modern, democratic country irrespective of it's appalling human rights record. What was really embarassing was the likes of Konnie Huq and Denise van Outen smiling inanely amongst the Chinese bodyguards and police - surely there are better ways to promote your 'career'?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

summer festivals

I am only a little disappointed to say that I am not going to Glastonbury this year.

It's not because I'm too old it's because last year was a bit of a nightmare and by day 4 I couldn't wait to get home. The rain and the mud are not what made it a nightmare but the volume of punters. It was incredible. There must haved been about 3 million people. At least it felt like it.

The mud just got worse and worse because of the number of feet trudging through it. My legs were bionic by the end of the weekend. I was working back stage for WaterAid last year and I felt really let down by the number of hay bales that were delivered to the backstage bar to ensure people like Donnie Dickhead and Peaches and FiFi Trixythingy didn't get too much mud on their designer wellies while outside people were losing tents etc etc. Shocking.

Anyway, I should be telling you about the festival I am going to really. Camp Bestival in Dorset looks amazing. I really can't wait for this festival - Chubby Checker is one of the Headliners! - and I Knit London are hosting the festival's very first knitting tent!!!

Camp Bestival runs from 18th to the 20th July and so I'm packing shorts, deck chair and sun cream - oh and some yarn and needles.

We'll be teaching and using the knitbits to construct a glorious knitted sculpture. We'll need all the help we can get so if you are going to be at the festival come and say hello and do some knitting and maybe even a little piece for our sculpture.