I Knit London Tweets

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

London Transport Museum - a special offer! EDIT

For anyone wishing to join us on the journey, call this number 020 7565 7298 to book your ticket. Quote 'I KNIT LONDON@ and you will get 10% off the price.

See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Happy Wool Week...and sock club news

This week is UK Wool Week, hurray! To celebrate we are having a Crafternoon Tea party this Saturday, from 12.30pm. As usual there'll be lots of cake - please feel free to bake a cake and bring it with you. There can NEVER to too much cake.

We will also be lauching the third installment of the (not just) sock club. If you would like to collect your package please come to the shop on Saturday and stay for some tea and cake and chatting with some other gorgeous knitters.

See you on Saturday.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Pan. The Dog.

Pan has a few nicknames. My favorite is 'chicken chaser'. She was given that name by a distraught Annabel, a friend in Devon, after Pan terrified her rather large chicken collection in her rather large garden.

Anyway, she is also Pan the 'wheel sniffer'. A woman just came into the shop with her two young children. One of the children was in a pram and Pan immediate lept off the sofa to investigate the pram. The young girl, not in the pram, was a little startled so I told them that she's interested in the wheels. She like the smell of the wheels.

Pan soon lost interest in the wheels and said hello to the people and the girl was soon in love with Pan and talked to her while her mum shopped for wool and stuff. As Pan sat on the sofa the girl picked up her scooter and raised it to Pan's nose, telling her mum, 'she likes the smell of the wheels, Mummy.'

Just thought I''d share

London Transport Museum - a special offer!

London Transport Museum has asked IKL to offer a group of knitters a fantastic opportunity to knit at one of their special events.

On Sunday 11 September a Metro-land Heritage Vehicle Outing will 'transport you back in time along the Metropolitan Line.

The Museum's 1938 art deco Tube train and Engine No. 12, Sarah Siddons, the last operational Metropolitan Railway electric locomotive, will be running special journeys as part of the Amersham Old Town's Heritage Day between Harrow-on-the-Hill, Rickmansworth and Amersham.'

IKL have 10 free tickets for a group of knitters who can be part of the event to add a little craft craft excitement to the atmosphere. It is going to be a fantastic day, if you would like to be part of the knitting group call us on 020 7261 1338. We only have 10 free tickets so please call as soon as you can. There is a 10% discount for anyone else thereafter.

You can get more information from London Transport Museum.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I was sent a letter about Lisa's Stars last week and I thought I would share the information.

Lisa's Stars was set up in 2010 to make a difference to those people who are unfortunate enough to lose a child prematurely. Initailly the organisation supported a local hospice by supplying them with premature sized knitted blankets and hats so that any baby born too early would be wrapped in love until the time came to lay them to rest. They now support people throughtout the UK.

I know this is a very senative issue for many people but if you have time please visit the website, or the facebook group. The requests for help are varied. You can help by contributing knitting time - they have patterns, by contributing any spare yarn, even a monetary donation to contribute towards costs of delivery.

This is such a worthwhile cause that provides comfort, and support in exceptional circumstances, please help if you can.


Monday, August 01, 2011

I Knit at Camp Bestival

Another brilliant weekend at Camp Bestival with another brilliant team! Meet, from top left, Heather, Lorraine, Tanya, Graham, Doug (aka Dig), Ros, Sara, Madeline, Deborah and Gair.
I Knit at Camp Bestival 2011 was the best so far. This is due to the hard work of the volunteers above. We have taught so many kids and adults to knit and, new in this year, crochet (thanks to Ros and Medeline).
Finger knitting was the star of the show, again, this year. I took this picture in the final hour of the weekend. It perfectly shows the level of concentration from the children who became, for want of a better word, obsessed with finger knitting.
We were so inspired by the amount of energy and time some children were putting into their finger knitting that we had a competition. The lengths of knitting were stretched out in front of the tent on Sunday afternoon and the person who could walk furthest won! There will be a separate post on that tomorrow!The Knitting Tent, packed all weekend, had changed location from the Magic Meadow to the Lower Kids Field and we noticed a fantastic change in the amount of people coming through the tent. We really were packed all weekend and the teaching shifts changed from 4 hours to 7 hours with an hour break. This has usually happened by default each year anyway but this year we really had no choice and I am so grateful to the brilliant team of teachers for their energy and enthusiasm. The ease with which every one of the teachers could happily teach so many people over the three days of the festival is inspiring, I love you!We didn't just have the best dressed tent at the festival, I think we had one of the best locations with amazing views of the rolling hills of the Dorset coast. I'm still so tired, thanks largely to the energy of the people in our production camp site - they too should be honoured for their ability to work so hard to put together an amazing festival while on shift and party like it's 1999 while they are not on shift.
There is so much more to say about the weekend but I will leave you for now with a picture of one of my favourite knitters of the weekend. A young lady who conquered finger knitting and moved on to a the next stage, knitting herself a a purple headband.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Knit with Amy Singer

