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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gromit and bananas

Last week Celia, our Friday girl, gifted to us a wonderful Gromit. I love knitted toys so I was thrilled.

It was from a women's weekly pattern from a few years ago and it had 17 separate parts, most of which are made in Cornish Organic DK. As you can see from the picture he has found a home clinging to a tree while sat on top of the fish tank.
An another topic, how many bananas can you eat in one sitting? Well, to be part of the Go Bananas for Fair Trade world record attempt you only have to eat one! Almost 200,000 people have registered to take part already.

What a brilliant way to raise awareness, I have already registered. I don't eat enough fruit so I'm grateful for the reminder as well as glad to be part of something promoting Fair Trade.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And the winner is....

Whilst the big boys were handing out gold statuettes in Hollywood last night, here in London we were handing out something much more coveted - the first ever Knitting in Film and Television Awards! The KNIFTAs were conceived one night in 2008 and are a celebration of knitting and crochet on screen - the good, the bad, the weird. Last night's party saw tears of joy and emotion, competition was fierce, hooks and needles were out in force and the Hoegaarden was flowing (mainly into Gerard).

We gathered in the luxurious surroundings of the upstairs bar at The Crown and Two Chairmen in Soho to screen a selection of brilliant short films and to announce this year's winners. Gerard was Twittering live from the ceremony to the interweb and you can see our photos in our gallery, (if you were there, add your own to our Flickr group NOW!

And the winners are.....

Best Knitting Scene

Chi McBride for Pushing Daisies - Chi beat competition from Marion Cotillard and the Japanese film Wool 100% for this prize. The jury were impressed by Chi's willingness to learn to knit for the role...and his gun cosies!

Funniest Knitting Scene

Competition was fierce for this one. The original inspiration for the KNIFTAs, Jack McBrayer was in the running for his shameful use of a crocheted bikini pretending to be knitting in 30Rock. We screened the Bosnian-Herzegovinan Eurovision Song Contest entry by Laka (and his 'knitting' brides) too, but the outright winner was Jane Wood for going above and beyond in Holby City last summer.

We are pleased to say that Jane has made a full recovery and she was there to collect her award last night. Jane was great - and her acceptance speech was very moving, "I've been an actress for nearly 40 years, and this is the first award I've ever won!" She deserved it!

Best Knitwear

The award for the Best Knitwear went to British designer Ruth Myers for her cosy costumes in The Golden Compass. Ruth couldn't be at the party, but we'll be sending her award to her in LA this week.

Best Advertisement

We had two of the nominees represented at the awards last night so we had to keep them apart for fear of a ruckus! Both created by the furtive minds at the McCann Erickson agency the much talked about Shreddies ad was up against the less-seen Staples ad. It was a controversial decision but the winner was Staples. Georgina Landrey (above) collected the award on behalf of the team behind the ad...and Sam Lewis, representing the Shreddies team took his defeat on the chin like a good sport.

Finally, we had a short selection of clips from Wallace and Gromit to show off the work of Nick Park, winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Knitting in Film and Television. Nick's award is on it's way to Bristol as we speak and we hope it finds a place nestled between his Oscars.

We'd like to thank everyone who made the party possible last night, not least all the actors, directors and producers who gave permission to screen their films. We'd also like to say a big thanks to Vanessa, who handknitted the 'film strips' for each award and to Graham, our technical expert on the night. We're now taking nominations for the KNIFTAs 2010, so if you see any knitting or crochet let us know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rockpool Candy's Big Crochet§

My friend Inga is just the most marvelous crocheter in the whole of Norn Iron, and probably beyond. Inga, or Rockpool Candy, had a lot of work in last year's crochet coral reef exhibition at The Royal Festival Hall's Hayward Gallery. In fact much of the exhibition was her work.

I was astounded then by her work; it's so amazing that I just stood dumbfounded by the creative energy that obviously went into doing them as her work is often pretty big. Creative energy comes easy to Inga. It oozes from every pore. I loved seeing them for real as up to then I'donly seen them online.

You can catch Inga doing her big thing at a craft show last weekend in Leeds.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Knit Animals

We had a visit from Doctor Knit last night. Her real name is Denise and, with her daughter, was in London all the way from the Downtown Knit Collective in Toronto. Denise stayed to knit for a while in amongst the hurly burly of the knitting masses.

The wealth of people attracted to knitting is amazing and the generosity and and good nature is brilliant.
This is a gift from Denise. We've never met before, and I'm sure doesn't know but my favourite character in His Dark Materials was Iorek, so it's perfect!
I Love It. The pattern is available from http://www.blogger.com/www.patternfish.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Handknit Heroes

OMG Handknit Heroes arrived in the shop today. I love it. It by a whole bunch of talented people - Stephanie Bryant, Marc Olivent and Errsie Major!

It's very exciting to have a comic book full of handknit heroes! Of course we always knew we were heroes, (me especially - see post below, thanks for your supportive comments, much appreciated).

You can buy it here.

I can hardly wait for issue two!


Monday, February 16, 2009

don't mess with the best

I've really been trying to post every day but there is just too much to do at the moment that I keep running out of time. I've just noticed that there is 1% left on the battery so this will take even longer to complete than I thought.

Don't worry, I wont waste the time, I'll do the post office trip while the battery is charging.

So, I blame Twitter and my iphone and applications called Fish Tycoon and Fantastic Contraption.

