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Saturday, June 14, 2008

The World Wide Knit in Public Big London Knitty Treasure Hunt

Today, Saturday 14th June, was Worldwide Knit in Public Day 2008. All over the world knitting groups got together, large and small and knit together. Here at IKL we celebrated the day with the first ever London knitty treasure hunt featuring cryptic clues, celebrities, knitting around London's most famous landmarks, hunting knitty treasure and learning to knit and walk at the same time!

A massive thanks to everyone who came along to take part. We eventually had 20 teams and 63 entrants all of whom got well into the spirit of things and followed our clues from Waterloo, The Old Vic (below) along the South Bank, over Waterloo Bridge, into Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square (left) and home to the IKL shop via Big Ben and Banksy's Leake Street tunnel. Congratulations to the victors, team 4 Ply, a fabulous achievement especially as they produced the 2nd longest scarf! Late arrivals, team Unprepared who arrived about two hours after the first team had headed off and arrived back after the prize-giving ceremony with a whopping 117 points. They took home some prizes but due to their lateness they sadly didn't qualify but congratulations on a fabulous effort. Congratulations also to team A Tension Seeker for winning the WWKIP Day scarf challenge with a humungous 90+ inches long (beating the 4 Ply team into second with only 86")!

Along the way teams discovered bits of hidden London, they knitted on Routemaster buses, they knitted with policemen and street performers, pearly kings and queens and celebrities (congratulations to the teams who met and knit with Terry Pratchett and Una Stubbs!). We saw Laurence Olivier wearing a knitted hat, Field Marshall Monty with a legwarmer and Charlie Chaplin with a knitted scarf (all statues of course), and special mention to team Pop who, aptly, sabotaged the balloons of fellow treasure hunters in a display of ruthless competitiveness (which ultimately didn't do them any good!)

I hope a brilliant day was had by all. I popped over into town to search for teams mid-afternoon and got lost amidst the throngs at Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, but well done for sheer tenacity in finishing the course. We've even learnt to say "I Knit" in 21 different languages, including Urdu and Kiribati!

Please post your pictures from the day's events to the free I Knit on Flickr group. If you haven't an account you can join up now or send us the photos by email to info@iknit.org.uk and we can put them up for you - show everyone how you got on, and we really want to see Una!

A few of the challenges included:

knitting on a Routemaster bus - yes, there are still Routemasters running in london and a few of our teams managed to get on and knit on this London icon

knitting with a celebrity - only a few teams scored points on this ne. Terry Pratchett was popular with three teams knitting his presence, but top marks to the team who knitted with Una Stubbs (who was also an answer to one of the questions!)

dressing up statues in knitting - from Laurence Olivier and Charlie Chaplin to Frank Dobson's 'London Pride' sculpture, London statues were kitted out in knittiness from armbands and woolly hats to legwarmers and scarves

knitting with the Old Bill - London's boys and girls in blue were (for the most part) only too happy to pose with knitters for WWKIP Day!

knit at landmarks beginning with P, U, R and L - Ok, so we gots lots of knitting in front of the London Eye and the River Thames, but what about a Urinal!?

knit with a Pearly king or Queen - ah, yes, those quintessentially Cockney characters. We Londoners see them all the time right..? Well, surprisingly three teams did manage to meet up and knit with some genuine Pearly Kings and Queens!

find a knitty street sign - how about The Strand? New Row? Obscuring the letters of Wootton Street was a more creative entry!

Once again, HUGE thanks to all knitters...let's do it all again next year...?


Tina - omme i London aka teeweewonders said...

WOW - what a cool idea! Well done you, for arranging it. I knit with you in Trafalgar Square last year, but this year I was in Denmark at a WWKIP event in a Museum.
I'm contemplating whether I do every other year in the UK and DK or whether I'm going to task myself to knit in a different country each year. :)

yogicknitter said...

Thanks for a really great day. I am already looking forward to next year. Our team has a reputation to keep up. Need to get my knitting speed up though.

Denise said...

Hi Craig and Gerard, a big thank you for organizing such a brilliant knitty day. We had so much fun already looking forward to next years event. Regards

Feltbug said...

Hello - it was lovely to visit your wonderful shop yesterday. Lower Marsh was brilliant before - now it is even more perfect with you there. Hope to see you on Sunday :)