Amy Singer, editor of knitty.com, will be with us at the end of October to teach a few classes and to meet of few more British knitters. The classes, on 28/29 October, will be held at The Union Jack Club, just around the corner from the shop on Waterloo Road. This means we will be able to celebrate all weekend long with lots of tea and cake and knitting at the shop.
This is Amy with Jan and Coral the last time she was at the shop. Amy is really excited about her classes and can't wait to meet more British knitters so please feel welcome to visit the shop even if you don't get to a class. Amy is particularly excited to be teaching her beginners spinning on a drop spindle. The silk and the drop spindle will be supplied by Amy herself which really is an extra bonus! Ann Kingstone and Jan Curchin are also teach over the weekend.

You can buy classes here>>>

Saturday 29 October afternoon at the shop will give us a chance to knit and chat with Amy at the Crafternooon tea. There'll be lots of cake and tea and loads and loads of yarn!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Knit or Dye, socks by Janet

My friend Lorraine sent me this photo by text message earlier today.
I love her legs even more than the rest of her now I've seen them clad in these fine hand knit socks! They were knit by her mum, Janet, in Cheshire using yarn dyed by yours truely! The sock pattern is also related - it's from my book, a pattern by Melissa! Her mum said that she loved the yarn. Of course she did! and she is now working on a scarf for Jane with some other I Knit or Dye yarn. Lorraine and Jane or very lucky Ladies!
I replied with a picture asking Lorraine if her mum needed any more yarn. Lemme know, Janet!

On a completely non knitty note I have recently made friends with someone who was a good friend 20 years or so ago. It's been very nice facebook emailing him - he also knew Jane and Lorraine. We were all much, much younger at the time.

PS Amy Singer on sale tomorrow!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Knit (not just) Sock Club, pt 2

The second part of the sock club went out last week. We've had lots of emils and calls to say how much it has been loved! The yarn is from Naturadl Dye Studio. The colourway is Sea Cabbage, which is not the colourway used for wither of the pattern you see below, it is a gorgeous green with light, almost yellow, spots.

The Sock pattern below is one of my designs and is called Twisted. I love the diamonds and even though this isn't the easiest sock to knit the raised single stitch cable is really effective against the reverse stocking stitch background, so it's worth it. The yarn used for the sock is an I Knit or Dye 100% merino sock yarn.This is a scarfusing and Estonian pattern that I really love. At the centre of the cross is a stitch that has a greathas a great effect.The ayrn used for the scarf, also designed by me, is another I Knit or Dye yarn, 50% merino 50% silk. It's really gorgeous!Thank you to Jan for being a gorgeous model.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dry, my pretties, dry!

I am loving this dyeing business. even though it is quite a palava, I absolutely love it. I have a fab set up, if I do say so myself, but I've realsied that I don't need the drying room in the summer as the shop, some days, is hotter than the surface of the sun. Or there abouts. I'm sure a lot of dyers would say drying the yarn in the shop is a bit odd but they only come upstairs at night, they are dry (mostly) by morning.
I usually leave them hanging in the shop for a few hours after I've opened but that's because they are so pretty. This current batch is a 2ply lace merino and it's gorgeously smooth and scrumptious. I only managed three kilos yesterday as I got a bit distracted Rebeka Brooks on iPlayer.

The hank on the top far right of this picture is reserved for purchased tomorrow. That's just happened as I'm writing this and serving the odd customer at the same time.

There's a trio of very well behaved ladies in at the moment from Devon. I hope they didn't think I was mean by not making them coffee - 'only cold drinks during the day'. It was really because Ecco sells much nicer (real) coffee than I could ever make.There's been a lot happening recently and I wish I could show pictures of the patterns for the (not just) sock club but I think I'll wait until the end of this week just so the people outside the UK get their parcels.

Camp Bestival next week, can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Knit Guernsey finalists chosen

I've just helped choose the five finalists for the I Knit Guernsey competition. It was very exciting to see all the entires and discuss what they qualities. I know a few people who have entered but the entries, brought over on behalf of Visit Guernsey by Sarah, were all nameless.

The winners will be contacted today or tomorrow, I believe, and the next stage is to knit your sweater. I'm soooo looking forward to seeing the real, live, knitted Guernseys. The five finalists we chose are all great but I know once they are knitted they are going to speak to us in different ways than the sketches, charts, photographs, etc did!

The Guernseys will then be shipped to Guernsey to half of the juding panel and then sent on to the other judges and there'll be a conference call to discuss the winner.

There will be an event to celebrate the competition and the winner and runners up some time mid October, during National Knitting Week so there will be news of that date very soon.

So, I'm excited by the conference call. However, I would rather there was a trip to Guernsey!!!!