We've had a long a varied weekend. Films have been pouring in from all over the world to show at The KNIFTAs. Craig has done all the work on this project, I haven't done a thing, so I'm very excited to get to Sunday. It's going to be great.

A friend, who lives in the US, was in London this weekend so we saw a lot of him which was great. I've known him since I was a kid. We don't see much of each other because of the distance and it's great/weird to feel like a grownup and discuss how grown up our lives are. That is, until I fell down the stairs of a West End club - I swear it wasn't all the booze! It was the slippery stairs! I made a show of myself, as we'd say in Liverpool.

On the way home on Saturday night, as I say we are grown up now so it was only 11pm -ish, Craig and I were eating a doughnut near Trafalgar Square. We were merrily wandering home when a car, moving very slowly in traffic, wound down is window and a horrible little creep began to hurl homophobic abuse at us. I was mortified, but didn't stop eating my doughnut, and I have to admit we did a little shouting back!

We walked on but we were too incensed and I suggested we call the police as they are still stuck in the slow moving traffic. Craig agreed so I did. I called the police. I was a little sqiffy and told them I'd been homosexually abused by a thug in a car stuck in traffic. Craig screamed with laughter but I plodded on, correcting myself and walking back to the car. We found the car, windows rolled up. I asked the passenger why he'd been abusive (while on the phone to the police) and he said he hadn't and refused to get out of the car. Craig, meanwhile, was taking pictures of the car to get the registration.

I stood in front of the car and told the police the registration and make of the car and described the people in the car.

It was only the next day that I realised how bizarre the whole event was. The police came to see me at work today and took more details. I felt the need to apologise for calling them and acknowledged that I might have been a bit stupid to go after the car but I was so angry that some people think they can just treat people like shit and get away with it. We, not being shit or anything remotely similar, didn't let them get away with it.

The police said it was the right thing to call but the most that would happen, realistically, would be they would trace the driver and question him about it and ask who were the passengers. I was really happy with that, though. Imagine the driver's face when he gets the call about the hate crime he committed on St Valentines Day in central London!

Life can be very colourful.

I spent yesterday worrying that I would be in trouble with the police for wasting their time, and knitting a glove for the Old Vic's production of Dancing at Lughnasa.
It's not a great picture, sorry, it's from my phone.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Knit a river, a small update

I was typing away at the laptop this morning (the classes and presentations for the show in September is going to be great!) when a lady shopper asked me if I was the man who did knit a river. Craig was there so I said we both were. I forgot my face was on the flyer so that's why she recognised me.
She said that a portion of the river was delivered to her husband at The department for International Development. I could hardly believe. I'm not writing his name, but I did, recognise it and I was thrilled.I asked if he still had the section of river, she said, 'Oh, yes! He has it! It's still there!'She gestured with her arm to indicate it was up on a wall!

Love it! well done knitters!!!!!


Saturday, February 07, 2009

hot wheels

We've got spinners in today. I've had a little go myself earlier but a hangover and working in the shop is getting in the way, really.
There's a few different wheels and some drop spindling.
The shop is boiling hot with all the industry!


Friday, February 06, 2009

Sunday Knit roast

I thought I would share a couple of photos from our last Sunday Knit Roast. The photographs were taken by Debbie who is putting together a student magazine.

The next Sunday Knit Roast wil be combined with the Knifta's Awards on 22 February at The Crown and Two Chairmen, Dean Street, Soho, London from 4pm.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Craig registered with Twitter the other week. He kept talking about it, another social network site that's kind of like a mini blog mixed with an online forum. In case you don't know, you can choose to follow, or not, any of the other people registered, and each post appears as they are written, you can even reply.

Craig kept talking about it and I kept trying to ignore it. I completely ignored it until Monday. Since then I've become very interested. I can't stop tweeting. I tweet all the time. So much so that I thought it was very funny when Vanessa found this button in our button bowl!

Thank you Vanessa, I love you. And I love my little button. And I love to tweet!

Anyway, back to knitting...

this is happening now!

this is a picture of Craig on the go.

In the middle of this picture is the divine Biggan, of Biggan design.
and heres another shot!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I just wanted to post about the classes we are offering at the moment.

I'm so glad to have a team of brilliant teachers that are offering such a lot of classes at the moment.

We continue with sold out beginners class, 3 years of beginners knitting and crochet!

Jane Lithgow is also back in the fold after an inexplicable break. Jane designed a pair of mittens for my book, Knits to Share and Care. They are fab, I am wearing them as I type.
On 4 March Jane is teaching a class on how to make them, using the fantastic slip stitch technique. I can't wait.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Race For Life - update

we now have a fund raising page which is a, waiting for you to add your name to it, b, waiting for you to add you sponsorship to it, or c, both.


Race For Life

Join I Knit London's Race For Life Team and raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Can you run, jog, skip, walk or stroll? If so you please join our team. There are events throughout the UK so it's really easy for us all to take part and we thought having a national team would be brilliant for many reasons. We could support each other through the joy of the internet, the responsibility of raising funds would be shared, you would be able to do a race that was local to you....

Each entrant would have to register for the race themselves at a cost of £12.99.

I can not take part as I'm male, but I can organise the team fundraising page and maybe even a spot of knitting at the London races with refreshments for a good long sit down after the run.

If you are willing and/or able please email us and we can register you on our team fundraising page.

Cancer Research UK Race for Life