I Knit London Tweets

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!