Oh well, just because I can't go doesn't mean you shouldn't.

What are you waiting for, it's Summer! Visit Guernsey, NOW!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Knit with Ann Kingstone

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a great day and the highlight was the fab afternoon spent at the shop with Ann Kingstone and other friends. Ann travelled from the north to launch her new book Novel Knits. We had a great time with lots of tea and cake and knitting and a light sprinkling of cider and wine. Below (sorry about the pictures but I had to use my phone as I left the camera sim card at home!) is Ann posing with her book and some of the garments that gorgeously decorated the shop for the afternoon.
Here is some of the cake. I attempted to pretend that I baked these two but I had to admit, eventually, that as I didn't have time I went to Konditor and Cook. Anyway, they were gorgeous, as were the home baked cakes from Liz, Maggie, Jan and Sevitry and thanks to Yvonne for the sandwiches. There was so much cake, as usual, that I have a bit of a sugar hangover today.
Anyway, the book! Novel Knits is fantastic and I'm so proud to know yet another fantastic British designer and I recommend this book very, very much. You can buy it from our online shop. Or if you prefer an electronic PDF version you can buy that from Ravelry! I believe that the US publication of the book is imminent, also!
This is Pemberley. It is inspired by Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. It is really stunning and I think when Ann visited us a couple of months ago, on the day of the first sock club party, she was actually knitting it.
This is Lissuin, inspired by Tolkien. Lissuin is a sweet smelling flower! This sweater is stunning, so much so that Sandra could not contain her excited so snatched it and ran to the basement only to return a minute later to model it for us.

There is so much in the book and they are all stunning, really. There are gloves inspired by the unbreakable curse from JK Rowlings' Harry Potter!

You should buy this book!

Friday, July 08, 2011

I Knit a shawl

I made a shawl. I love making shawls. I've been waiting to block this for a couple of weeks because I can't find my blocking wires. We sell wires in the shop but our suppliers have had a few problems with their supply so they've taken a few weeks longer to get her - they'll be here on Tuesday! Anyway, a friend brought some to the shop and I blocked!

This is Deborah, in a Gaga moment, wearing the shawl.
It's Sylvie Beez' Little Valentine. It's an easy knit. The chart repeats aren't that regular until the last section so I couldn't do anything without the pattern but I loved it, and I love the finished product.
Prince, Michael Jackson offspring or just plain crazy person? The pictures were taken in the shop and I think we annoyed/irritated/freaked out a couple of people. Sorry about that, although it was Friday afternoon!
This is my favourite picture. I made it with the I Knit or Dye yarn from the first installment of the I Knit (not just) Sock Club. The yarn is called Bachelorette. There is less pink in mine than in others I've seen but I still love it.

The second installment of the (not just) sock club is available tomorrow for those who want to pick it up at the shop. I hope lots of people bring in FO with the yarn from the first parcel.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I Knit or Dye

It was so hot in the shop yesterday that I thought rather than use the radiator in the basement I would simply hang the newly dyed, still wet yarn in the shop to dry. It dried in super quick time; it was at least 24 degrees outside so must have been 28 inside. Pan and I were almost passing out by the time Coral came in at 3pm, not second before, not a second after.
They look a bit sexier when the ties are taken off and the are twisted into hanks. The camera doesn't do the colours justice, I'm afraid.

This is for Coral. She loves the pink and purple together. She asked me to put green together with pink and purple but I haven't had the stomach for that yet. Maybe I'll do that next week!

This yarn is called Rubber Sole. It's 50% silk, 50% merino. I wasn't too sure about it until I knitted with it and it's amazing. I've just finished a xxxx with it. I can't show you pictures of the xxxx yet because it's for the (not just) sock club. I'll post pictures next week. Two of the below colourway, called I Would Die 4 U, sold while I was having a lunch break - before I had a chance to attach a label!

Friday, July 01, 2011

I Knit London, panoramic!

We had a visit from a google photographer this morning. He was taking shots of inside and outside the shop which will soon be available in google maps! The camera was quite impressive - I didn't take a good enough picture, though! The lens was massive and convex and it even caught the attention of a few people outside the shop.
I was glad my friend Deborah was her and I decorated her with a kidsilk shawl. I couldn't get her to knit, though. Apparently, our faces will be blurred out when the pictures go online.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Battersea has cats, too, you know!

'Summer is often a bad time to be a cat. Lots of kittens are ready to leave home, but no one wants to take on a new pet with the holidays approaching. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home cares for more than 200 cats on a typical summer's day, and those that would normally be rehomed in days can be stuck at the centre for months.

Understandably, the cats get bored - which is why the cattery is asking crafters to get their knitting needles out and make a toy to keep them occupied. Lauren O'Farrell from Stitch London has created the pattern below exclusively for Battersea, or you can visit battersea.org.uk to find two alternative patterns.'

You can read the rest of this article, here, where there is also a mouse pattern by Lauren from Stitch London!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Knit Guernsey

This is the final week for submissions for the I Knit Guernsey competition.

If you don't yet know about it, the competition is to design a Guernsey and the first prize is a FREE TRIP TO GUERNSEY.

The best thing about this competition is that you do not have to submit a complete pattern and/or a fully knitted sweater, all we want is a sketch, drawing or photo (if you have already knitted it).

The pattern copyright will remain 100% the designers, before, during and after the competition and there is even a possibility of the pattern being published in The Knitter Magazine, a leading UK knitting magazine by Future Publishing.

Entry is via the facebook page, here. If you would rather submit by email you can email me instead.

There really is no reason NOT to enter!

Visit Guernsey has lots more info, click here for there www.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Knit in Estonia

Early this month I spent a brilliant week, one of the best weeks ever, in Estonia with The Dutch Knitters and some of their friends. Carla and Hilly, seen in the picture below, somewhere in this butch of beautiful knitterly women. Also in the picture is Eirwen, the seriously gorgeous Knitwitches handdyer and Monica, our Estonian friend and guide for the week.
I completely fell in love with Estonia. I knew a fair bit about the lace traditions of Estonia, Haapsalu in particular, as I love lace knitting but I had never really investigated the other knitting traditions of the country. The knitting traditions of Estonia are many and our trip was full of travelling and discovering and of course making new friends. I feel a little bit more in love with Hilly and Carla, which I didn't think was possible because I loved them a lot already. Their enthusiasm and energy is boundless. I fell in love with Monica, not only is she practical (in every way possible) she has a dry sense of humour and her telling me to stop being a baby when I was complaining about mosquitoes just made me wanted her to mother me a little bit more. That's not weird, hopefully! She almost fell off her dining room seat in a fit of laughter at The Rock City Hotel on Kihnu Island when I squealed and killed a mozzie that was biting my hand. Monica was splendid host and guide, practically perfect in every way.

This picture above is Leili. Leili is a native of Kihnu Island and she is dresses in tradition clothes that are almost exclusively still mad eon the isalnd. Many of the older islanders dress this way every day, it's not just for the tourists. We had a brilliant time knitting with locals outside the Kihnu museum on WWKIPD. During this time, Leili, who spoke basic English, invited me to stay with her for a week to teach her English. The invitation came late in the afternoon as not only was I the only man in the group I was in fact the first man Leili had seen knitting. Apparently, Kihnu men would rather die than knit. They are mostly fisherman, traditionally. The women do everything else. Leili eventually plucked up the courage to ask someone what I was knitting. I was making a shawl from yarn I had dyed for the sock club - I'll post about that when I find my blocking wires! She inspected my knitting and I think she approved. I gave her a present of a 100g lace yarn I had hand dyed and after a great deal of fuss and commotion I got a bit wet kiss on my cheek. The other knitters loved this but they were not quick enough to get their cameras to record it and I'm glad because I think I blushed. Leili gave me a card from the museum gift shop to make sure I never forget I was there. All the knitters were jealous.

This picture is of the sunset as we crossed the Baltic on a ferry back to Tallinn after a day trip to Helsinki. It was almost 11pm.
Below is a picture taken at a mill just outside Tallinn. We visited the mill at the end of the trip and the yarns were excellent. I brought some back with me and a lot has been ordered for the shop!

Finally, Ella. In the picture below is Ella posing for us in the gallery of the Kihnu museum. The picture to the left is of her showing her hand knit socks. It was my favorite picture of the whole exhibition and I lover the smile on her face as she is posing once again.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hello again

I've escaped the heat and come down into the basement of the shop. It's 30degrees this afternoon and while I do like summer I'm not a fan of this heat in the city so I am hoping for a bit of rain. It's even too hot to dye yarn!

What's that, dye yarn, you say?

Yes! I've started dyeing yarn and it is my all time favorite activing, so far! Apart from knitting. I Knit or Dye was launched a month or so ago with the first batch of our I Knit (not just) Sock Club. I didn't mean for it to be the first batch but I miscommunicated almost got into a spot of bother. But I saved myself by dyeing the first first batch, known as Bachelorette.
The bright red with pink spots colourway was very well received. I'd love to hear your comments if you are in the sock club? I knitted a shawl with some, too, Little Valaentine, by Sylvie Beez. It's gorgeous. I'll post pics of the blocked shawl when I locate my blocking wires!

The next package is due to go out in a couple of weeks and I think both patterns will be my own designs, I'm very excited.

Here are a couple of pictures of my latest batch, dyed on Saturday.

I Knit or Dye yarns are not yet available online I'm having so much fun with colours that I'm not really repeating any yet. When I get quicker I'll have more time to put them online for everyone to have a go at buying it.

It's nice to be back!